Incredibles 2 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, the movie boasted a flawless presentation.
At all times, sharpness remained rock solid. Not the slightest hint of softness materialized, so this was a precise, accurate image.
The movie showed no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and it lacked edge haloes. Of course, it came with no print flaws or artifacts either.
Incredibles 2 largely went with the modern trend toward orange and teal, though it threw in more primary colors as well. These appeared vivid and full, with excellent delineation.
Blacks came across as deep and dense, while shadows were clear and smooth. I felt highly impressed by this terrific image.
Almost as good, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack worked very well. From the opening battle with Underminer to all the other action beats, the soundscape used the various channels well.
This meant information that popped up all around the room in logical spots, and the material blended smoothly, with strong panning and movement. Music showed fine stereo presence, and we even got some satisfying localized speech on occasion.
Audio quality seemed positive, with speech that came across as natural and distinctive. Music was bold and brassy, as the movie’s Bond-influenced score brought out lively material.
Effects added spark to the proceedings, as they seemed accurate and full, with deep low-end along for the ride. The film came with an impressive soundtrack.
Expect a bunch of extras on the two-Blu-ray set, and on the movie disc, we get an audio commentary with animation supervisors Dave Mullins, Alan Barillaro, and Tony Fucile and animation 2nd unit/crowd supervisor Bret Parker. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific look at design, characters and animation issues.
Writer/director Brad Bird introduces the track and claims we don’t need another director’s commentary, so he thinks we’ll learn more from an animators’ chat. He’s wrong.
I enjoyed prior Pixar commentaries because they offered a great mix of both technical and creative topics, whereas this one leans heavily toward the former. That’s not a fatal flaw, but it robs the track of potential richness.
This means we get a lot of notes about animation domains but not a ton related to the other domains. While we learn some useful information, the end result seems a bit stiff and technical.
I remain disappointed the always interesting Bird punted and skipped the commentary session. This becomes a decent piece but it doesn’t work as well as most Pixar tracks.
We do focus on Bird during the 18-minute, 50-second Strong Coffee. In this featurette, we hear from Bird, Barillaro, Mullins, Parker, producers Nicole Paradis Grindle and John Walker, animation technical coordinator Elizabeth Thorsen, crowds animator Nicole Ridgwell, executive assistant to the director Amy Ellenwood, production designer Ralph Eggleston, character art director Matt Nolte, and animators Frank Abney III, Lance Fite, Lindsay Andrus, and Adam Burke.
“Coffee” looks at Bird’s history in animation as well as his approach to filmmaking. A lot of this generates praise for the director but we get enough insights to make it a useful piece.
Two animated shorts follow. Bao played ahead of Incredibles 2 theatrically and runs seven minutes, 41 seconds.
A lonely, aging woman creates a child out of a dumpling. Yeah, that’s a weird concept, and one that flops pretty badly, as Bao seems way more creepy than charming.
New to the Blu-ray, Auntie Edna goes for five minutes, eight seconda and lets us see what happened during the evening Edna babysat Jack-Jack. It delivers a fun adventure.
Disc One concludes with Sneak Peeks. This domain includes ads for Ralph Breaks the Internet, the 4K UHD for Incredibles and Pixar Short Films Collection 3.
Over on Disc Two, we open with a featurette called Super Stuff. It runs six minutes, 36 seconds and provides comments from Fite, Bird, Eggleston, Walker, Grindle, set designer Paul Abadilla, previs lead Philip Metschan, character tailoring lead Fran Kalal, character and costume designer Deanna Marsigliese, story supervisor Ted Mathot, animator MontaQue Ruffin, and actor Sophia Bush.
“Stuff” approaches various design choices and the depiction of super powers. It’s an informative overview.
