Mr. Incredible and Pals
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|Mr. Incredible and Pals|
A screenshot of the short film.
|Directed by||Roger L. Gould|
Brad Bird (commentary)
|Produced by||Ann Brilz|
Brad Bird (executive)
Osnat Shurer (executive)
|Written by||Roger Gould|
Brad Bird (commentary)
|Starring||Craig T. Nelson (commentary)|
Samuel L. Jackson (commentary)
|Narrated by||Roger L. Jackson|
|Music by||Alex Mandel|
|Edited by||Steve Bloom|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Home Entertainment|
|March 15, 2005|
Mr. Incredible and Pals is a 2005 American animated short film produced by Pixar which was included as a bonus feature on the DVD release of its 2004 feature film The Incredibles. It features the characters of Mr. Incredible and Frozone from the movie, plus a "cute animal" rabbit sidekick named Mister Skipperdoo, chasing and capturing the supervillain Lady Lightbug.
During this time, television animation studios were contracted to turn out high quantities of product on low budgets, which resulted in many television cartoons that have been derided and mocked by television critics, film and animation historians, and audiences in general. Mr. Incredible and Pals uses a number of the cost-saving techniques and tropes found in these shows, such as:
- Still shots of drawn scenes, rather than actual frame by frame animation.
- Actual footage of live actors' mouths moving instead of animated lips on the characters, a technique known as Synchro-Vox. The most well-known example of this form of "animation" was the Clutch Cargo series.
- A Cold War era plot pitting true, freedom-loving American superheroes against a stereotypical "Communist" supervillain.
- The sidekick being ensnared by the supervillain so that complete emphasis can be placed on the main hero, who nevertheless thanks the sidekick for his involvement in stopping the villain.
- Frozone speaking in forced "beatnik" slang, showing the out of touch depiction of minority characters in animated works at the time.
- A "cute animal" sidekick only added for "children's appeal." In this film, a glasses-wearing rabbit named Mister Skipperdoo does nothing but hop up and down, yet his actions are seen as crucial to solving the "mystery" that comprises the plot of the episode.
Mr. Incredible and Pals is the first of three short films produced by Pixar Animation Studios, which were animated in traditional 2D hand-drawn animation instead of computer animation. The second film, Your Friend the Rat, was produced in 2007, and included as part of the DVD release of Ratatouille. The third, Day & Night, produced in 2010, was theatrically released with Toy Story 3.
The latter two films feature a combination of hand-drawn and CGI animation.
The episode begins with Mr. Incredible, Frozone and Mr. Skipperdoo filling the viewers in on previous events. An evil villainess named Lady Lightbug (described by Mr. Incredible as "sinister, yet lovely") has stolen the West River Bridge, leaving cars stuck on both sides of the river. Resolving to amend the situation, Frozone builds a temporary bridge of ice and the three skate away to find their nemesis.
Arriving at an abandoned funfair, Mr. Incredible searches for Lady Lightbug by lifting up various objects while stating that she is not under any of them. Mr. Skipperdoo hops to point out that the missing bridge is behind him. Suddenly, Lady Lightbug flies out and informs them all of her evil plan to steal the free world's bridges, creating massive traffic jams and thus destroying their economies.
She then proceeds to shoot a line of radioactive silk out of her abdomen, ensnaring Frozone and leaving all as lost. Mr. Incredible throws a Ferris wheel at her, to which she dodges. He then hops in a roller coaster, which takes off flying toward Lady Lightbug. Mr Incredible then knocks her out of the air, defeating her.
The missing bridge is restored and everything returns to normal thanks to Mr. Incredible, Frozone and Mr. Skipperdoo; Mr. Incredible adds, "and democracy." The end of the episode features a brief teaser of the next episode which features a gigantic anthropomorphic ear of corn yelling, “I’ll crush you, Mr. Incredible!” before laughing evilly as the two prepare to fight.
- Roger Jackson as The Narrator/Evil Cornhead
- Pete Docter as Mr. Incredible
- Michael Asberry as Frozone
- Celia Shuman as Lady Lightbug
In addition to the many in jokes and animation references included in this film, Craig T. Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson provided a DVD commentary for the fictional show, acting in character as Mr. Incredible and Frozone as if sitting down and watching this for the first time in years.
The in-universe background behind Mr. Incredible and Pals stated that many years before the Supers were banned, Mr. Incredible and Frozone licensed their names and images to a television animation company, and this was the pilot episode for an animated television series that never aired due to the Super ban. The two supers are watching this pilot for the first time several years after it was produced.
The commentary of the two characters provides additional entertainment for the DVD's viewers, as they react with shock and disbelief to the poor quality of the film.
While Mr. Incredible appears to display only apathy for the show, Frozone is aghast and disgusted at its campiness and supposed racism (the show's version of himself appears to be white, or "tan" as Mr. Incredible puts it). He is also annoyed by Mr. Skipperdoo. By the end of the short, Frozone is so annoyed that he walks out of the commentary at the end, demanding the episode never be aired.
References in other media
The novel Incredibles 2: A Real Stretch: An Elastigirl Prequel Story mentions the film several times, referring to it as Mr. Incredible and Friends. In the novel, the film is something Mr. Incredible and Frozone are initially excited for. But after getting to watch it, Frozone immediately lambasts it for how it portrays him and the fact that the film makes them fight alongside a bunny. Mr. Incredible then speaks to Rick Dicker, the agent for the NSA Government, who agrees to shelve the film.
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