Up in the sky, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s family values! Doug takes a look at The Incredibles.
Tagged with: 2004 animation channel awesome disney disneycember doug walker movies
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I loved this movie. One theme that Doug’s review didn’t mention is modern society’s tendency to glorify mediocrity in the interest of building children’s self-esteem. In the film, it’s implied that normal people resent the supers for having these powers. In fact, the government forces Mr. Incredible to become Mr. Parr (get it? “Par”?). There’s a dialog between Helen and Dash where she tells her son that “everyone’s special, Dash”, to which the son replies “that’s just another way of saying nobody is.” This sentiment is echoed by the villain who reveals his plan to eventually sell his inventions to the masses because (paraphrasing) “when everyone’s super, no one is”. I have mixed feelings about this (especially as a parent). We certainly don’t want to live in a world where a small group of genetically superior people relegate ordinary people into a lower class. But at the same time, society needs extraordinarily gifted people like Einstein and Da Vinci to inspire and innovate. They should never be prevented from using their gifts. Complicating the equation is the fact that Buddy (Syndrome) is treated badly early in the film, even though he does have his own amazing gifts — he designs rocket boots as a kid — but since he’s not PHYSICALLY gifted, he is shunned by Mr. Incredible. It’s a complex issue that the film takes on, but doesn’t really answer, as it comes down firmly on the side of letting the supers be super. Then again, Edna is gifted and she is glorified, even though she has no physical super powers. Again, it’s complicated, but the film deserves praise for raising such a difficult issue in a “children’s movie”. I think “The Incredibles” does a much better job of presenting this issue than, say, any of the X-Men films. And it has the guts to say that giving out trophies and certificates for mere participation, or moving from the fourth grade to the fifth is probably too much recognition for ordinary achievement.
You ever noticed how Dash looks like Hogarth from Iron Giant? Actually, the fact that this movie is more like a Fantastic 4 movie than any of the ones we’ve got recently is just hilarious and sad at the same time.