In light of the impending sequel, I thought I would go back and rewatch the Pixar superhero parody, “The Incredibles”. I’ve heard it lauded as original and unique, but what does that mean anymore? It’s a superhero movie, by definition it’s not original. How many times can we see the protege of a superhero, (or in this case fan), turn against his mentor for spite?
Now, to put it upfront, I love this movie. It’s one of my favorite Pixar films and has so many good characters. Here we go:
The Wonderful World of The Incredibles:
Life in the unreal world. By introducing superheroes into a world that contains no super villains, we see all of the problems of normal villains being completely taken care of by these heroes. A world without care, where good people can be good without worrying about their lives being inconvenienced by bad people.
Wait-, hold it right there. Something’s wrong… Why does it sound so normal to say that the world consists of good and and people? Are people good or bad?
Here’s the kicker: nobody is good and nobody is bad. That’s odd now isn’t it? But not even the world is so shallow as to believe people are either good or bad. You never see a headline that reads:
BAD MAN GOES TO JAIL FOR ROBBERY
Why? Because the crime(what was bad about the man) was what he did, not who he was. If we could be convicted for who we are, you might see a headline that reads:
17-YEAR-OLD ARRESTED FOR BEING A TEENAGER
That would be ridiculous. You cannot be arrested simply for being who you are. What you do makes you what you are, (ex: robbing=robber, murder=murderer, etc…), but not who you are.
Can you be a bad person by your actions? Yes. Are you bad by nature because of your actions? No. Our nature dictates our actions, not the other way around, and our actions define us. There are no good or bad people, just people who do good or bad things.
The Story That Killed The World:
So, Pixar set up their world of perfect normal good guys and perfectly normal bad guys and superheroes who keep life good for the good guys. Then they kill it. The world turns against superheroes because they believe they have the right to not be saved: fine. But when the good people choose to be bad the Pixar world raises supervillians to fight the superheroes. What? Why? You not only killed your perfect story of heroes who are needed to keep the world within balance, but you made the world need supervillains! Why?
This is a poor job of story telling where rather than try to fit the story into the world, they attempt to fit the world into the story. In order to justify the existence of both superheroes and normal crime rates, this movie had to invent supervillians. Badly done. You cannot both have a realistic working world and a massive amount of super humans.
All of this is worldview, I’m analyzing the world of the movie, the characters, and the worldview of the creators. However, this section is specifically for what the film wanted you to get out of it, as opposed to what the message could or should have been. How do we determine what message the makers of the film intended us to get out of the movie? Well, first we need to look at the motives of our antagonist(Syndrome), and our protagonist(Mr. Incredible).
What was Mr. Incredible’s story? He loved saving the world but also wanted to live a normal life. He got married, had kids, worked a real job, but quickly found out that he couldn’t be both normal and super. He missed the action, and though he liked saving people, we don’t see that as the driving force for him reverting back to his superhero days. They call them “the glory days” for a reason, and Mr. Incredible was addicted to the hero game.
In a way, you feel bad for Syndrome. He was a child who wanted to help his hero fight crime. He wanted to be just like Mr. Incredible, but the pride of our hero causes him to hurt a young boy’s feelings and turn a fan into a nemesis.
Syndrome didn’t have a particularly hard life, and quickly gained everything he needed to become a successful villain. But, the filmmakers tell us that he is a villain because of what others did to him, they make us feel bad for the villain and take his side. In fact, by the end, you have people liking Syndrome more than Mr. Incredible. Why not? He fought to help people, he wanted to get rid of superheroes because they hurt him and because they hurt others. A world without superheroes was what the film really needed anyway.
In a seemingly desperate scramble to redeem Mr. Incredible he becomes the only one who can save the world. Being the only super with the correct set of powers to destroy Syndrome’s robot.
Yes, I do mean final. This movie was about a family, not just one man. And to be fair, they did show that the family needed to work together to save the city. It’s always better to work together to accomplish the goal. Interesting point here: our villain has the ability to immobilize the family for a time, but he doesn’t have the ability to break them. Only the family can destroy themselves, the villain doesn’t have that kind of power. God doesn’t let Satan destroy your family. Satan can try, but the most he can do is try. Only you can destroy your family, your choices, your words, your actions, your spirit are what can pull together or tear apart your family.
If family is all this film got right, than that would be all it needed to save the world. That’s the message I want you to get here. The family together, and with a little supernatural help, can save the world. Don’t let anyone or anything make you tear apart your family. God gave them to you because you need them and they need you. Together, you can do anything.
I don’t know about you, but my family is pretty incredible. Not because of what they do, but because of who they are and the unique superpowers God has given them to use for His kingdom and His glory. That’s what makes them special. That’s what makes you special. That’s what can make your family The Incredibles.
As always, thanks for reading.
—the anonymous novelist