Movie Structure of “The Incredibles” Essay

Movie Structure of “The Incredibles”

The Incredibles, known to be as the well-loved, fearsome family of super heroes and heroine, are gifted with supernatural abilities to defy all laws of science and redefine common definitions of family ties. Led by the incredibly strong Mr. Incredible, The Incredibles include Elastigirl, superseding her roles as a mother and a heroine with distinct stretch abilities, and their children: Violet, a very shy teenager who seems reluctant of her power of invisibility; Dash, a full of life, a fourth grade speedster; and finally, the youngest Jack-Jack. The Incredibles face various challenges, internal and external, which test the relationship durability of their family that eventually defines their character as individuals and as a superhero group.

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  Major Dramatic Question That the Story Proposes

            The requirement of trust and honesty amongst personal relationships is the dramatic issue being addressed. Throughout the film, there are various scenes which highlight this particular need and issue. Being demoted from fighting crime to an insurance job and eventual job loss, Bob Parr truly misses the gone glory days of Mr. Incredible and relives them on an undisclosed point of view of Helen Parr, better known as Elastigirl. The plot thickens and later becomes complicated due to the sheer and truthful inability of Mr. Incredible to leave his superhero ways. With this, Helen is kept in the dark for quite some time, mainly about her husband’s clandestine rendezvous and her husband’s joblessness—even to at some point considering adultery as Bob’s chosen extra-curricular activity. As the story unfolds, drastic implications occur as a result of Bob’s attempts of heroism which follows dangerous complications, demanding the family to unite and face their fears together. In the main and eventual underlying causes, it is the lack of trust and honesty in these relationships which brings trouble and dilemmas to their feet. However, at the same time, with the rejuvenated family trust, The Incredibles bond and battle the odds together and triumph over the forces of evil that threaten their family core. Specifically, when caught among Syndrome’s evil schemes, The Incredibles realize what they must do, their responsibility to contribute to community safety, to one another, and to the family. The importance of family ties and the possible pressures they may face as its members are not fully honest with each other.

The Major Protagonists and Their Goal

The major protagonists in the film are the family of The Incredibles. As particular members compose of a family, there is a goal at a level for each individual and as whole. Bob Parr sets his main goal of reliving again what was once the legacy of Mr. Incredible, which later evolves into a ‘family-first realization’. Helen Parr sets her main goal to maintain her household as a responsible mother and wife. Thus, she prioritizes her family more than anything else, which is thoroughly as the story unfolds. Violet Parr, being a very shy and an introverted teenage individual, experiences the normal adolescent issues as she matures and sets her goal of trying to fit amidst her supernatural condition. Dash, in his young, exuberant, and competitive nature, is a care-free boy who likes to use his super abilities on occasion for not-so-superhero situations—a boy in every sense. The youngest, Jack-jack, is still an infant, who seemingly holds no powers whatsoever, but as the movie concludes, he reveals the array of abilities he has.

As a family, The Incredibles’ goal is to function as an average family with everyday, run on the mill issues despite having superpowers. There are some scenes which reveal the difficulty of trying to function as a family on a normal level—specifically with the scene which shows family in dinner and turmoil breaks loose. Dash races around the dining table, Violet generates her force-filed abilities, and Helen tries to tame the situation through her very ‘elastic handling’, and Bob’s contributes by lifting up the table—all are alarmed as the doorbell sounds.

The Antagonists and How They Oppose the Protagonist

            There are a number of antagonists who attempt to topple Mr. Incredible through their years his as a part the super-community group “Supers,” and there are those who make themselves known to the Incredibles. At the opening scenes, the villain Frenchman Bomb Voyage is positioned as Mr. Incredible’s nemesis, disrupting peace in the city. Basically, this highlights the ability of Mr. Incredible to handle situations, but then allows the character of Buddy Pine to enter. Buddy Pine, a die-hard Mr. Incredible fan, who later turns into the main antagonist Syndrome, opposes Mr. Incredible in a series of well-thought of wicked design. As his sidekick dreams are broken, he is filled with anger and hatred and attempts to exceed Mr. Incredible, the most powerful, well-loved superhero, in every aspect. With this enters the villainess Mirage, an accessory for Syndrome’s plan, who is responsible for Mr. Incredible’s solicited services in ‘battling the Omnidroids’. With this, everything is set into place, as Mr. Incredible is lured in Syndrome’s mischievous ways. Some other villains to be noted are Gilbert Huph and The Underminer. Gilbert Huph, Bob’s boss in his insurance company, opposes the very ideals of justice and fairness that Bob, and ultimately Mr. Incredible, stands for and upholds. On the other hand, The Underminer, a villain from an underground society, only appears at the end of the movie. He suddenly rises from the ground and states a declaration of “war” to disrupt the peace in the community.

Describe the Action that Occurs in the Establishing Unit

            The action is very much intense and detailed for emphasis on the spectacle of the film. The varied sequences of animation, rich in action detail of the clashes between good and bad, reveal the greater spectacle of a “larger-than-life” film. writes:

       In the winning action sequences that populate much of its second half, The Incredibles calls to mind the pacing and tone of the original Star Wars films, and it ascends to the heights of that grand crowd-pleasing epic with universal appeal and even more adrenaline.

 Describe the Three Act Structure and Major Turning Points of the Film.

