|The actor:||Samuel L. Jackson|
|The character:||Lucius Best / Frozone|
|The film:||The Incredibles|
|The quote:||“Where’s my super suit?”|
The first animated movie on this list and, hold onto your butts, the only animated movie on this list. No Shrek, no Frozen, no Finding Nemo. All of them made the shortlist but none of them made the cut, despite having a wealth of quotes that fit my criteria pretty well. It appears to me that The Incredibles is merely the most quotable American animated movie of the century thus far, not merely quotable because of its conversations but because of its individual lines. The conversation that Lucius is in the midst of with his unseen wife—how many thousands of dollars do you think Pixar saved because they didn’t have to design or animate her?—is terrific. Like the Jack-Jack v. Raccoon Flyweight Championship of 2018, we don’t need this moment. Of course, if we pared down movies to what we “need,” the way that prudish Internet dinkuses keep suggesting we do, the movies would all be soulless Instagram reels and not movies anymore.
The heart of the movie is in these slightly inessential moments. In Incredibles 2, the heart of the movie is Jack-Jack’s promotion to the head of the Parr family, Helen and her breakout be damned. In The Incredibles, the heart of the movie is not in the struggle between the supers and the monstrous technology and villains which strike against normal folks, but in what it’s like to be one of those supers day in and day out. Being the parents of super children means having to deal with your middle child yelling HEY NO FORCEFIELDS at your oldest. Being a super means that you might be asked to hide your gifts to avoid lawsuits, or that you might be asked to stop a mime going as “Bomb Voyage” from obliterating a building. It also means that like a firefighter or the guy working fries at a fast food joint, you might be called into work at any time. Thus Lucius getting a glimpse of Syndrome’s latest, seemingly unbeatable robot wreaking havoc on the city, feeling obligated…and also having obligations.
It’s not as if The Incredibles is doing something groundbreaking here. Superhero weddings are usually an opportunity for supervillains to show up and play the role of the unwelcome guest/drunk uncle, and sometimes it seems like people like Galactus exist just to screw with Reed and Sue watching Franklin’s teeball game. What I like about this scenario so much is that the stakes are small, but not to Lucius’s wife. The public is in danger, but so is her evening, and comparatively speaking she knows which one is more essential. It also gives us a hint that Lucius’s married life is basically a Borscht belt bit; most of marriage is made up of asking your spouse where x item is because clearly they’re the one who moved it.
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