A continuation of a series from earlier releases, Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes lasts 11 minutes, 40 seconds and features Bird, Grindle, Kalal, Mullins, Ellenwood, international production director Cynthia Lusk, story artist Dean Kelly, animators Becki Tower, Jessica and Dave Torres and Lindsay and Kevin Andrus, production management coordinator Emily Davis, home entertainment supervisor Eric Pearson, animator Sequoia Blankenship, character supervisor Bill Wise, executive assistant to the director Morgan Karadi, production manager Sabine Koch O’Sullivan, 2nd film editor Anthony J. Greenberg, lighting artist Charu Clark, effects artist Keith Klohn, simulation supervisor Tiffany Erickson Klohn, associate editor Katie Schaefer Bishop, technical directors Kim and Patrick James, sets shading artist Colin Thompson, executive assistant Victoria Manley Thompson, and actors Samuel L. Jackson and Craig T. Nelson.
We learn about how real-life experiences impacted the work by the Incredibles 2 crew. It occasionally feels a bit self-serving but it provides some good insights.
Entitled Superbaby, a four-minute, 57-second piece includes musicians Paige and Frankie from “Bizaardvark”. They chat with Fucile, shading art director/costume designer Bryn Imagire, effects supervisor Bill Watral and directing animator Evan Bonifacio.
“Superbaby” looks at topics related to Jack-Jack, but it does so in the most annoying way possible. “Bizaardvark” rap their way through much of the show, and the Pixar folks spout prescripted lines that rhyme. We do get a few decent notes, but the obnoxiousness of the presentation makes it tough to watch.
With Ralph Eggleston: Production Designer, we get a two-minute, seven-second clip with Eggleston. He delivers a very brief view of his job. It’s a brief but enjoyable reel.
Up next comes Making Bao, a six-minute, two-second program with writer/director Domee Shi. She brings us some basics about the short. Shi offers a decent synopsis of a few topics.
Under the banner of Heroes & Villains, we information about eight character domains. With a total running time of 25 minutes, 35 seconds, these cover Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, Jack-Jack, Frozone, Edna, Winston Deaver, Evelyn Deaver, Screenslaver and the “Wannabes”.
Across these, we hear from Nelson, Barillaro, Abney, Grindle, Bird, Mathot, Fucile, Nolte, Jackson, Walker, Imagire, Marsigliese, Eggleston, Bush, Bird’s wife Liz, and actors Sarah Vowell, Holly Hunter, Bob Odenkirk, and Catherine Keener.
We get a variety of notes on the various roles, with info about design and performance choices. These become useful and engaging overviews.
Under Vintage Features, two domains arrive. “Vintage Toy Commercials” shows “ads” for Mr. Incredible (0:32), Elastigirl (0:32) and Frozone (0:32), while “Character Theme Songs” covers tunes for the same three characters. Each “Song” runs 32 seconds as well.
That’s because the “Songs” simply offer modified versions of the “Commercials”. All of these seem mildly fun but not great.
10 Deleted Scenes come next, and including a one-minute, six-second intro from Brad Bird, these take up a total of 39 minutes, 44 seconds. Note that each sequence also comes with more introductory remarks from Bird.
As for the scenes themselves, they offer some interesting material. We see the immediate aftermath of the Parr house’s destruction as well as a follow-up with babysitter Kari.
We also see alternate ideas for other heroes as well as various character beats like Frozone’s wife and general exposition for our leads. A lot of these seem pretty good; they may not have improved the film, but they’re quality snippets nonetheless.
Finally, the package provides more ads. We get three trailers - two “global”, one Japanese – as well as a four-minute, three-second collection of Super Moments. These are short interstitials that feature various characters to promote the film. They’re enjoyable.
A third disc provides a DVD copy of Incredibles 2. It includes Bao and the commentary.
On its own, Incredibles 2 brings us a fairly entertaining superhero tale. However, it doesn’t match up with the first film, and it seems a little stale too much of the time. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio along with a fairly good compilation of bonus materials. I recommend Incredibles 2 despite some complaints, but it’s not as good as I’d hoped it’d be.