             Act 1 begins as Mr. Incredible tries to live an ordinary life as Bob Parr but fails to do. Besides having secret crime preventing duties with the likes of Frozone, Mr. Incredible is hired by a supposedly ‘secret organization’ with the “same intention.” His missions are delivered through ‘secret agent’ Mirage. Though recently unemployed from his normal insurance job, Mr. Incredible is well compensated for his services to the ‘organization’. Act II quickly unfolds as the ‘secret-organization’ Mr. Incredible works for is a fraudulent one; it is revealed that all was schemed by the evil doing of Syndrome. Hence, a tricky situation presents itself as eventually, Mr. Incredible falls unexpectedly to apparent demise. Though kept in the dark about Mr. Incredible covert activities, Elasti-girl investigates and later learns all that are that needed to be done and be done immediately. Act III takes place as Mr. Incredible is freed from the control of Syndrome and is later defeated. Noteworthy turning points through the film are Elasti-girl’s discovery of her husband’s true whereabouts, getting valuable information from Edna, and going to the refuge of her husband. Another is the trio attempt of Elasti-girl, Violet, and Dash to save Mr. Incredible. All had their share of contributions in not only saving Mr. Incredible but, more importantly, overcoming their individual fears and doing their roles as a family member and a superhero in strengthening family ties.

What is the Inciting Incident? Complication? Crisis? Climax? Resolution?

The inciting incident is when the superhuman band of the “Supers” are forced to break up by pressing lawsuits and are kept to living ordinary lives. The complication begins for Bob Parr as he attempts to relive his Mr. Incredible days— keeping it a secret to his wife and family then working for a ‘secret organization’. The crises form as Syndrome’s evil plot, with the help of Mirage and her secret mission, put Mr. Incredible within captive reach. However, Elastigirl, with her brilliant espionage skills and strong superhero intuition, discovers her husband’s in-peril condition. Then after, the story reaches the climax when Elastigirl, with her children minus Jack-jack, makes a valiant effort to save Mr. Incredible from the clutches of Syndrome. As they are able to free Mr. Incredible, the re-united family, battles the evil minions of henchmen, Omnidroids, and Syndrome himself. All is resolved when the incredible family defeats the forces of evil, and spores a revitalized, sturdier family bond.

Is This Film Primarily Plot? Character? Or Spectacle Driven? (Animation by its very nature, emphasizes Spectacle) Explain your answer with examples.

The film has complementary factors which portray the story to be more of a character-driven than plot driven. Since it is a computer-animated feature, there is at once emphasis on the spectacle aspect—from the color, shade, and elaborate scene sequences of action adventures. From the character-driven aspect, the story mainly circles on the basic inability of Mr. Incredible to retire his super-heroic ways. The same application can be concluded from Buddy Pine and his inability to accept sidekick rejection, leading to a series of complication. From a plot-driven aspect, these character-flaws engage the plot; the story is further taken into a situation where the decision making done by the character dictates outcome. For instance, as Elasti-girl is a mother and super heroine of great intuitive skill and only wishes the best for her family, she is able to remedy the threats to their family. Also, with the two children, Violet decides to maximize her full potential as she battles the Omnidroids in Syndrome’s hide-out island. Though reluctant at the beginning, she understands her powers and her worth.  With Dash, he realized his role in the family as a loving unit and as a super-group. He displayed exceptional heroic skills in battling adversaries for his family. It is within the character’s emotions, points of view, and decisions which thicken and resolve the plot.

 What is the Theme of “The Incredibles” and how is it expressed through Visual Metaphors?

The theme of the film is of heroism and making the necessary decisions to do what it just and right; and the consequences that follow if and when the wrong prevails— the responsibilities to be realized as being a hero in their own right. Alex Wainer writers:

Consigned to a tiny cubicle at a giant insurance agency, the now incognito Mr. Incredible discovers the company’s practice of denying legitimate claims to its customers. He finds subtle ways to steer policyholders through the maze of corporate bureaucracy to make the company honor its commitments. We find that his heroism is more than muscle deep, that it’s in his character to rescue people and that his boss’s efforts to withhold making good on policies make him as venal as any supervillain.

Even at a “non-superhero” level, the film portrays the need for a sense of social and personal responsibility of doing what is must and just. Regardless of the abilities and capabilities, the sense of one’s morals should always be grounded no matter what magnitude of the situation.

What insights into your own life did you gain from this film?

            On a personal level, the importance of heroism on a personal and social level is the main lesson and moral then resonates within oneself after the film. The necessity to do the right is always valiant in nature and truly commendable. At the same time, regardless of one’s purest intentions, there are still disappointing certain decision consequences thereafter happen. For instance, Mr. Incredible, it is in his nature to be super and to be forever upholding the law. However, it was somewhat late for him to realize just how much danger he was placing his family into. At the same time, it is within these challenges that may relationship bonds, for this case at family perspective. The necessity of heroism in every detail of situation, the ability to become unselfish and remind oneself the importance of one’s family, and the courage that all this requires—are the main insight of which have resonated within oneself.  The responsibility and freedom of relating unto others entail is one issue that has been made clear. As Mr. Incredible denies Buddy Pine a sidekick slot, he never did realize the consequences this meant several years after. Quite amazing to learn that indeed there are such individuals who have difficulty in handling rejection, and have really disastrous outcomes. A.O Scott writes:

Syndrome’s ultimate goal is not so much to rule the world as to force the rules that already govern it to their logical conclusion. His diabolical utopia will be cleansed of heroes: Once he is done, he hisses, “everybody will be super, which means no one will be.

   One has to realize the power of the non-super hero aspect of being a natural individual. With mere ordinary words, terrible outcomes may come from.

Works Cited

The Incredibles. Dir. Brad Bird. California: Walt Disney Pictures, 2004.

Scott, A.O. “Incredibles nearly meets expectations” The Barre Montpelier Times Argus. 13 Novmeber 2004. 8 October 2008 <>.

Ultimate “The Incredibles: Screening Review.” Ultimate 30 October 2004. 8 October 2008 <>.

Wainer, Alex. “What Makes The Incredibles Superheroic?.” Breakpoint. 3 December 2008. 8 October 2008 < >.