Talk-o-Babble, Episode 4:
The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2
While I’ve been reading the third and final book of the I Hunt Killers series by Barry Lyga, I started rewatching a lot of Disney and Pixar movies. That included two of my absolute favorite movies: The Incredibles and The Incredibles 2. And I thought, what better way to appreciate these films than to analyze them to pieces?
The Incredibles is a 2004 American computer-animated superhero film, and The Incredibles 2 is the 2018 sequel. Both were directed by Brad Bird, a man who also gave us Ratatouille and one of the best Mission Impossible movies (in my humble opinion): Ghost Protocol. He’s got a pretty stunning record for amazing films, and both the Incredibles movies are fighting for a top spot on the list.
So let’s get into why…
To give a quick summary:
The first film follows the story of Bob Parr, aka Mr. Incredible, a former superhero who’s forced into retirement and a mundane life after the government bans superheroes. Without superheroing, Bob’s life feels directionless and miserable. Until he gets a chance to relive the old days when a mysterious woman named Mirage asks him to don his old suit again and stop her rogue robot…on a remote island.
The second movie follows a similar story, but this time it focuses on Bob’s wife, Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl. With superheroes still illegal, a massive company tries to bring superheroes back by just reintroducing Elastigirl. And with her help, they hope the world will change its mind about the superhero ban. But their plans are interrupted by a dastardly new villain: Screenslaver.
Let’s talk CHARACTERS—5/5
There’s not one character in this set of films that I dislike. Each character is unique and has their own personality which revolves around their powers. Bob is a burly strong man and a typical superhero with a big heart. His wife, Helen, is a strong and dependable woman who stretches (I’m sorry) herself too thin trying to take care of everything. Their children, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack, are also super and are integral for comedic relief in both films.
Syndrome is a well-developed villain. He’s easy to hate, but at the same time, he’s quite pitiable. In simple terms, he’s a nerd who wishes he was cool. To be complex, he’s still a kid who doesn’t appreciate how valuable his intelligence is.
Screenslaver is on another level. This mysterious villain is not a teenager with a chip on their shoulder, but rather a disgruntled adult who takes their hatred for humanity’s dependence on technology just a little…a lot too far. They’re not pitiable at all, and they raise the stakes to a global level.
Let’s talk ANIMATION—4/5
Let’s be honest, the animation in the Incredibles is astounding; however, rewatching the first Incredibles now leaves a little to be desired. The entire film has a stylized aesthetic from the background to the characters to the action scenes (which are very well choreographed). And the explosions and other effects are breathtaking. Now, having studied animation, I know where it was in 2004 compared to now. And this movie blew us out of the water when it first came out. But now, I have a hard time watching the strange little hair movements (especially on Violet), the clipping of Helen and Bob’s noses when they kiss, and the strange clipping with Mr. Incredible’s backside in his suit (sorry for looking). Even so, the film holds up throughout all this time and the second one more than makes up for all those small imperfections.
I mean…Helen’s hair is gorgeous in Incredibles 2!
Let’s talk THEMES—5/5
The themes in the first movie bleed into the second one, but the second film tackles a whole new level of concern. In the first film, we’re focused on the importance of family, the dangers of technology, and the consequences of our actions. It also explores why being different can be a good thing, and that we should embrace who we are.
This remains true for the second film as well, but now we start delving a little deeper into the emotional side of things. Now we’re focused on the importance of valuing another person’s efforts, learning to accept responsibility, and fighting for what you believe in.
But still, the best part of these movies is how close the Parr family is and how important they are to each other.
These movies are thought-provoking, not just because they question the dangers of technology but because they question the role of diversity in society. And they do so with a great cast of characters, stunning animation, and engaging, action-filled plots. Both films’ themes continue to be relevant today, and I imagine will continue to be relevant going into the future. They’re amazing films—Sorry, incredible films—and are fun for the whole family.
So all in all, I’m glad I took a trip down memory lane, and I’m glad Pixar put in the effort to give us the Incredibles 2 because the story feels complete now.