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     Volume 4 Issue 25 | December 17, 2004 |

   Cover Story
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Straight Talk

The Incredibles are here to Stay-- Move over Superman

Nadia Kabir Barb

A couple of months ago my husband asked me if I wanted to take the children to see a film called "The Incredibles". I had no idea what it was about except that it was an animated film produced by Pixar Animations, the same people who created films such as Toy Story, Monsters Inc. and Finding Nemo. That was a good enough reason for me to say "yes". I was sure the children would love it, I knew I would! Having put the phone down I wrote it into my mental diary and as often happens with mental diaries, promptly forgot about it until a week before we were supposed to go. Of course the reminders came from my spouse and children to make sure I didn't double book anything on the day. As you may be aware of, mental diaries can develop glitches every now and then. By this stage there had been quite a lot of publicity surrounding the film and obviously the word on the school playground was that it was a definite must see. So the kids were all the more excited to watch it.

We had been invited to the premiere of the film and with each of the invitations came a black eye mask, similar to the ones worn by the "The Incredibles". It also stated that the masks should be worn at the premiere. Hmm, not so sure about that though! We were supposed to arrive an hour earlier than the actual show time as there were certain activities organised in the foyer for all the children. We arrived at the Empire Leicester Square with our invitations and eye masks although I desisted from wearing my one and hoped they would not notice my lack of eye wear. However, what we had not anticipated was having to walk down a red carpet to the cinema with barricades on both sides with hundreds of fans on the other side looking excitedly on as they awaited for the arrival of Samuel L. Jackson (Frozone), Holly Hunter (Elastagirl) and a whole list of other celebrities. As we walked towards the entrance we could see people looking perplexed, probably wondering who on earth we were and whether they should recognise us from some TV show or film. My husband tried to look invisible and had his gaze fixed on the entrance of the cinema hall and I had this ridiculous and utterly childish desire to wave at the crowds of people and confuse them even more but I thought that my children might never forgive me for my warped sense of humour!

As we entered the foyer we were surrounded by face painters, people taking photographs of families pretending to be the Incredibles i.e. putting their heads into cut out pictures of The Incredible Family, areas where the girls could have coloured hairpieces braided onto their hair, fake scars being painted on that actually looked distressingly real and a whole array of other activities. My youngest decided to have her face painted like Violet and a multi coloured hairpiece tied in her hair which made her look like she had walked straight off the set of The Incredibles, except for the fact that 'The Incredibles' is an animated film and therefore they probably didn't have any sets… but I think I am digressing at this point! Soon we were ushered into the theatre and the children were pleasantly surprised to find a little goodie bag on their seats with a few items of memorabilia in them. In fact they even provided everyone with a little box containing a drink and snacks to keep them going through the film. After a brief speech from both Samuel L. Jackson and Holly Hunter, we were immersed into darkness and for almost two hours were oblivious to anything around us except the images on the big screen.

"The Incredibles" follows the adventures of a family of former superheroes who were once one of the world's top masked crime fighters. Bob Parr (aka Mr Incredible voice by Craig T Nelson) fought evil and saved lives on a daily basis. But fifteen years later, he and his wife Helen, a famous former superhero in her own right have been forced to take on civilian identities and enter a government witness protection programme and retreat to the suburbs due to a surge of lawsuits against them submitted by the people they have saved. Today they live as Mr. and Mrs. Average Joe next door and lead all-too-ordinary lives with their children Dash, Violet and Jack-Jack who go out of their way to appear "normal." Nowadays as a clock-punching insurance man, the only thing Mr. Incredible fights these days is boredom and an ever expanding waistline. Yearning for action and desperate to recreate his glory days, the sidelined superhero gets his chance when a mysterious communiqué summons him to a remote island for a top-secret mission. However, when Bob goes missing, his family is forced into action and has to pool their resources together to rescue Bob and also save the fate of the world in the process.

The animation is a visual feast from beginning to end, with amazing action sequences, perfect comic timing, and even drawing on real human emotions. It also incorporates different genres, such as sci-fi movies, comic-book superheroes and James Bond films. All in all, it is a film that appeals to both adults and children. As we left the hall, the children could not stop chattering happily about the film and even my husband and I could not help but join in their animated conversation. Subsequently I have had to remind my children on numerous occasions that I am not Elastagirl and therefore cannot reach the jar of biscuits in the kitchen while sitting in the study!!


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