Monday, April 11, 2011

Simply Incredible!

The Pixar migration to high definition continues as The Incredibles makes its Blu-Ray debut this week.  This is one that a lot of folks have been waiting for and it most definitely lives up to expectations.  Brad Bird's now classic retro-superhero tour de force screams brilliance even more so in a maximized home theater presentation that enhances the sharp, vibrant and often jaw-dropping visuals of this 2004 Oscar winner.  In this case, Pixar + Blu-Ray + Home Theater = Simply Incredible!

Pixar has a reputation for producing top-of-the-line DVD sets.  What is even more significant is that a Pixar DVD reissue, in this case The Incredibles, dramatically outshines a recent package for a brand new Disney film, that being Tangled.  It is embarrassing to say the least that the newly produced Blu-Ray special features for The Incredibles offers so much more than what consumers were given in total on the Tangled set.  In addition, all of the bonus features from the original Incredibles DVD have been included in the new Blu-Ray set.  It's a hefty batch of content spread across two discs, with a standard DVD and digital copy thrown in to boot.

What's new:

The Incredibles Revisited
This is a brand new roundtable discussion on the making of the film with Writer/Director Brad Bird, Producer John Walker, Story Supervisor Mark Andrews, Supervising Technical Director Rick Sayre, Production Designer Lou Romano, Character Designer Teddy Newton and Supervising Animator Tony Fucile.  It is a fun and often very funny conversational remembrance that is quite substantial in content and material, despite its twenty-five minutes length.  One especially interesting tidbit--the project was very nearly killed in the early going by a very high placed but unnamed Disney executive (Eisner?).

Paths to Pixar: Story Artists
Continued from previous Pixar DVDs, this series focuses on specific disciplines within Pixar, in this case, story artists.  Brief and succinct but still quite enlightening, the individuals showcased discuss their work, their career paths and the inspirations behind their efforts.

Studio Stories: Gary's Birthday
This hilarious series, also continued from previous Pixar DVDs, features a bare-bones animated vignette relating to the Incredibles production crew and how they solved the problem of too many birthday celebrations.

Ending with a Bang: Making the End Credits
The least of the newly produced features, this very brief piece provides interviews with Andy Jimenez and Teddy Newton about the creation of the film's end credits, which were inspired by Newton's own original production designs.

"The New Nomanisan" Island Redevelopment Plan
This interactive feature abounds with retro design and tongue-in-cheek humor.  It provides a guided tour of Nomanisan Island, now converted into vacation resort that still integrates Syndrome's infrastructure and robotic minions.

As noted, the set includes all the original and very extensive DVD bonus features, including most notably the animated shorts Boundin' and Jack-Jack Attack.

The 4-disc Blu-Ray Comb Pack includes two Blu-Ray discs, a Standard DVD and digital copy disc.