Megan embraces her inner superhero to go beyond the narrative of Disney’s The Incredibles 2
To start with, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind, was Incredibles 2 worth the 14-year wait? In a word, yes. The amount of levels writer/director Brad Bird was able to get it to work on is just hilariously amazing. While one of the movie’s messages has been told to death in recent years, the other actually asks the philosophical question of when one should listen to the law versus when one should purposefully break it in order to cause change. To date, I have watched it several times and it keeps getting better with each viewing. The only warning I have is for a few key scenes where the screen flashes as part of the villain’s plan. People with photosensitive epileptic seizures, please be careful when watching this movie.
Coming out of the movie the first time, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself at all it was able to comment on, that works both during the time in which the movie is set, and now in real time. People essentially being slaves to screens? While that does sound stereotypical, the sad fact is, it’s true. How much of our daily lives revolve around doing work on computers. Heck, just by reading this you’re submitting to a screen, even for just a short period of time, or so you tell yourself. Not that this is a bad thing or entirely our fault, just that it is what it is.
As soon as television became a fixture in many modern households, kids and families began crowding around them to enjoy this new technology. Over time, as people began using them in new and innovated ways, we only got more and more addicted to them. What started off as a simple fascination with a new technology grew into a way of life for many. This is especially so as screens on cell phones began being used for more than just displaying a number.
Over time, as the screens on phones and portable computers began being able to show text messages and even connect with the internet, people became even more reliant on them. While the screens on these devices can be used for good, such as connecting people thousands of miles or kilometers apart, helping people look for jobs, and the like, when that person’s life revolves solely around being entertained by said device, that’s when screens become dangerous. This isn’t to say that it’s entirely our fault, as it’s the way of life many today grew up with, simply that we can change it. Just because we grew up with something doesn’t mean we can’t change it.
Philosophical Question in a “Kids'” Movie
Moving on, there was another message that I was surprised was included in the movie, when to listen to the law and when to break/fight it. This is something that I firmly believe kids should learn. Yes, we’re all supposed to follow the law as it exists for a reason, but when the law is wrong, we also have to be willing to fight for change even if that means breaking the law in a very specific way to do so. It worked for people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, so why wouldn’t it work today? Standing up and peacefully fighting for something you believe in, is the only way to make any type of change.
Back in the movie, despite superheroes still being illegal, Helen Parr aka Elastigirl goes to work as one. This is something that is even brought up in the movie itself. Which is right, to follow the law even when it’s wrong or fight it by breaking it, even if it means a fine or jail time? It’s a powerful message that I was surprised to find in a “kids'” movie. Typically these exist merely to entertain and hopefully tell a good story, more than to teach deep messages. Yes, cartoons have been used in the past to teach children messages, but those were more the now cliched “always listen to your parents”, “Use manners” and “sharing is caring” types of lessons. This movie, however, seems to be taking that one step further, allowing children to debate for themselves the philosophical question of when it’s a good idea to follow the law and when you have to break it in order to change it.
Speaking of changing things, apparently, Disney is changing the type of language they use in their movies. Sure, the word hell was used a few times in the movie, a rarity for Disney, but the word that really struck me was “damned”. While watching the movie for the first time, I actually questioned my ears. Did a character actually say, “I’ll be damned”? Sure enough, on repeat viewings, that character did say that word. Even though I wasn’t offended by it, as Force knows I’ve heard worse between high school and college on a daily basis, I was just shocked. This was Disney, right? The wholesome, family friendly House of Mouse? One would think that in today’s seemingly overly sensitive day and age, even just one use of that word would be enough to earn the movie a PG-13 rating. Apparently not.
Now, that isn’t to say I have a problem with it being used, nor if I had kids I would ban them from seeing this movie just for that, simply that I was shocked/amazed. This from the same company that for years has been afraid to use a word such as hell, to now use a four to six letter curse word (depending on which tense you’re using it in), beginning with D. I’m laughingly amazed.
With all that was said, what would I rate the movie out of ten? I would give it a 9/10 as aside from a part at the very beginning that I felt didn’t play much into the overall plot of the movie, but other than that, it was really fun and as I said in episode 3 of Fandom Force Podcast, it’s definitely a movie I suggest seeing multiple times if possible.
The messages to kids were extremely entertaining and even though there was a small bit of coarse language used, it was done for a purpose and part of a saying that many of us have likely used throughout our lives. As long as that type of language is used to make/emphasize a point, I have no problem with it in childrens’ movies. Does this mean I give free range for it to be used in this way in all Disney movies with a PG rating? No, just that here in this specific case, it works.
While this movie is still out in theaters, go support it and see it as many times as you can. Once it’s released to streaming services, go watch it there as many times as you can. Trust me, it’s that good.
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