You may not like the answer.
Mild spoilers for The Incredibles 2 ahead, mostly having to do with how sexy the movie is.
Bless Brad Bird for bringing two incredibly good Incredibles movies into the world. Incredibles 2 just set a box office record by bringing in $27 million on Tuesday alone. It also seems to have set an internet record for thirst, as thousands and thousands of people look at Elastigirl and go, damn. Here’s a taste:
This might have gone unnoticed beyond Twitter and certain corners of Tumblr I'm not allowed to link to but for New Yorker film critic Anthony Lane, whose review was mostly positive but also extremely horny. He opened with the lamentation that being "trampolined" referred to a superhero move, not something done during "a lazy afternoon in the marital boudoir with the door discreetly shut." He goes on to impose the male gaze in other creepier ways:
People were understandably shocked and grossed out. But no one was brave enough to ask if The Incredibles 2 was actually a sexy movie. So here we are.
The Incredibles was an unusually adult—in every sense of the word—animated film. The opening is a flirtatious courtship scene—Elastigirl bests Mr. Incredible at his own job before meeting him later to get married. But(t) please, just take a look at Elastigirl. She is the living embodiment of our 2018 Instagram-influenced dreams—thicc, flexible, often walking with a hip swivel. There are numerous YouTube videos describing Elastigirl flexi scenes as "sexy." (Don't read the comments.) She can even turn into a boat!! This is not sexy, I just find it to be an important quality.
Meanwhile, Mr. Incredible goes from dad bod to looking extremely cut, and there’s a montage literally dedicated to the improvement in his sex life. Then there’s Mirage, a doe-eyed, rail-thin, platinum blonde who basically walked right out of DeviantArt. Even the buildings are sexy in a sort of Ayn Rand way—all rounded steel and sleek glass, with a massive wall made of lava.
The Incredibles 2 ramps all of this up, with Elastigirl serving as the face (and body) of a campaign to get the public to trust superheroes again. This means she gets a slinky outfit in darker colors, with built-in thigh-high boots, and an incredibly sexy motorcycle with incredibly sexy acceleration that BREAKS IN HALF to accommodate her incredibly sexy stretching across surfaces.
Then there's the new character Karen, a.k.a Voyd, a burgeoning queer icon that many, including me, feel is inspired by Kristen Stewart and who is clearly taken with Elastigirl. Upon meeting her, Voyd can barely hold it together, sputtering nervously, and who could blame her?
But there's nothing sleazy about The Incredibles 2, and the point of all this isn't mere titillation. Elastigirl isn't just "sexed up," she's being liberated from her role as a stay-at-home-mom. She goes from unglamorous arbiter of order—remember the scene from the first movie where her arms have the stretch under the table because she’s trying to keep the kids from fighting?—to a vigilante hero. When she finally emerges in her power outfit and tests out the motorcycle, we can see Mr. Incredible's conflicting emotions: jealousy, but also desire. After so many years together, he’s finally remembering that his wife is hot. It's a sweet moment that makes us reconsider the unfair ways we stereotype moms and motherhood. If it also makes you think whatever thoughts about cartoons, that's just the price of admission.
It's also a very good movie, which you should go see immediately.
Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.
Follow Nicole Clark on Twitter.