The Incredibles 2 Parent Guide
"Good” rather than "Incredible" seems the appropriate adjective to describe this animated sequel.
Parent Movie Review
Sequels of movies like The Incredibles, have a very high bar to live up to. So high that even a “good” movie feels like a bit of a failure. Sadly, “good” seems to be the appropriate adjective to describe Incredibles 2, and it may be indicative of Pixar’s need to produce too much, too fast within a corporate environment that is putting at risk its trademark culture of creativity.
The beloved Parr family picks up right where we left off a little over a decade ago. (Unlike Toy Story 3, the characters have not aged while they were away.) The Underminer (voice of John Ratzenberger) has attacked the city and the Supers’ attempts to save the day have failed… once again. And, again, that means they are considered a threat to the populace. So much so that the government has given up their funding, and fired Rick Dicker (Jonathan Banks), the civil servant who protected superheroes when all went wrong.
Holed up in a one-star motel, Bob Parr (voice of Craig T. Nelson), wife Helen (voice of Holly Hunter), daughter Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), son Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and toddler Jack-Jack (voice of Eli Fucile) are dealing with the prospects of homelessness, unemployment and family friction.
Yet, there’s still hope for this incredible family. Promoter Winston Deavor and his sister Evelyn (voices of Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener) have a long history with Supers and feel they must be allowed to work within society. Using their marketing skills, the pair of siblings launch a PR plan that puts Helen, aka Elastigirl, on center stage as the ideal superhero. On the downside, studies have revealed Bob is far more likely to cause collateral damage during his rescues, leading to negative headlines. So the envious husband is left at home with the kids.
Essentially flipping the former story into a Mr. Mom scenario, the movie dives into action sequences with Helen taking on a bad guy who uses TV and other screens to hypnotize the population (a tad ironic, coming from Disney, which is fast becoming the largest media company on the planet).
Meanwhile Bob deals with domestic drama. Violet’s crush on Tony (voice of Michael Bird) is being hampered by a need to keep family secrets. Dash is frustrated with trying to learn new math from an old school dad. And after Bob dozes off when reading a bedtime story to his son Jack-Jack (whose abilities are not completely known), the youngster wanders off and has a raucous encounter with a backyard racoon.
The divide-to-conquer scenario is similar to the first installment, only last time it was Bob who went off to hunt the villain. In both movies, the most entertaining and engaging part of the script is watching the antics happening at home. In this case, compared to the complex and abstract depiction of the foe faced by Elastigirl, switching back to Mr. Incredible dealing with the pressures of suburbia comes as comic relief in more ways than one.
Likely to attract audiences of all ages, parents may be surprised by the intensity of the violence in this movie. A secondary character is shot at point blank range (we see the gun fire but don’t see the bullet’s impact) and mom’s discovery of the villain results in a frenetic scene of Taser-like electrocutions and bright flashes that may cause sensitive audience members discomfort. (Those prone to seizures should be particularly cautious.) Other conflicts include fights with fists and kicks, a helicopter chase and a couple of “jump” scenes.
Also unexpected – and unnecessary – are a few mild profanities, including terms of deity, that just don’t fit the usual Disney/Pixar tone. Rounding up concerns is a scene where Helen and Evelyn sit down for a drink to relieve workday stress.
So do the positives outweigh the negatives? Fortunately, yes, but not to the same extent as the original. The Parrs still work together, both on and off the job, and the conclusion reinforces the benefits of everyone doing their part. Likewise, there are many humorous moments, especially when Bob visits Edna Mode (once again voiced by writer/director Brad Bird) to get some parenting advice and respite care. However, the film’s unnecessary violence and profanity, along with a complicated plot, makes it far less suitable for children.
Perhaps most troubling is the overarching sense that the Parr family’s problems may represent Pixar’s own family troubles. We certainly hope this studio’s stellar track record of incredible family movies may recover and return to its former glory.Directed by Brad Bird. Starring Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell. Running time: 118 minutes. Theatrical release June 15, 2018. Updated November 6, 2018
The Incredibles 2
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Incredibles 2 rated PG? The Incredibles 2 is rated PG by the MPAA for action sequences and some brief mild language.
Violence: Frequent scenes of violence are depicted throughout this movie. A female character confronts a male: a fight ensues that involves fantastical weapons that emit electrical pulses. This scene is depicted with bright flashing lights that may cause discomfort or harm to sensitive audience members. A secondary character is shot at point blank range – we see the pistol fire but we do not see the impact of the bullet or the corpse. Other altercations include kicks, punches and hand-to-hand conflict. Fantastical flying vehicles crash to the ground while a superhero attempts to rescue the human occupants. A couple of “jump” scenes may be too scary for young children. Vehicle chases and crashes occur with occupants put at risk. A villain digs beneath a city, causing buildings to collapse and fall into the ground. A toddler with super powers gets into a tussle with a backyard racoon; the racoon is seen somewhat injured with smoky fur.
Sexual Content: An adolescent crush between a girl and a boy is depicted.
Profanity: About a half-dozen mild profanities, including two uses of terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Social drinking is portrayed and, in one scene, two characters drink with the underlying purpose of relieving stress.
Page last updated November 6, 2018
The Incredibles 2 Parents' Guide
This movie depicts a father, Mr. Incredible/Bob, having to care for children and initially having a very difficult time doing so. Is this a fair representation or a classic stereotype? Does Helen/Elastigirl go through similar challenges when she returns to “work”? Is raising a family more difficult than most “jobs”? How is caring for children usually portrayed in media?
When a character is arrested, another says the offender “is rich” and “will get no more than a slap on the wrist.” Why do you think this comment is included in the script? Can you think of examples of “rich” people avoiding the consequences of the law? Can you think of people who are not wealthy that have also circumvented legal punishment? Is Hollywood’s portrayal of the privileged people somewhat hypocritical?
Read books about The Incredibles 2
Kids who are looking for zany superhero stories will enjoy Dav Pilkey’s irreverent Captain Underpants series.
Preschoolers (and older kids and parents) will get a kick out of Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime!. Written by Lisa Mantchev and illustrated by Samantha Cotterill, this incredibly engaging picture book tells the story of two siblings who decide to fight crime instead of fighting each other.
Young readers enraptured by superheroes will appreciate Deb Pilutti’s tongue-in-cheek Ten Rules of Being a Superhero.
Teen and tween readers will be intrigued by Shannon Hale’s novel Dangerous. This novel tells the story of Maisie Danger Brown, a perfectly normal one-armed, half-Peruvian girl from Salt Lake City, who suddenly acquires super powers and the responsibility of saving the world.