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AICN Animation Double-Header! Moriarty Interviews Brad Bird!!

Hi, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab...

I’ve seen Pixar’s astonishing new film THE INCREDIBLES twice now, and it just reinforced for me how important a crowd can be to the viewing experience. The first time I saw it was at a junket screening, and they couldn’t have been less responsive. That’s a junket audience for you, though. They’re more concerned with what they’re going to eat after the movie than they are with the movie itself. I saw it again four days later in Westwood in a theater packed with UCLA film students, and they went totally apeshit for it. When Brad Bird came out for a Q&A after the film, they treated him like a rock star. Which, honestly, he is.

If you were reading Ain’t It Cool back around the time THE IRON GIANT came out, you may have read this interview I did with Bird before that film’s release. The last time I saw Bird was at the premiere of IRON GIANT, a bittersweet affair. It was clear at that point that Warner Bros. had dropped the ball, but it was also obvious that everyone who did see the film loved it, and it’s grown in esteem over the years.

It’s been a little over five years since then, and I finally got a chance to sit down with the writer/director of THE INCREDIBLES after that Westwood screening for this too-brief chat about his new picture.

Moriarty: When we last spoke, IRON GIANT wasn’t quite in release yet...

BRAD: Right.

Moriarty: ... and there was sort of a siege mentality that was setting in. There was obviously a tight-knit creative community, a family of people actually working on the film, but there was no strong sense of support from Warner Bros. Now, working for Pixar, it’s got to be an entirely different environment.

BRAD: It’s been wonderful. We had a teaser trailer that I directed a year and a half in advance. It’s been wonderful. Everybody knows what this is. If it doesn’t do well, it won’t because people didn’t know about it.

Moriarty: The teaser did such a great job setting the tone. It was obviously designed as a separate piece of material.

BRAD: When we shot it, that was the only set we had ready at that point. I couldn’t do anything but that. We tried to, uh... Mark Andrews, who’s our story supervisor and who also worked on IRON GIANT, ahd an idea of, you know, what if you did the typical superhero thing and then he couldn’t fasten the belt? Once he did that, I felt like, “Yeah, that’s it.” So I opened up all the belt gags to the animators, and I said, “Come up with a bunch of stuff,” and then we picked the best stuff and put it in the right order. Then I wrote the beginning stuff where we come over the posters and have that music playing and we set up that this guy used to be the bomb. We had a lot of fun. But literally, that was the only set we had ready. It was fortunate that we had it in that room because it couldn’t have been anywhere else.

Moriarty: One of the things that is clear right away from that trailer is the level of performance in this film. It’s really extraordinary...

BRAD: Oh, thank you.

Moriarty: ... and the performances overall, both physically and vocally, are remarkable. You end up believing in these people. Five minutes into this movie, they’re real.

BRAD: That’s great.

Moriarty: You stop thinking about the animation or the technique. In the teaser, there’s that one shot where his back is to the camera and he slaps the desk...

BRAD: (laughs) Yeah.

Moriarty: ... and it’s just so human and so real that it’s hard for me to believe that was planned. It feels spontaneous, like something an actor would improvise. How do you pull that off with so many people involved?

BRAD: That’s true. Teddy Newton kind of thought of that little gesture, and he’s a very talented guy, but, um, what I was taught at a pretty early age by the old Disney masters, and I still believe that the bar is set where those guys left it... they were big on drawing from life. They didn’t have any animation for them to look at. I think the strength... and the weakness... of our generation is that we have all this animation that’s happened before us. What’s good about that is that everybody... there are more really facile animators now than there have ever been, because we’ve been able to study this huge amount of work one frame at a time and get what they’re doing. The bad thing, the weakness of our generation, is that we tend to constantly return to the animation prool of preexisting animation and just sort of repeat gestures and expressions and things that we’ve seen. I’ve tried to push any teams that I’ve worked with to do what these guys told me to do, which is draw from life. Look at things outside of animation, whether it be other movies or theater or your uncle Herb or something that happened to you as a kid or something you saw on the bus last week. Whatever. That way, the language is always expanding. I think there are a million things that haven’t been brought into animation. We certainly tried to bring some in with this movie.

Moriarty: It’s the little gestures. As Syndrome is walking towards his jet to leave the island, there’s this little hand shake...

BRAD: Yeah, yeah. Yeah.

Moriarty: ... like he’s loosening up. Or as Dash realizes he can run on water, there’s that moment where it hits him, and he... he lights up. You see that, and you believe in them.

BRAD: Well... thanks.

Moriarty: For me, it’s what pushes this even farther into... and I love that it’s not photo-real. Instead, it’s a very hyper-real world. I get a real strong Ken Adam vibe off the design.

BRAD: I looooooove Ken Adam...

Moriarty: There’s such a strong Bond vibe to this picture.

BRAD: ... but I also love John Box, who did LAWRENCE OF ARABIA. There are a lot of great production designers referenced here. But definitely... Ken Adam has one of the best. I love his DR. STRANGELOVE sets. They’re very simple and great.

Moriarty: In terms of the score, you cut that original teaser to the Propellerheads version of the “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” theme...

