I haven’t seen The Incredibles yet, but when I do I’ll be parsing its politics like some sort of Frankfurt School flunky because of a number of conversations I’ve been drawn into recently about the film. My brother calls it the best animated movie he’s seen, but at my Gotham Awards table the other night, a publicist and editor attacked it for what they read as its regressive politics.
For a sort of Incredibles study guide, check out this piece in The Guardian’s newsblog that deftly summarizes the various critiques of Brad Bird’s Pixar creation. The piece begins by evoking Nietzsche (“The Incredibles is the story of how the egalitarian drive in modern America killed off the superhero. It’s a passionate and politically incorrect plea for truth, justice and the Nietzschean way,” writes Cosmo Landesman in The Sunday Times), moves through Ayn Rand, who is namechecked by the New York Times‘s A.O.Scott, before Richard Goldstein in Times and Seasons reaches back and finds the film’s philosophies as stemming from the writings of Thomas Hobbes.