The Incredibles is an animated children’s movie about a family of super heroes. It is set in a world that used to be full of “Supers” until the government banned superheroes from using their powers and forced them to live in secrecy. The movie follows the family as they battle a villain who is trying to make everyone in the world a super hero, therefore negating the “super-ness” of anyone. The strongest message film is trying to portray is Team Work, but it also has underlying messages about family life and equality, which I believe gives the movie an explicit degree of ideology on the right/conservative side of the spectrum.
Throughout the movie, we see a heavy emphasis on the importance of team work. Towards the beginning of the film Bob is sneaking around because he doesn’t want his family to get involved with his mission that he’s on, but as time goes on the audience sees that it isn’t a task he can complete on his own. Then the mom, Elastagirl, leaves to go help him and the kids sneak along and thank goodness they do because without Violet and Dash Elastagirl would’ve died in a plane crash. The teamwork portrayed in the plane crash scene is one of the best examples of this underlying theme throughout the film; Violet uses a force field to save them from the explosion while Elastagirl turns into a parachute/boat with Dash being the motor. Another example of this is when they get back to the city and are fighting the big Omnidroid. Every member of the family plays a critical role in defeating the giant robot, and it wouldn’t have been defeated without them all. Because this is the climax of the movie as well as the defeat of the villain, I think that teamwork is the strongest message presented in the film.
Another positive message shown is that inequality isn’t a bad thing in society. The villain of the movie is trying to give everyone the ability to be a super hero because, “if everyone’s a super, then no one is a super.” He is trying to put everyone on the same level which is not only unattainable, but also diminishing for the people of the world. The philosophy behind this is that if you make everyone equal then you are actually making everyone worse because there is no individualism. We see this being combatted by the Incredibles because they take down Syndrome and prevent his plan from following through with his plan. This theme is why I place the movie on the right, more conservative side of the spectrum. They are showing that the world needs a population that strives for competition and excellence, as opposed to everybody being treated the same and getting the same privileges.
Unfortunately, there were more than just positive themes presented in the movie. One of the first negative messages portrayed is that life as a husband and father is boring and meaningless. Bob is shown as sad, unamused, and even lifeless before he is given the opportunity to use his powers again. This is really shown well during a scene at the dinner table, when he is very upset looking and ends up cutting through a plate because he is so out of it and wasn’t even paying attention. I think this is an unfortunate message to portray because this is a family movie, I don’t like the fact that kids seeing this could think that their dads hate their boring lives because they don’t have super powers.
The messages of teamwork and individualism are sound and beneficial to the film, while there is a hint of negative in the portrayal of family life. I think that the positives far outweighed the negatives in the movie. I also think that the straight-forwardness of the themes throughout the movie place it in the explicit category of ideology, there was nothing that was hidden or left for the viewer to interpret. All in all, I give the message of the movie 4 stars, losing one star because of the way they portrayed fatherhood and family life.