Monday, June 18, 2018

“Incredibles 2” is an incredible movie about working parenthood

Being a working parent is all about sacrifice. Not always being there for the small stuff. It might mean missing your daughter’s first date. Or not helping your son figure out his math homework. Or not experiencing your baby’s first word (or exhibition of superpowers).

For Elastagirl (aka Mrs. Incredible, aka Helen Parr) it means all of these things.

I (appropriately) spent part of my Father’s Day in a movie theater with my family watching Incredibles 2. If you want to know what it means to live the struggle of a working parent, I cannot more highly recommend this film.

For the uninitiated, this movie series takes place in a world in which superheros are illegal. Which presents a huge problem for our family of five main characters, who must take their powers underground. A benefactor’s offer to help brings supers back above ground, with Elastagirl as the focus, drives the story. It transforms Mrs. Incredible from a stay-at-home mom into a working mom out of town on a business trip, and Mr. Incredible into a stay-at-home dad.

It is also a wonderful metaphor for the superheros all working parents must be—the daily juggling of meals, school buses, social dramas, homework, and who-has-the-baby, all of which is exacerbated by the jobs that we all must hold in order to put a roof over our family’s heads and food on the table.

Pixar movies are wonderful creations because they always hold a second level of meaning that digs deeper than the on-the-screen action that entertains our kids. Bravo, Pixar, for making a truly wonderful movie that so perfectly depicts the struggles that all of us parents feel when we walk out of the door daily to go to our other jobs.