Category Archives: Children & Family

Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Toy Story 4 continues the adventures of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear along with their old friends now living in Bonnie’s Room. All our old favorites are back, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as the bosom buddy toys are joined by Jessie, Rex, Ham, Slinky Dog, Potato Head as well as Dolly, Trixie, and Mr Picklepants from part three.Director: Josh Cooley
Writers: John Lasseter (original story by), Andrew Stanton (original story by
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

Moviie Couple here! We went to see Toy Story 4 this weekend! Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies! We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film experts we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!

Toy Story 4 continues the adventures of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear along with their old friends now living in Bonnie’s Room. All our old favorites are back, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as the bosom buddy toys are joined by Jessie, Rex, Ham, Slinky Dog, Potato Head as well as Dolly, Trixie, and Mr Picklepants from part three.

Bonnie is growing up and getting ready for Kindergarten. She is fearful and as a way of coping creates an arts and crafts toy named Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). Remember, we do not spoil films here, but suffice to say Forky is very important to Bonnie and Woody and Buzz are there to help him learn the importance of his new position.
Along the way (You’ve seen this in trailers) there is a road trip to a carnivale, the return of Bo Peep (Annie Potts)! New toys (both friends and enemies met along the way) including Ducky and Bunny (Key and Peele of comedy and film fame), Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and Duke Caboom (voiced by the one and only John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves!).

The film is directed by Josh Cooley. Cooley’s only directing work until this point was two Pixar shorts. Toy Story is a grand road trip adventure with a lot to say about growing up, finding one’s place in the world and how it’s never too late to make a change. Pretty deep stuff for a kids movie seen through the eyes of animated children’s toys! Does it work? Will the kids love it? How about the older generation that grew up on Woody and Buzz? Is this one Toy Story too many? Queue up the Randy Newman music, grab your favorite old stuffed animal or blanky and lets hurry to find out! Let’s get to the reviews!
So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple: Truth be told, I was expecting this to be just a huge cash grab for Disney Studios. It’s common knowledge that the theme parks just recently opened an entire area of rides dedicated to the Toy Story characters. So the timing couldn’t be any better for the Mouse House. And didn’t we really get a great conclusion to the Toy Story “Trilogy” already? Is there any reason other than money for this film to exist? I mean really? (Said in my best Tom Hanks voice). Well Actually…There is!

Can the writers come up with one last story worth filming? In the soon to be immortal catch phrase of Duke Caboom “Yes, They Can..ada!” You’ll get that after you’ve seen the movie. This film grows Woody and gives our favorite toy sheriff an actual character arc to complete! By the films end (Which we will absolutely not be spoiling) Woody grows and learns more about who he is than he did in all three of the other films.

As with all Toy Story films, we get emotions out of our shared nostalgic experience of having beloved toys of our own growing up, and this is no different. But beyond just enjoying seeing Woody, Buzz and the gang again, we meet new toys with all new personalities and the return of a missing original. Make no mistake, Bo Peep is a star in this film! She is the new hero of this world and its not in a forced, shoehorned way that the Marvel films have been using to show that their world isn’t just for boys. Bo Peep is heroic without taking anything away from Woody or the others we have grown to love. She just is amazing with nothing to prove. She is a favorite and Annie Potts shines as her voice!

I have to talk about the new toys besides the returning Bo. They are all a welcome addition to the team. The comedy and friend team of Key and Peele lend their voices and I’m sure comic talents to the film as Duck and Bunny. These two plush carnival toys provide some of the funniest sequences and had me laughing out loud. Gabby Gabby, voiced by Christina Hendricks, is the antagonist in the film (no spoiling you can tell by posters and trailers), but like the best antagonists we totally understand her motivations! She is like a Toy Thanos, in her reasoning, not her power level. Let’s not get carried away. We even get a new action toy ala Buzz in Duke Caboom, Canada’s Daredevil Stunt Rider (Think a Canadian version of the old Evel Knievel toy from back in the day) voiced perfectly by Keanu Reeves.

