The Disney/Pixar animated film “The Incredibles” is a movie that, since its release in 2004, has been adored by audiences of all ages because of its fast-paced action, relatable characters, and heartfelt moments that are a key aspect of any Disney/Pixar film. The film’s musical themes are instantly recognizable by many kids who grew up with the movie, and the soundtrack is as highly acclaimed as the movie, having received awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Film Critics Association, for Best Music Score and Best Score respectively (source).
The soundtrack for “The Incredibles”, composed by Michael Giacchino, is made up of mostly jazz tunes (colloquially known as “charts”), which were recorded by a traditional jazz ensemble of trumpets, trombones, saxophones, and a rhythm section consisting of a piano, electric bass, and drum set. These instruments provide an edgy sound that heightens the excitement of the movie’s more action-packed scenes, such as the opening chase scene (as seen in the embed above). Brad Bird, the director, specifically wanted the soundtrack to be reminiscent of the spy films and comic books of the 1960’s, in order to match the style of the movie.
Personally, I thought it was a great decision on Mr. Bird and Mr. Giacchino’s part to use jazz in the soundtrack for “The Incredibles”, because I associate jazz with the "golden age" of superhero comics, which was also when the genre had peaked in popularity. In turn, the phrase “golden age” reminds me of the “glory days”, the period in the movie when superheroes publicly helped fight crime and were idolized by the public. Whenever the “glory days” are referred to in the movie - for example, in the scene where Mr. Incredible is working out - the jazz music is reintroduced, creating a feeling of nostalgia for an idyllic era that no longer exists; but by the time the family of superheroes is fighting against the Omnidroid to save the city from certain destruction, the pace of the music returns to the exciting, edgy jazz that opened the movie, perhaps hinting that the “glory days” may be coming back…
Sources not found online:
Brad Bird, Michael Giacchino, et al. (2011). The Incredibles. Special Features - Behind the Scenes - More Making of The Incredibles: Music (Blu-ray Disc). Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
Price, David (2008). The Pixar Touch. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-307-26575-7.
This is a great example of how a personal observation can be well-researched, informative, and still easy-to-read and reflective. The student author talks about how the theme of “Golden age comics” is evoked by the music used in the Incredibles, and since this movie’s plot plays off of that expectation, I think it’s a spot-on interpretation.