It’s been fourteen years since we first met Pixar’s family of superheroes, yet their story picks up from the moment the first film ended. It opens with the Parr family springing into action to stop The Underminer, while they juggle babysitting Jack Jack, and it ensures us that this film will be full of fun, family focused, fast paced action.
However, the day does does not end well for the Parrs, as superheroes are still illegal. The agent who has been helping them stay undercover for years can only offer them two weeks in a motel before they’re on their own. So when a wealthy, nostalgic benefactor hoping to make supers legal again offers Elastigirl a job, complete with a swanky high tech house for the family, the Parrs take it. Soon a new villain rises, targeting Elastigirl and could jeopardize the plan to legalize supers.
While Helen (Elastigirl voice by Holly Hunter) is off doing superhero work, Bob (Mr. Incredible voiced by Craig T. Nelson) is holding down the fort taking care of the kids. His challenges add some engaging comedy to this family movie. In his first day he has to deal with his Violet’s first date, Dash’s math homework and a baby who won’t stay in his crib on top of being envious of his wife’s work. It only gets worse as Bob discovers Jack-Jack’s powers.
One of the funniest scenes shows Jack-Jack fighting his first enemy: a raccoon in the yard. Many of his powers are revealed as Jack-Jack moves through the glass door, morphs into his monster-baby form, bursts into flames throwing lawn chairs and splits into multiple clones, chasing off the hilariously bewildered raccoon. And when Bob finds him, the excitement about his baby’s new powers is soon met with the insurmountable task of keeping him safe. Thankfully, Edna is willing to help, in her own fabulous way.
This is a rare superhero movie that is family friendly and still satisfies all ages. I loved the way Elastigirl was allowed to shine on her own, as well as a few new female supers. My kid enjoyed the Jack-Jack scenes. And while my husband enjoyed it, he of course found flaws in how similar the plots of both the original and this sequel are, but I won’t spill any spoilers on that. And honestly, I didn’t mind, the stories themselves are unique enough.
One thing I want to warn viewers about is the fact that the film uses a visual effect similar to a strobe light in multiple parts of the film. For those sensitive to such visuals, beware or wait to watch the film at home. It was pretty intense in a dark, crowded theater.
Through all the action and excitement, the heart of the film is the story of the Parr family. While their powers are super, their problems are wonderfully relatable for many modern families. The combination of stress and support between Bob and Helen when they switch household roles is something many families understand and the results are engaging and entertaining for all ages. And as always, these supers are stronger together. Everyone can leave this film seeing the supers within their own home.
“Done properly, parenting is a heroic act… done properly.”