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Strength and Skill
DASH: You always say, do your best, but you don't really mean it. Why can't I do the best that I can do?
Most parents encourage their kids to give 100%, but most parents don't have kids with superpowers. Unless you consider binge-watching Netflix a superpower. In that case, we need to start designing some costumes.
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.
For young Dash, his parents' insistence that he hide his powers leads him to act out in school. Is that any surprise? Why would Dash want to behave when his parents don't allow him to show off his strengths and skills?
BOB: They caught you on tape and you still got away with it? Whoa. You must have been booking. How fast did you think were you going?
Bob is almost encouraging of his son's misbehavior because he's so impressed with his superpowers. That's not great parenting. In fact, Bob is vicariously living through Dash, as he too is not allowed to use his powers. Like father, like son.
BOB: You want to do something for Dash? Then let him actually compete. Let him go out for sports.
HELEN: I will not be made the enemy here. You know why we can't do that.
BOB: Because he'd be great.
Though they're talking about Dash, it's clear that Bob and Helen are actually talking about themselves here. Both were once superheroes, and both are now forced to hide their powers from the world. They might react to this differently, but it has a significant impact on both of them—and not necessarily for the better.
SYNDROME: Now you respect me, because I'm a threat. [...] Turns out there's a lot of people, whole countries who want respect. And they will pay through the nose to get it.
Not blessed with superpowers himself, young Buddy dedicates his life to becoming as strong as his heroes—just not as ethical. What a great combo. We can't help but wonder how differently things might have turned out if Mr. Incredible was more sympathetic with his number one fanboy. What do you think?
HELEN: [to Violet] 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.
Violet lacks confidence in her own strength, as revealed when she fails to create a force field to protect the family's jet as it approaches the island. But this convo is a turning point for her. For the first time, she actually believes in herself, and the results will speak for themselves.
SYNDROME: Oh, I'm real—real enough to defeat you. And I did it without your precious gifts, your oh-so-special powers.
As his previous quote implies, Syndrome resents superheroes for their strength. It's an understandable feeling. Becoming a super villain is perhaps a bit less understandable, but hey—tomato, tomahto, and all that.
[Jack-Jack displays superpowers while being kidnapped by Syndrome, transforming into a series of dangerous and frightening forms.]
The family believes that Jack-Jack is the only one without superpowers, but he shows them off in a shocking way when Syndrome tries to kidnap him. It's almost like the stress of the situation forces his true strength to come out.
TONY: You look different.
VIOLET: I feel different. Is different okay?
Violet's belief in her own strength leads to massive influx of self-confidence. This can be seen clearly in this interaction with Tony, her boy-crush, who she had previously been so scared of that she turned invisible whenever he came around. Not the case anymore.
[Dash takes part in a track meet, using his superpowers to earn second place so as to not arouse suspicion.]
After Dash helps his parents defeat a super villain, it's only right that they relent and let him play sports—though they're careful to keep him from going full-blast. Not usually ethical to throw a competition, but we're okay with it in this instance.
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