The Incredibles: Watchmen for Children?
Pixar has been considered the best of the animated world for a while now. One of their best and most popular movies is The Incredibles. The Incredibles tells the story of a superhero family that has to save a world that requires them to hide their superpowers. The movie received universal critical acclaim and is now considered one of the greatest animated movies ever made. And what's not to love? It has a great story, the characters are likable, it is entertaining for both children and adults, and the characters each have their own flaws. Yet when I watch The Incredibles I cannot help but feel like I have heard the story somewhere before, and until recently I could never put my finger on where I had heard it before. It finally hit me the other day.
Recently, I have built up an interest in reading graphic novels. I had to read Maus for my religion class, and I really enjoyed it. I started looking into works like V for Vendetta, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and, of course, Watchmen. I had watched the movie Watchmen before, but it wasn't until I started reading the graphic novel that I drew a conclusion: The Incredibles is like a children's version of Watchmen. Now don't get me wrong, The Incredibles isn't a ripoff. It has its own original story, but there are some similarities that show me that The Incredibles had to have been inspired by Watchmen.
Superheroes Are Not Accepted Anymore
I think the number one most glaring similarity is the fact that both these stories take place in a world where superheroes are "frowned-upon". The Incredibles has a less adult reason for this than The Watchmen, but what do you expect from a children's movie? Also, both works show an event that happened in the past that lead to a negative light being cast upon superheroes. Mr. Incredible was put in a bad situation by a man who wasn't grateful for being saved, and the fact that The Comedian was a sociopath led to problems for the Watchmen.
Superheroes Are Killed
The second glaringly obvious similarity I noticed between these two is the fact that the plot of both is an enemy trying to kill superheroes, and the enemy is actually successful in killing at least one superhero. I guess this comparison is a bit of a stretch considering that almost all villains want to kill their opposition, but how many movies do you actually see superheroes die? And these heroes weren't killed at the end in some epic battle. Watchmen begins with The Comedian being murdered, and Mr. Incredible discovers all the people that Syndrome killed a little before the halfway point in the movie. This is something unique very unique for both movies, yet also very similar.
Capes Kill Heroes
The third and final glaring similarity I will point out is that capes kill at least one superhero in both works. This actually plays a bigger role in The Incredibles, but Watchmen was the first to have a hero killed solely because of his cape. In Watchman, one of the original members of the Minutemen, Dollar Bill, gets his cape stuck in a revolving door and is shot to death because of this. The Incredibles actually gives several examples of Supers who were killed by their capes. Syndrome was also killed because his cape got caught in the motor of an airplane.
So I will conclude by saying that while The Incredibles is a great movie and one of my favorite animated films of all time, the several of the key elements of its plot come almost directly from Watchmen. And here you guys were thinking that Watchmen translated terribly on the big screen....
Thanks for reading and please leave comments below. I will definitely come back and respond to questions, agreements, or arguments.