To celebrate Father’s Day this past weekend, I took my husband out to dinner and a movie (he’s always loved going to the movies). He wanted to go see Incredibles 2, which, as a grown man, left him vulnerable to little bit of teasing from his loving wife. But I have to admit that I loved every single minute of the movie! I can’t remember the last time I laughed that hard or that long, but what really struck me was how sharp and relevant the writing is! In addition to addressing the illegal status of superheroes, it also touches on the impact of devices and screens in our daily lives and the challenges of being a working mom!
Within the first 30 minutes of the film (no spoiler alert), Helen (aka Elastigirl) goes back to work, leaving Bob (aka Mr. Incredible) home to care for Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack.
Writer and director, Brad Bird, nailed the conflicting emotions of a working mom: from guilt and concern about not being with her family to elation and pride with her achievements and recognition. There is an angst that comes with putting work ahead of family, even for superhero moms. Edna Mode (who was my favorite character from the first Incredibles movie in 2004 and is voiced by Brad Bird himself) is a wonderful counterpoint to Helen in this movie. Edna is all-business and appears not to have a family of her own, but discovers her own maternal instinct in this long-awaited sequel.
The movie also addresses the challenges of being a stay at home dad. Though fathers staying at home to raise their children is more common now than in previous generations, families with stay at home dads only represent 5% of American families (with two parents and at least one child under the age of 18). So, Bob Parr finds himself in uncharted territory in this movie. He shows a range of emotions from struggling to suppress his desire to be the family bread-winner, to belief that he can be the world’s greatest dad, to elation at triumphing over elementary school math to complete and utter exhaustion. Something that I am sure any stay at home parent can relate to.
Kudos to Disney Pixar Studios and Brad Bird for knocking this one out of the park! It’s humor and relevancy makes this a great family movie (though you may want to check out a couple warnings about the film if you or your children have light sensitivities) and well worth the 14 year wait.