The Incredibles 2 Review

Finally the Incredibles my second favourite Pixar franchise, has the sequel everyone in my generation has been waiting for. is there a chance this could live up to the incredible expectations?

It’s certainly an incredible task for Pixar, having made one of the best superhero movies ever well before the start of the MCU and the Dark Knight trilogy. Following up on that fourteen years later is a tough ask, look at any other franchise that’s been revisited after over a decade (dumb and dumber and Zoolander sequels both considered failures) for proof of how difficult it is.

All of the original cast return, including Frozone and Edna Mode, with the former being included more this time and I really enjoyed Samuel L Jackson being as Samuel L Jackson as he can be in a kid’s film. The stars of the show are of course the family of Incredibles. The film captures exactly what I’d expect a dad trying to look after three uncontrollable kids to feel like, as he battles to keep things from spiralling out of hand.

This time round Elastigirl is front and centre in the action scenes for the bulk of the film, and the ways her powers are used are really interesting and to see something I have not seen in the superhero crazy world we live in is quite incredible in itself. The three children are developed into more fully fledged characters, Violet the slightly moody teenage girl, Dash the over excited ten-year-old boy, and jack-jack the happy but quickly upset baby. Jack-Jack was an unexpected highlight for me and his powers really add some fun scenes to the film.

Joining the returning stars are Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener as the Deavors, sibling leaders of a company that wants to restore superheros to their former glory. Bob Odenkirk has been a favourite of mine since his turn on Breaking Bad as Saul, and the animation really captures his style. Thier relationship has an element that I found incredibly predictable from the first moment on-screen and this is probably my biggest flaw with the film, but as I don’t want to risk spoiling the film I will say no more about that as it is a minor issue.

All these voice performances are brought to life by Pixar’s animation team, at this point I think every compliment that can be given has been given to them. The animation and detail in every second of the film is truly incredible, the details on tiny things, like fingerprints being left on a glass, or the stitching in their clothes, is given so much attention it’s like an oddly stylised live action film. It’s clearly animated, but the world feels so real it’s completely immersive. I haven’t seen the first incredibles for a number of years but I believe the leaps and bounds they’ve made since 2004 are mind-blowing.

Much like the first film, The Incredibles 2 is full of laughter, heart, action and an extreme look into family life. Pixar is the best studio on the planet and continues to make thoroughly entertaining films for all ages. This film succeeds with an almost impossible task and for me beats the first film.

Yes. I put the word incredible in every paragraph.

Good: Everything. I don’t see how you wouldn’t like this movie unless you’re one of those people who hates animation.

Bad: Predictable at times but that didn’t take away any of the enjoyment.

9.5/10 – Incredible.

Coco Review

Coco is Pixar’s newest effort, following a young boy called Miguel and focusing on the Mexican culture and in particular the Day of the Dead. It’s been done before in animation, with Book of Life as recently as 2014 using the same mexican festival as a setting. I haven’t seen that flick, so I’m not affected by the comparisons some may have between the two. 

Coco follows in the footsteps of recent disney films in having music as a major component, but this time that music is also a key part of the story, meaning the music doesn’t feel as random as in some animated films. No song in Coco is as memorable as “How Far Il Go” from Moana, and I don’t expect children to be singing Coco’s “Remember Me” as often as you would hear Frozen’s “Let It Go” in the months and years after that films release. Every song is more in line with the story though, and they fit in seamlessly. 
Coco is very much a story driven film that shows off the Mexican family culture respectfully whilst taking us to the colourful and exciting world of..the dead. So often death is avoided on kids films, but the way Coco treats death and the afterlife is unique. Dressed up in colour, music and fanfare, a core part of the world is that if nobody remembers you in the living world, then you cease to exist in the land of the dead. Thats quite a drastic condition to have in a Pixar film. The way it’s subtlety woven into the story amidst this vibrant world serves the story very well, keeping things entertaining  but still creating real drama in the third act.

It’s no surprise that once again Pixar showcases why it’s the No.1 animation studio in the world. The level of detail on the world is insane, and it’s only the cartoonish elements like the character design that give away that this isn’t a live action film. The day of the dead theme allows the animators to really express themselves and the characters and architecture in the land of the dead make it feel like somewhere you’d love to go. 

The characters of Miguel & Hector are the real heart of the film, with the latter starting out seeming like a side character and over the film we discover more and more about his history and his motivations. Miguel is extremely likeable and you’re on his side from first minute to last. 

That last minute, well the last 10 minutes, is Up (get it) there with the most emotional scenes Pixar has produced. As you may know if you’ve read my blog regularly, nothing in films makes me cry, except the movie Hitch, but I can imagine someone with a heart might shed a tear or two towards the end of Coco. 

Coco delivers yet another hit for a studio which has, aside from the Cars Franchise and The Good Dinosaur, always put out consistently great movies, and Coco is no different. 

Good: Excellent Animation, fun characters and a heartwarming story make this work for me.

Bad: There really isn’t a lot to complain about here. The story is a little predictable and none of the songs are as catchy as previous efforts, but that’s about all that’s negative about Coco.

9/10 – Pixar does it again!