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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.

Posted by Drew at May 4, 2005 08:20 PM

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I'm puzzled. We rented the DVD a few weeks ago and did not see that scene. Believe me, we would have noticed. There would have been much cheering in the Sides household. I do think, though, that the homemaker option was implicitly respected in the movie, and we did notice that.

Posted by: Mark Sides at May 5, 2005 09:07 AM

I was impressed with Brad Bird's desire to include this theme in the movie. It's refreshing to see someone (particularly in Hollywood) who views stay-at-home mothers in an honorable light. I'm glad they included the scene on the DVD. "The Incredibles" is definitely a favorite in our family and one of the best movies we've seen in quite a while.

Posted by: Daddypundit at May 5, 2005 09:09 AM

Mark, I haven't picked up the DVD yet, but I got the impression that it was part of the bonus extras, and not reintegrated into the movie.

Posted by: Drew at May 5, 2005 01:22 PM

WOW! Cool! :-)

The Blogging Boy Scout,

Posted by: Travis at May 5, 2005 11:35 PM

That's really neat! I haven't even gotten the change to see the movie yet, so hopefully I'll be able to rent or borrow the DVD and check it out. Interesting stuff.

Posted by: Agent Tim at May 6, 2005 07:28 AM

Drew, That would make sense. I suspect we'll add it to our collection soon, so we'll check out the bonus clips.


Posted by: Mark Sides at May 6, 2005 08:06 AM

It is part of the extras. It's an early version of an opening for the film where the family only had a baby, and it was chopped because the film changed completely. You can safely say it had nothing whatsoever to do with politics.

Posted by: Kevin at May 6, 2005 09:30 AM