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Pixar Films on DVD: Toy Story • A Bug's Life • Toy Story 2 • Monsters, Inc. • Finding Nemo • The Incredibles • Cars • Ratatouille • WALL•E • Up • Toy Story 3

Pixar Films on Blu-ray: Toy Story • A Bug's Life • Toy Story 2 • Monsters, Inc. • The Incredibles • Cars • Ratatouille • WALL•E • Up • Toy Story 3

The Incredibles: 2-Disc Collector's Edition DVD Review

The Incredibles (2004) movie poster The Incredibles

Theatrical Release: November 5, 2004 / Running Time: 115 Minutes / Rating: PG

Director: Brad Bird

Voice Cast: Craig T. Nelson (Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible), Holly Hunter (Helen Parr/Elastigirl), Samuel L. Jackson (Lucius Best/Frozone), Jason Lee (Buddy Pine/Syndrome), Sarah Vowell (Violet Parr), Spencer Fox (Dashiell "Dash" Parr), Elizabeth Peρa (Mirage), Brad Bird (Edna Mode), Wallace Shawn (Gilbert Huph), Jean Sincere (Muriel Hogenson), John Ratzenberger (The Underminer)

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The Incredibles is the sixth and latest film from Pixar Animation Studios, who just ten years ago gave us the first fully computer animated feature film, Toy Story. Pixar has followed their debut effort with an unrivaled string of critically-acclaimed box office successes. The Incredibles did not even come close to breaking that streak when it was released to theaters last November. The film earned some of the best reviews of the year and has grossed $259 million in the United States to date.

Pixar's impeccable record has certainly won the public's approval and left the rest of the moviemaking industry to wonder just how they do it. Is there some kind of formula
that can simply be plugged into a bunch of computers to generate a film destined to win over critics and moviegoers? The Incredibles answers that question with a resounding "no", because there isn't anything which resembles past Pixar productions except good quality entertainment.

The Incredibles is marked by a series of firsts, from the first opening logo that doesn't feature Randy Newman's theme music to the first time that human characters are in the foreground. In fact, the film centers on a family of humans (another first). That family is the Parr family, who on the surface may seem pretty ordinary in appearance and behavior. The father, Bob Parr, is an insurance claims adjuster. Helen, the mother, is a housewife who tends to baby Jack-Jack. Two additional kids, the shy Violet and the hyper Dash, round out the family unit.

There's more to this typical middle class suburban family, though, because, as the film's opening scenes reveal, once, not too long ago, both Bob and Helen were superheroes protecting the public with their superstrength and elasticity, respectively. They had costumes, names (Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl), and an adoring public. Several lawsuits later, amidst criticism and protest, "supers" became relocated, involuntarily retired, and had their secret identities become their only identities.

Rush hour traffic in a tiny blue car. Elastigirl now spends her nights at home with the kids.

Fast-forward to present day, and Bob Parr is in a slump. His days are spent in a too-small cubicle where his willingness to aid clients conflicts with the company's interests, a fact pointed out to him by his pint-sized tyrant of a boss. When the day is done, Bob fights rush hour traffic in his too-small car to a family that isn't exactly flourishing either. The kids, Dash and Violet, have powers of their own which they too must keep under wraps. Dash, who possesses the ability to run with remarkable speed, can't compete at sports and is left plotting pranks on his teacher. Violet, who can render herself invisible and is trying to master the art of the force field, is shy and self-conscious to a fault.

Bringing the family together for dinnertime is like pulling the lid off a blender, and letting everyone's issues swirl around with messy results. These disputes and the normal sibling rivalry often complicate things between the parental units. Helen accepts their current situation and wants to embrace a normal existence for the family. On the other hand, Bob wants to relive the glory days, to which his study is a type of shrine. Wednesday's "Bowling Night" proves to be the only opportunity for his best friend Frozone (civilian name: Lucius Best) and him to pick up police reports on the radio and secretly prove heroic.