While maybe not as complex, as Inside Out or Toy Story 3, I found this to be an emotional conclusion to the Toy Story Saga (It’s a Saga after 3 films right?) I must admit I got something in my eye at the end. It caused me to tear up and Mrs. Moviie Couple could have sworn I was crying. I will not confirm or deny. Just a great film to end the series on. After four great pulls from this well, I do believe the well is dry, but I’ll never say never. I give Toy Story 4 5 Bills!

Mrs. Moviie Couple: Adored this movie! She was happy to once again see a girl in a position of action and power to inspire the young ones out there! She found Bo Peep to be a great heroic role model for the young girls in the audience! She wanted to warn some parents that Gabby Gabby’s “henchmen” toy dummies could be frightening for younger viewers. She found them unsettling and she’s an adult. Just a precaution to parents. She loved the themes. She found the movie to be all about Parenting (Woody having to parent a young Forky), friendship (as always in these movies), seasons of life and a little bit of romance thrown in. A very well rounded film!. These themes promote children to keep trying, think in unconventional ways and to see change as a good thing rather than with anxiety or fear.

She liked how Woody and Buzz learned to adapt and enjoyed Forky as an out of the box creation! She knows how many young children can create toys with imagination and it has just as much meaning as a store bought toy and felt that was a great concept to bring into the Toy Story world. It was all done with great humor as well!
She feels the best age group for this movie is ages 5 and up! There were kids younger in the theatre and they were bored and running about! She really loved this film, but also felt the closure found at the conclusion of this one should herald the end. It was an emotional finish! Nothing more needs to be said! She also gives Toy Story 5 Bills!

On the way home, We talked all about the journey of Woody and Buzz, the new characters, the perfect ending (one that seems perfect for those older kids that grew up with the toy buddies) that may or may not have brought me to a few tears. We agreed it was far Beyond (Infinity?) our expectations! While not racing to see it in theatres again, we will be adding it to our video catalogue and highly recommend this movie. Well worth the money spent and a great night out at the movies! I give it 5 Bills, just a great conclusion to a great franchise. The Mrs. gives it 5 Bills! She loved the messages and the growth of the beloved characters! So we have a solid 5 Bills! Highly recommended!

Till next time, Check for snakes in your boots pardner, and always set your sights to Infinity and Beyond! Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review! Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

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Aladdin (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Aladdin Review

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: John August (screenplay by), Guy Ritchie (screenplay by)
Stars: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott

Moviie Couple here!  We have added an I to how we spell Moviie, that’s not a mistake!  Because with the Moviie Couple you always have 2 eyes on one movie!  Two distinct perspectives!  We went to see Aladdin this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.

Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Aladdin is a live action retelling of the animated Disney classic of the same name.  Of course even if you grew up in a Tibetan Monastery and have never seen the Disney classic, you probably still know the story of Aladdin and the Lamp, so spoiler protection will not be at it’s highest level.  “Street Rat” Aladdin gets involved in Royal politics, after run ins with the Sultan’s beautiful daughter, Jasmine,  and his Vizier Jafar.  There is a Cave of Wonders, a Magic Lamp just begging to be rubbed, an all powerful Genie, a flying carpet and yes, a monkey sidekick!  Since this is based on the Disney feature we also get new interpretations of classic songs as well as a timely new one!  Betrayals!  Romance!  Comedy!  Broadway worthy musical numbers!  Bollywood-like dance numbers!  What else could we ask for?  Mena Massoud stars as the title hero Aladdin.  Naomi Scott portrays Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari is featured as the villainous Jafar.