BRAD: Actually, that was a live performance than we recorded, because we messed with it a little bit. We got the rights to that piece of music and kind of reorchestrated it.

Moriarty: Very early on, there was some talk about John Barry working on the score.

BRAD: Yeah. We worked on it for a little while, and I’m a huge fan of John Barry. But I kind of wanted him to go back to a style that he used in the past, and use that as kind of a starting place. I think he kind of felt like he’d already done that. So we’re still in touch with him, and he’s going to see the movie in New York. He was all right with us trying to find someone who could be, uh... perky and fresh about going backwards because John certainly had already done a lot of that style.

Moriarty: I think he’s got to see this as a giant love letter to his work. Michael’s score is so rich.

BRAD: Thanks! We tried to capture a whole raft of ‘60’s style, jazz style... and also, one of the good things about Michael Giacchino is he was able to capture that style but not be a prisoner to it. He created great original themes for these guys, and we’re incredibly happy with the music. He had trouble getting people to give him a break in movies, and I think people won’t leave him alone after this.

Moriarty: As much as I’ve enjoyed his work on ALIAS and LOST, this is a huge leap forward, and I think it’s the lush size of the thing. He really gets to play this time.

BRAD: Yeah, yeah, he had a blast, and he’s fabulous.

Moriarty: In terms of your vocal talent, there are some more obvious choices. I mean, Sam Jackson has one of the great voices in film, and it’s no surprise that he’s so wonderful as Frozone.

BRAD: Yeah, I’m a big Sam Jackson fan.

Moriarty: But Sarah Vowell...

BRAD: Yeah?

Moriarty: How did you ever decide to use Sarah Vowell for this?

BRAD: Well, I’m a big fan of [NPR radio show] THIS AMERICAN LIFE, so I’d heard Sarah before. And I was listening to an essay she was doing, and it was while we were casting, and it just clicked. I went, “That’s Violet! That’s Violet!” It turns out she’d been asked before to do animation voices, and she’d always refused. Luckily for us, she accepted this time. She had a blast, and I love Sarah’s work, both in the film and on the page when she writes something. It was a real treat for me to get to work with her.

Moriarty: For Craig T. Nelson, there’s a depth here that no one has tapped before.

BRAD: Craig is a great actor, and people mainly know him for comedy, but he’s a really good actor overall. He started out as a writer and wrote actually with Barry Levinson early in his career, so I think he has kind of a loose, free attitude toward material. I like him. He sounded like a big heroic guy who would also live next door to you. I had a blast with him. And Holly... Holly’s just one of the great actresses of our time.

Moriarty: Sort of like Sam, she’s got such a distinct voice.

BRAD: Yeah.

Moriarty: She brings so much character to it automatically ever time she opens her mouth.

BRAD: Right.

Moriarty: On both this film and IRON GIANT, you worked with young actors in significant roles. Eli Marienthal was great as Hogarth, a very special child performance, and now here again, Dash is wonderful...

BRAD: Well, of course, he’s actually a real person named Spencer Fox who lives in New York.

Moriarty: Is this his first film?

BRAD: I think so. I think it might be. He’s just a real character, and he did these really original line readings. We tried a lot, a lot of kids, and then Spencer would come in, bouncing in from outer space, and do something really original. We just kind of felt like, “Yeah, that’s our guy.”

Moriarty: How much direction is there when you’re working with a child? Obviously, you have a specific idea of what you want. Is it more about the casting, finding the right kid?

BRAD: It is, and then it’s also about hanging with it. Sometimes, you can only find little instances, and you kind of have to coax those out, and when you get a little diamond, it becomes about assembling those diamonds in a row. Spencer was very inventive, and like I said, his line readings were distinctive. That kind of stuff is a gift to the animator, because what takes an actor five seconds to say can take an animator three weeks to animate, and they’re going to hear that over and over. The lines have to be rich and inspiring, because that’s what gets the great visuals out of animators.

Moriarty: On THE SIMPSONS, the Comic Book Guy is a very particular archetype, and now we have Syndrome, who is a very particular type of overzealous fan. Do convention audiences scare you?

BRAD: (laughs) I think that like any other large group of people, they run the gamut from, um, you know... great people who just really enjoy film as much as someone like you or I do, to people who... maybe... should get out a little bit more...

Moriarty: (laughs)

BRAD: ... to everything in-between.

Moriarty: Now, for you adapting to working in 3D as opposed to 2D... what sort of a learning curve is there? How did you prepare to make that shift?

BRAD: I think the world is different, and a lot of times you don’t know what you’re looking at. I got trained after a while to focus on the right things, because when things go wrong in CG, they go insanely wrong. Like really psycho weird. I think that probably too much emphasis is put on the technique, whether it be 2D or 3D, and not in the fact that the language is still film. You’re still dealing in close-ups and long shots and color and music and performance and, and, uh, characters that you hopefully relate to and understand and can follow, and stories that are surprising and yet make sense when you think about them later. I think the really important ingredients to a successful animated film of any type are the same ingredients to a successful live-action film.

