April 16, 2018
We’ve Seen 35 Minutes of ‘Incredibles 2’: This Family of Superheroes Has Never Been Better
The Incredibles hit theaters all the way back in 2004, and it was easily the most sophisticated and involved animated adventure that Pixar Animation had brought to the big screen yet. The film arrived at a time when the superhero film genre was still figuring itself out, with hits coming from the X-Men and Spider-Man franchises and complete disasters arriving in the form of Daredevil and Catwoman.
Since then, superhero movies have exploded, largely thanks to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and fans have come to expect something special to help a movie stand out from the rest of the pack. So 14 years later, what exactly sets Incredibles 2 apart from all the rest of the superhero entertainment out there? The answer is simply the magic of Pixar and the beating heart of a family that everyone can easily feel connected to, even when they have superpowers.
A few weeks ago, /Film was invited to the campus of Pixar Animation in Emeryville, California for an exclusive sneak peek at Incredibles 2. We were shown the first 22 minutes of the animated sequel, as well as another 13 minutes of other moments from the rest of the movie. So how does the Pixar sequel stack up to the beloved original? Find out in our Incredibles 2 footage reaction below, but beware that we talk about the events that unfold in the first act of the movie, so there might be spoilery details you want to avoid.
Picking Up Where We Left Off, from a New Perspective
Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where the first film left off. The villain calling himself The Underminer (Pixar’s good luck charm, John Ratzenberger) just broke through the ground of a parking lot in Municiberg as Bob (Craig T. Nelson), Helen (Holly Hunter), Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (now voiced by Huck Milner) and Jack-Jack were heading back to their car after Dash’s school track meet. However, instead of joining the family just as they’re throwing on their masks to do battle with this ground-dwelling villain, we get this sequence from a different perspective.
Remember Tony Rydinger? He’s the boy at Violet’s school who she previously watched from behind her hair. But with a newfound confidence, she had just set up a movie date with him at Dash’s track meet. Rydinger is being interrogated by Rick Dicker (now voiced by Jonathan Banks), the man in charge of the superhero relocation program to find out what he saw and what he knows.
Tony is among the crowd of terrified Municberg citizens when Underminer shows up, but he’s also surprised by the appearance of The Incredibles. Remember, supers are still illegal and no one had seen superheroes in years until Syndrome showed up with his robot that ran amok, forcing The Incredibles to do what they do best and save the city. Nothing has changed in the short time period between that confrontation and the final scene of the original movie. The Incredibles are putting themselves at great personal risk to be heroes and save Municiberg.
Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl jump into action and they leave Violet and Dash behind to babysit Jack-Jack and keep the people of Municiberg away from danger. Tony is hiding and trying to stay safe when he hears Violet arguing with Dash, about being stuck with their baby brother (who they believe doesn’t have powers yet), he recognizes that voice. And his suspicions are confirmed when Violet throws off her mask in anger, revealing her secret identity.
But Rick Dicker isn’t worried, because he has a mind erasing device (something mentioned only fleetingly in The Incredibles when Bob throws his boss through a bunch of walls at his insurance company), and he’s about to make Tony forget everything. What about his date with Violet? It remains to be seen how/if Tony and Violet will reconnect, but there’s probably hope for them, perhaps meeting for the first time all over again.
The Incredibles Have Never Looked Better
Even though The Incredibles are at great risk by coming out as superheroes again, they have no hesitation about trying to save their fellow citizens. And with 14 years of advancements in computer animation, the city of Municiberg and the actions of this superhero family look positively astounding. If you go back and look at The Incredibles, the animation feels like it’s still a couple renders from being ready for the big screen. But that’s just how much animation has advanced in 14 years.
The action sequences in The Incredibles were amazing at the time. They were fast-paced and stretched across huge, expansive environments. Incredibles 2 follows suit, but is even more sophisticated. The intricacies and details of the sequence in which the family of supers, and their icy buddy Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), try to stop Underminer from wreaking havoc on the city and robbing the bank of Municiberg are leaps and bounds more impressive than the original.
The meticulously detailed environments and props, the richer textures of clothing, the more natural flow of hair, the additional versatility of facial expressions, blemishes, wrinkles and much more are simply mesmerizing. Meanwhile, amidst all the action of The Incredibles trying to stop Underminer, the chaos and destruction through the city looks more photorealistic than ever. Crumbling infrastructure, explosions, Frozone’s crystallized ice blasts and waves and more feel as realistic as they can in an exaggerated animated world inspired by mid-century comic book aesthetics.
Besides that, the sequence is just pure entertainment. Dash and Violet each try to pass off Jack-Jack to the other while using their superpowers to help their parents and keep people out of harm’s way. The family dynamic that made these characters working together so much fun in the first movie hasn’t lost a step, and families will have no problem seeing themselves in these playful family squabbles.
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