This week, Pixar released a trailer for its 2018 release The Incredibles 2. Since The Incredibles is my favorite movie of all time, I’ve been waiting a long time and my expectations are sky high. I think The Incredibles 2 will be a booming success for Pixar, but I’ve accepted that it probably, no, certainly, won’t top the original The Incredibles and will enter the theater hoping simply for an enjoyable and endearing film that captures the magic of the first. To create a film as super as the original, The Incredibles 2 should take a couple pages out of its predecessor’s book.
Before I start, I want to touch on what we do know about the new film (no plot spoilers). The sequel will start up right where the previous movie concluded, when the Underminer emerges and the Incredibles put on their masks. All five members of the family will return to the screen, along with fan favorites Frozone and Edna Mode, and Elastigirl will take over for Mr. Incredible as the protagonist. The musical themes and setting should remain intact, while judging from the trailer, the animation looks noticeably more modern. Let’s get started!
Explore family issues through the context of superheroes
The Incredibles really stands out amongst other superhero movies because it mixes the super moments with the mundane moments, and this balance serves to both provide action and connect us to the characters. Since the Incredibles are not only a group of Supers but a family of Supers, family dynamics and life can be explored in ways unique to the superhero genre. This sequel will switch with Elastigirl in action and Mr. Incredible holding down the fort at home and Jack-Jack’s powers will be revealed, and all three of those aspects make this film tantalizing.
Enhance the plot with unique storytelling style
The greatest start to a movie I’ve ever seen is the newsreel clip and ensuing action sequence that opens the original Incredibles. The opening is new, unexpected, engaging, and after almost 15 years, iconic. I’d never seen anything like it before or since. I don’t expect the Incredibles 2 to start out this way especially given that we know that it will start with the Underminer, but general plot creativity and novel and bold ideas will go a long way in making this worthy of the Pixar name.
Match the Incredibles against a multi-dimensional villain
Syndrome, the antagonist of Mr. Incredible in the first movie, is one of the best villains of all-time not only because of all of his cool tech but also his relatable background and engaging personality. With Syndrome gone, the Underminer (from the end of the previous movie) will start out Incredibles 2 as the villain but one of the new characters will likely be the dastardly villain who foils Elastigirl. The Incredibles themselves will be great, but an awesome villain is equally essential.
Give us doses of Edna Mode, Frozone, and Jack-Jack (in moderation)
Our three favorite characters are back in the sequel, yet another reason that I’m so hyped for this movie. From the trailer, it seems like Edna Mode and Frozone will help Mr. Incredible adjust to the family life, but don’t be surprised to see them in action also. And Jack-Jack’s powers will be revealed, making for a humorous and interesting storyline and limitless potential for awesome action scenes. While these characters should be entertaining to watch, the heart of the story should be with the parents, especially Elastigirl, the leaders of the greatest Super family on Earth.
Blow us away with thrilling action sequences with cutting edge animation
The Incredibles has blown me away in every viewing with an ingenious, creative, nuanced plot that resonates on so many levels, but there’s no denying that the Incredibles is a superhero movie and the action scenes should be amazing. One of the advantages of making the sequel 14 years after the first is that the animation will be noticeably better, which is evident with the cleaner animations of the main characters in the trailer. With the Incredibles and Frozone (and possibly Jack-Jack) fighting evil side-by-side, the Incredibles will be one of the most entertaining and enjoyable films of the year.
As Edna Mode’s famous line goes, “I never look back darling, it distracts from the now.” But I’m hoping that the Incredibles 2 retains many of the same elements that made its predecessor a modern classic, while still creating a fresh and distinct film that explores many new aspects of the family dynamic and tests the limits of animation. I’m not saying that it will be better than the original, but I’ll bet that it’ll be worthy of the Incredibles name.