2018 Awards Profile: Brad Bird’s ‘Incredibles 2’ From Walt Disney Studios

FILM: “Incredibles 2”
PRODUCERS: John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle

DIRECTOR: Brad Bird
WRITER: Brad Bird

CAST: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Catherine Keener, Jonathan Banks, Bob Odenkirk, Brad Bird, John Ratzenberger, Sophia Bush and Isabella Rossellini

SYNOPSIS (From IMDB): Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.

WHY IT MIGHT SUCCEED:

Even the worst Pixar sequels have no problem summoning a kiddie stampede to theaters. With record-breaking views for its teaser last fall, 2004 might as well be a recent memory. When the original movie released that year, it redefined Pixar’s demographic position. Rather than feed off the nostalgia that “Toy Story” was providing, adults were taken aback by the authenticity of “The Incredibles'” family dynamics. Furthermore, its characters remind viewers that the true heroes are in the audience: parents who slave and sacrifice away so their kids can have the best life afforded to them, much less a ticket to see a Pixar gem.

“Incredibles 2” is poised to become the first Pixar sequel to win an Oscar for “Best Animated Feature” following the inaugural entry’s victory. “Shrek 2” was actually considered a strong competitor back at the 2005 Academy Awards ceremony. Next year should be even easier for the Parr family to secure their title. Only Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2” could potentially usurp. Anderson’s film has received enough pointed criticism for cultural appropriation to diminish its shot. If the first “Wreck-It Ralph” couldn’t triumph over Pixar’s humdrum “Brave,” its follow-up surely won’t surpass “Incredible 2’s” inevitable favoritism.

WHY IT MIGHT NOT SUCCEED:

Of the Pixar sequels released, only “Toy Story” has found critical success to either match or elevate the quality of its predecessor. “Monsters University,” “Cars 2” and “Finding Dory” failed to recapture the magic of the classics that birthed them. The sequels make occasional nostalgic nods, but mainly use plot as a way to differentiate rather than innovate. “Incredibles 2” could fall into the same unfortunate trench if the superhero angle becomes the focus instead of the core familial drama.

Speaking of the genre, “Incredibles 2” now exists in the age of superhero monopolization. Most kids checking out “Incredibles 2” will expect it to offer the same fantastical mythos that Marvel and DC excel at saturating. Brad Bird’s previous film, “Tomorrowland,” struggled to cement its identity because of its reliance on the past while ignoring its demographic’s mainstream taste. If this Pixar sequel can’t strike a balance between genre fulfillment and adult sensibility, it will wind up disappointing both sides of the movie aisle. Pixar remains a staple of excellence, but its inconsistency has been more noticeable of late. This pattern has worsened with the knowledge that Walt Disney Animation Studios has upped their game tremendously since the 2-D heydays. Let’s hope “Incredibles 2” goes the way of “Up” and “Toy Story 3” with the Academy.

Awards Potential:

  • Best Picture
  • Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Lead Actress — Holly Hunter
  • Sound Editing
  • Sound Mixing
  • Original Score
  • Original Song
  • Animated Feature
  • Film Editing

Share your thoughts on “Incredibles 2’s” awards prospects in the comments!