Moriarty: The last time we spoke, you talked about projects you were toying with like RAY GUNN [a SF noir story]. Obviously, you’re going to take some time after THE INCREDIBLES to...

BRAD: ... get some sensation back in my body. Yes.

Moriarty: Will you be going back to work on any of these projects that you’ve worked on before? After all, you’ve carried THE INCREDIBLES around with you for 12 years now, and finally, it’s done. Are there things that you know you’re going to go back to, or are there new things coming up to push those old priorities aside?

BRAD: I would still love to do RAY GUNN. I have two or three things that I’ve developed that I’d love to go back to. I also have ones that I’ve never pitched to anybody, and a couple of them, I know I could sell on a pitch. I think the ideas... I have a couple that are good one-line ideas, you know? But I don’t really want to pitch them anymore unless I’m in a position to know I can do them right. I’ve gotten to make the movies that I wanted to make. I want to keep doing that because then I can stand in front of it and say, “Whether you like it or not, this is what I set out to do, and it’s the best I can do,” you know? So I don’t know quite which one of them will light me on fire the most, but I’m excited about all of them. We’ll see.

At this point, I could see that Brad was fading fast. It was a late screening, and he was right in the middle of the publicity crunch for the film. I could have sat all night talking to him. This is a guy who got his start as a 14-year-old whose first short animated film caught the attention of Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two of Disney’s legendary “Nine Old Men.” Keep your eyes peeled for their cameo in THE INCREDIBLES, recorded before Frank passed this year. Brad Bird knows as much about animation, if not more, than anyone in the business right now. On top of that, there’s a real decency to him that shines through in conversation just as loudly as it does in his films. It was great to catch up with him, and here’s hoping it’s not another five years until the release of his next classic.

I’ll be back with my reviews of THE INCREDIBLES, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, BLADE: TRINITY, Matthew Vaughn's badass LAYER CAKE, and ONG BAK: THE THAI WARRIOR over the course of the weekend, and there’s a ton of stuff on the books for next week. For now, though...

"Moriarty" out.

Readers Talkback
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  • Nov. 5, 2004, 3:28 p.m. CST

    I disagree.

    by kintar0

    I don't think the condition or makeup of an audience has ever had influence over whether or not I enjoyed a movie. That's kind of a retarded position, in my opinion. I have attended showings and had a film ruined for me because people talked during or laughed at inappropriate times because they don't understand something or can't take something seriously, but c'mon. I guess I'm not one of those guys who likes things just because the people around me likes it. That's a weird, go with the flow, non-individualist, cattle-type attitude. If a film is good, I'm going to enjoy it whether or not I see it alone on my televison or in a packed theater. If you go see Episode III and everybody hates it and boos, but you like it, will you decide "hey, everybody hated it, and even though I loved it, I'll never admit it because everybody will ridicule me...?" I fucking hope not. But hey, maybe that explains why people like movies like Magnolia or Titanic, right?

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 3:35 p.m. CST

    The Real Question

    by TheDarkShape

    Nice interview, Moriarty... but where's the mention of the pretty obvious Syndrome/Harry Knowles connection?

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 3:46 p.m. CST

    Bond vibe

    by RenoNevada2000

    Glad to see that I'm not the only one who thought that...

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 3:59 p.m. CST

    That desk slap in the teaser was when I knew this movie was gonn

    by IndustryKiller

    It's wonderful to see Moriarty bring it up. Can't wait to see it tonight.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 4:26 p.m. CST

    "That's a weird, go with the flow, non-individualist, cattle-typ

    by minderbinder

    I don't think an audience reaction is going to save a bad movie, but it can heighten the experience. There's pleasure to be had from seeing a movie, and there's pleasure in an audience having a group reaction that is just electric. Same with going back to a movie you love and bringing along a newbie, sometimes others' reactions can be a source of entertainment, and help relive seeing it for the first time. Laughter is infectious, so is awe and pure glee. It's just a fucking movie, life's too short to piss on the people that are having a good time. (and I think that's a first, saying Magnolia is like Titanic)

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 5:51 p.m. CST


    by kintar0

    What a little pissant you are. What an enormous crybaby. I think its creepy that you'd go see a movie you've already seen just to stare at some person you've brought with you who hasn't seen it. "It's just a fucking movie," indeed. And for many, LIKE MYSELF, its not about being with other strangers, or having some touchy-touchy feely relationship with strangers. Its TO WATCH A FUCKING MOVIE. You may feel "pissed on," which is also a creepy thing to say, but hey, I'm not pissing on anybody. If a movie's crappy, I'm not gonna have a good time watching it, period. I guess my attention span is just not as short as yours. I don't think "hey, this movie sucks, so I'm going to be an ass regardless of whether or not somebody else is enjoying it." And I'm the asshole, the guy who's not talking, only watching and listening? If touching elbows with some dude you've never met is important to you when you see a movie, fine, maybe that guy who's elbow you're feeling up is into it, too. If wanting to enjoy a movie in peace makes me an asshole, I guess I'm an asshole. But its people like you who think its cool to talk during a movie and make it cool for people to keep doing so. And yeah, if wanting people to turn off thier cellphones and not commenting on every little plot hole and inconsistency makes me a snob, so be it. So if getting pissed on is your thing, hey, more power to you, but I'm not into it.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 6:49 p.m. CST

