Looking over at my five-year old son snuggled up in his Incredibles pyjamas, while watching The Incredibles for the eleventy millionth time, all I can think of is, “You win, Pixar”. And I can safely say that as many times as I’ve seen this film, I always want to watch it one more time. It’s an experience I enjoyed before having my own children, and one I came to value even more—and in a whole new way—after becoming a parent.
Suffice to say, in a world running rampant with sequels, prequels, and reboots, I was a bit nervous to hear Incredibles 2 was on the roster for 2018 release. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? And The Incredibles certainly isn’t broken. Not even close. In fact, it’s one of the most solidly crafted films out there. It’s tightly written, impeccably directed, and chock full of talented actors and animators who bring the characters to vibrant life on-screen.
With writer/director Brad Bird at the helm of the sequel, my trepidation lessened. Then, I found out nearly everyone from the original cast is set to reprise the same roles. The exception is Jason Alexander as Syndrome (who really shouldn’t have worn that cape); and Spencer Fox who played Dash in the first film naturally grew up and hit puberty, which isn’t so great for a voice actor playing a child. According to Bird the second film picks up one minute after the first one ends, so Dash will be voiced by Huck Milner in the sequel.
I’ll definitely be looking forward to the incredible (sorry) talents of Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson returning as the dynamic duo of Helen and Bob Parr a.k.a. Elastigirl and Mr. Incredible. Sarah Vowell is set to come back as their teenage daughter Violet, along with Samuel L. Jackson who will be the voice of Mr. Incredible’s best bud Lucius Best, whose secret superhero identity is known as Frozone. To round it all out, we can look forward to Pixar favorite John Ratzenberger appearing as The Underminer. So far, it’s not clear who the main villain will be, but Bird assured fans at the recent D23 Convention that the Incredibles would be facing a brand new foe for the sequel.
Every fan of The Incredibles knows that the movie wouldn’t be complete without the indomitable Edna Mode. Referred to affectionately by her superhero clients simply as ‘E,’ the tiny fashion guru steals the show with director Brad Bird’s own voiceover skills.
Most of the film is still shrouded in mystery, but at this time we know that Mr. Incredible has taken up the noble title of Stay at Home Dad, and is caring for the youngest member of the family, Jack Jack, as he comes into his own powers. Mom is out saving the world as Elastigirl, which is highly appropriate because isn’t that pretty much what moms do on a regular basis anyway? Okay, maybe I’d just like to believe that massive knot I untied in my kid’s shoe yesterday will have world-altering effects. I’m sure Elastigirl will have a more tangible and active role in defeating the world’s super villains. Violet will likely be navigating the rough waters of high school where it’s so easy to feel invisible, but not so easy to you know. . . actually be invisible. Being a middle child is tough, so Dash will probably still be trying to find his stride within the family unit.
Above all, what makes this story resonate so deeply is its sense of family, because while the Incredibles might be superheroes, they’re still a family and everything that goes along with it. They’ve got fears and flaws just like the rest of us, and the best part is that they deal with it together; whether it’s fighting a super villain or running a race for the track team. Each member makes the unit stronger in his or her own unique way, and it’s the support they give each other rather than any super powers that make this family genuinely strong.
If the franchise stays true to the original we’ll get more of everything we loved from the original film: big sets, thrilling adventure, rolling laughs, and endearing family fun. But let’s be honest, what we’re all looking forward to most is Edna Mode’s spring line.