Incredibles 2 & Bao
The Incredibles 2 opened in U.S. theaters on June 15, 2018 and was shown with the short Bao. These movies appeal to both adults and children. Parents can identify with these movies' story lines. Since the target audience is young children, most of whom will have their parents take them, it makes sense these films would have parent specific elements.
Bao is the first Pixar film directed by a woman, Domee Shi. The 14-year gap between Incredibles (2004) and Incredibles 2 is the longest gap between the release of a Disney/Pixar film and its sequel.[i] While it is the longest it’s not unusual for Disney/Pixar to have long gaps between originals and sequels. Incredibles 2 made 1.2 billion dollars in the worldwide box office so the long didn't seem to hurt sales.[ii]
[i] United States Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3606756/?ref_=nv_sr_1, last accessed 1/5/2019.
[ii] United States Movie Database, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3606756/reference, last accessed 1/5/2019.
This short film tells a touching story without dialogue. A middle aged Asian woman makes 6 Chinese dumplings. The back story is she and her husband are living in Canada and her child no longer lives with them. She takes the dumplings to the breakfast table where her husband is waiting. She gives 3 dumplings to her husband and takes 3 for herself. Her husband eats one of the dumplings then quickly devours the other two. He hurries off to work. This leaves the woman alone to her breakfast. She sadly eats two of the dumplings. When she puts the third dumpling in her mouth it screams. She spits it out and the dumpling has a face. She adds to the dumpling, giving it a body. She nurtures and protects the little dumpling. The little dumpling matures very quickly and insists on leaving the house.
The backstory from the original Incredibles is people with superpowers, “Supers”, are prohibited from using their superpowers. They use their superpowers with a handler running cover for them.
The story begins with The Incredibles, aka the Parr Family, trying to stop a supervillain on a rampage. Their friend Frozone, aka Lucius Best (Samuel L. Jackson), comes to lend a hand. They stop the rampage but the supervillain escapes. From their viewpoint they frustrated the plans of a dangerous criminal. From the political viewpoint they failed to catch the villain and contributed to the enormous amount of property damage caused in the incident. The argument they prevented more property damage appeared inconclusive at best.
This leaves the Parr Family in a hotel room with two weeks to figure out what they are going to do with their lives. Enter Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener). They are super rich. They present the Parrs with a plan to make supers popular with the public and change the law. This would benefit the populace, the Parrs and the other Supers. The Deavors’ father was a big supers’ supporter. He had two hotlines to supers. Soon after using superpowers was made illegal there was a break-in at their house. Their father tried to call the supers but there we no supers to answer the phone. The prowler shot and killed their father. The movie gives both sides of this issue. Was making supers illegal or father Deaver’s reliance on supers the cause of father Deaver’s death?
Winston was the marketing person and Evelyn was the inventor. They decided Mrs. Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter), should be the Incredible to do the superhero work. Studies showed she did less property damage than Mr. Incredible, aka Bob Parr (Craig T. Nelson). Elastigirl got a motorcycle, suited to her superpower ability, and new costume with a built-in bodycam. With the bodycam the public can see her side of the story when she is doing superhero work. A disappointed Mr. Incredible accepted the role of staying home and taking care of the children.
Elastigirl was having the time of her life. As Evelyn pointed out Elastigirl was no longer second to Mr. Incredible. Bob got the perfect storm. Teenage daughter Violet (Sarah Vowell) was stood up on her first date. She later learned thanks to the Incredibles’ handler her would be boyfriend doesn’t know she exists. Son Dashiell Parr, aka Dash (Huck Milner), is having trouble with Math. Infant son Jack-Jack Parr (Eli Fucile) got his superpowers, 17 of them, and as an infant had no control over these powers. Bob didn’t tell Helen about these events because she might give up being Elastigirl to rush home.
When Bob found out Violet got stood up because of Incredibles’ activity he attempted to play cupid and failed miserably. Instead of solving Math problems the way Bob learned Dashiell was taught a different way. With “Common Core” many parents can, or will, appreciate Bob’s frustration. While this may seem to date the movie in the mid-late 20th century there was “The New Math”. At one time there were four oceans and nine planets. Parents having to deal with someone reinventing the wheel had probably been a problem since the invention of the wheel. In that sense it is not likely to become dated as long as children need help with their homework. Bob was completely clueless as to what to do about Jack-Jack.
Eventually, with some help from friends, Bob gets a handle on the family problems. The superhero part of the equation gets more complicated and the action heats up. Incredibles is an entertaining movie the whole family can enjoy.
When there is a problem:
When there are troubles
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Robert Sacchi