    Excellent way to make your point, Miracle: sandbox name calling.

    by minderbinder

    "Crybaby"? I just explained one of the things I enjoy about going to the movies. Why exactly are you so angry that people don't have the same experience as you? "If wanting to enjoy a movie in peace makes me an asshole, I guess I'm an asshole." I guess you completely missed the point of my post. Heck, most of your post has nothing to do with what I said, so I'm not even going to bother to address it. Let me explain: you're not an asshole because you want "peace". (you're entitled to your own point of view, and I have no arguement with that) You're an asshole because you whine about and insult people just because you don't agree with them. Take a deep breath, and go enjoy a movie.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 7:12 p.m. CST

    thanks for living up to my "name-calling"

    by kintar0

    I guess "snob" and "asshole" aren't names in the retarded version of reality you live in. I especially like this part: "Heck, most of your post has nothing to do with what I said, so I'm not even going to bother to address it." And then you go ahead and address it. And " You're an asshole because you whine about and insult people just because you don't agree with them." Wasn't it you who whined about me expressing my opinion because you didn't agree? "You called me bad names! Wah!" You little thin-skinned biotch. Go watch Boogie Nights with you dumb little buddies and get all warm and fuzzy. Welcome to the universe where we don't all agree. Viva la difference, twat.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 7:14 p.m. CST

    that said

    by kintar0

    The Incredibles looks awesome. Looks to be one of the best superhero films ever. Every time I see a trailer or commercial for it I think "shit, this is how they should have made Fantastic Four." I do hope that seeing The Incredibles late enough tonight will mean all the little kids and dicks like mindbender are in bed and asleep.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Just saw it and I can't wait for the dvd--there are a million re

    by FrankDrebin

    Our Man Flint, The Time Tunnel, Moonraker, Jonny Quest, Spaceballs, Forbidden Planet, etc. But, don't worry, there's plenty of originality here (even with the SpyKids "families stick together" message). The one thing I wasn't impressed by? The Cars teaser. All motion, no emotion. But it's still too soon to get worried, and Lassiter himself is directing it.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 10:39 p.m. CST

    WOW, Toy Story 2 might be beat

    by Sharpel007

    Boys and the few girls, words can not describe this stunning piece of work, Eisner will be crying himself to sleep for weeks for fucking this up(of course we all know Roy wants Jobs and Lasseter). Damn that Art of the Incedibles book is so mine. Lots of refrences but not used in a Quentin kind of way, it felt like someone took Bond, Jonny Quest, and put in in the blender. And damn the animation the hair on violet is simply mind blowing, particulary when wet. End Credits are simply gorgeous. Fantastic Four can only wish it was this good. And I think we can all kiss Shrek 2's record good buy, this thing is going to make the mint it deserves.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Incredibles was SUPERB

    by Rupee88

    Saw this earlier today and it ROCKED...the best Pixar movie since Toy Story 2....I can't wait for the DVD and I may even go see it again which I rarely do...great job, Mr. Bird!

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 11:24 p.m. CST

    I have to agree with Rupee88

    by Ivan Alexeev

    I told my girlfriend on the way home tonight that I will see this one in the theatre again. That's an absolute rarity. I can't remember the last time I saw a movie multiple times in a theatre, aside from things like The Wall or Rocky Horror, which I've seen a thousand times on video. When it comes to audiences, in the case of a Pixar movie, I always go opening weekend JUST to have the kids in the audience add to the atmosphere. Their laughter makes it all worth while, but I could have done without the 7 year old behind me saying "what's that" every time a shot changed. It wouldn't have bothered me if he would have done it more quietly or his mother would have shushed him earlier. I loved this movie way too much and they didn't even have the Star Wars trailer with it.

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 11:25 p.m. CST

    by Sharpel007

    Oh yeah watch for Frank and Ollie towards the end, nice how Pixar knows how to respect the Disney legacy. God this movie wants me to cut Eisners balls off and run them through a meatgrinder. That shareholder meeting cant get here soon enough!

  • Nov. 5, 2004, 11:57 p.m. CST

    Best Super Hero Movie . . . EVER!

    by HarrisonsDad

    Just got back from the first showing in my town. I was blown away. I even took my 2 year old son along for the ride and it held his attention throughout. There are several GREAT moments on screen. This is how all super hero movies should be made. They're getting closer and closer to being able to make CGI people look like real at a fraction of what it used to take. Imagine Thor, Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers in CGI. Of course, it takes more than illustrators and computers . . . we need great writers. People who can tell an intelligent story with great well-developed characters. Perhaps one day someone with the power to do just that will jump in and get it done. Perhaps that day was today. Hey Hollyweird, look what Brad Bird did with new Super-Heroes, what can you do with established ones?

