Why Brad Bird’s return has us so excited for Incredibles 2
Not many people have heard of Brad Bird. Although he’s revered in animation circles as one of the senior Pixar creative team behind such hits as Up, Toy Story 3, and Inside Out, he’s not exactly a household name. He’s not prolific – he’s been the driving force behind just three major animated features – but the films he’s made have been groundbreaking and are revered by filmmakers and aficionados and beloved by fans. Now he’s back with Incredibles 2, and the animated film world is on the edge of its seat!
Naturally you don’t need to be familiar with Brad Bird’s other films to enjoy Incredibles 2 (and if you need a refresher on the first film, watch our short video here.) But if you’re curious about why there’s so much excitement about this sequel, or if you want to check out his other films, here’s our guide to what makes them great family viewing.
The Iron Giant, 1999
Using a mix of traditional and computer animation, this warmhearted sci-fi tale tells the story of a giant alien robot (Vin Diesel) who crash-lands near a small town in 1957 at the height of the Cold War. An adventurous 9-year-old boy, Hogarth, discovers the robot, and forms an unlikely friendship with him. When a paranoid government agent, Kent Mansley, becomes determined to destroy the robot, Hogarth and local beatnik artist Dean McCoppin (Harry Connick Jr.) must do what they can to save the misunderstood machine.
This first feature from Bird is loaded with humour and heart. Through the robot’s minimal dialogue, the story humanizes the gentle giant and makes him irresistibly lovable. We guarantee you’ll have a tear in your eye at the end!
The Incredibles, 2004
Brad Bird’s first full-length feature under the Pixar umbrella is imbued with a uniquely retro sensibility that almost seems like it could be taking place in the same era as The Iron Giant – but with the addition of high-tech vehicles and gadgets worthy of a Bond film.
Married superheroes Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are forced to assume mundane lives as Bob and Helen Parr after all super-powered activities have been banned by the government. While Mr. Incredible loves his wife and kids, he longs to return to a life of adventure, and he gets a chance when summoned to an island to battle an out-of-control robot. Soon, Mr. Incredible is in trouble, and it's up to his family to save him. As it turns out, their kids Violet (Sarah Vowell) and Dash (Spencer Fox) have powers of their own…
Remy (Patton Oswalt) is a young French rat gifted with highly developed culinary instincts. Inspired by his idol, the deceased chef Gusteau, he dreams of being a great chef despite being a rat in a distinctly rodent-phobic business. Through a window, he glimpses a lowly dishwasher, Linguini, spoiling a tureen of soup in Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant. Remy saves the soup with strategic seasonings, Linguini gets the credit, and so begins the most unlikely of gastronomic partnerships. But as Linguini rises through the kitchen ranks, the risk of Remy’s exposure – and the restaurant’s closure – looms closer.
The smell, taste, and experience of food and cooking is notoriously challenging to imitate onscreen let alone convey to the audience. But somehow, through truly imaginative storytelling and animation, Brad Bird conveys the love of good food. The scene where the notoriously arrogant critic, Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole), first tastes Remy’s ratatouille – a lowly peasant dish – is a memorable highlight of an amazing film.
After a foray into live-action films with Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Tomorrowland, Brad Bird is finally returning to his animated roots to continue the story of the Parr family as they navigate the balance between family life and world-saving. This time around, Elastigirl is being called upon to repair the supers' image as heroes, while Mr. Incredible handles the equally tough job of stay-at-home parent - a role made more challenging by baby Jack-Jack, who's just coming into his very unusual powers.
Click on the titles above to rent or buy Brad Bird's previous films in the Cineplex Store, and click here for tickets to Incredibles 2!