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Incredible addition to super-powered Pixar roster

Remember that time Pixar didn’t make a sequel to the beloved and classic The Incredibles?

It’s been almost 13 years of that.

Finally, the long-awaited sequel smashes its way into theaters this week. It’s a magnificent addition to the Disney-owned company’s library, and a wonderful successor to the original, even if it’s not as memorable.

Incredibles 2
Rating: PG
Running time: 118 min.
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter

Admit it: It’s simple to imagine a world in which superheroes could be deemed illegal when they use their powers. It approaches a realistic thought of what could happen in reality.

This is why Pixar does animation just right; their films are more than simple entertainment.

Directed and written by Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille), The Incredibles 2 stars Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter as Elastigirl, Sarah Vowell as Violet Parr, Huck Milner as Dash Parr, Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone, Catherine Keener as Evelyn Deavor, and Bob Odenkirk as Winston Deavor.

Picking up where the first ended, The Incredibles 2 revisits the super-powered Parr family. But this time, new faces want to enlist Elastigirl in the process of legalizing superheroes.

The problem is that the Parr family dynamic is now disrupted by the strong and manly Mr. Incredible having to stay home and be Mr. Mom, and by the mysterious Screenslaver’s dastardly plan to stop Elastigirl.

Pixar knows how to make a good film. Their list of Oscar-nominated titles is an indication of how much they care to tell a cohesive and adult story while maintaining that aura of childhood innocence.

In this newest entry, Pixar explores the idea of superhero legalization a bit more, which can be heavy for a kid, especially if politics are a factor. However, Bird has written a screenplay that teaches kids valuable lessons in family, and not judging a book by its cover.

The themes and topics Pixar relays through their films will always be for both adults and children. That’s why just about every movie of theirs kills it with critics and audiences. (Cars 2 might be the exception, but nobody speaks of that.)

I was apprehensive about how a movie with so much action and heart could carry into a sequel after more than a decade. The Incredibles 2 starts off pretty much exactly where the first one left off, with all the animated destruction any kid could ask for.

It’s redundant to say Pixar’s animation is smooth and seamless. Still, the thousands of hours put in should not go unnoticed. All I see is eye candy without the need to let it be the crux of the film. The animation, the screenwriting, the voice acting and the directing all create a natural feel of environment and a sweet story.

Every superhero needs a supervillain. Syndrome still holds the crown for best antagonist, and I was underwhelmed with the intentions and true identity of Screenslaver. I know The Incredibles 2 isn’t meant to be a whodunit, but I could see the reveal a mile away.

But this isn’t to say I hated the villain. The Screenslaver is the equivalent to Baron Zemo in Captain America: Civil War; they are both accessories to the superhero split. In the case of The Incredibles 2, the plot still ties up nicely with a bow at the end.

My personal highlight was Michael Giacchino’s fast, big band jazz score. You will not be disappointed in the music accompanying the explosive energy the superheroes demonstrate on screen.

There isn’t much I didn’t like about The Incredibles 2. Pixar is a dominant force in the world of cinema, and not many other studios can make a child laugh and an adult cry with almost every film.

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