For my story analysis, I decided to watch The Incredibles. It had been a while since I had seen it, and it’s a good movie, so I thought “why not?”. **WARNING: This may contain spoilers for The Incredibles (2004). **
The movie starts off with the news that superheroes have to go into hiding. Mr. Incredible saved a man who did not want to be saved, and other incidents were happening that caused the government to tell the superheroes to just go home and live ordinary lives. It then jumps to 15 years later, where Mr. Incredible (Bob) and Elastigirl (Helen) are married and have three children: Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack. Their children have superpowers and are also forced to be normal. Although Bob is not supposed to be a “superhero,” he and his friend Lucius aka Frozone would help people by saving them from burning buildings, for example.
Bob loses his job when he injures his boss after he didn’t let Bob stop a mugging that was happening in the alley behind the building (they could see it through the window). A woman named Mirage convinces Bob to become Mr. Incredible again and pays him well. He has to train to get back in shape to be Mr. Incredible again. Just stopping here in the story, the main ideas from the video definitely apply in many parts of the movie. The lecture in the video was about how as the story goes along, the happiness/well-being of the main character changes from bad to good (or good to bad). When supers were forced into hiding, Bob’s happiness/well-being went down. When he lost his job, his happiness went down even more. But once Mirage offered him a job working as a superhero, his happiness was high again (increasing his well-being financially, mentally, and physically).
The training Bob went through to become Mr. Incredible (again) is a pattern that is found in many movies in the secret agent movie genre. Whether the spy is getting better to defeat a really bad guy, training for their first time being an agent, or getting back in shape, there always seems to be a training montage with some intense/motivational music.
Anyway, back to the story, Bob’s job turns out to actually be training for omnidroids (see picture below) so that they can be developed smart and strong enough to defeat superheroes. It is discovered that Mirage works for a super wannabe named Syndrome aka Buddy. Buddy was Mr. Incredible’s number one fan who wanted to be his sidekick (“Incrediboy”), but he was rejected.
The rest of the movie is Helen and the kids going to save Bob, who was captured (because of Helen tracking him, his suit blinking, and getting him caught). Then, they get captured. The family escapes and goes back to save Metroville. Syndrome (Buddy) planned on having control over the drone, defeating it, and then becoming a hero. After he was a hero, he was going to make it so that everyone can have superpowers (with his super bracelet that gives him powers) so that having powers would be normal. His plan did not work, though (his robot knocked him out). The Incredibles saved the city. The plot is similar to the plots of other spy/superhero movies.
When I rewatched the movie, I did realize many things that I hadn’t realized when I watched the movie as a kid. I somehow did not grasp the idea that Bob was helping Syndrome make the robots smarter and “undefeatable.” I also did not realize (or maybe did not remember) that towards the very end of the movie, Buddy was trying to kidnap Jack-Jack and raise him to be his sidekick. I don’t know how I missed that, but I was a little surprised watching the scene again.
The Incredibles may not seem to be a secret agent movie, but Bob is definitely living a double life throughout most of the film. Whether it was just doing unofficial work with Lucius or paid work with Mirage, he had a job that no one knew about, and he had to pretend he was living a normal life. I like that this movie is almost a reverse spy movie in a way. In the beginning, all of the superheroes are well known, but then they have to disappear and take on their secret identities. Rather than their super persona being a secret, their identity in normal, ordinary life is a secret. (If that makes any sense.) I also feel like superheroes, while they are similar to spies in the work they may do, they have different tendencies. I feel like superheroes have more publicity and attention while spies try to do their job with as little attention drawn to them as possible.
This is a great movie, and I am probably going to watch it more often than I have been in the last however many years. The movie kept my attention with all of the ups and downs and spins that were the plot of the movie. There was a lot happening in the movie, but it was not too much so that it made everything confusing. The characters were very well developed (I can’t think of any characters from Pixar that are not developed), and have relatable problems. So, The Incredibles tells an intriguing, family-friendly story well and give the secret agent theme a little spin in the superhero direction.