The Incredibles

Pixar has one-upped itself; without the subtlety of allegory it still astounds us with its frank approach to the core issues of family.

Well, in this case you can believe the hype machine. The Incredibles rules. It’s incredible to witness that juggernaut of creativity that is Pixar. The animation studio reminds me of the old Disney, back before they started sucking. I will be truly sad one day when Pixar meets the same demise. I hope like crazy that it won’t happen because of how I feel about Incredibles.

Incredibles is one of those rarest of rare treats: the kind of animation that appeals so much to the adults that the kids may be hard pressed to catch all the nuances. I suspect that that won’t be the case, since the imagination department went overboard to chock it full of wild fantastical situations. They’re the kind that every 5-year old kid dreams up with their action figures in the privacy of their bedroom.

That’s precisely how I felt while watching the film — like a little kid playing with the newest Star Wars toy, complete with battery-powered sound effects and simulated laser light proton cannons, fake blood, and detachable armor plates.

Yet, and here’s where we have an advantage over the kiddies, I had the mature appreciation of an adult comprehending all the subtle jokes and deeper philosophical meaning of the themes. Themes like the intense profundity of family. And not in that cliched cheapened manner that some small interest groups throw the buzz word around. I’m talking about what a man feels when he willfully trades his reckless youth for the suburban normalcy of providing for a family. Or how a woman feels when she foregoes her egalitarian views of feminism for a more traditionally conservative role for the sake of her children. Not to mention how their children feel about being members of a family blessed with superhuman powers, but the frustration to express these gifts naturally amounts to a form of repression.

Mr. Incredible’s profound need to face danger alone to protect his family is tempered only by the desire of his wife Elastigirl to share the burden, thereby making a stronger unit in numbers.

You see, these are traits of almost every nuclear family. And this is where Pixar has really one-upped itself. In the past, they’ve done amazingly well with anthropomorphism (talking toys, talking monsters, talking fish). But with Incredibles, they finally bring all that symbolism home. And yet without the subtlety of allegory, Incredibles still astounds us with its frank approach to the core issues of family. To use another often-quoted politicized term, it’s the best “pro-family” movie I’ve seen all year.

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  1. No, Beauty & the Beast and Lion King were back in the hey-day of Disney. They started to go downhill with all that filler like Pocahontas, Mulan, and that one about the horses. Ugg. Oh and Tarzan.

  2. I’ve never watched this movie. I had been planning to but I always forget. I guess now is the time.

    Kevin Baxter

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