Mr. Incredible and Pals is an animated short film produced by Pixar, and included as a bonus on the DVD edition of its 2004 feature film, The Incredibles. It features the characters of Mr. Incredible and Frozone from the movie, plus a "cute animal" rabbit sidekick named Mister Skipperdoo.
The film is produced in a style of limited animation that intentionally parodies the low-budget, low-quality Saturday morning cartoons that aired regularly during the era of the 1950s and 1960s. During this time, TV animation studios were contracted to turn out high quantities of product on low budgets, and this resulted in a large number of shows that have been derided and mocked by TV critics, film and animation historians, and audiences in general. Mr. Incredible and Pals provides examples of this style of low-budget TV animation, which produced such stereotypical fare as:
- Still shots of drawn scenes, rather than actual frame-by-frame animation.
- Actual footage of live actors' mouths moving instead of animated lips on the characters, a technique known as Synchro-Vox. The most well-known example of this form of "animation" was the Clutch Cargo series.
- A Cold War-era plot pitting the true, freedom-loving American superheroes Mr. Incredible and Frozone against a stereotypical "Communist" supervillain, Lady Lightbug.
- The sidekick is ensnared by the supervillain and there is complete emphasis on the main hero, who nevertheless thanks the sidekick for his involvement in stopping the villain.
- Frozone speaking in forced "beatnik" slang, showing the out-of-touch depiction of minority characters in animated works at the time.
- A "cute animal" sidekick only added for "children's appeal". In this film, a cartoonish, glasses-wearing rabbit named Mister Skipperdoo does nothing but hop up and down, yet his actions are seen as crucial to solving the "mystery" that comprises the plot of this episode.
As of 2008, Mr. Incredible and Pals is the first of only three short films produced by Pixar Animation Studios in the traditional hand-drawn method, instead of their signature CGI animation. The second film, Your Friend the Rat, was produced in 2007 and included as part of the DVD release of Ratatouille. The third, Day & Night, produced in 2010, was attached to the theatrical release of Toy Story 3. The later two films feature a combination of hand-drawn and CGI animation.
The episode begins with Mr. Incredible, Frozone, and Mr. Skipperdoo discussing the previous events, that while they were gone, an evil villainess named Lady Lightbug stole the bridge connecting the city, leaving cars trapped on either side of the river. Resolving to amend the situation, Frozone builds a temporary bridge of ice, and the three skate away to find the arch-nemesis.
Arriving at an abandoned carnival, Mr. Incredible goes about searching for Lady Lightbug, lifting up various objects while stating that she is not under any of them. Mr. Skipperdoo hops to point out that the missing bridge is behind him. Lady Lightbug then flies out at that moment and informs them all of her evil plan to steal the free world's bridges, creating massive traffic jams and thus destroying their economies. She then proceeds to shoot a line of radioactive silk out of the end of her abdomen, tying up Frozone and leaving all as lost. Suddenly, Mr. Incredible throws a Ferris wheel at her, which she dodges. He then hops in a roller coaster, which then takes off flying toward Lady Lightbug. Mr Incredible knocks her out of the air, defeating her. The missing bridge piece is restored and all returns to normal thanks to Mr. Incredible, Frozone, Mr. Skipperdoo, and democracy. Lady Lightbug is seen imprisoned inside a giant jar hanging from the bridge.
The end of the episode features a brief teaser of a gigantic anthropomorphic ear of corn yelling, “I’ll crush you, Mr. Incredible!” as the two prepare to fight, foreshadowing the next episode.
- Roger Jackson as The Narrator, Evil Cornhead
- Pete Docter as Mr. Incredible
- Michael Asberry as Frozone
- Celia Shuman as Lady Lightbug
- Craig T. Nelson as Mr. Incredible (Commentary)
- Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone (Commentary)
In addition to the many in-jokes and animation references included in this film, the voice actors for Mr. Incredible and Frozone (Craig T. Nelson and Samuel L. Jackson) provided a DVD commentary for the fictional episode, acting in character as if they were the actual Mr. Incredible and Frozone, watching this episode for the first time more than thirty years after it was produced. The "background story" behind Mr. Incredible and Pals stated that Mr. Incredible and Frozone licensed their names and images to a TV animation company, and this was the pilot episode for an animated TV series that never aired.
The commentary of the two characters provides additional entertainment for the DVD's viewers, as while Mr. Incredible appears to display only apathy for the episode, Frozone is aghast and disgusted at its campiness and supposed racism (the show's version of himself appears to be white, or tan as Mr. Incredible puts it). He is also annoyed at the rabbit's inclusion and later Mr. Incredible eventually dislikes the rabbit, admitting that "the rabbit bites". By the end of the short, Frozone is so annoyed that he walks out of the commentary at the end, demanding that the episode never be aired.
- This would have make sense that the three main characters in this film are very similar to the characters from Clutch Cargo:
- Mr. Incredible - Clutch Cargo (eponymous heroes)
- Frozone - Spinner (sidekicks)
- Mr. Skipperdoo - Paddlefoot (companions)
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