Brad Bird is a Genius (He’s on my short list of people to meet before I die – or he does). He directed two of my all time favorite films The Iron Giant and The Incredibles.
Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl (AKA Bob and Helen Parr) are one of the great screen romances of all time. Two people who love each other and spend an entire film trying to sort out how to make it work.
The first time we see them together they’re flirting, competing (I had a student yesterday say they were trying to Dominate each other – LOVED IT!) and on their way to get married. It’s an AWESOME scene.
There’s a moment in the scene that goes by so quickly most people miss it. Elastigirl does this amazing stretch up over his head and back through his legs as she says “I think you need to be more flexible.” As their faces pass in profile* they form perfect puzzle pieces of each other. His huge chin fills the space her softer chin leaves, her upturned nose fits perfectly into the space under his downward nose, even his brow ridge fits into her hairline. Did I mention that Brad Bird is a genius?
They don’t belong together because they’re the same, but because they are so different, seriously, if they both had those huge chins, they would never be able to kiss…ok they could because her lips would stretch, but you get my point.
Soooo why are they drawn to each other? If you asked them, he’s say something like “Have you seen her, she’s Elastigirl, think about it.” She’d say something like “He’s Mr. Incredible, he’s the best.” These answers would be true and honest, but they don’t go deep enough. On some subconscious level (see by post on projections http://animatingyourlife.com/2013/01/19/jung-and-freud-in-love ) they both know that they are incomplete, that they need to learn and grow. He’s the strongest man in the world, but he can’t bend, he can’t adapt, he has no flexibility. She’s the most flexible woman in the world, but she lacks strength – they tell her she can’t be a super hero any more and she picks up her broom and becomes what they tell her she has to be. She needs strength.
Over the course of the film she learns to maintain her personal integrity – to be whom and what she is. He learns to adapt and be flexible. They both fight this growth and it almost destroys them, when they accept it, they become . . . Incredible (did you see how I did that – clever ain’t I?)
Once again, we are attracted to the people, situations, and art that our subconscious mind knows will teach us something.
More about the balance between strength and flexibility in my next blog.Strong Weakness – Lessons From Mulan
*on my DVD it’s at 5:25 – check it out.
Check out some more of my thoughts on this awesome movie here Finding my Incredilbes SuperPower