'The Incredibles 2': Why We Shouldn't Be Shocked Teens Are Excited
A Relatable Family Of Supers
Why People Love 'The Incredibles'
When November 5, 2004 came around, I was a new-ish mom of 31, having just had daughter #1 a few short weeks earlier on October 20. I can't remember exactly when I first encountered The Incredibles, whether it was on its initial release in theaters or on DVD, but I remember being completely enthralled by the film. It had the right blend of action and humor, and while the Parr family and their friends were superheroes, they seemed oddly real to me, in spite of their abilities and the fact that they were animated.
In short, I was impressed, and when Daughter #1 was old enough to appreciate watching movies, The Incredibles was one of the first videos we picked up, and if memory serves, it was one of the ones that were on constant replay during long road trips. It was certainly one that would be in steady rotation with what seemed to be an endless stream of Dora and Diego videos, and even as I write this, I can hear the telltale sound of the theme from The Incredibles in the soundtrack of my memory.
Now, Daughter #1 is 13 and a half, and the students I teach at high school, who are only a couple of years older than she is, are telling me just how excited they were to go see The Incredibles 2 this past weekend as it opened. Several seemed sort of surprised that they were legitimately excited to see this sequel that was 14 years in the making.
Their anticipation for this highly-rated sequel isn't really all that shocking.
There's something to be said for nostalgia, and while The Incredibles is far from a Disney classic that we might remember from our parents' generations (or even the one before that), for a lot of these teens, The Incredibles was very much one of the definitive movies of their youth.
For adults, many could, as I did, relate to the frustration of the Parr parents - Bob and Helen - when their children simply would not listen, or would just do whatever they felt like doing. When Daughter #2, who is now 9 and also loves The Incredibles, came along, and was old enough to start trying to get her sister going into a fight, I often felt like Helen Parr, whose arms were often not quite long enough to keep the battling siblings Violet and Dash apart. When my kids would keep waking up at night, I was often reminded of Jack-Jack, who while incredibly cute, seemed to have a hint of devilishness about him.
When it comes to kids being excited about The Incredibles 2, I'm not shocked at all. I mean, Dash, Violet and even Jack-Jack are able to go on these incredible adventures to save their city and their family while still having the amazing imagination of kids, so who wouldn't embrace that? As adults, we tend to sometimes underestimate the generation that's coming up after us, so if nothing else, The Incredibles reminds us that there are so many kids out there who can do some pretty amazing things.
Sure, I don't think we've discovered anyone with genuine superpowers - yet - but what The Incredibles does so very well is remind us that within all of us is that potential for greatness. The movies also show us that no one - regardless of how powerful and strong they might seem - is invulnerable to making some very human mistakes, and I think that's a very potent reminder for all of us when we're kicking ourselves for having done something stupid.
The Incredibles also reminds us that no matter how aggravating our own respective families might make us, and no matter how angry we are as a result of something our siblings or parents may have done, at the end of the day, it's important to have each other's backs. Sure, no family is perfect, and whether we're talking about the family we were born with or the family we choose, it's so important to remember that these people are still family. Sometimes, we need to rescue each other. Sometimes, we stand with each other against a common problem.
While The Incredibles 2 has once again captured our imaginations, and rightfully so, it's important to recognize that the sequel has recaptured what the original did so well: the spirit of family and the spirit of humanity that unites all of us in one way or another. When you sit down to rewatch The Incredibles or head to the theatre to take in The Incredibles 2, don't be afraid to grab onto the magic that is the Parr family - and your child within that is reawakened by it. It's so worth it.