The Incredibles is a wonderful film full of metaphor and visual splendor. Brought to the world by the brilliant storytellers at Pixar, marking their last in a brilliant string of classic films cut short by the stale Cars two years later. The Incredibles is about a family of superheroes who are no longer “legally” allowed to use their powers. The government hides and subsidizes them to not use their powers. Bob’s family has issues not terribly different from those without superpower but they are content with this life. Bob, however, is increasingly dissatisfied with his role as a spineless bureaucrat. He spends his nights listening to a police scanner, breaking the law, and saving lives. He is offered a secret job stress testing a weapon on a remote island.
Bob goes off without telling his family. He defeats the weapon but discovers that the corporation is run by his former, unwanted sidekick, Syndrome. Syndrome wants revenge for Bob’s, Mr. Incredible’s, mistreatment. An even more dangerous weapon attacks Bob. He survives but is captured. His wife and kids come to the island to rescue him. They make a daring escape but Syndrome’s plan to attack the city has already begun. They make it back to the city and stop Syndrome and his machine from destroying everything.
The concept of personal freedom versus government control is the base premise for this film. While it does not beat the audience over the head with this idea, personal freedom is the core behind why the events of this story unfold. Bob, his family, and all of the “Supers” have lost their freedom simply because other people and the government are afraid of their powers. The argument might be that people with superpowers are dangerous to those without. But it begs the question: where’s the line that the government is allowed to “protect” people from other people? A bodybuilder is technically a threat to someone weaker than them. It comes down to intention. Should the government be allowed to infer intent and limit freedoms based on said hypothetical intentions? If that were the case, we wouldn’t be allowed to bare arms or even drive a car. Is limiting an individual’s freedom, even for “safety” reasons, ever going to child-proof the world? And is child-proofing the world even beneficial for society?