- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pixar’s latest animated mega blockbuster gets a super-powered release in the ultra-high definition format with Incredibles 2: Ultimate Collector’s Edition (Universal Studios Home Entertainment, rated PG-13, 114 minutes, 2.39:1 aspect ratio, $26.96).

Fourteen years after the popular first film, director Brad Bird returns to helm and write a sequel of the adventures of the Parr family — Bob (Mr. Incredible), Helen (Elastigirl), Violet (daughter with invisibility and force field powers), Dashiell (son with super speed) and Jack-Jack (an incendiary, interdimensional, laser beam-emitting toddler).

Now living in an age where superheroes are outlawed due to collateral damage issues after thwarting super villains, the family tries to lead a normal life but gets sucked back into crime fighting when very rich benefactors Winston Deavor and his sister Evelyn attempt to help.

Specifically, Mr. Deavor looks to orchestrate the public re-embracing of superheroes by empowering through positive press Helen fighting the mysterious Screenslaver while a jealous Bob becomes a super house dad.

As in the first film, the action scenes are epic, especially noted in an opening salvo as the Incredibles and Frozone stop an out-of-control train while Mr. Bird perfectly mixes humor, battles and the lives of superheroes in crisis.

The original voiceover cast returns including Craig T. Nelson as Bob, Holly Hunter as Helen, Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone and the director as the legendary costumer Edna Mode. Their performances are all above Parr with help from Bob Odenkirk as Winston and Catherine Keener as his sibling.

Suffice it to report, “Incredibles 2” delivers an entertaining fantasy comedy that will provide a fun-packed evening for the entire family. Let’s hope Mr. Bird does not wait another 14 years for the next adventure.

4K in action: Although it was thrilling to watch the film in UHD, upscaled from 2K format, it was odd that many scenes were darker than expected.

In fact, subdued lighting and plenty of haze made what should have been eye-popping colors less than super saturated. Even the outdoor blue skies basked in sunlight were just not as explosive blue as they could have been.

That reported, the lifelike costuming was stellar, just reference Elastigirl’s new dimpled silver outfit with foil red logo.

And, oddly, food shown was incredibly realistic. Scenes displaying egg rolls, sautéed broccoli, popcorn, a coffee pot, orange juice, waffles with syrup, strawberries and chocolate chip cookie looked pulled from a live-action movie.

Other detailed moments to savor included super villain Underminer’s rocky rubble lair, an indoor glistening waterfall in the Parr’s home, green radar lighting reflecting on Elastigirl’s costume and multiple scenes at dusk spotlighting amber and purplish hues.

Best extras: Fans get an avalanche of bonus content spread out over the included pair of Blu-ray discs.

First, keep the film fun going with a pair of cartoon shorts highlighting Auntie Edna spending a night with Jack-Jack and a mom taking care of a living dumpling (the later does not have to do with the “Incredibles” but is simply charming).

Next, Mr. Bird briefly stops by to introduce an optional commentary track offering animation supervisors Alan Barillaro, Dave Mullins and Tony Fucile, and animation second unit and crowd supervisor Bret Parker.

The group reflects on getting back together while discussing the new, improvements on animation styling of the film and the friendly team offers a near non-stop, thorough and informative deconstruction on all of the action.

Let’s continue with around two hours of production featurettes highlighted by a 20-minute homage to Mr. Bird from his fellow team members as well as his own reflections on his life and career. By the way, some artists at the Walt Disney Animation Studios actually mentored the future director.

I also enjoyed watching short cast and crew breakdowns of all of the lead characters including Elastigirl, Winston and the Wannabes super hero team as well as some faux vintage toy commercials featuring the core heroes.

Additionally, that total amount of extras includes 40 minutes of deleted scenes explained by Mr. Bird and presented in unfinished storyboard form.

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