Uncredited, we have performances by Carpet and Abu, so don’t worry the gang’s all here.  And last, but certainly not least, Will Smith brings the Genie to life!  Guy Ritchie, yes THAT Guy Ritchie, directs this adaptation.  Ritchie does a good job of puling off a near (I said near not exact) beat for beat live reenactment of the animation classic most love and cherish.  He does pull out a surprise or two, not included in the original and manages to change the end of the tale in a very cool and modern way.  Since there is very little you won’t know going in, we will not spoil the little changes.  Trust us that they are great and wait to enjoy them yourselves.  The real pressure is on Mr. Smith.  Let’s be honest, anyone chosen to step into the legendary shoes of Robin Williams would be taking on an very unenviable position.  Not only have we lost this comic legend far too soon, but his performance as the Genie from Aladdin is near animation perfection.

For many adults that grew up with his interpretation of the Genie it is the quintessential version.  Does Wil Smith’s take on the Genie live up to the legacy?  Does he drop the ball like a lay up on the courts of Philly?  Or does his performance rise to Bell Aire levels?  Sorry couldn’t help my self with that one.  But the question of just how Smith’s Genie comes across looms over the entirety of this movie?  The internet proved that after the first trailer broke.  All the classic numbers are here and a particularly good new one.  The sets and costuming is impeccable!  This really feels like the world of Aladdin.  Enough with the basics, let us review our journey to Agrabah!  Keep your pet monkeys close, hop on a carpet and fly with us to a Whole New World and let us tell you what the Mr and Mrs thought of Aladdin!

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  I did not expect much from this film.  I am a fan of the original Disney animated features, so Disney live action updates really don’t appeal to me.  Beauty and The Beast really set the bar even lower than my already low expectations.  But boy was this a pleasant surprise!  The acting of Massoud and Scott really grabbed me early!  Massoud looks and preforms as if Aladdin leaped to life from the drawn pictures!  Scott, despite some internet displeasure, is a wonderful Jasmine!  Their chemistry was felt and the two actors sold the attraction. Jafar was far less effeminate than on the animation page and felt like a truly dangerous man due to his past and ambition.  As a matter of fact, I may be wrong, but in a few sections of dialogue I learned more of Jafar’s background than I remember being in the classic.  Could be wrong though, been a long time since I’ve rewatched it.

Let’s get to the Elephant in the room, Will Smith!  Is he Robin Williams? NO!  Of course not, but he makes the Genie role his own.  This isn’t the same Genie as Robin Williams’ was.  Its a different Genie with a different personality and thanks to the charisma and performance of Mr. Smith it works!  Smith’s winning personality shines through in subtle lyric adjustments to the songs we all know and love!  And this Genie has a plot thread that pays off in a very nice and cool way.  The musical numbers as serviceable to very good.  Friend Like Me, is decent but doesn’t come close to the original.  One Step Ahead and Prince Ali are very good, especially the parade and dancing in Ali. Whole New World is outstanding!  Speechless, a new song created for Princess Jasmine is phenomenal!  Scott kills it and it is a worthy addition among these beloved songs!  I found myself enjoying this even though I was constantly comparing it to the original.  If I had to nit pick, I’d say it seemed a bit long in the middle and Abu and Carpet seemed to lose some of the sweetness we all fell in love with in the original, but like Beauty and the Beast before it, this film proves its far easier to add personality to animals and inanimate objects on paper than with special effects.  Still with a modern twist to the final scene and outcome and some surprises most didn’t see coming, Aladdin was a pleasant surprise thanks to a fantastic cast and some great tweaks to the end story!  Smith and Kenzari seem to be taking lumps on the internet for their portrayals, but I found them both excellent!  I left loving it

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  She loved it!    Understand in advance, Mrs. Moviie Couple is a huge Disney Devotee.  She was also so glad to be seeing something not comic book related!  No one tell her Aladdin and the Magic Lamp was an early type of comic book (tale told to entertain) she was so happy to go!  She enjoyed all the characters and their performances!  She loved all the new musical productions and absolutely adored Jasmine’s new song Speechless!  She wasn’t expecting a new song and was truly taken by it!  Robin Williams will always be Robin Williams, but she really enjoyed Will Smith’s version of the Genie.  She liked that he had a character arc in this version beyond that of granter of wishes.  She also made me promise to mention that she feels that much like a fine wine, Mr. Smith gets better with age and loved the  muscular physique of his Genie (have to ask her more about that later, but a promise is a promise).  She approved of the younger Jafar and found him to be a good villain, but missed a certain transformation from the original animated film.  In her own words: “I would go see that again in a heartbeat!”  Tough to get better than that in a recommendation!