A mysterious message for Bob leads to a cure for his unsatisfying daily routines. He is called on a mission to the remote Nomanisan Island, where he will once again have an opportunity to prove super. The exotic day-saving adventures of Mr. Incredible and the complicated, dull suburban existence with a troubled but loving family present two very different options for our protagonist. This plays the central crux for film which is rich in action and adventure, but even richer in characters and story.

The rest of Bob's family can't help but be thrown into the mix, as Syndrome, the fanboy-turned-madman, acts out his plans to earn the world's respect and rid it of superheroes. Naturally, their symbolic superpowers are called upon, but to reveal anymore might spoil a bit the pure thrills that the movie packs. Those thrills are countless and deserve to be experienced without foreknowledge, even if they are no less potent on repeat viewings.

Helen gets the grand tour from Edna. Syndrome enters the patheon of great animated villains.

The Incredibles was written and directed by Brad Bird, a former consultant on "The Simpsons" who made his directorial debut with The Iron Giant in 1999. A flop at the box office, Bird's well-reviewed film (a type of Cold War twist on E.T.) found an audience on home video and has developed a strong Internet following.
The roots of this film about a family of superheroes go back more than a decade to a time when Bird envisioned it as a cel animation project. Bird brings to Pixar several unique characteristics, but he stays true to the studio's ideal of storytelling first and foremost. Of course, Pixar's state-of-the-art animators assure that Bird's first CGI project has the technical prowess which matches the wonderful script.

In the winning action sequences that populate much of its second half, The Incredibles calls to mind the pacing and tone of the original Star Wars films, and it ascends to the heights of that grand crowd-pleasing epic with universal appeal and even more adrenaline. Brimming with action, the film never forgets the drama of its all-too-human superheroes and it remains moving and relevant during its flashiest spectacles.

Unlike the previous Pixar films, The Incredibles is not primarily a comedy. Instead the film is seamlessly fused with humor that neither sidetracks nor waits for laughs. There's a bit of an edge as the film earnestly tackles discontent in modern society, but there's also the warmth that layers the best of films, a warmth which never gets sentimental and yet doesn't feel false or tacked on.

Every new film that Pixar has released since Toy Story has seemed to have people saying "the bar has been raised." Well, it's fair to say that again, since The Incredibles has visual fireworks beyond anything we've seen before. The most obvious thing to notice is that Pixar has used the 2.35:1 widescreen aspect ratio here for only the second time. The first and last time they did was for A Bug's Life, a film which also avoids any of the surefire Pixar conventions (even if that is mostly retrospective analysis for only the studio's second film) and has unfairly developed a knack for being the least strong link on the Pixar chain, with reviews and grosses that fall a bit below the others while still far on the side of positive. Like that film, which seemed to call for a grander canvas to tackle the natural world, the decision to utilize a scope format for the high-octane action in The Incredibles seems logical. (To be fair, such a rationale could be used to justify the same for any of Pixar's visually stunning productions.) The wide frame lends itself to creating some unique cinematic images, and the location animation is breathtaking, particularly in the geometric city blocks and in the lush green hills of the secret island.

Dash lives up to his name, as he bolts from the vipers above. Oh no! The first of many gooey spheres adheres to Mr. I.

The animation of the humans both is obviously stylized and remarkably convincing. When your primary subjects are characters that are not bound by the laws of physics, you're opening yourself to endless possibilities in depicting their motion and endless ways with which to fail. But in animation, as in everywhere else, the film excels, creating a consistent and realistic-feeling world where limits to speed, flexibility, and strength are thrown out the window.

Watching The Incredibles so close to Bambi has me contemplating their similarities. While the two films are practically polar opposites when it comes to subject matter, pacing and story, they share at least one thing in common. The Incredibles achieves the "plausible impossible", an ideal that Walt Disney and his animators strove to convey. It is in a world where humans move and act realistically that we can be swept away in unadulterated fantasy and believe it. Though separated by more than 60 years, Bambi and The Incredibles are both milestones in animation and the two must-own Disney DVDs this March.

