The main villain in the film is called Syndrome, and he and Mr. Incredible have a long history. In the prologue to the film, as Mr. Incredible prepares to bust a supervillain, a young kid named Buddy flies in on homemade jet boots. He says he wants to be Mr. Incredible's sidekick; Mr. Incredible makes fun of him, and he later becomes a supervillain because of it.
Or maybe because of his tragic, ejector-seat-related traumatic brain injury.
Hang on a second ...
Yes, this is an animated movie, but it doesn't star talking fish, rats or toys. Outside of the superheroes, the world of the Incredibles is just like ours -- there are offices and jobs and suburbs and frustrated marriages. People drive cars and live in apartments.
Uh, why? Why do their cities still look like ours when 15 years before Mr. Incredible started dealing with his midlife crisis, a small child invented a propulsion system that can support the weight of a human body, and needs no bulky fuel supply?
Plus, wearing it gives you killer ankles.
That invention -- and the broader technology behind it (the energy source, etc.) should have utterly changed society. And it all came from a kid -- at the age when most boys are just starting to have strange feelings about boobs, this kid is already the greatest scientific mind in history and could probably even beat Tesla in a duel. He would be known as The Kid Who Saved the World.
Yet the whole character arc of Buddy's transformation into the evil Syndrome follows his lifelong quest for attention, in which he's finally forced to build a giant city-destroying robot after his jet boots, hover-cars and anti-gravity devices fail to raise any eyebrows. Really? The technology that can single-handedly end global warming and our dependence on fossil fuels? It's like if the guy who invented the printing press died broke and alone while everyone else continued to chisel out memos on stone tablets with a woodpecker.
"What possible industrial uses could an anti-gravity ray have?"
It's not even like Buddy kept his intellect a secret -- he very publicly demonstrates his jet boots in front of a crowd of onlookers. Sure, he accidentally demolishes a train, but being clumsy doesn't invalidate the fact that he's the greatest inventor the world has ever known. And this is a world in which superheroism is illegal, so there's no reason he wouldn't stand out in a crowd. If Mark Zuckerberg can make the cover of Time magazine, surely there's room for the kid who instantly vaulted human society a century into the future.
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Check out how some less than reputable things actually did change the world in 5 People Who Changed the World From Inside of Prison and 5 Horrible Diseases That Changed The World (For the Better).
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