On the way home, we continued to talk about the new song and the actors that played the parts of characters we grew to love. The entire car ride home was filled with praise, so I’d say it was a unanimous positive this week!  The drive home always clarifies how we felt about a movie.  Silence is not golden, silence is bad.  We were never silent about Aladdin.  I give it 5 Bills, easy. The Mrs. gives it 6 Bills!, a first for her!   So we give Aladdin 5 solid Bills!  I say take my money!  It was One Step Ahead of the competition!  She says Wow!  The film took her to whole new world!  Take her money!  She wants to go again!  So we’ll go with an average of Really Good to Wow!  Money well spent/Take our money again!.

So until the next date night, which looks like a coin flip between The King of the Monsters or a King of Piano Rock!  Check our clue on our website to see which is next!  We will see you next time!  Moviie Coupe out!

Smallfoot (2018) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Smallfoot

Directors: Karey Kirkpatrick, Jason Reisig (co-director)
Writers: Karey Kirkpatrick (screenplay by), Clare Sera (screenplay by)
Stars: Channing Tatum, James Corden, Zendaya, Common, Danny DeVito

Smallfoot is an animated film by Warner Bros (Warner Animation Group’s 5th feature film)  that is about a Yeti named Migo (Tatum) who is convinced that the elusive creatures known as “humans” really do exist and must prove of their existence to his Yeti Tribe. Set at the top of the mountains the tribe live their life in isolation keeping with their traditions of observing and obeying their beliefs which are set in stone, Migo after witnessing a “Smallfoot” goes against his people and beliefs that there is no such thing and is banished as an outsider by the tribe and the Stonekeeper (Common). To prove to his people Migo sets out on a quest to prove the existence and once again be accepted by his community with the help of his friend Meechee (Zendaya) and the S.E.S (Smallfoot Evidentiary Society)

While this is all happening we are introduced to the Smallfoots….oh wait, I mean the Humans and their side of the story. Enter Percy (Corden) who along with his television crew and looking for their next big news story. Percy is kind of like the Steve Irwin of his times. His interest and care into wildlife with integrity is what captured the publics imagination of him and his shows, but with failing viewers now, Percy comes up with a plan to trick the audience into thinking he comes across a Yeti (His colleague Brenda played by Yara Shahidi dressing up as a Yeti) and is convinced this will spiral him back in the big time.

This is where both civilisations meet accidentally and I have to admit I thought Percy was going to be the villain of the movie or at a stretch, be the one who captures or exposes the Yetis to the Humans and maybe have some kind of moral dilemma at the films peak. Unfortunately there isn’t really a villain here. Smallfoot is more about acceptance and tolerance and to be fair I think Kirkpatrick and Sera get there message across without it being too taxing or forced. The story is also interesting enough as things unfold the tribe and the Storekeeper have been keeping a few things back from their people in regards to humans which I will keep spoiler free.

Tatum now in his fourth animated film after The Lego Movie, The Lego Batman Movie and The Book of Life is good as the main character Migo. The character is likeable and Tatum delivers the lines to suit the characterises of a vulnerable Yeti seeking acceptance by his people and the humans. Some of the scenes with his father played by Danny Devito are well written and gives us an inside into the working minds of the Yeti Tribe and the conflict in their beliefs.

