Helen Parr (née Truax), also known as Elastigirl, is the deuteragonist in Disney/Pixar's 2004 film The Incredibles and the protagonist in its 2018 sequel. She is an elastic and dexterous superheroine who can stretch any part of her body to great lengths, and mold it into several shapes and sizes. Helen is married to Mr. Incredible (Bob Parr), and they have three children, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack.
Prior to marrying Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl seemed to have a strong opinion, stating that she both planned to break the "glass ceiling" (as Supers were a predominantly male profession) and would not settle down, at that time, in her firebrand ways as a married housewife. Life had other plans for her, however, as Mr. Incredible had managed to be so dazzling that she broke down and agreed to marry him. Shortly after their wedding, a chain reaction of events involving lawsuits results in Supers being outlawed by the U.S. government.
Since it became illegal to work as a Super, her goal of becoming a prominent superheroine was made a moot point. Elastigirl then changed to a more traditional role: becoming a housewife and devoting her effort to being a good wife and mother. This is particularly important raising three children while living in witness protection and trying to raise super-children in a normal world.
Helen adjusted skillfully to the anti-Super law by completely renouncing her career as Elastigirl. In the privacy of the Parr residence, however, she still sometimes used her superpowers to aid her in housework and keep her three children under control. Her biggest concern is that since both she and Mr. Incredible were superheroes, their marriage has begat "superkids", and she does not want her children breaking the anti-Super law (whereas her husband takes the stance that the kids need to revel in their very special abilities).
Powers and abilities
- Elasticity: Elastigirl's minimum thickness is stated as 1 mm, which would limit her stretch distance to 30 meters; however, the Operation Kronos database states that she can stretch up to 300 feet (91.44 m) and leap up to 80 feet (24.39 m). She can use her elasticity to throw objects with far more force than her slight stature would imply, as in one scene in which she supports the weight of a Winnebago suspended during plane during flight.
- Invulnerability: As part of stretching, Elastigirl displays some amount of invulnerability. Forced stretching, even under several tons of load, appears to cause pain and discomfort but no permanent or even temporary harm. A high degree of protection is also afforded by her super suit. Edna Mode states that she can injure herself by stretching too far.
- Bullet Immunity: Combined with flexibility, this should make her immune to bullets, though this is never demonstrated save when she is caught by doors while sneaking into Syndrome's compound and manages to have a ricochet of bullets deflected from hitting her leg by her boots.
- Hand-To-Hand Combat: In both the original movie and the sequel, she is depicted as a capable operative, hand-to-combatant, and tactician.
- Shape-shifting: She has also shown the ability to shape shift with her elasticity. An example of this is when she transformed into a boat in the middle of the ocean to get her children, Violet and Dash, to shore. She can also shapeshift into a parachute to save her children.
- Density Alteration: The fact that she can also manipulate her body shape and even decrease in volume means her mass can be moved to go with it.
- Blunt force: She can be knocked out by blunt force. This was demonstrated when she is stunned by three anti-aircraft missiles destroying a plane that was carrying her, Violet, and Dash on board, though she quickly regains consciousness. Also, in spite of her bodily malleability, Elastigirl can be disoriented by solid enough impact, such as her own blows, as seen when Voyd re-directed one of Helen's elongated punches through a portal and causing Elastigirl to accidentally punch herself, leaving her briefly dazed.
- Elasticity: Her own elasticity can sometimes be problematic, as it caused her leg, torso, and arm to be caught in three doors.
- Freezing temperatures: If Elastigirl is exposed to extreme cold, she will be unable to use her powers. Much like how rubber breaks when its frozen, the same principle will happen to her if she tries to stretch in freezing temperatures.
At the beginning of the film, Elastigirl helps Mr. Incredible take down a robber during which she teases him when he offers her assistance, although Elastigirl insists she can handle things herself. She ends their chat advising Mr. Incredible not to be late for their wedding and heads to the cathedral. To her dismay, Bob arrives late to the altar, but they are married nonetheless; during the ceremony, Helen worries that Bob got into trouble as Mr. Incredible which Bob assures her that, as superheroes, they are prepared for what comes their way. Unfortunately, the supers are subsequently outlawed and required to live solely as their secret identities.
Over the next fifteen years, Helen becomes a homemaker and tries to help the family adjust to a normal life. She does use her super powers in private to control her rowdy family. Bob, however, doesn't adjust happily to civilian life. Helen eventually discovers his clandestine crime-fighting with Frozone (Lucius Best), using the cover story that they're going bowling. This results in marital conflict between Helen and Bob.
Bob (as Mr. Incredible) is subsequently lured by Syndrome to his private island, Nomanisan Island, under the ruse of an assignment. Helen finds a strand of platinum-blonde hair on Bob's clothes that evening, and she becomes suspicious when she hears Bob talking on the phone to his contact, Mirage. Helen learns that Bob is in danger (as Syndrome intends to kill him) after Bob is once again lured to Nomansian Island. She borrows a jet from a friend to journey to the island, but during her flight, finds Violet and Dash stowed away. She later discovers that their plane is in danger to be destroyed by missiles attempting to destroy them. She manages to defeat two of the six missiles but the plane is destroyed. Fortunately, Helen and the kids are not killed, so she parachutes to safety with them. The three make it to shore and take refuge in a safe-looking cave. Before leaving in order to save Bob, Helen urges both Violet and Dash to sharpen the use of their powers from then on; to bolster Violet's confidence by telling her that she has more power than she realizes; she also warns them that their enemies are merciless killers, and instructs them to protect their identities at all costs. Just as Helen exits the cave, Violets runs up to her, apologizing for her failure to protect the plane with her force field. Helen, in turn, apologizes to Violet for demanding something Violet had no way of being prepared for. She also bolsters her daughter's confidence with the advice that she need only trust her instincts in order to make good use of her abilities.
