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Mama Deb
mamadeb
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Mama Deb [userpic]
It's a whole family of Supers!

The Incredibles is on some movie channel or other right now. Everytime I watch it, I see more things about it to love.


I was just watching the female Incredibles. Helen Parr is *amazing*. She's dedicated to being retired and to keeping her children "underground", because, as a Hero, she's also law-abiding. But, even so, in the intervening fifteen years, she has managed to keep her jet pilot's license current, and maintained enough of a relationship with the government that she could call in *major* favors - or offer to do them. Because the lady managed to "borrow" a government jet and fly it herself.

And once she decides she's going back into action, she's there. She puts on the suit (I still maintain that a little skirt would have improved things, but, hey.) and she's on the plane. And when there's a crisis, she switches from mother to pilot/superhero in *seconds*, making split second decisions. I was reminded, of all things. of Geena Davis in Commander-in-Chief, who does the same thing. There's no doubt she's a mother who loves her kids; there's equally no doubt that she *is* the President and focus entirely on what she needs to do. Funny how that isn't required of men...

Except, in the Incredibles, it *is*. Bob's family *does* come first, and his despair is very real when he believes they're dead - and then he shows what a Hero he is. He has nothing left to lose - his family was his life - and yet he cannot kill. Because that's what a Hero is.

This is, of course, what Syndrome gets wrong, just as - huh. Donald Sutherland's Speaker of the House gets it wrong. It's not the toys or the abilities that make you super, just as it isn't the lust for power that makes you great. It's what you choose to do with them. Edna Mole, who has no "super" abilities, is "super" because she chooses to use her considerable skills and knowledge to create suits that make the heroes safer or enhance their abilities - and through that, she helps those they help. A superhero gets his/her abilities and thinks, "Wow. Think of all the people I can *help*." He doesn't think, "Wow. How rich I can be." A president doesn't think, "Wow, I'm in charge of the entire free world. Cool!". He thinks, "Oh, my God. I'm in charge of the entire free world. There's so much I need to do."

And then there's Violet, who has spent her entire life being told to *not* use her abilities, to stay hidden. So she has, behind a curtain of hair. And so when her mother told her to make a forcefield bigger than she'd ever done, she couldn't. And it hurts her, because she couldn't save her mother and brother. And then, when her mother turns into a boat and her bother uses his speed to move them, she can only sit there, looking miserable. But it's not a sulking miserable - the animators were brilliant. It was despair. "I let them down and now I can't even help get us to safety."

But her mother reasures her, because her mother maybe strident and a little paranoid, but she's also a good mother. And she puts Violet in charge, and gives them masks. And Violet puts on the mask and pushes the hair away from her face. But she's not hiding - she's coming into her own so that even when she takes off the mask, her hair stays back. Because she is a Hero - she can protect her family, she can use her invisibility and she can even make her forecfields into weapons. She even rescues everyone else.

It's...I love this movie.

Comments

Have you seen the DVD? There's a great cut scene (never actually animated, just story-boarded) where Helen is at a bar-b-que and overhears someone sneering at how pathetic stay-at-home moms are. Her response is wonderful, to the effect that if people valued mothers more, mothers would value themselves more, and there'd be less pain and crime and horror in the world, and she gave up a very important job to...then she realizes she's almost blown her cover, and Bob pretends to cut off one of his fingers (the knife bends around it) to give them an excuse to leave. It was cut because it is rather long, and was set, with the rest of the original story proposal, early in their marriage when they only have one baby. But it fits nicely into the 'verse created in the actual movie.

Oh...that sounds lovely.

Just gives more to love about this movie.

Mnnn. -very- nice.

Need to see that movie again.

DVD worth it!

Backstory and alternative "history" to the final published canonical "Incredibles".

Extra: Addressing the issue of who Helen calls in the "jet" favor from.

Other supers and their relationship to one another and the government.

Bob in his little car stopping a high speed chase.

A very good movie and typical of Pixar -- even if a kid is not IN a family like with the parents like that, one might asipre to BECOME a parent like that and PROVIDE a family that like. From Andy's family of toys -- Woody and Buzz and all -- thru Sully and Marlin and now Bob; non-idiot father figures who really care and really try to keep everybody safe and together.

I think the major comic book people have missed a bet with this. Barry and Iris Allen could have been this sort of couple. Reed and Sue Richards (per John Byrne) made an effort for little Franklin. But by and large the industry has decided that kids -- especially teens -- don't like parental figures. Or parents figures are there to be duped: Aunt May, the Power Pack's parents, Tim Drake's absentee dad. I think there is room for another view of the matter and I'm thrilled Brad Bird has introduced it.