Australian Council on Children and the Media

Incredibles, The

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Short takes

Under 8s may be scared, PG to 13

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Incredibles, The
  • a review of Incredibles, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 16 December 2004.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to the frequent use of violence and adult themes this film is not recommended for children under the age of 8.
Children aged 8-13 Some children between the ages of 8 - 13 may still need parental guidance when viewing this film.
Children over the age of 13 Children over the age of 13 could see this film with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Incredibles, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Medium level violence, Mature themes
Length 115 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This film tells the tale of traditional comic-book superhero Mr. Incredible, who leads the perfect life rescuing the innocent and helping people in need. However, one day, a number of simple, crime fighting mishaps result in the government placing a ban on the use of superhuman powers and forcing all superheroes to enter a relocation program, where they are given new identities and helped to “fit in”.

Fifteen years elapse in which time Mr. Incredible marries his superhero love Elastigirl with whom he has three children all with superhuman powers: a wild son Dash, who can outrun the wind, a shy daughter Violet who can create force fields and become invisible and a baby son Jack Jack, who appears “normal” enough, but has a few surprises in store for everyone. Meanwhile Mr. Incredible has become completely disenchanted with his life as an insurance claim processor and disengages from his family. Things appear to be getting worse all around until Mr. Incredible gets an offer too good to refuse and finds himself returning to the life he once loved.

Unfortunately, he learns that this was a trap set by the evil super villain Syndrome to rid the world of superheroes once and for all. Consequently Mr Incredible and the rest of his family are forced to use the gifts they have tried to hide in order to restore peace and save humanity.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

This film contains frequent use of violence, including:

  • There are frequent shoot-outs throughout the film employing the use of hand guns, machine guns and other high tech weaponry. Often the would be victims are members of the Incredible family, including the children.
  • There are numerous car smashes, train derailments, aircraft explosions, and a wide variety of other transportation devices that are exploded, destroyed or in some other way damaged beyond repair
  • Bombs are detonated throughout the film.
  • Mr. Incredible looses his temper and blasts his boss through a number of walls, where he slams into a far corridor and winds up in the hospital sporting a full body cast.
  • There a number of fight scenes which employ punching, kicking, hitting, bashing etc.
  • There is a violent probe whose mission is to kill superheroes and all who get in its path by whatever means possible. Mr. Incredible and his family are consequently attacked on more than one occasion.
  • Syndrome repeatedly uses a blasting energy field to immobilise his victims.
  • Mr Incredible is hit numerous times by what initially appear to be large cannon balls.
  • Mr Incredible is strapped to a high tech device and tortured using electrical currents when he refuses to give information to Syndrome
  • Syndrome violently abducts baby Jack Jack before the child takes matters into his own hands.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Aside from some of the already mentioned violent scenes there are another few scenes that may be frightening for younger viewers.

  • Mr Incredible comes face to face with the skeleton of a superhero friend and viewers are treated to a close up shot of the grotesquely decaying corpse.
  • The plane that Elastigirl and her two kids are travelling in is being chased by missiles, Elastigirl is panicking, trying to avert disaster, while both of the children are petrified believing they are going to die. The missile hits, the plane explodes, and Elastigirl and her kids fall down towards the sea screaming in terror. Only moments before impact Elastigirl grabs her kids and turns into a parachute. She must then avert disaster once again when parts of the plane threaten to crash down on top of them.
  • There is a chilling scene in which Elastigirl must leave her kids in order to try to save Mr Incredible, she warns them to stay in the cave and clearly explains how they may have to fight to the death should the bad guys come.
  • Dash is running for his life through the jungle while Syndrome’s guards are chasing him, shooting at him with machine guns.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by scenes in this film.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

The above-mentioned scenes may frighten some children between the ages of eight and thirteen.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over the age of 13 are unlikely to be frightened by this film.

Sexual references

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible had a habit of butt slapping and butt pinching.

There was a sub-plot running throughout the film that led Elastigirl to believe that Mr. Incredible was having an affair, the implications of which would have gone over the heads of most children.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

None of concern.

In a nutshell

The movie’s main message is that everyone has special gifts and talents and that rather than hiding these gifts and trying to fit in and be like everyone else people should be true to themselves and be happy with who they are.

Parents may wish to take the opportunity to discuss with their children the qualities of power, courage, obedience, justice and what it means to be “normal”.

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