The Pitch

Disney/Pixar's entry in the superhero canon.

Age Recommendations

Watch With the Kids: 7+ Common Sense Media: 7+

Content Advisories

The action here is quickly paced and at times quite intense, involving fistfights, bullets, missiles, explosions, spinning saw blades, vehicular and property damage. Attempted suicide. Electric shock torture. Child endangerment. Sudden superhero death.

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07.20.14

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There’s nothing else quite like it, which is why so much anticipation has built up around the development of a sequel. Try one of Brad Bird’s other animated films, The Iron Giant or Ratatouille.

The robot's in the financial district. Which exit do I take?

It’s almost exhausting to enumerate everything that distinguished The Incredibles from superhero movies before it (and since). Pixar and writer-director Brad Bird may have lifted the superpowers from Marvel’s Fantastic Four and the heroes-in-hiding milieu from Alan Moore’s Watchmen, but then added layers on top, including playful tweaks of comic book fan culture (number one fan Buddy) and superhero costume design (Edna “No Capes!” Mole). They confidently skipped the (seemingly requisite) origin story, shunting most of the characters’ history into newsreels, framed newspaper and magazine clippings, and the quiet, daily resentments of a marriage with children. While it works as a slam-bang entertainment for kids, the film also delves into grownup issues of mid-life crisis and marital trust, and makes allusions to Vonnegut’s Harrison Bergeron, all wrapped inside of a glorious pastiche of 1960s style—including homages to the production design and music of early James Bond (with a brassy score by Michael Giacchino). While the stakes of the plot might not be at the level of global cataclysm, they somehow feel higher, because they’re close to home. As Elastigirl pilots a plane in an attempt to evade oncoming missiles, she calls over the radio (in the voice of Holly Hunter) for the attack to be called off. “There are CHILDREN aboard!” My heart stops. Every time. —Chris Ereneta

Edited & designed by Chris Ereneta. Suggestions, feedback, and rants welcome at watchwiththekids@gmail.com, @WatchWithKids, or on Facebook. More about this site.