25 April, 2018
The Incredibles, The Importance of Mothers
Have you ever cared to notice the mothers that are killed off or not even introduced in children movies? The mother figure is more important than you think. In the movie, The Incredibles, Bob aka Mr. Incredible and his wife Helen aka Elastigirl are both active characters. Most importantly, the mother survives the entire movie diverging from the other children movies where the mom is dead like Boxer stated. Unlike other movies that portray a perfect father who heavily cares for his kids, Bob is not even close to being the perfect father. He lied to his wife and puts his family in danger, has anger issues, and is self-centered. The mother, Helen, is the hero that defeats all obstacles in order to save her family from the trouble her husband put them in. Boxer uses this as an example to argue that the mother role is very important in her text, “Why are all the cartoon mothers dead?”.
To start off, this movie goes against the rest of the children movies. The father, Bob isn’t perfect. In one of the scene of the movie at the dinner table, he’s disconnected from the family. He’s a limp character, minding his own business by reading his newspaper and interacting only through inattentive noises while his wife deals with all the kids across the table. The color of the scene is dull almost black and white, and it’s evidently clear that his actions drag down the whole family. His self-worth lies in his superhero identity, and because he is unable to perform this identity due to the havoc him and his wife caused trying to save the city, he feels worthless. When he argues with his wife, he insist that their son Dash, who has super speed, should be allowed to compete in school runnings. She replies “You know why we can’t do that, Bob.”(The Incredibles) Meaning that if Dash competed, his superpower would be discovered and the family’s secret would be compromised. He replies, “Because he’d be great!”(The Incredibles) revealing his frustration at not being able to perform his superhero identity. She quickly identifies this and screams, “This is not about you!”(The Incredibles) Bob is portrayed as self centered and only cares about re-living the superhero days.
An opportunity presents itself when he is approached by a sinister government organization. The top-secret tasks involve a powerful machine attacking an island which he later destroys via tricking it into ripping off its power source. He views this as a chance of becoming Mr. Incredible once again. He lies and tell his wife that his job is sending him to a company conference and he will be out of town for a few days. He doesn’t feel remorse about lying and proceeds to do the task. Bob gets into trouble after leaving for the mission, he is tricked and held captive by Syndrome, a sidekick who he turned down when he was fighting crime, who is now trying to destroy him and become the next superhero. His wife find out and seeks to help him, their kids sneak along because they are curious and heard their father is in danger. Bob is led to believe that Syndrome has killed his wife and children. He is forced to sit and listen to his wife’s cries for help over the radio before missiles hit the plane she is in and supposedly kill both Helen and his children. At this moment, Bob realizes exactly what he has lost. When he is later told that his family is alive, he is determined to change, and refocuses his life around his family instead of himself. Unlike other father figures in children movie, Bob was self-centered. Boxer quotes, “In today’s movie fathers…they’re magnanimous, caring, and fun. (Boxer 91) Bob put his family in danger because of his selfishness to re-live the superhero days. He only becomes caring when he realized that his family wasn’t there anymore. The only thing on his mind was fighting crime.
Moms play vital roles in the movie unlike other children movies. The movie doesn’t just feature a father, but it also features a mom and two important female figures. The mom role was a huge throw off to the other children movies that Boxer mentions. Boxer says, ” They don’t bother at all with the dead mother herself, only with the person, force, or thing that sweeps in and benefits from her death.”(87) Boxer states that mom are always killed off and its different because she lives till the end. Anyway, Helen shows her important role when she takes care of the kids when Bob is to busy daydreaming about the old days. If the mother wasn’t there who would care
Despite Syndrome countless effort to shoot down Helen’s private plane her and the siblings survive and reach the island. Helen penetrates the base forcing Mirage to release Bob and inform him of his family’s survival. On returning home Parrs find Syndrome who intends to capture Jack-Jack and make him his sidekick as a form of revenge to the family. However as Syndrome travels upwards to his plane, Jack Jack’s superpower start to reveal hence evading from Syndrome midair. Consequently, Bob throws his car smashing the flight causing Syndrome to lose his balance and end up being sucked by the plane’s jet engine thus destroying him while Helen catches Jack-Jack.
The hero of the movie is not Bob, but the mother Helen, who is flexible and a muscular superhero with a purpose of saving her husband. Regardless of the private plane they are using being hit with a missile during the rescue mission; they eject and survive. Additionally, she uses her springiness to reach out and grasp her kids and skydive them with herself as the cataract to the ocean below. Indeed, she transforms her flexible body into a speedboat to cope with the super speed of her son and enable them to have a soft landing on the shore. Overall the movie indicates the important role of the mother and other women. Without the aid of these figures in this movie, the father would’ve been dead. In reality, sixty-seven percent of the household with siblings are ruled by both parents, 25 % by single mothers while 8% consist of single fathers. Hence it hard to underrate the vital role played by women in the family.
Boxer, Sarah. In the Floyd Archives: A Psycho-Bestiary. New York: Pantheon Books, 2001. Print.
Moore, Louise. The Incredible: The Movie Storybook. New York: Random House, 2004. Print.