The Incredibles came out in 2004 when I was five, and I’ve been obsessed with the awesome, crime-fighting all too relatable family ever since. Especially Mrs Incredible; she could kick arse, she cared for her family, she could fly a plane, she had an amazing power, and one of the best voices ever (Holly Hunter, I love your voice).”
It was the movie that brought us some of the most memorable and quotable moments ever:
“Coincidence? I think not!”
“I think you need to be a little more … flexible.”
“I’m your wife. I’m the greatest good you are ever gonna get.”
“Pull. Yourself. Together!”
“Leave the saving the world to the men? I don’t think so.”
(If you didn’t read those in the characters’ voices, you need to go back and watch the film again.)
(Hands up if you read those in the voices.)
What’s not to love? All we could hope for was that they did it again. And damn, did they do it again. Finally, after fourteen years, Pixar is about to bring its fans down from the ultimate animated cliff-hanger that we thought we’d never see resolved. It was the one film we wanted a sequel for, and I’m relieved to report that Incredibles 2 has everything we wanted, everything we anticipated, and so much more than we could have hoped for.
The sequel picks up exactly where the last film left off. The family have just dusted their hands of Syndrome and find themselves facing a battle with the Underminer (John Ratzenberger)—a fantastic villain name by the way, as well as another fantastic line: “I am always beneath you, but nothing is beneath me”.
Their heroic actions have consequences however, as supers are still illegal, and they find themselves removed from the Super Relocation Program and forced to live in a motel.
That is, until they are approached by business tycoon Winston Deaver (Bob Odenkirk), who proposes they join forces to make supers legal again, recruiting Elastigirl/Helen as the face of his campaign. In order to succeed, Helen leaves her husband, Bob/Mr Incredible, to look after the kids while she takes on the latest villain, Screenslaver (Bill Wise), who’s identity reveal is a tad predictable, but barely detracts from the film—and the children watching probably won’t see it coming.As you could probably tell from the trailer, things are a little switched up this time. The macho Mr Incredible has to sit out on the action while his wife kicks arse and takes names, becoming the face of the fight to bring back supers. Instead, he’s dealing with Violet’s teenage angst, and striving to understand the “new maths” in Dash’s homework and struggling to cope with Jack-Jack developing insane powers—which slowly erode Bob’s sanity to our guilty amusement.The new issues the couple face clearly place a strain on their relationship, yet throughout everything they support one another; this time Mr Incredible does what is necessary to hold down the home front, so Mrs Incredible can bring home the bacon. Once again, The Incredibles franchise is able to give us a realistic, yet wonderful, example of a strong and desirable relationship, and family unit.
This is part of what makes the film fantastic for both children and adults. Not only is it incredibly fun and action-packed, filled with lively characters that everyone can laugh at and relate to, but it also encourages gender equality through the portrayal of Helen and Bob’s roles to provide for their family. It doesn’t discredit either of their decisions or emotions and explores both of their struggles without judgement. Bob grapples with jealously and what it means to be a good father, while Helen feels guilty about leaving her children and doubts that her husband is capable of running the household. But they are both trying; and they support each other, and try to set good examples for their children. In one of my favourite moments of the film, in which Helen is striving to come to terms with her new job, she says, “To help my family, I gotta leave it. To fix the law, I gotta break it”, and Bob responds with, “You’ve got to, so our kids can have that choice.” They are attempting to prove that a mum can kick arse at her career and a dad can take care of the kids, while providing their children with more opportunities. Neither is presented as more important or more worthy of admiration. They are both heroes in their own right. And for an animated film that is entertaining, hilarious, and brimming with life to simultaneously teach children and remind adults of the importance of supporting your loved ones, no matter what they do, is an incredible feat.
Incredibles 2 is in cinemas tomorrow.