Incredibles 2 is possibly one of the most anticipated movies of the year. I know people asking if they can borrow my kids for a day, just so they can see this “kids’ flick.” Newsflash: you don’t need kids to see this film. There are enough adult fans to fill the night time sessions as well. But if you ARE going with kids, here are few things to keep in mind.
1. What is it about?
OMG, has it *really* been 14 years since The Incredibles? Well, this sequel takes up almost exactly where the first movie ends. The family is still incredible, and they are still doing incredible things. And now the world has seen it all (again). So where does this leave our favorite family heroes? They need to convince the authorities “Supers” can be useful again. And who is the most suitable for the job? Mom.
On face value, this movie might look like a gender swap of family roles: Mom is out fighting crime, doing the hard work, convincing people “Supers” are great. Dad is now staying at home, taking care of the family, and holding the place together until Mom comes home. But times are changing, and in all honesty we know family roles are not always cut-and-dry like that. There is so much more to this film than just a gender swap. There is a deeper commentary on our roles as parents and spouses. Not just “Mom” and “Dad.” Mom is going to learn some new things; Dad is going to learn some new things; the kids are going to learn lots of new things. And we are all along for the ride!!
The official spiel: Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to help bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home when a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot that only the Incredibles can overcome together.
2. Do I need to see The Incredibles (first movie) before the sequel?
You don’t NEED to see it but it is going to help a lot! It has been 14 YEARS since the first movie. To be frank, I really wish I had watched the The Incredibles right before our viewing. I know GeekDad Jonathan sent his wife and older daughters to a double feature and I think this is pure genius.
There is enough in Incredibles 2 for you to pick up what’s going on, and the way they tie the very beginning of I2 with the end of TI1 is a great introduction for any new audience. But I’ll let all the newbies in on a secret: The Incredibles is such an awesome family movie, you really should see it anyway. Sequel or no sequel.
3. Is there a short film before hand?
Yes: Bao. In one way, it is really sweet because it ties in the whole family-theme from The Incredibles and Incredibles 2. On the other hand, it is a bit… weird. Meh, I’m lukewarm. It’s no Paperman.
4. How is the animation?
It is beautiful. It is still in the same 1950s style, even though it has plenty of modern referencing. The houses are beautiful. The cars are beautiful. The animation with Jack-Jack is not just beautiful. It is superb. Bob’s whatever-o’clock-shadow is so prickly, I wanted to touch it. It’s lovely.
5. Is it worth the 3D?
Didn’t see it in 3D. The animation style is already 3D-ish and there are certain action scenes that give off a deeper 3D-effect. I’m not rushing out to see it in 3D because it’s already enjoyable as-is.
6. Will my kids enjoy it?
My +1 was four-year-old Zaltu. She laughed her cute little braids out!! Her summation afterwards was “Jack-Jack is the best!! ElastiMum is pretty awesome and I want to be Violet but Jack-Jack is the funniest!!” She really enjoyed the film and I have been working my embargoed butt off trying to make sure she doesn’t tell EVERYONE about it.
There is a great spread of “relatability” across the kids. Violet has her own teen issues to deal with. Dash is dealing with school in general (and yes, Bob is “helping” with the homework). And Jack-Jack is learning how to be more than the “blob in the carrier.” Kids can easily associate with at least one of these three.
There are a couple of scenes with more explanation than action, and Zaltu did lag a little in these. She’s four. It happens. I was lucky enough to choose my seats wisely and have some space in front of our seats for her fidgeting. I don’t think there are going to be any issues with our nine year old and 11 year old when we take them next week.
The one real concern I have is with some visual stimulation during the “hypnotic-scenes.” My next point will go into some detail, so if you don’t have to worry about “sensory issues” and want to avoid any possibility of spoilers, move on to #8.
7. Wait… Sensory issues?
There are a couple of scenes where mind control is used. The first one is on a train and does not last very long. It is the usual swirly-whirly effects with some flashy lights. No big deal. However, there is a second one where Elastigirl is hit with a mind control attack. This attack lasts a little longer and has loud noise to go along with it.
For parents of kids with sensory issues, be prepared when Elastigirl enters the apartment and is searching through the rooms for clues to villain’s identity. Zaltu does not have sensory issues but she didn’t like this scene. Her reaction makes it worthy enough to mention for parents who regularly need to consider these issues.
There is a third towards the end (on a boat). By that point, you will know the cue for it and be able to preempt, without me having to give away any more details.
8. Will I enjoy it?
Yes. Yes, yes, and yes. Multiple yes. It’s a great film, with a great story and great action. Most of all, the character development is absolutely on point. Once again, we have the perfect blend of kids/parents/family movie where there is enough for kids to enjoy AND parents to enjoy AND EVERYONE to enjoy together.
Oh yeah, and you’re going to want all of the toys. As in, ALL OF THE TOYS. I really want an Elastibike. And an Edna. Everyone needs an Edna.
9. When can I run to the toilets?
Ohhhh… Yeah, this is the hard one. Because each of the “quieter” scenes is filled with character development. If you can hold out until Bob takes the kids out for dinner, you can probably spare a few minutes then. The scene is short and filled with the usual teen angst of “my family is so embarrassing.” It’s a little after the halfway mark. Younger kids won’t mind missing it and parents already know all about this.
10. Is there anything after the credits?
There are some bonus images featured during the early credits, the kind of images I want as posters on my wall. All of the walls. There is also a little treat sneaked into the music during the credits. Hang around for that if you can. Any more information than that and I would spoil the fun. 😉