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What do Catholics Have in Common with The Incredibles?

IncrediblesOne of the top ten movies on my recommendation list for Catholics is The Incredibles.  Produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures in November 2004, The Incredibles won two Academy Awards and was the first entirely animated film to win the prestigious Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Performance.

The movie starts with Mr. Incredible, a well-known superhero, getting married to another superhero, Elastigirl.  While Mr. Incredible possesses super-human strength, Elastigirl has the ability to stretch her body in almost unlimited ways.

After their marriage, Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and the other superheroes that protect society from harm are forced into retirement by the government.  The reason for their forced retirement is because of the multiple lawsuits that have been filed against the government by innocent bystanders who were injured as a result of the collateral damage that takes place every time a superhero comes to the rescue of a person.

The government relocates Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl to a quiet suburban neighborhood in a small community where they can live normal lives.  They are known by their neighbors and members of the community as Robert “Bob” Parr and Helen Parr.  After Bob and Helen are relocated, the story jumps to 15 years later when they are in the midst of raising their three children.

The oldest child is Velvet, a shy teenage girl who is a junior high student.  The middle child is Dash, a ten-year-old boy who is in the fourth grade.  The third child is Jack-Jack, the baby of the family.

Although the children possess superpowers of their own, they are forbidden by their parents from using them in public.  Velvet possesses two different powers — the ability to become invisible and the ability to generate a force shield that surrounds her and protects her from harm.  Dash possesses the ability to run at lightning-fast speeds without tiring, and Jack-Jack has the power to transform himself into other objects, such as fire, ice, and a miniature monster.

Bob is a typical middle-aged man who is frustrated with his white-collar job at an insurance company.  After an altercation with his boss, he is fired.  He longs for the glory days when he was a superhero conquering villains.  In an attempt to recapture his youth, Bob teams up with his friend, Lucius Best, another former superhero who was previously known as Frozone.  Without Helen’s knowledge, Bob and Lucius periodically get together in the evenings to chase down and capture criminals.

Bob doesn’t know it, but Buddy Pine, a boy who once idolized Bob, has grown up to be a ruthless supervillain whose mission is to kill all the former superheroes.  Buddy, who goes by the name of Syndrome, has developed a mechanical robot that he calls the “Omnidroid.”

Because the Omnidroid is equipped with artificial intelligence, each time it is matched up against a superhero, it is able to identify and remember the superhero’s strengths, weaknesses, and tactics.  As the Omnidroid accumulates additional knowledge from fighting and destroying superheroes, it becomes more deadly.

When Bob loses his job with the insurance company, he is contacted by Mirage, Syndrome’s girlfriend and assistant.  Mirage offers Bob a substantial reward if he is willing to become Mr. Incredible again and help her boss destroy the Omnidroid.  Since Bob has not yet told his wife that he lost his job, he accepts Mirage’s offer.  He tells his wife that he has been promoted to a new position in the insurance company that requires him to travel to various locations.

After Mirage arranges for Bob to be transported by jet to an island that is under the control of Syndrome, he is dropped off in a forest where he is attacked by the Omnidroid.  After Bob defeats and destroys the Omnidroid, he returns home and discovers a tear in his superhero suit.  He hires Edna Mode, a superhero costume designer, to develop a new Mr. Incredible suit.  Edna insists on also designing new suits for Bob’s entire family.

Bob is asked to return to the island where he destroyed the Omnidroid for an additional assignment.  After he arrives, he is captured by Syndrome’s army.  Helen discovers that Bob no longer works for the insurance company and, after performing her own investigation, learns that Bob hired Edna to design a new suit.  She also learns about Bob’s communications with Mirage and believes that he may be romantically involved with Mirage.

After taking advantage of a homing device feature that Edna built into Bob’s new suit, Helen puts on the new superhero suit that Edna designed for her and secures a private jet so she can fly to the island to see for herself what Bob is up to.  Without Helen’s knowledge, her two older children, Violet and Dash, are hidden inside the jet and are dressed in the superhero suits that Edna designed for them.

As Helen is approaching the island, she requests permission from the control tower to land.  Instead of receiving permission to land, fighter jets are sent out to attack her.  Prior to her jet being blown out of the sky, she discovers that her children are onboard with her.  They are able to escape from the jet and parachute down to the island.

By the time Helen, Violet, and Dash land on the island, Bob has been able to escape.  Syndrome orders his entire military to attack and kill the Parr family.  Each member of the family is able to use their superpowers to fend off their attackers; however, there is one point where they are all together in an open area of the forest, and the military launches several missiles directly toward them.

With only seconds remaining before the family is destroyed, Violet is able to use her powers to generate a force shield that acts as a protective dome around the entire family.  The incoming missiles are obliterated when they crash into the shield, and the family is able to escape.

When I first saw The Incredibles in 2004, it occurred to me that as far back as I could remember, there was always a protective shield that surrounded and protected my parents’ family and my own family from physical and spiritual harm.  Where did that force shield come from?  What caused it to materialize every time we were under attack?  I quickly realized that the protective shield was put into place by the mother of God.

Most families that I have observed over the years do not have a similar shield protecting them from harm.  Why did my parents’ and my own family receive this special protection while other families went without such protection?

The only explanation I can come up with is that we have always prayed the family rosary together every day.  It’s a mystery as to how such a simple family prayer that focuses on the most important aspects of the lives of Jesus and Mary could have such power.  But I can tell you from personal experience that the Blessed Virgin Mary has been given the power by her Son to protect families who are devoted to her daily rosary.

On October 7th, the Catholic Church will celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.  In honor of the Lady of the Rosary and her Son, Jesus, why not take advantage of the incredible supernatural power that comes with the recitation of the rosary?  You have the ability to construct an invisible shield around your family by developing the habit of praying a rosary every day with your family.

Don’t make any excuses about why you can’t do this?  We live in a dangerous world where there are hidden physical and spiritual dangers everywhere.  In addition to protecting your family, our Lady will also bring you closer to her Son.

Don’t ignore this incredible opportunity to receive special protection from the mother of God.  Make this the first day of the rest of your life that you will pray a daily rosary.

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One Response to “What do Catholics Have in Common with The Incredibles?”

  1. Sister Roberta Houlihan, CSJ Says:

    Dear Harry and Georgette –
    I hesitated to open emails during my directed retreat here at Nazareth Living Center, but decided there might be a need by someone for me to respond to right away. I’m happy that I read this story and its connection with Our Lady’s Rosary, as it fits into my retreat very well! It’s Oct 9th now. My early morning Divine Mercy Chaplet and Rosary were special on the 7th, having in mind the Feast we were celebrating that day! Thank you for reminding everyone of Our Lady’s place in our lives!!! Prayers are coming your way!
    Love, Sister Roberta

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