This was gonna get scheduled for later this afternoon, but the post I wanted to write this morning sort of fell apart in the writing, so I’ll do it now. I totally forgot somebody yesterday:
11. Helen Parr/Elastigirl (THE INCREDIBLES)
The Incredibles is one of my favorite movies, and the announcement that it’s finally, finally getting a sequel caused no end of glee around here. I still can’t figure out how making it didn’t cause Marvel to sue the hell out of Pixar, who wasn’t owned by Disney yet in 2004, because it’s transparently a rip-off of the Fantastic Four, only they made the Human Torch a baby and brought in the Flash instead. I mean, hell, their daughter combines invisibility and force fields as her powers. Those two things do not naturally go together! Give me a break, here!
Whatever; it’s the best Fantastic Four movie ever made, so I don’t care. But this is supposed to be about Elastigirl. She’s got the second-best moment in the movie. For the first, oh, third to half of the film or so, she’s kind of portrayed as a wet rag, content to blend in and have a home life and just be quiet, and other than her desire to be rooted for once in their lives she’s kind of a naggy, boring sort of character. She’s a soccer mom. Soccer moms aren’t supposed to be interesting.
And then she discovers that Bob is off on an island somewhere, and she decides to go after him. And her kids sneak on board the plane with her, and she finds them– just after deciding that maybe she needs to have that superhero costume on after all.
(Goes and looks) Oh, hell, it’s on YouTube:
I love, love, love this moment. She’s literally talking to her babysitter at the beginning of the clip. Full Mom mode. Then she notices the missiles, and bam. The superhero in her takes over like it’s a goddamned second personality, and for the rest of the movie Helen Parr is a ninja. You really have no idea what she’s all about until this point in the movie; you’ve seen her flirt with Bob for a few minutes at the very beginning of the movie and then next to nothing until now, when you suddenly figure out that not only is she really is the Mr. Fantastic of the family– she’s the smart one, too, and there is a ton of stuff that she’s better at than her husband.
I kinda wish the clip started about a minute earlier and ended about a minute later, after she’s explained to her kids exactly how they’re going to survive the mess they’ve found themselves in– because the integration of the “mom” personality into the “superhero” personality is really interesting– but god do I love this character.
And, yeah, second favorite moment. The fifth through seventh seconds of this clip are my favorite moment in the movie:
(Also: I don’t remember who suggested Veronica Mars, but I totally should have included her, too. I thought about Sarah Connor but I already had Ripley, and they struck me as real similar, so I just kept Ripley. Also, Starbuck.)