Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Deleting an "Incredible" Scene

At, Paul D. Gallagher writes about a scene that was deleted from the theatrical release of The Incredibles, but shows up on the DVD. It would have been interesting to hear the reaction a theater audience might have had to this scene. I suspect certain members of the audience would have stood and applauded. But I'll let Gallagher tell about it:

The setting is a backyard barbeque in their neighborhood. Helen Parr is introduced to Beth, a commodities broker. Beth talks excitedly about her job, then asks what Helen does. “I’m a homemaker,” Helen replies. Blank stare from Beth, who cuts off Helen’s next sentence with a curt, “That’s nice.” Beth walks off, and Helen scowls.

A minute later, Helen overhears Beth talking to some other neighbors:

Beth: “Throw away my prime years trailing after a bunch of snotty kids? No, thank you! Hello, no thanks! Hello, I want to do something with my life!”

Helen: “Wait a minute! You consider raising a family … nothing?”

Beth: “Well, it’s fine if you’re not suited for more substantial things.”

Helen: “Do you have any idea how much suffering would fail to take root if more people were just good parents? What’s more important than that? What kind of job?”

Beth: “Uh … uh …”

Helen: “A job saving lives? Is that important? What about risking my life?”

Beth: “Well, I … uh …”

Helen: “What about confronting evil on a daily basis for years so that people like you can sleep in safety and security? Would you consider that kind of job ‘substantial’?”

Beth: “Yeah. I would. Yes.”

Helen: “Well, that’s the job I gave up for my new job -- raising a family. And nobody’s going to tell me it’s any less important.”

Wow. Let’s take a moment to let that sink in. We have a hero in a major film defending the job of homemaker. Rewind it all you like. Then notice the sky’s not falling. And if you think I liked it, imagine how my wife, Cindy -- a homemaker and mother of six -- felt about it.

Like I said, imagine a theater full of stay-at-home moms who have taken the kids out to a Saturday matinee showing would have reacted. Loud applause? I think so.

Before you presume some Hollywood conspiracy to take out this powerful scene, read on:

Brad Bird said he included the scene because it reflected what his own wife encountered every time they went to a social function. People who found it easy to chat with others who worked outside the home felt awkward and didn’t know what to say when they met this strange creature who called herself … a homemaker.

. . . But Bird said he cut it reluctantly and only because he realized it would be better to begin with the heroes being heroes (and he was right). Besides, the finished film still strongly endorses the homemaker option (albeit implicitly), and the scene is available for all to see on DVD.

By the way, if you haven't seen Brad Bird's "The Iron Giant," go out and rent (or buy) that one. It's quite enjoyable.


At 10:53 AM, Blogger Mary Eileen said...

Thanks, Drew, for that post! We love The Incredibles. It has a subtle but unmistakable message about family. Besides, it's just a great, creative, well-made film.

But that scene -- I would have loved it!

At 5:38 PM, Blogger cslewisfan221 said...

Apparently, there are Narnia Events going on all over the country that are movie "sneek peeks". I just found some information at Narnia Resources


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