101 Greatest Screenplays of the 21st Century (*so far)

Both penned by Brad Bird, The Incredibles and its 2018 sequel are, to date, the only Pixar movies with solo writing credits. Influenced by Cold War-era pop culture that Bird consumed as a child, The Incredibles blends elements that shouldn’t mesh. Why is one of the most striking characters in this action story a fashion designer inspired by Edith Head? Why is this animated adventure predicated on a midlife crisis? How did blacklisting get in here? Bird combines notions that have fascinated him since childhood with mature themes, hence the challenges that super-parents Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl face while trying to balance family and work. The physical scope of the story is just as ambitious, because the script prescribed effects that CGI hadn’t mastered at the time preproduction began. “The first step to achieving the impossible,” Bird said in 2008, “is believing that the impossible can be achieved.”