Film Review: The Incredibles (2004) - The Hero's Journey Archetypes

Figure 1. 'The Incredibles Movie Poster'

From the world famous Disney Pixar Studios comes an all time family classic about a super family forced to conceal their super identities to keep the world normal and safe. But when an unexpected force threatens the norm, it’s up to The Incredibles (2004) to save the day.

Directed by Brad Bird, The Incredibles (2004) can be identified as a Hero’s Journey film, with examples of character archetypes that are associated with the Hero’s Journey concept.

We begin our journey with Bob Parr, also known as Mr Incredible. He had a career as a superhero in his glory days, but then is reduced to the mundane life of a “normal” man after the Superhero race was cast out of society and forced into hiding. Bob is one of the main protagonists of the story, therefore he is also, ironically, the Hero. We journey with him to experience his ups and downs and his steps on becoming once again, Mr Incredible. He could also, in a way, be considered as the Father archetype, in a literal sense.

Figure 2. 'The Parr Family'

We then have Helen Parr, Bob’s wife and formally known as the superhero Elastigirl. She is yet another protagonist, and can also be seen as the Hero, and also the Mother character, as well as an Ally. She helps Bob to save the city and is also the concerned and caring authority figure to not only her children, but to her husband as well.

We then have the Parr children, Violet, Dash, and Jack Jack. They represent the characteristics of the Child; innocent, curious, and unknown to the world of superhero’s, and normality.

Lucius Best, also known as Frozone, would be perceived as the Ally of the story, aiding the Parr family in saving the city from Syndrome’s manic robot.

Figure 3. 'Frozone and The Incredibles'

Now the character Buddy Pine, his super name being Syndrome, is an interesting example, for he could be considered quite easily as the Shadow, for he is the main villain of the story. His childhood hero, Mr Incredible, has shot him down time after time, and after the last straw, he becomes enraged, suppressing his anger and using it as a tool to build a name for himself, to beat his once loved “hero”. But due to his eccentric behaviour, he can also be perceived as the Trickster

Figure 4. 'Syndrome and Mirage

And then we have Mirage, Syndrome’s assistant. It could be considered that she is the Shapeshifter of the story. She assists Syndrome in tracking down and testing Mr Incredible on his powers and capabilities for the tasks thrown at him, but when Syndrome threatens and launches missiles against Mr Incredible’s family, she soon realises her allegiance to Syndrome was clouded over by his power, “a weakness of her’s”. 


The Incredibles is a wonderful and action packed experience for all ages to enjoy, and although each archetype may be viewed differently to what is stated above, it is certainly a feature to witness as an exciting piece of animation. 

Illustrations:

Figure 1. 'The Incredibles Movie Poster' (2004) [Movie Poster] At: http://www.movie-poster-artwork-finder.com/posters/the-incredibles-poster-artwork-craig-t-nelson-holly-hunter-samuel-l-jackson.jpg (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Figure 2. 'The Parr Family' (2004) [Movie Still] At: http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11118/111183530/4436439-9962932067-28b02e.jpeg (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Figure 3. 'Frozone and The Incredibles' (2004) [Movie Still] At: http://rollingout.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/the-incredibles-with-frozone.jpg?769134 (Accessed on 05.10.15)

Figure 4. 'Syndrome and Mirage' (2004) [Movie Still] At: http://i.imgur.com/FJnoIxQ.jpg (Accessed on 05.10.15)

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