Fourteen years on from The Incredibles, a sequel to Pixar’s hit animation has arrived – and it’s “worth the wait”.
That’s the verdict of the Hollywood Reporter, which praises its “engaging” characters and “deep supply of wit“.
Variety, though, says Brad Bird’s film – out in the US on Friday and the UK on 13 July – “is not… the great sequel” his 2004 original deserves.
Picking up where the first film left off, Incredibles 2 sees its cartoon clan of clandestine superheroes fight to have “supers” accepted again by society.
This involves Helen Parr going out to fight crime under her “Elastigirl” alter-ego, while husband Bob – aka “Mr Incredible” – stays home and minds the kids.
That’s easier said than done when you have a son who can run really, really fast, a daughter grappling with the problems of being a teenager and a baby only just discovering his own super powers.
Featuring the voices of Holly Hunter, Samuel L Jackson and Brad Bird himself, Incredibles 2 also sees the return of ice-generating do-gooder Frozone and superhero costumier Edna Mode.
The result, says the Washington Post, is an “engrossing and visually stunning adventure” that is “both pop-culture eye candy and a sly critique of it”.
Entertainment Weekly is similarly effusive about a sequel it says is both “an eye-popping delight” and “the weirdest Pixar movie ever“.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, reviewer Kenneth Turan says it is “unrealistic” to expect Incredibles 2 to have its predecessor’s “genre-busting surprise”.
Yet he nonetheless says the film is “as good as it can be” while also taking “advantage of the advances in computer animation since the first film came out.”
The 14 years between The Incredibles and its sequel have seen superhero movies from the Marvel and DC stables become international sensations.
It has also seen the establishment of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), which has seen its comic book protagonists periodically join forces and occasionally come to blows.
This year has already seen Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 win both critical praise and box office coin.
Yet while Incredibles 2 has taken its time to reach cinemas, it is far from the only animated follow-up to be guilty of dragging its heels.
- 11 years separate Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010), the second and third instalments in Pixar’s series of films about sentient toys
- 12 years separate Monsters, Inc. (2001) and its prequel Monsters University (2013). Both films are set in a world where monsters harvest human screams
- 13 years separate Pixar’s underwater adventure Finding Nemo (2003) and its sequel Finding Dory (2016)
- 13 years separate The Rescuers (1977), Disney’s first adaptation of Margery Sharp’s children’s novels, and The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
- 36 years separate The Jungle Book (1967), Disney’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s India-based stories, and The Jungle Book 2 (2003)
- 59 years separate Fantasia (1940), Disney’s experimental fusion of animation and classical music, and the very belated Fantasia 2000 (1999)
It doesn’t end there either. Last month Aardman announced it was making Chicken Run 2, 18 years on from the first film’s release.
A release date for the film has yet to be confirmed.