When talking of Pixar, the term "masterpiece" is relative, but having seen The Incredibles several times now, I believe it is one of the studio's best efforts, and one of the best films anybody has made in years. Pixar continues to amaze me. While its closest competitors may shun originality, the studio embraces it and the results have been wonderful each time. Fresh, funny, and everything a moviegoer could want, The Incredibles is the sixth time in as many tries that the computer animation studio has worked magic.

(Keep your eyes open for a nice cameo appearance late in the film by legendary Disney animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two men who have contributed so much to the medium over the years.)

Buy The Incredibles: 2-Disc Collector's Edition (Widescreen) from Amazon.com DVD Details

2.39:1 Anamorphic Widescreen,
Dolby Digital 5.1 EX (English, French, Spanish)
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Closed Captioned
Release Date: March 15, 2005
Two Single-sided, dual-layered discs (DVD-9)
THX-Certified with Optimizer tests
Suggested Retail Price: $29.99
Black Dual Amaray Keepcase with Side Snaps
Holographic Cardboard Slipcover


Pixar's perfection in filmmaking has always been matched by the flawlessness of their digital presentation on DVD. The Incredibles sports a direct digital transfer and is as usual for the studio without incident. While none of us thought the computer animation in Toy Story was lacking, in less than ten years, it's remarkable how far Pixar's visuals have come. The Incredibles pushes the medium as far as it's gone, ambitiously taking on a variety of locations and refusing to shy
from the challenges that certain details or materials may pose. All of it is wonderfully rendered in this beautiful 2.39:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer.

The human characters, the faux-archival footage, the exuberant exteriors, the amazing visual effects...they combine as a feast for eyes, one which is presented with remarkable clarity on DVD. The level of detail to the transfer (and the source material, Pixar's animation) is spectacular. Colors exhibit consistency, no bleeding whatsoever, and a great richness, from the icy white outpouring of Frozone to the cool blue setting of Syndrome's quarters, from the vibrant red Incredibles uniforms to the lavish greenery that adorns Nomanisan Island. There appeared to be no color banding and no edge enhancement, two shortcomings which seem to afflict even some otherwise solid transfers of new films. In short, you could spend all of your efforts looking for problems with this transfer, but I think you'd be better off doing something else. You won't find anything to complain about, and you'd find focusing your attention on the film's majesty a much more rewarding endeavor.

In the sound department, The Incredibles boasts an excellent Dolby Digital 5.1 EX track. Michael Giacchino's invigorating score intentionally calls to mind the music from James Bond films of the mid-'60s setting that Brad Bird apparently evokes here. The horn-heavy instrumentation is beautifully conveyed, as is the usual top-notch sound design Pixar has poured into creating their world of superheroes. The soundtrack feels about as dynamic as any DTS presentation, so don't worry too much that such an option is not offered. Dialogue is never overpowered by sound effects or music, but the whole mix gives you a wide range of dynamics, with plenty of peaks. Ideally, you should enjoy the film with the volume cranked up, but if not, you might have to adjust your levels during playback. There's really nothing else to complain about, as the audio presentation is every bit as clear and robust as you'd hope for.


Like Finding Nemo's DVD, almost everything on both discs is encoded as 16x9, so that, oddly enough, 4x3 and non-anamorphic widescreen material is windowboxed within the 16x9 frame, resulting in black bars on all four sides on a DVD-ROM. The Top Secret NSA Files were the only 4x3-encoded content I noticed. On a 4x3 TV, I think the 16x9 material operates the way menu screens do, lopping off the excess black sidebars, but I could well be mistaken.

Violet and Dash learn to fend for themselves in the jungle. The one and only Edna Mode, fashion designer for the well-dressed superhero.


Two feature-length audio commentaries are provided for the film. In the first, writer/director Brad Bird teams up with producer John Walker. I don't know if it's because the movie is so good, but the commentary seems much better than average as well. It's probably due to the fact that there's so much
to appreciate in the movie, and Bird and Walker point out even more, including things that you might not have taken in even after a couple of viewings.

