The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated superhero film written and directed by Brad Bird, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The film follows a family of superheroes who is forced to hide their powers and live a quiet suburban life. Mr. Incredible’s desire to help people draws the entire family into a battle with a villain and his killer robot.
Bird, who was Pixar’s first outside director, developed the film as an extension of 1960s comic books and spy films from his boyhood and personal family life. He pitched the film to Pixar after the box office disappointment of his first feature, The Iron Giant (1999), and carried over much of its staff to develop The Incredibles. The animation team was tasked with animating an all-human cast, which required creating new technology to animate detailed human anatomy, clothing and realistic skin and hair. Michael Giacchino composed the film’s orchestral score.
The film premiered on October 27, 2004, at the BFI London Film Festival and had its general release in the United States on November 5, 2004. The film performed well at the box office, grossing $633 million worldwide during its original theatrical run. The Incredibles was met with high critical acclaim, garnering high marks from professional critics, and provoking commentary on its themes. The film received the 2004 Annie Award for Best Animated Feature, along with two Academy Awards. It became the first entirely animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation.
The Incredibles is the first Pixar film to be scored by Michael Giacchino. Brad Bird was looking for a specific sound as inspired by the film’s design – the future as seen from the 1960s. John Barry was the first choice to do the film’s score, with a trailer of the film given a rerecording of Barry’s theme to On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. However, Barry did not wish to duplicate the sound of some of his earlier soundtracks; the assignment was instead given to Giacchino. Giacchino noted that recording in the 1960s was largely different from modern day recording and Dan Wallin, the recording engineer, said that Bird wanted an old feel, and as such the score was recorded on analog tapes. Wallin noted that brass instruments, which are at the forefront of the film’s score, sound better on analog equipment rather than digital. Wallin came from an era in which music was recorded, according to Giacchino, “the right way”, which consists of everyone in the same room, “playing against each other and feeding off each other’s energy”. Tim Simonec was the conductor/orchestrator for the score’s recording.
The film’s orchestral score was released on November 2, 2004, three days before the film opened in theaters. It won numerous awards for best score including Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award, BMI Film & TV Award, ASCAP Film and Television Music Award, Annie Award, Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award and Online Film Critics Society Award and was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media, Satellite Award and Broadcast Film Critics Association Award.