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:35 a.m. CST

    Mr. Miracle! CHILL

    by caerlas

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Whoops, hit [enter] accidentally

    by caerlas

    Anyhoo, as I was saying Mr. Miracle: lay off the 'meth dude! Sounds like you've only ever gone to the theater all by your lonesome and are bitter about it. It's no secret that a hyped up crowd makes the theater experience more thrilling for most viewers. Enthusiasm begets enthusiasm. Yes noone likes a theater talker. I could see that minderbinder was referring to something different as well as Moriarty. Now to the important part: QUIT NITPICKING, LOSER! I shouldn't even be giving you the attention you must be so desperately craving right now. Right then. Time to walk the walk...

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 2 a.m. CST

    Now THAT'S Old School... (Villain Spoilers Included)

    by NivekJ

    The Incredibles, my friend, is one of the best films I've seen this year. The voice acting was great, and the music? I've grabbed a copy of the teaser trailer music (OHMSS) and Michael Giacciano's score is next (by the way, check out his work on LOST and Secret Weapons Over Normandy if you get the chance [one more thing: if Giacciano can team up with the composer from Xbox's HALO, like Zimmer and Howard are doing for Batman Begins, that would rule all.]). BACK TO INCREDIBLES!! The end scene was the superhero team-up scene I've been waiting for. SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER As for the villian, he seems lame until you get to a certain scene. Try and remember Scar's bodycount from Lion King. Mulan's villian had a higher body count, but he also had an army and less ego problems. END SPOILER END SPOILER END SPOILER

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 2:04 a.m. CST

    There are countless great moments in the movie...

    by FrankDrebin what Frozone did to the cop--I've got to find a still of that online to use as a screensaver. Remember how the humans in the first Toy Story looked as artificial as the toys? They're light years beyond that now. The subtle facial expressions are amazing, like when Helen thinks Bob might be cheating on her when he goes on "business trips". Or the moment when it looked like Bob might actually kill Mirage. And the detail they're able to put into non-organic objects now, like Syndrome's rocket, is almost photo-realistic. Take that, Dreamworks! (Did you see that Dreamworks released Shrek 2 on dvd today to try and cut into Disney's opening weekend?)

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 2:05 a.m. CST

    I just saw it

    by kintar0

    And I'll see it again tomorrow. Its really awesome, but actually seeing it just reinforces that this is how they should have done the Fantastic Four movie.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:14 a.m. CST

    HOT MUTHAPHUCKING DAMN!!!!!!!!! The Incrediables was EXCELLANT!

    by The Founder

    Why do studios not hire the people who script these damn animated films?? Brad Bird did a wonderful job, and i wouldn't mind him taking over the Xmen franchise. He could so pull it off. I would have loved if he did the FF. damn that movie was great! This is how a superhero movie should be. Wonderful, simply wonderful!!!!!!

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:14 a.m. CST

    This IS the Fantasic Four movie...

    by FrankDrebin

    Besides their powers being like the FF's, you've got Violet and Dash bickering just like the Torch and the Thing (I used to love those old issues of Strange Tales--pre Doctor Strange--when the two of them would spend more time fighting each other than the villains), while Bob and Helen got the marriage thing going on like Reed and Sue. And I won't spoil it for you, but the last scene in the movie will remind you of FF#1.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:31 a.m. CST

    Finally, a talkback that's not about Bush or Kerry.

    by Hung-Wei Lo

    I just got back from The Incredibles, and I'd have to say that it was not the greatest superhero movie ever made, but it sure was fun at times. First off, thank you John Lasseter for not putting a leash on Brad Bird. Secondly, shame on you John Lasseter for not putting a leash on Brad Bird. This movie was hit-and-miss, but mostly was hit. I really only have minor complaints, so bear with me in understanding -- kinda slow 2nd act with lots of talking and not enough laughs. Yes it's a setup, but it could've been tighter. I also thought that the voice-to-animation was not on par with their previous efforts. I mean, you know it's sad with Mike Wakowski seemed more realistic in his speech than Elastigirl did. I can probably think of a couple more, but that's not the point. Now it's time for praise! Man, Pixar is above and beyond when it comes to photorealism. Just background things like water, trees, and rocks, had me in awe. I bow to you animators -- absolutely amazing richness and colors and realism! I also have to say that when Mr. Incredible gets his first call from Mirage, the movie hit its stride. From there on, the movie was fun and often times funny as hell. I still think movies like Toy Story or Monsters Inc. were more fullfilling from start to finish, but then again, I feel as if I'm comparing this movie to what I believe are modern day animation classics. The Incredibles is far from being a bad movie, or even an average movie. It still stands well above 90% of the trash released this year. And before I go, I want to give my two cents on a few other things before the movie. Boundin' -- that is probably now my favorite Pixar short to date. Totally freakin' awesome, fun, and educational. Episode III Teaser -- I told myself after the last two movies that I would not be rushing out to see this movie. I would only be disappointed. Well, I'd have to say that this teaser hit the right notes for me, and I was dying to see more. Unfortunately, I'm sure my initial gut feeling is that it will be mediocre at best. They always show you the good stuff, and hide the dialogue, in these Star Wars previews. Anyways, they'll get my money, if not the first week, then definitely within the first month. I hate you, George Lucas! My faith in you is practically gone, yet you still find a way to make me pay! Peace out.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Brad Bird has united the geeks!

