The Incredibles review (Blu-ray)

One of Pixar's smartest, funniest and best-loved film's finally makes its Blu-ray debut. And it's about time too, becase The Incredibles looks absolutely – well, incredible – in high-definition.

Living a quiet life in suburbia, the Parrs seem like any other family. But they are far from ordinary and Bob and his wife Helen were once superheroes until a series of lawsuits sent all the heroes into hiding. Then one day, Bob receives a mysterious call summoning him to a dangerous assignment on a remote island. Desperate to get back to his original calling, Bob goes and before long Helen and his superhero children are also involved.

Where do we start to describe just how amazingly good this film is? As ever, the animation from Pixar is without compare, just as Disney was back in the day, so it's easy to take for granted just how good it looks. Then there's the story – which, on the surface, is not so original in overall concept, but as always the execution and the details are simply fantastic. Crucially though, the Parrs are utterly believable as a family. They might have super powers but they have the same issues that us regular folk do which means we can instantly empathise with them.

Perhaps most important of all –and it's equally true of almost any Pixar film – is the script, which is better than most live action scripts. Consistently funny, acutely observed and expertly poking fun at the superhero genre without undermining it, writer/director Bird has totally nailed this. He even pops up as the voice of Edna, a hilarious superhero couturier who seems uncannily like Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue. Nelson and Hunter are excellent as husband and wife, while Jackson and Lee do their bit for this ensemble piece.

Equally entertaining for kids and grown-ups alike, the Bond-esque plot rattles along and the sheer imagination of Bird means that the superhero antics are always fun (and funny) to watch. This is simply splendid family viewing – especially on Blu-ray. 

EXTRAS ★★★ Sadly, the UK release of The Incredibles on Blu-ray is a bit lightweight compared to the US release back in April. For starters, it's just a single disc as opposed to the 4-disc whopper that the Americans got: TWO Blu-ray discs (one full of nothing but bonus features) plus a DVD copy and a digital copy. (And the good news, folks, is that the US edition is region free!) The extras that are on the UK edition, though, are not too bad. There's an audio commentary with writer/director Bird and producer John Walker; a separate audio commentary supervising animators Tony Fucile, Steven Hunter, Alan Barillaro plus animators Gini Santos, David DeVan, Kureha Yokoo, Dave Mullins, John Kahrs, Robert Russ, Angus MacLane, Travis Hathaway, Doug Frankel and Peter Sohn; the Pixar shorts Boundin’ and Jack Jack Attack, both with optional commentaries; the featurette The Incredibles Revisited (22:06), a recent filmmakers' roundtable features that looks back at the development and production of the film; the featurette Ending With a Bang: Making the End Credits (1:35), which does what it says on the tin; Studio Stories: Gary's Birthday (1:24), a storyboarded production anecdote ablut the number of birtday parties held during the making of the film.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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