Incredibles 2, Equality, and Fathers

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The new Disney film Incredibles 2 was released in theaters this past Friday in the US. At Answers in Genesis, we receive a number of requests to give our take on various popular films. As I watched this in a movie theater to determine whether to write a review on it, there was nothing that demanded we comment on the film. But I do have some personal thoughts and reflections that may be beneficial to consider if you choose to watch the film.

For those who would like to read a review to determine if you or your family should watch the film, I recommend you read reviews such as “Incredibles 2 Movie Review” on PluggedIn. I will not be commenting on whether the content is suitable for children or adults.

In the Western culture, there is an increased emphasis on women’s rights and women being treated as equals to men. A number of factors have contributed to this focus in the culture such as the MeToo movement, which has helped keep this issue prominent, including in Hollywood media.

Teaching Equality by Making Men Look Foolish

Although this movie has been in development for a number of years, I was not surprised that Incredibles 2 includes some of these issues.1 First, understand that I found the film to be very funny and entertaining. But as I was watching, I was reminded that many movies will express the importance of women being treated as equals but do so by making the men look foolish.

Many movies will express the importance of women being treated as equals but do so by making the men look foolish.

Now, God created all men and women in His image (Genesis 1:27). The Bible—the true history of the universe—is God’s Word, and the truth of His Word is our foundation that men and women are created equal and should be treated as such. As men and women we have different roles in marriage (Ephesians 5:22–33), but we are still equal before God (Galatians 3:28).

The secularized culture has no moral foundation or absolute authority for why women and men must be treated as equals. In certain instances, people will resort to belittling and joking about one gender in order to emphasize the importance of recognizing the other gender.

Not Leading by Example

In the film, Bob (Mr. Incredible) is seen looking after their children while his wife, Helen (Elastigirl), works as a superhero. If the movie had just stayed with this scenario, I would not be writing this article, but I came away with the impression that Mr. Incredible was initially shown as incapable of handling his children. In addition, Elastigirl was more capable than her husband in the role of a professional superhero.

At one part of the movie (near the conclusion), an ad is shown on a television with a man making a pie. The commercial said it was so easy to make that anyone can do it (I am paraphrasing). It was clearly a put-down about men. This type of joke seems to be harmless, but, with the many situations portrayed in the film, it reminded me of how men will unnecessarily be seen in movies as looking foolish in order to show the importance of women.

Of course, with any film, each moviegoer can view it with a different interpretation, and one could argue that the movie redeemed each character by the conclusion.

Are Men (Fathers) Being Foolish in Our Culture?

I would venture to say that many men (more specifically fathers) are being foolish in our culture, but not because they’re unintelligent. Christianity no longer has the influence on our culture it once did. America is becoming less Christian with each day, and I would place a significant part of the blame on fathers.

The decline of our culture has, in part, started in homes where fathers have not trained their children as they ought.

As a father who loves and fears God, I recognize the enormous responsibility I have to train my children and lovingly lead my family in the fear and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). The decline of our culture has, in part, started in homes where fathers have not trained their children as they ought.

Even the culture will sometimes recognize how men are not taking a loving leadership role in the family. In movies and books, women are often portrayed to be the strong leaders in the family while the men take a secondary role— and many times are made to look ignorant and foolish.

It is important for both fathers and mothers to be equipped in the truth of God’s Word, ready to defend against the attacks of the Devil (Ephesians 6:11). But the role of the father, according to Scripture, is to lead lovingly and spiritually. The Devil is cunning and his attacks are subtle. We must be prepared to recognize his attacks and train our children accordingly.

Conclusion

If you decide to watch Incredibles 2, I encourage you to teach your children that men and women are created equal before God but have been given different roles in marriage. Teach them, too, that God has made each and every one unique and special, yet in his own image. I also urge fathers to humbly seek wisdom from God and ask Him to give us desire to hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6) and to be the spiritual head of the homes they were called to be.

Footnotes

  1. This article is a commentary on my impression of the film as I viewed it, though the director states this wasn’t his intent: "I was looking at it more as [being] interesting character-wise. I wasn't trying to make a political statement as much as I was trying to make Bob really uncomfortable because I thought I would be funny" (Incredibles 2: Female empowerment and modern families more than fantasy, Stuff, https://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/film/104604717/incredibles-2-female-empowerment-and-modern-families-more-than-fantasty).

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