Corden as Percy is just James Corden and what he does best. Like him or not, he has the enthusiastic zing to carry his characters in animated films. Look at his work in Trolls or the Emoji Movie. Not exactly amazing films, but he leaves his presence and he does this here again. Setting up Percy in those early stages of the story could have gone another way and I’m sure Corden would have done well in portraying him as a villain, but credit where it is due, he equally carries the human aspect of the story through the character and for once doesn’t take over the screen.

Zendaya like Corden manages to add energy into her character of Meechee. There are hints of Anna Kendrick’s Poppy from Trolls in her delivery and this is due to the characters optimism over her beliefs of Human Existence. Zendaya’s Meechee is also the daughter of the Stonekeeper, so there is conflict between them and a strained relationship.

From a filming point of view I liked the look and feel to the film. Yes it is self contained in two settings, that of the mountain top and the city below, but it looks stunning and the CG animation looks great in its backdrop and characters. I also loved the communication technique the filmmakers went with in how both Yeti and Human hear each other (to each other, not the audience members) From the Yeti perspective we hear the humans are squeaking high-pitched beings and from the human point of view we experience that the Yetis are all growls and roars. Thankfully this little trick isn’t overused and I can confidently say that you will get a little laugh out of that technique.

Overall, Smallfoot is a delightful animated film that comes in at 1 hour and 36 minutes. I’m telling you that, the time will fly in as the story is compelling and the characters are relatable and likeable. It is about understanding and acceptance and if you have a young family I would recommend taking them along as the kids will enjoy it. Recommended.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie (2004) Movie Retro Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Spongebob

Directors: Stephen Hillenburg, Mark Osborne
Writers: Stephen Hillenburg (television series SpongeBob SquarePants), Stephen Hillenburg (story)
Stars: Tom Kenny, Jeffrey Tambor, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Rodger Bumpass, Carolyn Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Alec Baldwin, David Hasselhoff

Nickelodeon could have really made a hash of this beloved character and show and Hollywoodised the transfer from animated television show to cinema. Thankfully that wasn’t the case and everything you loved about the tv series remains in this 2004 release. Okay it attracted a few stars in Alec Baldwin and Scarlett Johansson, who merely are supporting voice actors here to the established cast.

Why am I doing a Movie Review on “The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie”? Simple answer is my daughter asked me to do it and if I’m being honest there is a little self indulgence thrown in as I think the television series although mainly aimed at children cater for the child in most adults too. In the film, there’s no difference.

So the plot to the movie is SpongeBob SquarePants (Tom Kenny) takes leave from the town of Bikini Bottom in order to track down King Neptune’s (Jeffrey Tambor) stolen crown with his trusty friend Patrick (Bill Fagerbakke) at his side in this very funny adventure. To be honest the plot was always going to be simple and effective, more importantly was, could Stephen Hillenburg and Mark Osborne maintain a steady flow of humour for the duration of the film? Could they keep the audience who were used to a 23 minutes sketch interested long enough? The answer to both questions was yes and yes. 

Hillenburg and Osborne manage to have a gag almost every 20 seconds throughout. It’s something to be able to achieve this but to keep the story rolling merely forward without the humour taking you out of the plot is something that they appear to manage with ease. I always thought that 20 odd minute animated shows shouldn’t try this format as it’s difficult to maintain, I was certainly wrong here but perhaps not in the release of The Simpson’s Movie that came out a few years after this release my fears came true. The Simpson’s still is a very funny show but perhaps hit a blip when they decided to have an overblown plot that didn’t suit or match the TV show. This is why I think The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie succeeds. It doesn’t try too hard to appear as a movie, but more as 4 episodes of the same story continuing without a break. There is some terrific writing in here that is comedy at its best but also one of the saddest scenes you will experience in animation when Spongebob and Patrick are dehydrating their ways to certain death that precursors the incinerator scene from Toy Story 3.

