We all need The Incredibles
The year is 2003. The box office has given us Ben Affleck’s Daredevil, Ang Lee’s Hulk, and Bryan Singer’s X-2: X-Men United. As of late, Bryan Singer is preoccupied with other unfortunate matters. Ang Lee’s movies have taken a more artistic style, and Ben Affleck is trying his hand at another comic book character, which has been received lukewarmly at best. In 2004 we received 2 superhero movies, one of which would change the formula for costumed character movies forever.
Why do we need The Incredibles?
Pixar released The Incredibles on November 5th, 2004, with a budget of under $100 million dollars. Brad Bird was brought on to direct this superhero film as a love letter to the 1960’s comic books and Bondesque spy films from his childhood. After his first “disappointment” at the box office, The Iron Giant, Bird brought most of his staff and animators over from their work on the Iron Giant and gave them a groundbreaking task to achieve: to animate an entirely human cast from scratch.
The Incredibles achieved something that to this day, very few superhero movies have ever accomplished… Family.
No, I’m not talking about poster promotions for Fast and the Furious 7.
What about family?
I’m talking about an actual portrayal of a super-powered family whose biggest threat often is the same threat each and every one of us face every day. Life. Mr. Bird and his team brilliantly matched superpowers to the characters in the movie. If not, then maybe I just made a discovery myself. Stay with me…
Mr. Incredible is powerful, but headstrong and searching for purpose and meaning in life after his role as the protector and provider is threatened. Mrs. Incredible is a mom struggling to raise a teenager, a hyperactive pre-teen, and super-powered child, hence the elasticity and ability to be wrenched in multiple directions. Violet, the teenager, is stuck in the awkward years at this moment with braces and boys. Her powers allow her not only to disappear but to project a force field and deflect everything seeming to attack her. Last but not least there’s Dash and Jak-Jak. Dash is young, hyperactive, and wants to go faster than all the rules allow. Jak-Jak is under two and expels substances at his mother signaling the unknown power set.
Okay we see your point actually.
Maybe I’m reading too much into this, or maybe I have found gold. The Incredibles taught all of us that a family can have superpowers and balance life all at the same time. Will it be easy? No, and it never was going to be. But no matter the threat, Syndrome, The Underminer, high school, or team sports, life is better conquered together as a family. A family holds you close, supports you, informs you when you’re wrong, but also will fight for you.
In an age where Marvel’s end goal set all those years ago is close to completion, and DC is doing God knows what with their movies, we as an audience and as a society, need to be reminded of that. A family is what ties us together, no matter the supervillain.
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