Incredibles 2 is animation for the ‘woke’ age

City Press movie review

Movie: Incredibles 2

Director: Brad Bird

Voices: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter

When The Incredibles first came out in 2004, it raised the bar on an already strong cannon of Pixar films, including Toy Story and Finding Nemo.

However, it was the dialogue that was most compelling – witty, succinct and gloriously funny. As one New York Observer critic wrote, it reminded him of “the glory days of radio”.

Though not a runaway hit at first, The Incredibles slowly worked its way to becoming a blockbuster, gaining fans along the way and cementing itself as an animated classic. It even ended up winning two Oscars and being nominated for two more.

It’s no wonder that, 14 years later, audiences are excited about Incredibles 2. And, I’m happy to say, it doesn’t disappoint.

In this one, the family with superpowers is juggling domestic obligations with crime fighting. This time, mom Helen – or Elastigirl – is in the spotlight in a public relations campaign to make superheroes popular again, meaning Mr Incredible has to stay home and take care of the kids.

A great deal has changed in 14 years. We’re now in an age of social and political awareness – the woke age. Or, arguably, as local internet artist Tiger Maremela posits on page five in #Trending, we’ve even moved past that and are in the post-woke age.

Either way, film and entertainment have scrambled to catch up to public dialogue, with some – Blockers, Neighbors – doing so more successfully than others.

Incredibles 2 taps into current debates about family and the roles of women when it comes to parenting and work. Thankfully, it’s not too preachy or acerbic – that’s one thing about the woke age, everyone is terribly self-important.

With light touches and a clever script, the film remains smart and entertaining throughout, and, as you would expect, the animation is simply breathtaking.

At two hours, it does get a little long and falls into the trap many animations have in the past by catering more for the adults than the kids. Nevertheless, the plot is compelling, there are plenty of laughs and the message is contemporary.