Amid the superhero fun that The Incredibles delivered in 2004, Pixar also slyly included a reference to Die Hard with a Vengeance. As the sixth film from the increasingly popular studio in its first decade, The Incredibles hit at a near-perfect time. Superhero movies were returning to prominence thanks to Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films and Fox's X-Men franchise. Directed by Brad Bird, Pixar was able to assemble a talented voice cast.
Craig T. Nelson provided the voice of Bob Parr aka Mr. Incredible, with Holly Hunter filling in the role of Helen Parr aka Elastigirl and comedian Jason Lee voicing the villain Syndrome. Arguably the biggest name to join the cast, though, was Samuel L. Jackson, as he voiced Lucius Best aka Frozone. He spent the previous decade starring in movies like Jurassic Park, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard with a Vengeance, Unbreakable, and both Star Wars: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
With so many memorable roles, quotes, and moments in his filmography, it would not have been difficult to find a way to include several references to Jackson's prior work. But, out of his entire filmography, the movie that The Incredibles referenced was his work in Die Hard with a Vengeance. The moment comes during Bob and Lucius' secret night out, playing hero, where the cops stop them after stopping a robbery. Tensions are high among the police, and they get very nervous as Lucius calmly tells them he's going to get a glass of water.
This is a subtle reference to a similar standoff in Die Hard 3, where Jackson's character, Zeus Carter, has to answer a ringing telephone while cops are yelling at him. For many people, this moment may go right over their heads. The comparison is subtle enough and it isn't from one of Jackson's genuinely memorable scenes. But, that's what makes it all the better. This is a deeper cut for Jackson's fans to pick up on, and not quite as obvious as if he would've said, "Hold onto your butts," at some point.
The Die Hard 3 reference in The Incredibles is just one of many great references in Pixar movies. The studio has built up a reputation of including references to other major films, such as a repeated love for The Shining. But, Pixar has also tied together many of their films with Easter eggs. You can check out more moments like The Incredibles' reference to Die Hard with a Vengeance by watching the video at the top of this post.