They also have plenty of interesting anecdotes to share from the four-year production of the film. There's hardly a blank space in the discussion, as Bird especially has a lot to say. The technical discussion never gets dry, and it always never becomes the entire commentary, although there is a fair amount of name-dropping. There's a nice upbeat tone to the track and humor turns up from time to time. For instance, one very funny moment has Brad Bird describing the computer's HAL 9000 mentality to make things small and weightless in direct contrast to their filmmaking plans. It's also amusing to hear Bird get worked up about people calling animation a genre. One minor drawback is that the commentary was recorded nearly two months before the film was released to theaters, so the pair doesn't have distance from production or a post-release perspective. Still, overall, this track is full of insight and helps you appreciate character traits, decisions on lighting, color, and editing, and much more.

The second audio commentary track brings in the animators, 13 in total. With that volume of speakers, you can forget trying to connect remarks with a certain filmmaker. Not surprising considering the environment, the discussion is quite technically-oriented, and it's not quite as enjoyable and commonly enlightening as the first track. Still, it's well worth a listen, especially for aspiring computer animators. The more interesting moments reveal how they could use the same human model to get very different results (for instance, Frozone and Bomb Voyage) and how they didn't go for a super-realistic level of facial detail, instead happily settling for their unique type of caricature. Among the numerous inspirations cited are 101 Dalmatians, Apocalypse Now, and Rankin/Bass's Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. In fact, the charm of Rankin/Bass specials is something they strove for. Other topics covered include working with a director who was a newcomer to 3-D animation (Brad Bird), the adult themes of the film, and whether it's necessary to have celebrities voice animated characters. (George Clooney and Harrison Ford recorded a few lines as Mr. I, before the less prominent and more apt Craig T. Nelson's vocals were employed.)

The only other bonus feature on this platter is a 1-minute introduction from writer/director Brad Bird. Unlike the goofy Pixar intros of the past, Bird goes more for "informative", as he encourages viewers to calibrate their systems with the THX Optimizer (which shows up in the Set Up menu) in order to enjoy the high quality presentation in all its glory. He also mentions a couple of extras that one can find on Disc 2.

Disc One opens with the teaser trailer for Cars, Pixar's next film and what appears to be their last distributed by Disney, bearing the updated release date of June 2006. This is followed by previews for Chicken Little and this fall's Cinderella Platinum Edition. The Sneak Peeks menu (which, in a nice touch, matches the rest of the selection screens for once) contains additional promos for the second Miyazaki wave, Lilo & Stitch 2, The Incredibles video game, and Disneyland's Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction.

Brad Bird welcomes you to Disc 2. Jack-Jack proves elusive for Kari the babysitter in the wonderful all-new short "Jack-Jack Attack."


Like Pixar's films, their DVD bonus features hold universal appeal. Whereas Disney strictly designs some activities for the kiddies and some for the animation enthusiasts, Pixar delivers a variety of material (much of which is cleverly created just for the DVD) that is sure to please all. A number of Easter Eggs appear scattered about the menus. (Hint: Look for the Ominidroid icon.) In yet another nice touch, all of the Bonus Features, including Disc 1's two commentaries, offer subtitles in English, Spanish, or French.

On his Intro (0:52) to Disc 2, Brad Bird talks about how he loves DVD bonus features. He provides an overview of some of the fun extras with the accompaniment of some clips.

The all-new short "Jack-Jack Attack" (4:40) is being touted as something special, and the good news is that it is something special! Filling in the gaps from the movie, the short illustrates just what was happening between Jack-Jack and ditzy teenage babysitter Kari. The voices, animation, and sound design all match the high production values of the film. (Though, it is presented in the 1.78:1 aspect ratio.) And the short is positively hilarious, revealing Jack-Jack's unique behaviors and making fine use of Mozart music. This cartoon deserves to be recognized next year at Oscar time.

