AFI Catalog of Feature Films
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The Incredibles
Director: Brad Bird (Dir)
Release Date:   5 Nov 2004
Duration (in mins):  115
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Cast: Craig T. Nelson  (Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible)
  Holly Hunter  (Helen Parr/Elastigirl)
  Samuel L. Jackson  (Lucius Best/Frozone)
 

Summary: Only hours before their wedding, superheroes Mr. Incredible, a man of phenomenal strength, and the flexible Elastigirl, who can stretch into any shape, are hard at work preventing crimes in Metroville. As Mr. Incredible saves a suicidal man and catches villain Bomb Voyage, insistent young fan Buddy Pine interrupts the heroic deeds to demand that he become Mr. Incredible’s sidekick. Although Buddy has no super powers, as “Incrediboy” he claims that he will use amazing inventing skills to defeat villains. As Buddy boastfully demonstrates rocket boots by soaring into mid-air, Bomb Voyage attaches a bomb to the boy’s cape, which falls and destroys railroad tracks below. After Mr. Incredible dutifully saves the oncoming train, he gruffly tells Buddy that he prefers to “work alone.” Days later, both the aggrieved would-be suicide victim and injured train passengers sue Mr. Incredible, setting off a string of lawsuits against superheroes. Soon after, the government rules that superheroes must become regular citizens to prevent further lawsuits, which are bankrupting the government. Using the Superhero Relocation Program, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl settle into an anonymous suburban life as Bob and Helen Parr. Fifteen years later, the Parrs have three children: infant Jack Jack, who shows no superhuman tendencies; ten-year-old Dashiell, who runs at such great speeds no one can see him; and Violet, a shy junior high school student who can become invisible as well as create impenetrable force fields. Middle-aged and overweight, Bob works as a claims adjuster at Insuricare, an insurance company that routinely rejects its clients’ claims to keep profit margins high. Consumed with reliving the “old days,” Bob joins his friend Lucius Best, also known as Frozone, the superhero who changes moisture into ice, every Wednesday to make anonymous rescues. Meanwhile, Dash is repeatedly sent to the principal’s office for causing mischief and Violet disappears whenever Tony Rydinger, on whom she has a crush, looks at her. Helen patiently reminds the children that they must “fit in,” and finds her husband’s obliviousness to family concerns difficult to accept. At the office, when Bob’s bureaucratic boss, Gilbert Huph, trying to squelch Bob’s attempts to secretly assist his clients in getting their claims approved, threatens to fire him and refuses to allow him to stop a mugging in progress, Bob finally throws Huph through several walls in a fit of super heroic frustration. Realizing that he has blown his cover, a sulking Bob returns home worried that the latest incident will lead to one more relocation and traumatize his family. While in his office, Bob soon discovers a video device containing a message from Mirage, a female representative of a company developing the omnidroid, a five-legged monster robot. After Mirage explains that the omnidroid is threatening to destroy the company laboratory on the volcanic island of Nomanisan, Bob accepts the well-paid, top-secret assignment to stop the robot. The next morning, Bob tells Helen he is going away on Insuricare business, then takes the plane to Nomanisan. Out of practice, Bob struggles to keep pace with the omnidroid, but finally triumphs over the robot and continues to battle it over the next three months, thus helping develop the cognitive abilities of the machine, which learns from its mistakes. Upon each return to Metroville, Bob, fueled with new confidence, secretly lifts train cars to trim his waist line, spends more time with the family and rekindles his romance with Helen, who is thrilled but still unaware of his new job. One day, finding his superhero suit ripped, Bob visits high tech superhero suit designer Edna Mode, also known as E, at her ultra modern mansion. Eager for a challenge, as the superhero government restrictions have limited her work to designing for supermodels, E creates an entirely new suit for Bob and reluctantly agrees to mend the old one. On his next job at the island, Bob wears the new suit, unaware that E has implanted a homing device in it. Meanwhile, Helen becomes suspicious when she answers a call to Bob from Mirage and, after recognizing E’s handiwork on the old suit, decides to visit the designer, who tells her Bob is “moonlighting hero work.” When E presents her with four more new suits, especially designed for each member of the Parr family, Helen is appalled that E believes they should return to their old jobs. Meanwhile on Nomanisan, after the omnidroid finally captures Bob, the machine’s mysterious owner appears and introduces himself as Syndrome. However Bob recognizes Syndrome as the now-grown-up still disgruntled Buddy and escapes into a cave, where he finds the remains of superhero Gazer Beam. After dropping a bomb, Syndrome assumes Bob is dead when his scanner finds only Gazer Beam’s skeleton, behind which Bob is hiding. Bob then sneaks into the company compound, accesses files using the password “Kronos,” the word Gazer Beam carved into the cave wall before dying, and discovers that Syndrome has terminated dozens of his superhero friends. Meanwhile, Helen learns that Bob was fired from Insuricare several months ago and, believing that her husband is cheating on her, bursts into tears. E reminds her, however, that as Elastigirl, she has the power to fight for her man. Borrowing a friend’s jet, Helen leaves Jack Jack and Dash in Violet’s care and heads for the island, which has been pinpointed by the homing device, but soon finds that Violet and Dash, dressed in their new suits, have stowed away on board. As she eludes heat-seeking missiles shot from the island, Helen radios to cease the assault. Hearing Helen’s warning that her children are on board, followed by a subsequent explosion, the imprisoned Bob is crushed, believing he has lost his family. When Syndrome laughs at him, Bob threatens Mirage’s life. Syndrome encourages him to kill her, but the bereft, tenderhearted Bob is unable to commit cold-blooded murder. Meanwhile as the jet explodes, Helen uses her body as a parachute to land the children safely into the ocean, then takes the shape of a boat and, with Dash’s speedy feet as a motor, heads for Nomanisan. Leaving the children in a cave, Helen discerns Bob’s location by spying on the heavily guarded company power grid room. Meanwhile, Mirage, disillusioned by Syndrome’s disregard for her, frees Bob, who is then reunited with Helen. When a rocket carrying the omnidroid to Metroville is launched, it spews flames into the cave, forcing the children to run into the jungle where guards on armed velocipods attack them. Dash flees the approaching velocipods with his extraordinary speed, while Violet disappears to evade capture. When Dash returns to her, Violet surrounds them with a protective spherical force field, which Dash powers with his feet until they reach Bob and Helen. Working together, the family easily fends off the approaching guards; however, Syndrome soon captures and imprisons the family. He then brags that he can be the best superhero by appearing to defeat the omnidroid, which has just arrived at Metroville, by disabling it with his remote control. After Syndrome leaves, Bob admits to his family that he was obsessed with being undervalued by society, but now realizes the true value of his family. Suddenly freed by Violet’s ingenuity, the family hijacks a rocket to Metroville just as Syndrome is demonstrating his supposed superhuman strength to an awestruck crowd. However, the omnidroid blasts the remote control from Syndrome’s wrist, leaving him helpless. Joined by Frozone, the Incredibles use their amazing skills to defeat the omnidroid then return home, where they find Syndrome kidnapping Jack Jack. As Syndrome blasts up to his awaiting aircraft with Jack Jack, the enraged, wailing infant morphs into several forms, finally turning into a vicious beast, which frightens Syndrome into dropping him. Bob throws Helen into the sky, where she forms a parachute to safely lower Jack Jack to the ground. Meanwhile, Syndrome’s cape is caught in the aircraft’s turbine, killing him and causing a great explosion over the house. Protected by Violet’s force field, the Incredibles survive and, weeks later return to an anonymous life. Renewed by the strength of their family and their special abilities, Violet outgrows her shyness and accepts a date with Tony, while Dash learns how to compete against mere mortals without revealing his powers. And when a new villain, the Underminer, suddenly appears and promises to wreak havoc, the Incredibles don their masks and continue their mission to protect Metroville as now-government sanctioned superheroes.  

