Disney/Pixar's Incredibles 2 (Blu-ray)
They're back! Here's our review of Incredibles 2 on Blu-ray!
The Parr family - who moonlight as a superhero team - face a new threat, although Elastigirl (voice of Holly Hunter) sees all of the crime-fighting action, while Mr. Incredible (voice of Craig T. Nelson) ends up babysitting at home. A villain with the ability to control minds, however, may be more than even the combined Incredibles can handle. Also stars the voices of Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, and Bob Odenkirk. Written and directed by Brad Bird.
Fourteen years after Disney/Pixar scored a monster hit with The Incredibles, the Parr family is back in action, and thankfully, they haven’t missed a step.
Picking up at the exact moment the original 2004 movie ended, Incredibles 2 hits all of the right notes; it continues the themes that made the first film so entertaining, without feeling like a retread.
Written and directed once again by Brad Bird, Incredibles 2 expands on the family dynamic, giving it a new twist when Helen (aka Elastigirl) goes “back to work” as a superhero, leaving Bob (aka Mr. Incredible) home to watch over the kids. That’s not nearly as easy as it sounds, as Violet is having boy troubles, Dash doesn’t understand new math, and Jack-Jack’s superpowers are manifesting at an alarming rate.
The traditional role reversal gives the film the opportunity to inject some real heart into the film, as the Parrs each get their chance to shine in a story that places an emphasis on the importance of family and loyalty. Brad Bird provides the wit and warmth that gives the movie an emotional weight that few other animated films achieve.
Bird is smart enough to not let the character arcs overpower the story - there’s plenty of action, as a new villain called the Screenslaver provides just enough havoc to keep the pace brisk. Add in a bunch of amateur superheroes (dubbed the “Wannabes”) and some innovative action scenes, and the movie never goes long without putting its foot on the gas.
Frozone (voiced once again by Samuel L. Jackson) is back for more, and Breaking Bad’s Bob Odenkirk joins the cast as a billionaire looking to make “supers” legal again. Craig T. Nelson and Holly Hunter are great, as usual, with Nelson in particular giving Mr. Incredible emotional depth in a story that puts him in unfamiliar circumstances.
Incredibles 2 never forgets to be fun and never gets so manic that it loses its heart. The plot may be a bit conventional and you’ll see the “twist” coming, but you’ll be laughing and enjoying yourself too much to be so picky. Overall, it may not surpass the original, but Incredibles 2 stands beside Part 1 as an equal, a worthy sequel in every way.
VIDEO AND AUDIO
The high definition image on the Blu-ray looks fantastic, with bold, bright colors that absolutely leap off of the screen: even the menus look great. I’ve gotten a bit spoiled with 4K discs, but I was impressed with the Blu-ray providing excellent detail. You won’t be disappointed with the video.
A 7.1 DTS-HDMA sound mix will give your speakers a workout - there is good channel separation and deep, floor-rattling bass. Dialogue has great clarity, and Michael Giacchino’s score gets proper prominence without overpowering the sound.
Disney included a nice batch of extras, including deleted scenes, a fun audio commentary, and a look behind the scenes. There are also a couple of fantastic shorts included.
Bonus features are broken down across two discs. Disc 1 includes the movie, the commentary, and the shorts. Disc 2 contains the rest of the special features.
