Baby’s first Pixar movie.

Ok, on the advice of the Citizens of Athens,* I actually watched The Incredibles.

And what do I think? Well. I didn’t hate it. I also didn’t love it.

I can see why Steve’s Nietzsche-loving friend liked this movie. It does have a very Genealogy of Morals kinda feel to it. What’s-his-name. The stupid robot-making villain. His whole make-everyone-special-so-nobody-is-special-at-all-yadda-yadda-reverse-Harrison-Bergeron-yadda-yadda-blah thing is very much like what some Disney exec would make out of ressentiment. Or, at least, we can imagine someone suffering from ressentiment doing that instead of, say, inventing a religion. Although, Nietzsche doesn’t really capture it. More like a do-gooder kind of John Galt. (Who is Mr. Incredible?) Perhaps a reverse John Galt, since it’s other people who want him to go on strike. Oh god. Ok, enough with the comparisons, elsewise I’ll have to pull a SEK and compare it to Joyce. And then I’ll have to kill myself. Do you want Your Blogger to suicide? No. No you don’t. Oh where is the Spirit of Dorothy Parker to save me now? Huh. Perhaps I don’t want the Spirit of Dorothy Parker to guide my reviewing hand when it’s gone suicidal already. Perhaps the SoDP is already guiding quite enough.

Right! Enough of that. As I was saying.

I am very pleased at the absence of talking animals. I am not, however, amused by the ass-kicking children. That’s really a crime of the whole Disney-esque mode of thinking. Every. Fucking. Movie/Book/Videogame/Play/InterpretiveDance/Whatever has to have something that in real life is weak and cute but in the m/b/v/p/id/w is still cute but in addition has super-badass powers and is absolutely certain to reach a global maxima of cuteness when exercising those powers on the helpless corse of some hapless baddie. Like the fucking plutonium devil-baby at the end. Uh. Whev. (Incidentally, on that, can you say deus ex machina? I suppose that’s only to be expected in a movie about a family of superheroes, though. ‘Scuse me. “Supers.”) I dare not call up the SoDP to comment on the cutsey ass-kickers. No Vicious Circle seances here. If Dorothy’s shade finds out about this she’ll visit Walt’s floor of their shared residence (Hell, obviously) with a matchet.

Pleased at the forays into darkness, not pleased at the big eyes.

Which brings me to the cartoon format in general. Ok, that was done pretty well. I might willingly watch other animated movies. Still, I can’t help but think how much better it would have been if they had used real actors. For one thing, real actors would have been able to express more than one emotion at a time. I suspect it’s impossible to have truly multidimensional characters in the animated format, because a rich character is so much the actor.

Pleased that the plot was not too predictable. Displeased at the zany Disneyishness of the whole thing (the willy-nilly violations of plausible physics, the LOUD EMOTING, etc.).

Not sure whether to be pleased qua homage or displeased qua ripoff at the blatant homageoff of the ewok forest speeder chasey thing from Star Wars.

Stuart was right: the scene with Edna and the capes? Fabulous. In fact, Edna in general? Fabulous. Although a little stereotyping.

Speaking of which.

Highly, highly, highly displeased at the racial stereotype scene toward the end. You know, the bit where the ice guy is looking for his suit, and he asks his wife, and his wife gives him a scolding that could have been ripped straight from the screenwriters of Martin. Because, black characters have to be feisty at one another! That’s how you know they’re black!

So, well, there it is. I don’t feel like my two hours were wasted, but I’d have rather watched a Bond flick. Except the new one.


* I’ve been reading way too much Plato lately. Also Lysias, Xenophon, sundry other Greekish things. Hence, I name my collective body of comment-givers.

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4 Responses to “Baby’s first Pixar movie.”

  1. Steve M. Says:

    Wouldn’t a reverse Harrison Bergeron be an extraordinarily dim man living in a society of geniuses who is required, against his will, to consume a drug that radically increases his intelligence?

  2. Stuart Buck Says:

    Did you catch the fact that Edna’s voice was done by Brad Bird, the director?

  3. Paul Gowder Says:

    I didn’t! That’s pretty awesome.

  4. Daniel S. Goldberg Says:

    More so, Bird has said on several occasions he loved the character and voice of Edna so much he basically wanted to build a movie around her.

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