They're an average family visiting Disneyland.
Dad plucks up cars like candy wrappers. Mom stretchessssss like rubber. Their daughter goes "poof!" And a speedy son runs rings around Buzz Lightyear.
The Parr clan of undercover superheroes is back in action, on skates this time.
"The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure" ice show zips tonight into Allstate Arena for a six-night stay, re-opening Jan. 31 to Feb. 12 at United Center. Russian skater Igor Sinuytin and Hungarian ice queen Dora Vikar star as Mr. and Mrs. Incredible.
The traditional Disney on Ice show rehashes a hit cartoon. This two-hour spin-off -- cum-infomercial is a departure, featuring a new adventure for Bob, Helen, shy teen Violet, hyper-grade schooler Dash and baby Jack-Jack. The Parrs try, try again to "blend in" on vacation. No such luck.
Why the rewrite? First, veteran special-effects wizards would be hard-pressed to match the stunt-a-second pace of the animated 2004 hit. Like Bob/Mr. Incredible "lifting trains, and that sort of thing," performance director Patty Vincent said.
Second, there were concerns that Disney's first PG cartoon was too serious for an ice romp. The film's first half hour is a study of dysfunction. Bob and wife Helen (Elastigirl) are exiled to an anonymous suburb after a public backlash against do-gooders. The frustrated ex-heroes bicker, Bob slugs his boss and Dash gets in trouble at school.
It just wouldn't work.
"We wanted something bright and happy and fun," Vincent said.
So the Parrs are transplanted to a theme park. No surprise, it is a small world after all. The evil Syndrome resurfaces as a robot and kidnaps Mickey and Minnie. The "happiest place on earth" is steeped in gloom. Who ya gonna call?
Enter designer Edna Mode, employed in the wardrobe department, and the family is dressed to flex. Major rump-kicking ensues. Mickey, Minnie and a Who's Who of Disney characters make cameos and turn out for a parade.
It takes nearly three dozen skaters and one rubber Jack-Jack doll to bring the show/ice park to life. Among the attractions re-created are the Jungle Cruise, the Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion.
Costume designer Scott Lane, set technicians and lighting experts went into full Edna mode to recreate the ambience of the real rides. Their biggest challenge, the Haunted Mansion, owes a debt to black light, glow-in-the-dark costumes and eerie organ music.
"It's amazing," Lane said. "We've got nothing on the ice. (Suddenly) panels open up and candelabra light up, a fireplace lights up and the ceiling grows up about 30 feet tall. Then we have these ghosts flying around the room in these gorgeous costumes. The performers look like they're floating on ice."
"Walking on air" might be a better way to describe newcomer Lea Nightwalker, 19. The Colorado native was a newly minted high school grad when she landed the role of Violet. So playing a sensitive teen -- one longing for independence but still attached to her family -- comes natural. "There's a lot of hanging your head and rolling your eyes," she said.
To prepare for their roles, she and on-ice brother Michael "Dash" Kuluva were sent to a theme park for close encounters of the Mickey kind. Even Kuluva, a four-year Disney on Ice vet and ex-U.S. Junior Olympics skater, was impressed how sets mirror the real McCoys.
In the "Pirates of the Caribbean" scene, "they even have the dog with the key and an animatronic pirate whistling at him," the 22-year-old Californian said.
"The attention to detail is stunning."
Who's who in "The Incredibles" (2004)
* Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible (voiced by Craig T. Nelson)
* Helen Parr/Elastigirl (Holly Hunter)
* Violet Parr (Sarah Vowell)
Power: Force field, invisibility
* Dashiell "Dash" Parr (Spencer Fox)
* Jack-Jack Parr (Eli Fucile and Maeve Andrews)
* Lucius Best/Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson)
Power: Knows how to chill
* Buddy Pine/Syndrome (Jason Lee)
Power: Evil genius
* Edna "E" Mode (Brad Bird)
Power: Design dynamo
If you go
Disney presents Pixar's "The Incredibles on Ice" by Feld Entertainment
When: Today through Sunday at Allstate, Jan. 31 through Feb. 12 at United Center
Where: Allstate Arena, 6920 N. Mannheim Road, Rosemont; United Center, 1901 W. Madison St., Chicago
Cost: $13, $18, $25, $55 VIP, $70 front row
FYI: (312) 559-1212 or www.ticketmaster.com