Not the warmest neighborhood welcome for an early version of Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. This part of the lengthy alternate opening looks similar to a quite different sequence from the final film.

The next section, Deleted Scenes, contains a whopping 34½ minutes of content. There are six substantial sequences, and they are complemented by detailed deconstruction and explanation by Brad Bird and story supervisor Mark Andrews. They talk freely (Bird mostly speaks) about the scenes that had to be cut and why. The scenes are well-realized and edited as "animatics" making it easy to appreciate how they could have worked in the final film, even though they're composed of monochrome two-dimensional story sketches. Score, dialogue, and when needed, some sound effects make these story reels feel alive. (Digital work appears to have helped achieve this feel, too. For instance, there is a 3-D plane in one scene.)

The first sequence presented is a fascinating, lengthy alternate opening in which Bob and Helen (last name Smith) are introduced to the neighborhood at a barbecue. The couple (who in this early version have just one kid) have trouble fitting in as secret superheroes and Helen being a housewife in a town of working women.

The second scene is an alternate to the existing plane crash sequence from the film. In this version, Helen's friend Snug is pilot and he bites the dust. Third is a follow-up in which vipers pass overhead and miss Helen, Dash, and Violet in the water. A shot of this sequence was animated, but it was all too much of a burden to pursue.

In this deleted scene, Bob deals with some cops. Against an impressive backdrop of story sketches, Brad Bird and Mark Andrews discuss the deleted scenes.

"Bob in Traffic" starts a bit similar to a scene in the film, but here he helps out a pair of cops in catching up to a criminal, and is disappointed with the thank you he gets. Next, "Helen Confronts Bob" makes the film's suggestion of extramarital affair much less subtle when Helen finds a hair on Bob's suit. It's kind of funny, but unnecessary.

Last is "Helen's Nightmare", a brief dream sequence which plays upon Mrs. Incredible's fears of her husband's infidelity. We only get to see this interweaved with the filmmakers talking and it wouldn't really work without the explicit statements of the previous excised segment. There's one more deleted scene presented as an Easter Egg, which is covered below with the rest of the hidden features.

Next is Behind the Scenes, which offers a number of exciting bonus features.

It wouldn't be a Pixar DVD without John Lasseter and his toys! Writer/director Brad Bird looks at a scene and acts out as it should be in collaboration with two other filmmakers.

"The Making of The Incredibles is a fine 27-minute documentary that lets us step into the production rather than simply dishing out praise to all the makers or going through the steps we've seen before. The recurring theme one gathers from the creative environment on display is that Pixar animators rose to the challenges the film demanded, while at the same time having a goofy good time at the studio. There's something refreshing about the filmmakers passionately arguing over a character's hair, for instance, or the animators getting inspired by a scene from The Jungle Book. This splendid piece also allows us to unreservedly see the give-and-take between the artistic and financial demands of a film. Among the highlights of the documentary, we get to see Brad Bird riled up, John Lasseter among his increasingly coolly-adorned office, and Michael Giacchino synth-tasticly devising the film's score. There's even handheld video footage of Bird's first day at Pixar.

An unfinished shot of Bob and Helen's confrontation shows computer animation at work in "The Making of The Incredibles." Character supervisor Bill Wise offers insight into the film's technical achievements in "More Making of The Incredibles."

In addition to the well-paced general documentary, Pixar offers "More Making of The Incredibles", 41 minutes of additional featurettes on ten specific topics that can be played together with a useful "Play All" options. Vignettes on "Story" and "Character Design" feature discussion that is very specific to The Incredibles, so you don't need to fear old ground being treaded despite the generic titles. "E volution" centers on developing the character Edna Mode. "Building Humans" makes you appreciate the details in the film that "hint at realism" and you take for granted. We hear about the challenges in creating wardrobes of various materials and believable hair (Violet's long hair proved quite the task, as did animating wet hair and hair in wind). "Building Extras" explains the process of using one "universal man" to create hundreds of background characters.