The cast have been very tight in the last 2 decades on the show and the latter movie releases. Here they have that same energy and I’m still trying to process Clancy Brown voicing the very funny Mr. Krabs. The same Clancy Brown who played a bad ass prison guard in The Shawshank Redemption a decade earlier. There is a line in the movie that cracks me up in his line delivery in the opening of his new restaurant “The Krusty Krab 2” in which he openly admits to the press that he loves money “Hello, I’m Mr. Krabs, and I like money” to which the reporter asks why he is opening a second Krusty Krab restaurant, Mr. Krabs simply replies “Money” This line of course will never do it any justice in a Movie Review as it’s down to Clancy Brown’s voice and Mr. Krabs demented face that have my daughter and I in stitches every time.

Tom Kenny as the ever youthful voice of Spongebob never loses that spritely zing and flair that comes with the ever energetic character that is Spongbob Squarepants. Those opening scenes of disbelief of not receiving an assumed promotion are some of the best voice work from Kenny. From ever optimist to depressed sponge in a matter of moments is funny and emotional at the same time. Kenny along with Fagerbakke are an amazing double act in Spongebob and Patrick and it’s both these actors who carry the film throughout. It is after all their adventure and the stakes couldn’t be higher in a life or death quest to retrieve The King’s Crown .

Overall, The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is a brilliant funny comedy that is aimed at the whole family and although the title and character name is assuming at times as a kids character I can guarantee all ages will enjoy this adventure. Hillenburg and Osborne done well not to fall into the trap of blowing their formula out of proportion and kept the story simple with the writing clever and layered. If you aren’t a fan or have never watched the television series it doesn’t matter. The film is a self contained joy and newer audiences will get a kick out of the film. Highly recommend.

Mary and the Witch’s Flower (2017) Movie Review By Steven Wilkins

Mary and the Witches Flower
Meari to majo no hana (original title)

Directors: Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Giles New
Writers: Mary Stewart (based on the novel “The Little Broomstick” by) (as Mearî Suchuâtô), Riko Sakaguchi (screenplay by)
Stars: Hana Sugisaki, Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Yûki Amami, Ruby Barnhill, Kate Winslet, Jim Broadbent, Ewen Bremner

This animated feature is beautiful but lacks a little bit of punch story wise. Centered around the title character, Mary is a young, fiery redhead girl that stumbles upon the Fly-by-Night flower which when “popped” gives its bearer temporary magical powers.  After finding a lone broomstick in the woods and releasing said magic upon the handle, she’s whisked off to a school for witches where, due to her being a child of red hair, she excels at complex level witchcraft.  In time, mysteries unravel surrounding herself and the teachers especially, of the school and its up to Mary to solve and save the day.  By no means is this a horrible view but it is relatively forgettable in the end.

Grade: C

Incredibles 2 (2018) Movie Review By John Walsh

Incredibles 2

Director: Brad Bird
Writer: Brad Bird
Stars: Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell 

A couple of weeks ago, I blathered away about sequel syndrome, the movie studios obsessive urge to fire them out and why I wasn’t a fan of them in general. The main reason being that they’re often at the expense of a great, self contained story. The original Incredibles, now fourteen years old, was the perfect example of an intelligent, slick and fun standalone film. Of course, it gave us that memorable cliff hanger ending with the Underminer and everyone assumed there would be a sequel shortly afterwards.

The film was a complete financial success too, which normally would solidify a second chapter being green lighted, but it remained a wonderful singular entity for over a decade. 

That is until Brad Bird, the director and writer, finally had a creative jolt or some kind of epiphany and penned a screenplay worthy of continuing our lovable, goofy, group of heroes journey. I only discovered the new films existence late last year. The first Edna teaser somehow evaded my glance, but needless to say, when I finally found out there was to be an Incredibles 2, I was absolutely ecstatic. I’m contradicting myself with that one, I know, but some sequels just demand to be made and this is most definitely one of those examples. 

There’s always that danger of damaging or forever corrupting the enjoyment of the original with a shitty made sequel though, but this is Brad Bird we’re talking about here. He gets this wacky universe of chaos and superhero bans. 