The special features are as follows:
FEATURE DISC (Disc 1)
“Bao” animated short. A dumpling comes to life - sort of - in this beautiful and touching short from Pixar. Written and directed by Domee Shi. Running time 7:41
“Auntie Edna” animated short. Jack-Jack’s overnight stay with Edna Mode - which is unseen in the film - is covered in this hilarious short that makes its debut on the disc as a bonus feature to the movie. Running Time: 5:08
“Strong Coffee: A Lesson in Animation with Brad Bird” featurette. The crew behind Incredibles 2 calls Brad Bird “strong coffee,” because his enthusiasm was infectious to tired Pixar staff who worked hard to complete the film. Bird himself has a strong personal connection to the “Nine Old Men” who created the Disney classics. His background and approach to animation is explored here. Running Time: 18:50
Audio Commentary. Most commentaries are made up of the director and producers often saying a lot of the same things. The Incredibles 2 commentary begins with director Brad Bird, but he immediately announces that the commentary will be provided by the people who actually animate the movie. It’s a genius choice, as we get to hear from Animation Supervisors Dave Mullins, Alan Barillaro, and Tony Fucile. Bret Parker, Animation Second Unit and Crowds Supervisor, who also happens to be the voice of Kari, the babysitter from the first film. If you hang on to the end of this very funny and informative commentary, Parker even gives us a little Kari for good measure.
BONUS DISC (Disc 2)
“Super Stuff” featurette. Writer/Director Brad Bird and members of the cast and crew discuss their approach to the sequel, including the “retro futurism” look of the movie. Running Time: 6:36
“Path to Pixar: Everyday Heroes” featurette. The family dynamic that anchors the film is explored by the cast and crew, including a married couple at Pixar who are animators on the film. Running Time: 11:40
“Superbaby” featurette. Teenage rappers Frankie and Paige meet with Pixar staff to discuss how they designed and animated the world of The Incredibles. For some reason, the staff speak in rhyme, and the girls then break out into a terrible rap song about Jack-Jack. It’s groan-worthy and embarrassing that the folks at Pixar had to participate in this. Running Time: 4:57
“Ralph Eggleston: Production Designer” featurette. The man who designed the look of Incredibles 2 (as well as many other Pixar classics) discusses his work. Running Time: 2:07
“Making Bao” featurette. Domee Shi, the writer and director of the Pixar short “Bao” discusses her inspiration for the cartoon - her mother. Running Time: 6:02
“Heroes and Villains” featurettes. Eight featurettes on the film’s characters are included: “Mr Incredible,” “Elastigirl,” “The Parr Kids,” “Frozone,” “Edna Mode,” “Winston Deavor,” “Evelyn Deavor,” and “The Wannabes.” Cast and crew members discuss the various characters, who each get a short featurette. Running Time: 25:35
Vintage Toy Commercials. These “commercials” are a throwback to the 70s and 80s, and way too much fun to watch. Included are commercials for Mr. Incredible (32 seconds), Elastigirl (32 seconds) and Frozone (32 seconds).
Character Theme Songs. Like the toy commercials, these “theme songs” are vintage-styled to resemble something out of the 70s. Included are Mr. Incredible (32 seconds), Elastigirl (32 seconds), and Frozone (32 seconds).
Deleted Scenes. Ten deleted scenes are included, along with an introduction by writer/director Brad Bird. Included are “Suburban Escape,” “Kari Revisited,” “Return of the Supers,” “Chewed Out,” “Late Audition,” “Slow Day,” “Frozone and Honey,” “Restaurant Robbery,” “Fashion Show,” and “Security Breakdown.” Running Time: 39:44
Trailers and promotional short. Domestic and international trailers are featured. Included are: The “Powers” Global Teaser Trailer (Running Time: 56 seconds), The “Family” Global Trailer in Spanish (Running Time: 2:20), and The Theatrical Payoff Trailer from Japan (Running Time: 2:00). Also included is a “Super Moments” promotional featurette (Running Time: 4:03), made up of smaller clips used to promote the film.
Digital Copy. A code for a digital version of the film, compatible with services including Movies Anywhere, Vudu, and iTunes, is included.
Release Date: October 6, 2018
Running Time: 118 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 5.1 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Dolby Digital, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital
Subtitles: English for the Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish
Audio Commentary: Participants include Animation Supervisors Dave Mullins, Alan Barillaro, and Tony Fucile, and Animation Second Unit and Crowds Supervisor Bret Parker.
Label: Buena Vista Home Entertainment