Composer Michael Giacchino talks about his score intentions in the "Music" short. It's "Tools" Time with software team lead Karon Weber.

"Set Design" elaborates on the film's setting of "mid-'60s in an alternate universe" where the environments emphasize a "technically believable future" of the '60s that never really emerged. "Sound" contains the always-interesting revelations of what created what audio effects in the film, "Music" documents the recording of the horn-heavy, '60s-influenced score. "Lighting" provides some keen demonstrations of how it can set the mood of a scene. "Tools" highlights the technical achievements of the film in its depiction of humans. These nicely-produced vignettes take you further into production while always remaining interesting, no matter what the subject. Altogether, they complement the general documentary very well.

Incredi-Blunders! "Vowellet" features Sarah Vowell's sarcastic thoughts on being the voice of Violet.

"Incredi-Blunders!" (1:42) houses a reel of rendering errors set to canned laughter and cheesy music. There's some pretty racy stuff in the "Wardrobe Malfunction" section!

In "Vowellet - An Essay By Sarah Vowell" (9:21), the voice of Violet gives a sarcastic tour of her "superhero's" office. Vowell contrasts her career as a political history radio commentator with her role as a voice actor in The Incredibles. She's funny and not the teenage girl you'd expect, even if she gets quite excited about seeing her action figure for the first time. It's an amusing piece, and it includes a neat clip where Pixar matched audio from one of Vowell's documentaries with animation of Violet to illustrate the perfect marriage of voice and character.

This still from the Character Design gallery shows the chronological progression of Mr. I. The Incredibles cheer on Dash from the bleachers in this piece of conceptual art meant to convey the desired lighting of the scene in the film.

The Art Gallery manages to provide a unique way of looking through stills which document the visual development of the film. It's broken into six sections and is very quick and easy to navigate. Story holds 11 black-and-white sketches. Character Design contains 26 stills (many with multiple parts) which neatly display the characters gradually taking their shape. Set Design (10 stills) and Color Scripts (14) both seek to find the mood and palettes for the film, with the latter providing a clear basis for the catchy end credits design. Lighting houses 26 artistic stills attempting to convey various techniques. Some of these are compellingly impressionistic. Lastly, Collages holds 19 hodgepodges of assorted character, wardrobe, and scene designs for the film.

Elastigirl grants an interview to Access Hollywood. Mr. Incredible struggles to get into his suit in the film's memorable 2003 theatrical teaser.

In Publicity, you find character interviews with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Frozone, and Edna Mode. They each explain the fact that it's just a movie where liberties are taken in their portrayals. Various interviewers were edited together with the Pixar animation, and each interview here features a different one (from KABC, Access Hollywood, Extra, and E!) Altogether they run 6½ minutes, and good use of chapters allow one to skip to the next character, if desired.

There are also the teaser and two theatrical trailers. All of these are presented in anamorphic widescreen, but only Dolby Surround, not 5.1. It's disappointing that there are none of the various TV or print ads that showed up late last year, but the inclusion of trailers is pleasant surprise in itself on a Disney DVD.

A scene from the lost cartoon "Mr. Incredible and Pals." Frozone's NSA File

The next is section is Top Secret and its menu transition brilliantly treats it as such. Housed here is silly "lost" cartoon and a slew of character profiles.

"Mr. Incredible and Pals" (4:00) parodies the simple cartoon action programs that once existed in earnest. It features terrible puns, limited animation (the lip movement seems to be achieved with live action lip footage), and a convincingly aged appearance. Mr. Incredible, along with sidekicks Frozone and a bucktoothed bunny named Mr. Skiperdoo, try to outwit the evil Lady Lightbug. It's very tongue-in-cheek and pretty funny. Equally funny is the optional audio commentary by Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) where they disagree about just how awful it is.

