Incredible Family Life

I think I have officially become a curmudgeon – at least when it comes to the way families are portrayed on television and in movies. Seems like the poor parents of this world are clueless, morally ambiguous, technically challenged, and more – thanks be to God for the teenagers who “get it.”  (One of my least favorite expressions – see…. I told you I was becoming a curmudgeon!).

Ani Bundel has a nice piece on the portrayal of the family as seen in the newly released “Incredibles 2”  Here is a part of the article:

….despite the proliferation of superheroes from across the Marvel and DC universes, there remains something somewhat unique about how the “Incredibles” tells its story. This is a world that explores what happens when the heroes have to start doing all those annoying adult chores — while still maintaining their professions.

The superhero genre generally de-emphasizes traditional family units. Batman and Superman are both orphans; the former is raised by the family butler, the latter by a nice adopted people who fade into the background. Many origin stories revolve around parents or parent figures dying while characters are young. In the case of the “X-Men” franchise, parental rejection of mutant children is a plot motivator.

Moreover, it’s a rare thing for superheroes to be in successful long-term relationships. Captain America leaves Peggy Carter behind when he travels through time. Love interests like Dr. Strange’s might as well not have existed. Thor hasn’t seen Jane since Natalie Portman decided she was done making these sorts of films. Those who do have relationships see them falter when they choose to go out on adventures, like the forever failing-to-get-married Iron Man and Pepper Potts. Marriage and children represent a “growing up” of sorts, where risk-taking and saving the world must be put aside for more adult concerns.

That’s not how any of this works in real life. People land careers, meet others in their field, fall in love, often get married and often have kids. Sometimes falling in love means giving up your job (especially if you’re a woman) but for many people there are ways to do both, in some form or another. The moral of the original “The Incredibles,” however, was that growing up doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you love.

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