Some more notes on the best film of the year, The Incredibles.
Early on, Dash has an argument with his mother about what he feels is a waste of his super talents. He wants to compete in sports like all the other boys, but the parents are too concerned about keeping the family in hiding. Helen (mother Incredible) tells him the need to make everyone feel special and not single anyone out. Dash shrewdly replies that this is another way of saying that “no one is (special).”
Later, Bob (father Incredible) confirms this feeling in an argument with Helen. She’s upset with him for missing Dash’s 5th grade graduation, which he feels is just a “celebration of mediocrity,” not an isolated achievement worthy of praise.
And finally, the family’s nemesis Syndrome extols the same virtues, but in a twisted villainous way. Since Syndrome has no actual super powers of his own, he has ingeniously invented his own with technology (the marvel Omnidroid and his zero-point energy blasters are key examples). His goal is to level the playing field. The legal trouble that all the Supers got into over Mr. Incredible’s ill-received daring-do isn’t enough for Syndrome. He’s feeding his deep insecurities and wants to eradicate all Supers. By sharing his inventions with the world, “one day everyone will be super… which means no one will be.”
As you can see, the subtext is quite clear. At its heart, Incredibles unashamedly combats the postmodern ethos of neutrality and indistinction. It celebrates the notion of hero and personal achievement through family and community. All the more reason to love the film!