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Disney, Pixar hope for 'Incredibles' success

The studios look to some unlikey superheroes for help as animated films get more and more high-tech. Photos: How to create a family of superheroes

Calling all pixels.

In the most competitive year for computer animation movies to date, Walt Disney is hoping to top its rivals with the opening of the much-anticipated "The Incredibles" on Friday.

The action comedy, the second-to-last joint project under a contract between Disney and Steve Jobs' Pixar Animation Studios, is projected to pass $600 million in worldwide box-office sales.

With the film, Pixar once again breaks technical ground, animating human characters--rather than fish or ogres--based on traditional 2D characters of the type featured in TV cartoons from the 1960s. The studio is hardly alone in its efforts. "The Incredibles" comes on the heels of "Shrek 2" and "Shark Tale" from DreamWorks.

Feature films with computer-generated animation such as these have been winning over critics and the general public alike with their startling visual effects, along with strong writing and clever plotlines. But the industry--and the technology behind it--is still in its infancy.

Among Disney and Pixar's earlier collaborations were "Toy Story" and "Finding Nemo."