    by IndustryKiller

    I think we all agree that that is the best superhero film ever and Pixars best film. Arguable only with the original Superman. Literally one of the best experiences I have ever had in a theatre. Every frame of that film just oozed with care and craftsmanship and it makes me not feel so bad for hating just about ever comic film that comes out. This folks is why I can't stand x-Men or Spider-Man, those are established characters with years of rich backstory and they have no excuse to not be even half a thrilling as about one minute of The Incredibles. Here's to Fantastic Four tanking and teaching Marvel a lesson that you cant push shit films on us.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 4:27 a.m. CST

    The Incredibles is the best animated flick to date

    by AlwaysThere

    Fantastic job by everyone that worked on the flick.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 7:34 a.m. CST

    wow o wow o wow

    by BurlIvesLeftNut

    Incredibles was spectacular. There is a new leader in Superhero movies.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 11:10 a.m. CST

    Great movie, some minor quibbles.

    by minderbinder

    I do agree that pacing could have been a bit tighter earlier in the movie. But it still rocked, I'll be seeing it again soon and getting it on DVD.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 11:19 a.m. CST

    "Wasn't it you who whined about me expressing my opinion because

    by minderbinder

    I completely respect that you disagree with me. I think it's lame to *insult* people you don't agree with, and THAT's why I called you an asshole. You were rude and I called you on it. Period. Sorry it made you so upset, I guess if you can't take it you shouldn't dish it out. But of course you'll still continue to miss my point and demonstrate that to the fullest. Glad you enjoyed the movie.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:07 p.m. CST

    Unfair! Think about this . . . .

    by HarrisonsDad

    While The Incredibles will undoubtedly be up for (and win) the Best Feature Animation Oscar, it should be able to compete with (and beat) any film produced this year. I've seen all this year's films that have an "Oscar buzz" and none of them can compete with Pixar's latest instant classic. This film has no down sides (other than the fact we won't get a much deserved sequel because of the Pixar Disney squabble). The story is intelligent, the characters are completely "fleshed" out, the music is exhilarating, the pacing is incredible, and the set pieces are on par or better than any super-hero or super-spy flick ever made. Someone needs to start a drive to get this movie nominated for Best Film. But why stop there . . . Best Score, Best Screenplay, Best Sound, Best Director, and if they can get around the Andy Serkis curse, all of the best acting categories. The Incredibles is that good.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:26 p.m. CST

    Seeing this movie yesterday with my kids was without a doubt the

    by Big Bad Clone

    And using Sarah Vowell was brilliant. I was talking to some of my friends who have kids and we were talking about how we didn't want our kids seeing Shark Tale. Someone said it sounded too ghetto. My beef was that the way it was cast was all the "Who's the biggest star we can get" type of casting and when that happens you know the makers are only looking to make money. I'm constantly surprised and love Pixar's picks for voice actors. It's never simply a voice or a big name, it's an actor with real love and passion for the piece. I wanted to cry watching the movie because it was so damn good. Just Elastigirl's constant, quick, and imaginative shapeshifts were...simply unbelievable. I love this film.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:48 p.m. CST


    by Todd

    THE INCREDIBLES is an amazing movie. Best movie I have seen in a very long time. Heading home after watching it, you just feel great

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 1:51 p.m. CST

    Favorite line of dialog & sight gag (spoilerish).

    by FrankDrebin

    "Edna Mode..." (gun turret descends from ceiling) "...and guest."

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Harry, you're mentioned in a New York Post review of The Incredi

    by HarrisonsDad

    The article has this description of the Villian Syndrome . . . " flame-haired Syndrome (Jason Lee), who looks like the love child of Don King and Internet geek Harry Knowles". I had to laugh out loud when I read that. The article is here . . .

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:07 p.m. CST

    by kintar0

    minderbinder, you're a cretin. You can't even read, much less understand what you're trying to read. I'm not even a little bit "upset" or ever was. Its dicks like you who yell out "Nerds!" when we Star Wars fans cheered after the ROTS teaser trailer. You're just a douche that got "upset" because I don't care to have some sort of weird, lame-o connection with you via a movie theater. Sure, the audience clearly enjoyed the film last night, but did it somehow enhance the experience? No. I'm paying attention to the movie, and what a movie it was. "Well, that's an annoying asshole snob attitude." That's you, right there, whining about how you disagree with my opinion. Therefore, you=hypocrite. Or you don't have a brain in your head. Your pick.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:22 p.m. CST

    oh yeah...

    by kintar0

    Did anyone else think "Boundin'" sucked? I sure did. Talk about corny and cheesy. What a let down compared to ALL of the previous Pixar shorts. The water did look awesome, but that song sure did suck. AND how about that Cars trailer. It wasn't even a trailer, more of a "hey! look! CGI Nascars! Dang, lookit 'em go 'round that there track! Dag gum it!" How utterly lame. Here's a Toy Story for dumb Southern dads to enjoy with thier dumb Southern kids.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:34 p.m. CST

