Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Incredibles 2 (SPOILERS) Adoption Movie Review - Good Movie but Scarier Than You Might Guess

After the superhero family The Incredibles are unsuccessful in their attempt to stop a villain, the community sees the damage caused by their attempt, and the government moves to ban superheroes. The program that had overseen superheroes is shut down, and superheroes are obligated to stay in their secret identities; the Incredibles temporarily move into a motel and assume their given names – Bob, Helen, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack Parr – and try to figure out how to avoid homelessness.
Out of the blue, Helen and Bob are called to a secret meeting, and there, Helen is invited to take part in a secret mission to rehabilitate the image of superheroes everywhere. To support her, Bob begrudgingly stays home, and discovers how hard it is to be a stay-at-home parent – and how “Incredible” his baby boy is. In the meantime, Helen works in the service of the two siblings who run DEVTECH – Winston, a devoted fan of superheroes, and Evelyn, a crafty inventor.


The Adoption Connection

Adoption is not part of the film. Kids who have been adopted may relate to the Incredibles being known under alternate names. Kids who have experienced insecurity of resources may find it uncomfortable to see the Incredibles living on the border of homelessness.
Evelyn and Winston’s life changed when their father was murdered by home intruders. Their father tried to call his superhero friends instead of hiding, but they did not answer their phones. When the intruders saw him on the phone, they shot him – we do see the barrel of the gun on screen. Winston and Evelyn share that their mother died a few months later. Winston continues to believe in superheroes; Evelyn rejects superheroes, blaming her father’s death on peoples’ tendency to allow themselves to be dependent on superheroes.

Strong Points

The Incredibles is accompanied by a nearly wordless, very touching animated short that captures a parent’s struggle allowing her child to transition into adulthood.

Mr. Incredible learns how hard it is to be an at-home parent, but with the help of a family friend, he begins to develop his infant son’s newly-discovered gifts.
Mr. and Mrs. Incredible genuinely care about doing good, and about their kids; Mrs. Incredible is often obviously aware of her family even when she’s in the midst of a high-stakes mission.

Even the villain demonstrates a lasting concern for her sibling.


Certain scenes involving flashing lights could trigger epileptic seizures. 

There are some surprisingly frightening scenes; Mr. and Mrs. Incredible are temporarily brainwashed, and attempt to attack their children. When Winston and Evelyn’s father is killed, we do see the barrel of the gun on-screen; this could be too frightening for some of the young children to whom this film is likely to appeal – especially if they’ve previously experienced or feared in-home violence. It falls to the children to rescue their unsafe parents, trying without adult assistance to free them from Evelyn’s control while avoiding their attacks; for most viewers, this will be fun heroism, but it could be difficult or confusing for children who, prior to entering foster care, felt responsible for their parents’ unpredictable, unsafe, or abusive behaviors.

Mrs. Incredible fights hand-to-hand against a frighteningly-masked, ax-wielding foe.

Violet’s would-be boyfriend forgets her when his memory is erased in an effort to preserve the s
superheroes’ anonymity.

Evelyn is upset that her father died waiting for heroes; she accuses her brother of conflating superheroes with his parents, implying that he believes he’ll reclaim his parents if he successfully restores legal status to superheroes. She mockingly frames his perspective as, “Mommy and Daddy left when superheroes did.” It might be rather insightful, but it’s also cruel.


Incredibles 2 is a fun film that will likely be regarded as a classic; it successfully blends humor and action while creating characters and relationships that are easy to care about. It’s also scarier than I was expecting; a nightmarish villain, and some surprising realism in the description of the murder of a father could be very troubling for young or sensitive viewers. I’d feel most comfortable recommending this to most kids ages 12 and up. Parents of sensitive kids, or of younger kids, should probably screen it before their kids do.

Questions for Discussion

Why didn’t the Incredibles want to hide their super powers? Did each character have a different reason?

Evelyn and Winston had the same loss; why do you think it impacted them differently?

Mr. Incredible depended on Edna to help him with Jack-Jack. Who are some people that your family depends on?

Which Incredible has the coolest super power? If you could pick a power, what would it be?

Other Ideas

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