Incredibles II and Super Dads
I loved The Incredibles. It really is one of my favorite super hero movies. For those of you unfamiliar, The Incredibles tells the story of a family of superheroes–the Parr family–forced to hide who they really are for the good of society and explores the resulting challenges that come to identity, self and family. The movie was so successful because it had both larger-than-life stakes (the giant robot is destroying the city!) and real life stakes (Why are you not investing in time with your family?) balanced with wit, humor and great super hero action sequences.
I was so excited to go see Incredibles II. It’s been a long time since The Incredibles hit theaters (2004!), a fact acknowledged by the cast in a pre-film segment, but I think it was well worth the wait. Although some social commentary (body cameras on superheroes/law enforcement) remained unexplored, the movie generally does a great job in setting up a crisis with some twists and turns. We have all the characters we love from the first movie and are introduced to a bunch of new supers. I will say though the movie could have benefitted from more Edna Mode. But we mustn’t look back dahlings…it distracts from the now.
In the sequel, we catch up with the Parr family struggling to deal with the aftermath of helping when it wasn’t wanted. Through various connections ElastiGirl resumes hero work as a public relations tool to help governments allow heroes to come out of hiding, and Mr. Incredible becomes a stay-at-home dad so she can pursue this goal. Some of the online dad forums I’m part of weren’t too happy with how the SAHD portions of the film were portrayed. They said it was “stereotypical bumbling dad” and they were a little offended. I didn’t take it that way. He had never been a stay at home parent and rather suddenly became the lead parent to 3 children including an infant who proves to be a handful. Throw anyone into anything challenging that they haven’t done before and there will be bumps along the way. Had he stayed inept throughout the movie I would of had a problem with it. Mr. Incredible grows into the role and does it his own way. He asks for help when he needs it and helps his wife to succeed.
I. Totally. Relate.
Even as a SAHD for 3 years there are still plenty of days where things are handled less than gracefully. I agree with Edna that “Parenting, when done properly, is a heroic act—when done PROPERLY.” It’s the properly that trips up everyone now and then. Most days I hope i fall more in the middle of the “disney tween sitcom parent” and “super parent” spectrum.
My whole family loved this movie. We’ve watched the original a ton since we’ve seen it as our 3 year old can’t get enough. Like most Pixar films, this movie worked on many levels. Here’s to being “super” parents everyone!