Post #9: An “Incredible” Triumph for Pixar

12 Apr

So the other day, I found myself watching The Incredibles from Pixar, and I gotta say, after watching it through, doing some research on it, and listening to Brad Bird, the director, I’m really very impressed, and for my money, The Incredibles may have been one of, if not the, most important films that has come out of Pixar.

Up until 2004, Pixar had been a juggernaut. Already with two popular and successful Toy Story movies as well as the wildly successful Finding Nemo, it truly began to feel like Pixar could not miss. A big fear for the chief creative officer at Pixar, John Lasseter, was that the animators and higher ups at Pixar would become complacent with this success.

Enter Brad Bird.

Basically, Bird had been trying to pitch his movie about a family of superheroes for a number of years, before finally, Pixar picked it up. The movie was going to be technically challenging, almost to the point of impossibility, which was what scared most animators and why I think it is so impressive. Through this point, Pixar had not really touched humans, aside from the occasional views of a glassy looking Andy in the Toy Story movies.

Due to this, new systems had to be created in order to achieve making a convincing looking human. Beyond that, there were over 90 different locations and effects ranging from wind weight, and water for animators to contend with.

All of that made for a visually stunning movie, and for my money, one of Pixar’s biggest triumphs. The movie did spectacular at the box office, and the drive to animate humans as well as go for a children’s movie with a complex storyline ended up paying major dividends down the road for Pixar.

The story of The Incredibles is actually really heavy. There’s aspects of how past decisions can affect the future, how people react to their midlife crisis, and even a subtle, albeit strong, look at trust issues within marriage. Pixar’s decision to not just pander to children and give an interesting and mature storyline helped make this movie accessible to all different age ranges, and opened the doors for future features to have emotionally driven mature storylines as well, particularly Up, which was universally acclaimed for its use of emotion.

Without Pixar refusing to rest on its laurels and just continue to make buddy films featuring bugs, toys, monsters, or whatever else they could find, they decided to go big for a technical and theatrical challenge, and it not only paid off in 2004, it is still paying off in 2012.

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6 Responses to “Post #9: An “Incredible” Triumph for Pixar”

  1. tkambach April 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Overall I have to agree with your points. The human aspect was indeed a change for Pixar, and they did an amazing job. You also make good points concerning the animation for the scenery and weather aspects of the movie. I do have to wonder why Pixar had trouble with animating humans though. The animators for Shrek did a very good job in my opinion and that film came out three years earlier.

    • stayvictorious April 24, 2012 at 3:54 am #

      I personally love Incredibles. I think it is a brilliant film that is a little different than the usual Disney fare. You make a good point in stating all the new frontiers the animators were faced with in this film. Making people move and look believable is harder than animals, especially when the design of the humans in the film are inherently unrealistic. Overall I think the film was a different change of pace for Disney that audiences welcomed greatly.

  2. garrettthomas12 April 24, 2012 at 11:40 pm #

    the incredbles is one of my favorite films. i think its the best pixar one. they took a huge leap of faith when they tried to do humans and it turned out great. it even ask great questions what can you do when you think youve lost purpose. its just a great film all around.

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