Go see The Incredibles
It’s got as much action as Spiderman (I & II), and it’s also a good comedy.
Visually, it’s perfect. The insurance company design reminded me of one of my former employers (which shall remain nameless, even when it was a much better place to work than Mr. Incredible’s employer). The Incredibles’ house reminded me of Lileks, and of my aunt Maria’s house. My aunt, in a fit of 1960s modernity, turned a lovely Out Of Africa-style home stylishly decorated with Ralph Lauren-like wicker furnishings into, well, The Incredibles’ manor. (Now, that’s an unlikely pair: Lileks and my late aunt Maria. That’s the magic of Pixar for you.) The bad guy’s lair borrows a style note or two from Goldfinger’s, Dr. No’s, and that house where the two women gymnasts attacked James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever. Jazz enthusiasts will want to hang around at the end for the credits music score.
My favorite character in the film is Edna, the designer. She looks like Linda Hunt, wears Pauline Trigere glasses, and has the attitude of a Diana Vreeland.* Edna’s voice, according to the IMDB, was done by Brad Bird, the film’s writer/director, who also directed The Iron Giant, a good children’s movie. The fashion conscious will notice that Elastigirl/Mrs. Incredible’s figure echoes the latest trend in women’s fashion.
Like any good film, The Incredibles has a serious side. As Frederica Mathewes-Green said,
If the first point will discomfort euthanasia enthusiasts, the second will do the same for nanny-schoolers. While public schools across America are eliminating honor rolls and honors classes to spare the tender esteem of low achievers, Bob Parr gripes that “They keep inventing new ways to celebrate mediocrity.” Young Dash wants to go out for sports, but his parents have discouraged him, because his superpowers would reveal the family’s secret. And maybe it wouldn’t be fair? “Dad says our powers make us special,” he protests to his mom. “Everyone is special, Dash,” Helen says. “Which is another way of saying no one is,” Dash mutters.
More on the pursuit of excellence at Blogcritics:
Th Incredibles seems to imply that we are all “special” but that some of us are more special than others, and the world is a better, happier place if individuals are free to openly express and pursue excellence rather than repressing these characteristics so as to not offend the sensibilities of the masses in the statistical average. We can see this dynamic very much at work on the world stage underlying tectonic differences between cultures.
All this, and the kids will enjoy it, too.
* On second thought, Edna’s probably based on real-life Hollywood (is that an oxymoron?) designer Edith Head, considering the “astonishing” physical resemblance.