In NSA Files, you find top secret profiles of 21 supers. There are ratings on things like strength, intelligence, and endurance, and notes on powers and personality. Plus there is a lengthy sound clip for each, most featuring that super's thoughts. As an audio-only supplement, this isn't the most exciting thing on the disc, but they're an amusing listen if you have time. Plus, it sounds like the original voice cast is all present for the leading characters.

The sheep proudly struts his stuff on the mountaintop. "Who is Bud Luckey?" answers its question. Here, the man who wrote, directed, and voiced "Boundin'" talks about the short. Models of the two lead characters of "Boundin'" as seen in the accompanying featurette.

Boundin' (4:40) is the Oscar-nominated short that played before The Incredibles in theaters. It tells the tale of a proud, mountain-dancing sheep whose life is thrown off by some shearing. It's certainly grown on me with each viewing, and though it departs from the no-dialogue Pixar tradition, I think it's one of the finer short cartoons they've made. You can also choose to view the short with commentary from writer/director Bud Luckey, who sounds just like the narrator of the short. He reveals some interesting connections to Finding Nemo as well as his inspirations for Boundin'.
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In this section, you'll also find a nice little featurette titled "Who is Bud Luckey?" (3:55). It's part making-of on Boundin' and part profile of the man who wrote, directed, and did all the voices for the short.

One of the few surprising exclusions is a game of any kind. Frankly, after seeing some of the lame set-top activities passed off as DVD games, I'm not lamenting the absence of something similar here. I'm more disappointed that the spirited Internet-only "First in Line" trailers and holiday-themed TV/print ads didn't make the set. This is what happens when a DVD is put together before a film is even released in theaters. (A fact acknowledged on the commentary track.) The set is without a 5.1 sound effects-only track, which has turned up on all of the past Pixar DVDs (except Nemo). While few will have the time and desire to watch the entire movie and only hear sound effects, a one-scene example might have been a nice (and easy) inclusion or better yet a "sound mixing demo" where you can choose to isolate dialogue, music, or effects.

The voice cast, something played up for all of DreamWorks' animated films, goes entirely unmentioned (and unseen) on Disc 2. Both commentaries make passing reference to the apt actors selected for the roles, but the focus seems to be more on the technical side of creation than the celebrity. Behind-the-scenes featurettes from the time of release did cover some of this ground, and would have been nice to have on DVD.

Easter Eggs

Those of you who want to discover the hidden bonus features all on your own, feel free to skip to the next section. Otherwise, here's an overview of some humorous Easter Eggs scattered about the different sections of the DVD. Most of the menus contain at least one Easter Egg, and some offered several. Altogther, I discovered eleven treats on Disc 2 and one on Disc 1.

Dash's teacher Bernie gets agitated with his class in this hidden deleted scene. Legendary animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston in a little Easter Egg tribute clip to them.

The only Easter Egg I've found on the first disc is a random 33-second clip of Mr. Incredible dancing in his old uniform. This can be accessed from the Commentary menu. (Thanks to Christian for pointing this one out; I missed it the first time around.)

All of the rest of the hidden features are on Disc 2. There is a quirky, fun Easter Egg one can access from its main menu. It's a 2½-minute montage of all the moments in The Incredibles featuring buttons, doors, and explosions...prefaced by a note from Brad Bird and set to a recognizable piece of classical music that I ashamedly can't identify.
This impressive reel underscores how well-crafted the film is since it never feels redundant in spite of the sheer volume of these three phenomena.

The Deleted Scenes menu's Easter Egg is an 80-second deleted scene (in story reel format, like the others) of Dash's mustachioed teacher giving his pupils some terrible life advice. This leads into Dash's sneaky act of rebellion, and it's unclear why this sequence isn't located with the rest on the menu.

The Behind the Scenes menu holds what's maybe my favorite Easter Egg: a 1 minute, 20 second short on legendary animators Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. We see video of them providing feedback on early Incredibles story reels and Brad Bird explains their cameo in the film. Another Easter Egg through this menu is a 65-second montage featuring the antics of a particularly animated (not literally) Pixar story supervisor named Mark Andrews.

