Incredibles 2 Affirms Family and Warns of Encroaching Technology in Our Lives
The latest Pixar film, releasing today on home media, focuses on faithful fatherhood and the dangers of a digitally dependent culture.
In a season of reboots and movie franchise “revivals” comes a sequel to one of Pixar’s best films. Bringing back beloved characters from the 2004 hit, Incredibles 2 almost singlehandedly led to this past summer’s biggest box office results in U.S. history.
This adventure picks up where the first film ended. A televised confrontation with the Underminer puts Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and family in the public crosshairs.
An Incredible Script, Flipped
Relocated to a motel, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) encounter Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson). He wants them to meet billionaire Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk). Together, they plan to change public opinion about “supers.” Their best bet: Elastigirl.
With Elastigirl fighting crime, Mr. Incredible becomes a stay-at-home dad. It flips the script from the previous film. He’s raising kids while Mom saves the city. With three children at very different life stages, it’s a tough job.
It lends a lot of sympathy to the real-life dads who live this daily. It’s a bright spot in an entertainment culture often critical of fatherhood. And it wouldn’t be a Pixar film without some genuinely heartwarming and comedic moments for both children and parents.
Unmasking a Villainous Truth
Amidst all this emerges the Screenslaver. A villain fixated on society’s present obsession with screen-based technology. If that feels a bit too real, it’s because it is.
A recent article from The Atlantic comments on this trend. In it, Dr. Jean Twenge writes about digital devices and young people. “There is compelling evidence that the devices we have placed in young people’s hands are having profound effects on their lives — and making them seriously unhappy,” she states.
Screenslaver wants to expose this culture enamored by ease. This is one of the things the film does well: presenting truth via the villain. It’s a welcome challenge that engages the audience. Apprehending Screenslaver deepens the films plot, leading to a character twist.
A Better, Faster, Stronger Family
The third act involves the Parr family banding together to take action. This is a film that is actually better than the original. It shows the reality of family positively and plainly.
It doesn’t shy away from the challenges of family, either. Violet (Sarah Vowell) navigates adolescence while Dash (Huck Milner) and dad duel over math. And two parents struggle to make tough decisions for their children’s future.
Incredibles 2 continues a Pixar tradition of making worthwhile films. The studio trusts moviegoers to come on a fantastic journey alongside worthy characters.
In a culture where family entertainment can sometimes feel contrived and message-driven, freedom to trust the silver screen is, well, incredible.
Rated PG for action sequences and mild language, Incredibles 2 releases today on home media. Watch more insights on the movie below. Explore The Stream’s complete films coverage, and sign up to receive top stories every week.