    Michael Moore is a rock star!

    by Silver Shamrock

    I love the way he got out the youth vote on his slacker tour. Boy her sure made himself a lot of money, a lot of money this year indeed.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 3:55 p.m. CST

    Possibly the best movie ever. Definitely the best superhero mov

    by Serious Black

    No joke. It's got all the action you could want, it's freakin' hilarious, and you actually care for the characters. The Incredibles is so much better than any other superhero movie we've seen that it makes all others look just sad and pathetic in comparison. Fox should save some dough and quit making the FF now because it's just gonna look like a lame Incredibles wannabe. The FF's only chance is if it can cash in on some of the residual Incredibles hysteria next year. The Incredibles ROCKS! (And it's got Sam Jackson, too.)

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 6:28 p.m. CST

    "You're just a douche that got "upset" because I don't care to h

    by minderbinder

    Damn, I've only explained it like ten times and you still have no idea what I'm talking about. (not totally surprising) To anyone else reading: am I speaking chinese here, or did anyone else figure out what Miracle didn't?

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 8:49 p.m. CST


    by Johnny Ahab

    I am a happy man today. I just saw THE INCREDIBLES with my kids, and once again, had a wonderful time. Just BRIIIIIILLIANT! And for the folks who quibbled about the slow part in the early going that could have been tightened up -- I completely disagree. I was so thankful that Brad Bird respected my intelligence as an audience member -- there's plenty of whizbang geekcool stuff in the film once it gets cooking, yet I was so happy that Bird & Co. trusted me to stick with him and the characters through the subtle poignant family developments for the first half hour or so. I so appreciated that. Hats off also to the casting. Who else but a company with as much leverage as Pixar would have cast Craig T. Nelson as the lead??? I've always liked this actor and felt there was more depth than was being tapped by his TV career. I agree with the poster who said he didn't go to "SHARK TALE" because of the cast-the-biggest-stars and jam it full of hiphop hipness mentality. I passed on it. I don't know, might be fun, but it looked like it was built my Hollywood committee -- whereas "THE INCREDIBLES"...oh my god, this is hand-crafted artisan work. It has a soul, a heart, a vision -- THANK YOU, EVERYONE INVOLVED! There will be multiple screenings and DVD purchasing!! This is what all film geeks live for! (Although I'll admit I was concerned seeing the "CARS" trailer -- I'll follow Pixar anywhere, but I must admit I was less than impressed. And "BOUNDIN'" was just okay too.) But those minor quibbles aside, I thank you Pixar & Mr. Bird for a movie of sheer perfection!!!!

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 8:57 p.m. CST

    the incredibles is the best superhero movie of all time.

    by MiltonWaddams

    and the best animated movie of all time. it's really that good. god damn that movie was fucking sweet.

  • Nov. 6, 2004, 9:14 p.m. CST

    This is the best Pixar film to date...

    by SG7 kicked ass on all levels.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 1:52 a.m. CST

    by Sharpel007

    I am pretty sure that those seens from cars are just for promotion and test like the Mr Incredible belt teaser, cause shots are floating around somewhere and this thing has like 5 diffrent stories intwining of diffrent cars relationships if I remeber right, not just Nascar. Come on Lasseter is directing the thing himself. Although some one finally realised the potential of Suzy The Little Blue Coupe, the first and still the best animation that makes me feel sad for an man made object

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 10:33 a.m. CST

    Apparently, I'm a sick & twisted person, because I was the only

    by FrankDrebin

    Edna Mode fired machine guns and rockets at the Jack-Jack manequin. Here was this silhouette of a baby getting hammered with heavy ordinance. Well, it seemed funny to me...

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 1:53 p.m. CST

    This movie is awesome.

    by Christopher3

    That's the right word for it.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 1:56 p.m. CST

    boundin' was kind of cute.

    by MiltonWaddams

    cars, on the other hand, looks not so good. pixar did an amazing job of capturing the image of it, like heat coming off the pavement, but it's still a movie with talking cars. it just seems very nick jr. to me.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 2:32 p.m. CST

    About Pixar's "CARS"

    by HarrisonsDad

    The way I understand it, "CARS" is about a Sports Car that gets lost while travelling along Route 66. He runs into a town filled with vintage cars. At first he feels superior, but the older cars teach him a valuable lesson. Not sure, but I'd speculate that the older cars are still around because they were built better back then and anyone with just a little bit of knowledge could park them under a shade tree and fix any problems that came along. I say this because when I was 16 I changed the transmission in my '64 Impala Super Sport. I could also replace any part of the car I needed to because htye were all easy to get to. Sorry about the little attack on today's money grubbing automotive industry . . . no, I take that back, I'm not sorry one little iota!