In this hidden interstitial, Dash and Mr. Incredible duel for the remote. Low-tech Mirage, Mr. Incredible, and Syndrome in a scene from the puppet show Easter Egg.

In the "More Making of" menu, there are a couple of fairly brief outtakes of sorts, featuring alternate takes of film scenes in not-fully-finished states.

An Easter Egg in the Publicity section shows a couple of 10-second 16x9 interstitials of Mr. Incredible struggling for the remote with Dash and Frozone. Selecting the sometimes-available graphic when it pops up alternates between the two.

From the Set Up menu, there is another Easter Egg and this one is also funny. When the filmmakers feared they wouldn't get everything done in time, effects artist Mach Kobayashi came up with a solution. He put together a 3½-minute version of The Incredibles with sock puppets! A number of memorable scenes from the film are acted out in a very low-budget way and one of the winged stars of For the Birds even makes an appearance again and again.

From the Disc 2 Index, you can find an Easter Egg of one animator scarfing down his wife's chocolate cake for the love of his craft (included as per a suggestion excerpted from the animators commentary), and another whose scootering adventures come to a painful end.

The menus on Disc One employ the same artistic style as the film's end credits. Disc 2's menus clever resemble Syndrome's computer system.


Menus on both discs are supremely well-designed. The first disc utilizes the artistic 2-D looking silhouettes that appear in the end credits. The second disc takes you inside Syndrome's computer system (password: KRONOS!), representing the various screens with a sleek, uniform layout. Each set of menus also makes good use of 5.1 sound. While the menus are very simple to navigate, those seeking a single list of all the extras can make use of the 2-page "Index" on Disc 2.

The Incredibles is packaged in a standard-width dual black keepcase, which is housed in a shiny, happy cardboard slipcover. The design closely resembles Finding Nemo, only this time the scheme is red, not blue. Inside the case, there is a light mini-booklet with several Incredibles-themed ads and a coupon for Bambi which will make up for someone who missed out on the superior release date deals. The 8-page DVD Guide covers all the bases you'd expect. It features a swell cover in the style of the credits art, provides a map of bonus features, a list of scene selections, a neat two-page graphic of the Incredibles fam, and an overview of 7 prominent supplements.

"We're superheroes. What could happen?" Concept art reveals the design of the Incredibles family.


The Incredibles is modern-day animation at its best, and this two-disc DVD release is delightful. The set provides both a sincere look at the impressive creative atmosphere which allows Pixar to turn out hits without fail and plenty of the fun we've come to expect from them. The film presentation is positively perfect, the supplements are extensive and endlessly entertaining. Not only should you get this DVD as soon as you can, but you should introduce the film to anyone you know who's not already crazy about it. You'd be doing a great service, as films (and DVDs) this good are a rarity.

More on the DVD / Buy from Amazon.com

Buy from Amazon.com

Frozone and Dash move away from the Omnidroid.

Related Reviews
The Incredibles (Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack)
Pixar on DVD:
Toy Story (10th Anniversary Edition) • Toy Story 2 (Special Edition) • Ratatouille
Cars • Up (Deluxe DVD & Blu-ray) • WALL•E (3-Disc Special Edition)
A Bug's Life (Collector's Edition) • Finding Nemo (Collector's Edition) • Monsters, Inc. (Collector's Edition)
Toy Story & Toy Story 2: The Ultimate Toy Box • Pixar Short Films Collection, Volume 1

Recent 2-Disc Disney DVDs: Bambi: Platinum Edition • Aladdin: Platinum Edition • Mary Poppins: 40th Anniversary Edition • Mulan: Special Edition

Superheroes on DVD:
Fantastic Four: The Complete 1994-95 Animated Television Series • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Season 1
Sky High • Fantastic Four: Extended Edition • Spider-Man: The Venom Saga • Power Rangers S.P.D.: Volumes 3-5

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Reviewed February 27, 2005.