Distribution Company: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution
Production Company: Pixar Animation Studios
Walt Disney Pictures
Director: Brad Bird (Dir)
Producer: John Walker (Prod)
  John Lasseter (Exec prod)
  Kori Rae (Assoc prod)
Writer: Brad Bird (Wrt)
  Mark Andrews (Story supv)
  Esther Pearl (Story mgr)
  Max Brace (Story artist)
  Mike Cachuela (Story artist)
  Ricardo Curtis (Story artist)
  Ted Mathot (Story artist)
  Kevin O'Brien (Story artist)
  Sanjay Patel (Story artist)
  Bob Scott (Story artist)
  Peter Sohn (Story artist)
  Doug Sweetland (Story artist)

Subject Major: Family relationships
  Fatherhood
  Heroes
  Impersonation and imposture
  Mad scientists
  Super powers
  Transformation
 
Subject Minor: Adolescents
  Aliases
  Attempted suicide
  Bombs
  Bureaucracy
  Chases
  Costume designers
  Courage
  Employer-employee relations
  Firearms
  Flying--Fantasy
  Housewives
  Insurance--Agents
  Inventions
  Islands
  Jealousy
  Kidnapping
  Lawsuits
  Masked crusaders
  Rescues
  Robots
  Rockets and rocketry
  Self-confidence
  Suburban life
  Surveillance devices

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.
 
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