  • Not even worried about it. I thought The Incredibles was not going to be that good over a year ago. I was wrong. As long as Pixar keeps putting out good stuff I will continue to see it. Personally, I enjoyed the short that came before it. As for The Incredibles my family and I loved it. My son kept hollaring at the screen trying to warn Mr. Incredible. The adults and kids enjoyed it in the showing we saw. Great movie. Thanks Pixar for the entertainment.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 3:56 p.m. CST

    Allow me to pick my jaw off the floor...

    by MaoMao

    I understand why its taking Harry and Moriarty so long to write their reviews. I've been sitting here for ten minutes, with no idea where to start. So let me just say this... this movie is Star Wars. Maybe not for you or me, who are too old and jaded to fully remeber the excitement of actually believing that you can someday, somehow manage to do the things that you saw on that screen. But seeing the kids leaving the theater gibbering and wide-eyed left no doubt that they would be at home for weeks, imitating every action, every pose they saw today. Like I used to spread my arms out in my front yard and do a little spiraling dive pretending to be making the final run on the death star, I can see a nation of children running in place as fast as they can in their living rooms, grabbing at imaginary vines to swing out of danger. Honestly believing that if they just concentrate hard enough, they could reach across the room and grab that remote. Imagining they could take that teacher they can't stand and toss them through about eight walls. This will be the movie that twenty years from now, someone we as aging film lovers admire and respect will say they saw as a kid and for the first time realized what magic great filmmaking could be. Don't think so? Take a good look at the kids in your audience during and after this movie. You tell me that this film won't leave a mark on them as deep as the one left on us by that womprat blasting farm boy.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 6:09 p.m. CST

    yeah, Boundin' was lame, but who cares..

    by Rupee88

    I didn't "get" Boudin', but the main feature is what matters and The Incredibles is certainly a crowd pleaser, especially a "geek" crowd pleaser. The rating on will attest to this and 97% on the Tomatometer ain't bad either.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 7:46 p.m. CST

    I must be the ONLY person underwhelmed by this movie...

    by Funmazer

    I dunno, it was OK but I felt fairly bored throughout. It had too many characters and the plot was way more complicated than your average Pixar fare. It started cool, the middle was too plot-heavy and talky, the ending was neat but the giant robot attack (how far you HAVEN'T come, Brad) had no emotional payoff. In my mind at least. Maybe I just loved Iron Giant too much to even think something could be as good. I didn't see this with a big audience so I didn't get the "audience vibe" but the Iron Giant theatre was just as empty so I don't think that counts. This movie is "by geeks for geeks" so I think that explains all the stellar gushing here and with critics. The point where it tipped WAY over into geeksville was when the Jason Lee lame-ass bad guy says something like "And the robot sits, there, tension, until it opens... just like a movie!" Come on! And his finger where he could point and freeze ANYONE... what a lazy power to give him. Wow, he can be invincible, allowing him to explain more of the convoluted plot without getting punched! Wouldn't it have been cooler if that geeky kid grew up and had to HELP Mr Incredible fight a bad guy who was truly menacing not just some freckled geek with pointy hair? But no... "I'm pissed cause you kicked me outta the car... so I'm gonna destroy a city!" That'd be like not getting an autograph from a movie star and blowing up Hollywood because of it. Mr. Incredible CAUSES this kid to turn evil but he doesn't seem to feel any particular way about it. What is he, the US goverment not caring about helping Osama back in the 80s? A nomral person would have regreat, pity, self-inspection... SOMETHING! If you KNEW you caused someone to turn evil you'd be devestated. Nothing is done with that though! Ug... I think this movie was just too BIG... a small cheap film like Iron Giant can't do all the whiz-bang stuff so it has to concentrate on what counts - heart. I think 90% of the creativity in this film was with Elastigirl... why not make a movie about her? You'll all flame me for this post, but after the first big weekend I'd bet this dialog-heavy kiddie-squirm factor film dips was off and scores way less dough than the SUPERIOR Finding Nemo or Shrek 2 (haven't seen that, so I won't compare its quality)

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Funmazer . . . you thought the plot was too complicated

    by HarrisonsDad

    Hey, I have a special needs 9-year-old who figured out the plot. I'm not sure what you thought was boring, it held my 2-year-old's attention throughout. There were several aemotional payoffs during the film (Dash's water run discovery/Jack-Jack's final transformation/Violet finally creating the right force field at the right time). As for the Robotic climax, I knew there was more to come. Syndrome had yet to be captured. As soon as they mentioned the new babysitter, I knew it was Syndrome. Come on, this was a first rate film for ALL ages.

  • Nov. 7, 2004, 8:55 p.m. CST

    No need to bother finishing that Fantastic Four movie...

    by dr. robert

    The Incredibles was fuckin' fantastic. I was honestly shocked at how good this film turned out to bed. The Episode 3 teaser trailer was great also. Roll on May, 2005.

  • Nov. 8, 2004, 2:32 p.m. CST

    Iron Giant 2?

    by Syd Mead

    Wonder if Brad Bird could make an Iron Giant 2 since Pixar says it will explore 2D as well as 3D animation? Toy Story 2 certainly showed that Pixar know how to make a follow up.

  • I can understand Mr. Incredible trying to apologize for being unreceptive to Buddy, he could have followed his original rejection by encouraging the kid to keep trying to do good. But rejection is part of life. It