After dashing superhero Mr Incredible (voiced by Nelson) saves a person who didn’t want to be saved, he and his fellow superheroes (including Samuel L Jackson as Frozone) find themselves buried under a barrage of legal complaints and compensation demands that drive them all underground and out of business.
So instead of saving the day, Mr Incredible and his wife Elastigirl (Hunter) have to assume the identities of ‘normal’ people – Bob and Helen Parr – and live ordinary lives. Bob becomes an insurance salesman, Helen a housewife and mother to their children Dash, Violet and Jack Jack, but Bob still dreams of his glory days and jumps at the chance when a mysterious stranger asks him to climb back into his (now rather too small) supersuit for a final adventure.
The Incredibles is a sometimes odd mix of adult sitcom and family adventure. The early part of the film – as Bob goes about his mind-numbing day job – has gags and humour clearly aimed at grown-ups and an almost melancholy feel as the characters are slowly fleshed out, so it’s only when the entire family are roped into Bob’s adventures – and the two kids get to try out their own superhero skills – that younger members of the audience are likely to chuckle with glee.
Of course, when things do get going, it’s a terrific romp that should enchant kids whose bums haven’t been numbed by the almost two-hour running time. While they soak up the action, older viewers can delight in guessing who the hilarious fashion designer Edna (voiced by the film’s writer/director, Brad Bird) – who provides the family with their new costumes – is modelled on: Isaac Mizrahi, Edith Head, Coco Chanel and Vogue editor Anna Wintour are just some of the names people have suspected.
Is The Incredibles suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...