Study Guide

The Incredibles Superpowers

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If you could have one superpower, what would it be? Flight? Invisibility? Telekinesis? Combustible flatulence?

Picked one? Good. We're sorry to say that it doesn't matter what power you chose, however, because in the world of The Incredibles, you are legally forbidden from using it. So enjoy those flaming farts—just don't blast 'em off outside of your bedroom.

Superboys Will Be Superboys

This conflict between having incredible power but being prevented from using it is core to The Incredibles. We see it taking a toll most heavily on Bob and his son Dash, both of whom feel under-appreciated in a world where the thing that makes them most special is strictly verboten.

Check out this key interaction between Dash and mom Helen:

DASH: Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of. Our powers made us special.

HELEN: Everyone's special, Dash.

DASH: Which is another way of saying no one is.

Take that, participation trophies. For Dash, as well as his dad Bob, being prevented from showing off their powers—what makes them special—causes them to feel like they're not allowed to be themselves. And are they wrong?

Wonder Women

It's a different but similar story for Dash's older sister Violet. Unlike Dash, Violet isn't amped up to show off her powers. To the contrary, she uses her superpowers to make herself invisible to the world—literally—which reflects a not unusual teenaged lack-of-confidence. This, of course, only makes her feel less confident. It's a vicious cycle.

But that cycle is broken. Here's a key moment, soon after Violet fails to protect the family's jet with one of her patented force fields:

VIOLET: Mom, what happened on the plane. I'm sorry. I wanted to help. I mean, when you asked me to. I'm sorry.

HELEN: It isn't your fault. It wasn't fair for me to suddenly ask so much of you. But things are different now, and doubt is a luxury we can't afford anymore, sweetie. You have more power than you realize. Don't think. And don't worry. If the time comes, you'll know what to do. It's in your blood.

This is Violet's turning point. From here on, she fearlessly uses her formidable powers, fighting baddies alongside her fam and helping them save the day. And this transformation doesn't revert as soon as she returns home, either. At the end of the film, we see her confidently approaching her crush, showing how mastering her superpowers has greatly improved her self-confidence.

Dang. Superpowers would make dating way easier. We're officially jealous.

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