As noted in our dadcrafting Movies anchor post, we’re aiming to do three things when we write about a movie:
- highlight what we loved about the movie (and perhaps some dadcraft happening within the film)
- note what can be learned from the movie // how do the main characters grow (or not)?
- Identify what can be talked about from the movie // questions to ask about the movie
Incredibles 2 is another excellent movie in the Pixar universe. The super-powered Parr family picks up right where they left off in the original Incredibles, trying to figure out how to be super in a world that’s not at all sure it wants their powers. Because it picks up where the prior movie left off story-wise, there are many similar themes and the main plot isn’t that different (in brief, the family needs to overcome challenges and frustrations in order to work together and overcome the villain).
It’s worth noting, though, that Incredibles 2 is a bit more grown-up than the first Parr family adventure. The villain is more intense and less cartoonishly bad, there are a couple of “jump” and chase scenes, the story of the murder of two of the main characters’ parents is told, and there’s a bit of language (“I’ll be damned,” “hell,” “Oh my God,” etc.). Not gratuitous, but still more than any other Pixar flick, I think.
What I Loved
I love that Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr reminds me how ridiculous it is when I put my career over my family. He struggled to celebrate Elastigirl/Helen Parr’s success because he wasn’t sure what it meant for his career and stature. He wanted to get back into the superhero world without really thinking through the implications for his family. His career-first-and-primary attitude is easy to spot for what it is: selfish and a bit silly.
I love how Bob quickly grasped the importance of Helen’s role in their household and his kids’ lives. While Helen does her superhero thing with the hope of swaying public opinion in regard to supers in general, Bob’s on the homefront…struggling. He’s quickly exhausted even as he’s doing a sub-Parr (if I may) job: homework isn’t being completed, Violet’s having relational challenges, he’s got no idea how to handle Jack Jack, etc. In the process, he gains a renewed appreciation for Helen’s parental skill set and love for their family.
I love how the different skills and abilities of each of the Parr kids are celebrated and valued. They cheer for each other (amidst typical family scabbles), work together, compliment each other, and complement each other in the battles against the baddies — pretty sweet.
What We Can Learn
Obviously each member of a family has particular expertise and areas of focus, but the Parr family reminds me that there’s value in having a family mission or project or goal. A common purpose – even something a bit less heroic than taking down the “Screen Slaver” – brings us together and helps us appreciate eachother anew. Perhaps it’s involvement with your church or a favorite non-profit. Maybe it’s helping an elderly neighbor who needs help with her yard. Or maybe it’s just facing an easy-to-avoid chore like the messy garage — tackle it like the Parrs: with boldness and all together.
The Parrs also remind us that parts of life aren’t very super. We know this, but it’s easy to idealize “If only…” sorts of scenarios. Well, even if you had superpowers, even if you had the esteem of being a crime-fighting superhero, you still may have a kid that doesn’t want to sleep or do homework. Or a house that needs repairs.
Similarly, Incredibles 2 shows us that – even for superheroes – things can be hard. There’s Helen struggling with a job that has her away from her family, Bob struggling because he’s juggling all the parental responsibilities on the home front, Violet struggling with a relationship, and Dash struggling with homework (Jack Jack seems pretty struggle-free, really). Superpowered or not, life throws challenges at us.
Things to Talk About
Finally, a few things to talk about / questions to ask from the movie:
- Which member of the Parr family’s superpowers would you most like to have? Why?
- Which would you choose: the Elasticycle or the Incredimobile?
- Which of the other superheroes did you like the most?
- What’s good about a world that has superheroes? What would be bad or challenging about a world with superheroes?
- The “Screen Slaver” villain is imaginary, of course, but what does that character remind us about screens? Can screens have power over us?
Here’s a list of movies and other media that we’ve written about thus far.
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