Friday, 30 September 2016


Fig.1. 'The Incredibles' Poster
Directed by Brad Bird, 'The Incredibles' (2004) is a family adventure that focuses on the life and times of a superhero. From the glory days to the typically mundane ones. 'Plenty of ideas go into the mix. There's something of X-Men, the fantastic Four, Spy Kids and also the quirky retro-feel of TV shows like Get Smart and the 1960's Batman' (Bradshaw, 2004) With all it's influences, Brad Bird creates something modern and fresh within the superhero genre. This review will give a brief look into the 'hero's journey' from start to finish of this action packed adventure, full of good times, bad times and a lot of spandex. But no capes! Movie review site Common Sense Media say 'Despite the intensity of the Bond-level violence, there are plenty of positive themes about family, courage and identity to make this a must-see for families' (CMM, 2005)

The film begins in the glory days of the superheroes, an age that was joyous and the citizens of the world had respect for them. We meet Mr Incredible (Robert Parr) and his future wife Elastigirl (Helen Parr) who come across as the best of the best in the hero world. Not everything goes to plan though as public opinion changes on the typically known 'Supers' which draws them into hiding. 

Cut to fifteen years later and we see Mr and Mrs Incredible living a life in hiding, alongside their two children, Violet and Dash. A troubled family but going about their lives as normally as possible for a family of supers.
Mr Incredible seems to most troubled, he is incapable of stopping himself preventing crime.  and when the opportunity arrives he can't stop himself from saying no. 

'The call to Adventure', in a way this could be that Mr Incredible is in hiding, as told by the government this is his best option. But 'The call to Adventure' could also be the digital message from Mirage. Asking for Mr Incredibles help. 

His 'Refusal' could be his refusal to stay in hiding, but could also be his worry for his family and the troubles that could occur if he went down this path. 
It could be said that the 'supernatural aid' that encourages him to take on this offer is his office. It acts as a character, a piece of him that holds on to the glory days of the supers. The newspapers that are laid out upon the walls motivate him to be super again.

Accepting the mission from Mirage and taking the plane to the reclusive island is his 'crossing of the threshold', in a way betraying his wife and doing things his way without any thought for anybody else, in this case, his family.
As he progresses through the hi-tech island, he is greeted to a dramatic stand off. Standing in the heart of the jungle 'The Belly of the Whale' it comes to him pretty quick that this job isn't something that is as easy as he first though, he has now recognised the danger that he is agreed to be a part of.

Mr Incredible begins his 'Road of Trials' we are treated to a Balboa-esque training montage. He begins to transform himself into a new man, a better man, a better superhero.
The story becomes even more dangerous when Mr Incredible is led to believe his family were killed after their plane (That Elastigirl acquired to bring him back) was shot down by his enemy Syndrome. 
The audience knows that they are alive and well. In their own kind of danger, but all in all, not dead. Elastigirl makes her way up to where he is being held prisoner and Mr Incredible 'Meets his Goddess' the woman that he lied to to try and be who he once was again, his wife. 
Mirage, from the first time we see her to the last has always acted as the 'Temptress' she is the one that was really able to lure him into this dangerous world after so many years away from it.

Fig.2 Film Still
At this point in the film, Syndrome has a 'God like status' over everyone, he is the new kind of super, he has the technology to out smart the typically enhanced human.
'The ultimate boon' the moment that they escape the prison facility after being captured as a family by  Syndrome is relieving. Working together together as supers and as a family is so great to watch on screen. A release of repressed energy between them can be felt.
The only option now is to refuse to let Syndrome get away with his place, but there seems that there could also be this underlining 'refusal' to go back to the world in which they live and reveal themselves for who they really are. Yes, their identities are a secret, but the acknowledgement to the public that supers are still around is something that the government has tried to hide for fifteen years.

'A Rescue from without' the temptress, Mirage, one of the root causes of all the problems that are unfolding has unexpectedly decided to help the family escape and get to Syndrome to confront him for al his wrong doings.
The 'Crossing of the return threshold' is something that as a family they do together, they have all become one and know the consequences of facing the world again.

During the final battle with Syndrome Mr Incredible becomes a 'Master of Two Worlds' his family no longer hiding who they really are not only are they fighting crime and saving lives but they are working as one, they have become stronger as a family and as people.

Fig.3. Film Still
After the almighty climax of the film we return to the Parr family, they are happy with their new way of living they have 'Freedom to live' as they can be seen cheering on their super fast son at a school race, something they wish he could always do, but his powers have always restricted him. 

Overall, 'The Incredibles' is a fantastic example of the 'hero's journey'. From mundane beginnings to adrenaline filled endings. 'The Incredibles' is a film that is an example of story telling. Roger says 'Grown-ups are likely to be surprised by how smart the movie is, and how sneakily perceptive' (Ebert, 2004) It captures the attention of children, but it captures the hearts and minds of adults who see beyond the brightly coloured costumes and the excitement of explosions and see the real message of the film. To be yourself, don't hide just because you are different. A good message to take away from just a wonderful film.


Bradshaw, P (2004) 'The Incredibles' At Accessed on: 30/09/2016

Ebert, R (2004) 'The Incredibles Film review' At: Accessed on: 30/09/2016

Common Sense Media, (2005) 'The Incredibles Review' At: Accessed on: 30/09/2016


Figure 1. 'The Incredibles' (2004) [Film Poster] At: Accessed on: 30/09/2016

Figure 2. Film Still At: Accessed on: 30/09/2016

Figure 3. Film Still At:

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