After watching Incredibles 2, I’m very pleased to say that he hasn’t ruined the enjoyment of the original. If anything, he’s enhanced that story, because it picks up right at that moment the Underminer burrows out of the ground and seamlessly blends the two together. Think of a better executed version of Back to the Future 2’s opener and you’ll be on the money. Our familial superheroes spring into attack with an exhilarating, flurry of action. The city is brutalised in the process and worse still, the antagonist manages to escape, leaving the good guys to carry the can. 

There’s something magical about a Pixar animated film. The artistry of the visuals is undeniable and a total joy to see on the big screen, but they also have that uncanny ability of attracting a wide spread of demographics, as the crossing of the £1bn mark in record time will testify. The reason is fairly obvious too. They take a simple concept, mesh it with stunning visuals and an undercurrent of deeper themes, and in doing so manage to connect with toddlers through to great grandparents. It’s been done in Coco and even the non-Pixar Paddington films recently, and the very same thing is at work in Incredibles 2.

The film is split into two distinct perspectives. Firstly, you’ve got the more simple, superficial plot of Elastigirl taking on the antogonist Screenslaver whilst fighting to empower and legalise superheroes, which were famously banned in the first film. But underneath that, is quite a powerful message about the dangers of modern society’s obsession with consuming tv and also just the obvious message of empowering everyone in society, regardless of their gender, sexuality and so on. Secondly, is Bob Parr’s simplistic plot of juggling parental duties whilst enviously watching his wife take the spotlight. Underneath is an equally powerful message about the complexity of parenthood and the difficulties of multitasking that comes with it. 

Stepping away from the deeper, more cerebral meanings though, it’s just an incredibly fun, quick paced and riveting story. All of the characters we loved from the original are back, barring one obvious villain, and each are given their own moments to shine.

Elastigirl was the most prominently featured. She’s obviously the most level headed of the family, which makes her the default ambassador for Winston Deavor’s drive for superhero acceptance. Jack Jack was by far my favourite however. The overwhelming majority of laughs came from his antics. The raccoon fight in the backyard was hilarious, as was the bonding session with Edna and the edible lavender, fire retardant moment. He was a little, combustible, Swiss Army knife of powers and I loved it. Bob was also enjoyable, he cut an exhausted figure for the most part, trying to help Dash with maths, keeping Violet from having an emotional breakdown and a toiling with Jack Jack. 

Frozone was sadly limited to a handful of admittedly action packed flourishes, but listen, Samuel L embodies the character and I love him. The villain, Screenslaver was cool enough, without ever troubling Syndrome as the best we’ve seen in the universe. The identity twist was telegraphed, but the character was complex for the genre and I could once again understand the ignorance that drove her actions and motivations much like in the first film. There’s was also some cool new additional superheroes that popped up and the one with the portal power in particular was a standout. 

I absolutely loved the action sequences throughout. The runaway train and the way Elastigirl stopped it gave me Spider-Man vibes, the raccoon fight was up there and the climatic battle was incredibly enjoyable. It had everything, from the skydiving, seat ejecting, an oversized toddler smashing through walls, propeller tampering, ice skating to just amazingly put together animation. The way they all cooperated to stop the gigantic ship from slamming into the city, harkened up memories of the frantic rush to rid Thanos of his gauntlet on Titan in Infinity War. The final ten minutes or so was like the entirety of good stuff seen in the film in a microcosm. 

I had been waiting to see this film for over a decade and there was a point when I didn’t think it would happen. Bird had been quoted as saying that he’d only do it if the story was bang on, which is admirable in today’s movie business. It was definitely worth the wait, however, I don’t think it quite topped the original. It’s a cracking film though. It was a visually stunning bit of escapism, that featured great voice acting, the exploration of complex themes, mixed in with some genuinely hilarious antics and light hearted fun. 

I don’t even need to recommend this film. If you’ve seen the original, it’s more of the same. If you haven’t seen the original then have a word with yourself. 

Rating: 5/5