Then Helen leaves the kids to find Bob. She runs into trouble when parts of her body get caught in doors while hiding from some of Syndrome's security guards. She manages to defeat the guards by knocking out one of the guards with her foot, then using her posterior to knock out two more.
Meanwhile, Syndrome's assistant, Mirage (who lured Mr. Incredible to the island as his contact), becomes disillusioned by Syndrome's narcissism and calloussness. Her change of heart leads her to free Mr. Incredible. Mirage informs Mr. Incredible that wife and kids are alive (it was previously assumed they were dead). Helen walks in as Bob gives Mirage a grateful embrace. Helen punches Mirage (knocking her out), as she believes Bob was to have been committing adultery with Mirage. However, she does accept Bob's truthful statement that Mirage hired him and nothing more. After some initial awkwardness and tension, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl escape. Meanwhile, Violet and Dash manage to acquit themselves well after they're attacked by Syndrome's security force.
Syndrome recaptures the entire family, and reveals that he intends to use his latest Omnidroid model to attack the city of Metroville, and then orchestrate a rescue, in which he appears to defeat the immense weapon, which is in reality under his control. The Parrs escape again, and manage to journey back to Metroville, where they, along with Frozone, destroy the Omnidroid v.10.
Back at their house, they are confronted by Syndrome, who tries to kidnap Jack-Jack. Bob and Helen manage to retrieve Jack-Jack by letting Bob throw Helen to Jack-Jack, catching him. After Bob throws his car at Syndrome's plane, Syndrome is killed when his cape is sucked into the turbine of his private jet, also resulting in the explosion of his plane.
Three months later, Helen is seen with the rest of the family cheering on Dash at his school's sports day where he finished second. With the threat of The Underminer looming in the city afterwards, Helen is seen wearing her mask as she joins the family in the fight against the villain.
In the sequel the fight with The Underminer picks up where it left off. The Incredibles defeat The Underminer, who escapes. However, they also get arrested for the damages the Underminer caused. Rick Dicker bails them out and escorts them to a motel that they will live in until they find a new home. Rick also tells Helen and Bob that the Super Relocation Program has been shut down and they can only stay at the motel for two weeks. That night, Frozone shows up and escorts them to DevTech. There, they meet Winston Deavor and his sister Evelyn. The Deavors tell them that they are going to come up with a campaign to make Supers legal again and they want Elastigirl to be the public face of it since she causes the least collateral damage. Helen is reluctant to accept but Bob urges her to say yes as their choice is accept the offer and try to make themselves legal again or remain illegal and become homeless.
After moving into their new home and leaving the kids in Bob's care, Elastigirl takes off for the city where she saves a runaway train and makes a new enemy in the Screenslaver. Helen later discovers that Screenslaver is so named because he uses screens to hypnotise people. With Evelyn's help, she manages to catch the Screensaver. However, she later discovers that the man she caught is just a puppet right before Evelyn puts Hypno-goggles over her eyes. Her kids rescue her (with Helen discovering Jack-Jack's powers for the first time) and the Incredibles stop Evelyn and make Supers legal again.
Helen is a playable character in the video game of the same name, but only in three levels (she appears in two more, as either a guest or a helper). In the second level "Skyline Stretch" she appears in her original Elastigirl outfit, and in levels "Finding Mr. Incredible" and "Secret Lava Labs" she appears in her Mrs. Incredible outfit. In the game, Helen has an equal health level to her husband's, and displays abilities that are not seen in the film. When heavily surrounded by bad guys, she can spin and punch her enemies like a twister, and turn into a wheel.
Helen Parr is a playable character in Disney INFINITY. In the game, Helen has a combo melee attack, as well as a Block Breaker and Power Attack. She has the ability to stretch out her arm as her ranged attack, where she grabs enemies and pulls towards them. This also makes her able to grab onto buildings and other toys to climb higher, like the Climbing Hook.
Helen takes story focus in a few of the arcs of the series. In the original Family Matters miniseries, the matriarch of the new neighbors is revealed to be one of her old foes, a chemist called Organa. She sought to de-power Helen with a power-nullifying allergen placed in the various baked treats she offered her, though only Bob was affected as he continuously hogged all the treats for himself. She is eventually devolved into an ape by a De-evolution bomb created by Futur1on Dash uses against her. Organa's son Xander would later take after his mother's talents in chemistry, but with the intent to prove himself to Violet as both a Super and a love-interest.
In the storyline Secrets and Lies, she and Mirage are paired together on a mission to take out a resurgent Bomb Voyage in Paris. However, Bomb Voyage is under the employ of the criminal mastermind Xerek, whom Helen had once dated before she broke up with him on unspecified terms. Xerek deliberately planned for Helen to come to him, thinking it would prove a point of her breaking Bob's trust and seeking to relive the glory days, though she and Mirage simply laugh it off that Helen believes her life with Bob is not a waste and Xerek's the one more obsessed with the past. In the end, this is merely a ruse for Xerek to be taken into custody so he can subsequently take control of the prison and bring all the villains together for his ultimate scheme.
Elastigirl is a meetable character at the Disney Parks.
- When Elastigirl looks at the size of her own hips and bottom in the mirror and sighs, this echoes a sight gag from Peter Pan. Tinker Bell did essentially the same while hovering over a portable mirror with a long handle. Tinker Bell was delighted (if somewhat astonished) by the size of her hips. In contrast, Helen responds wistfully to her reflection; she notices she has lost muscle tone and substantially gained weight (as evidenced by the pear-shaped appearance of her former hourglass figure).
- In Incredibles 2, Helen tells Bob that she used to have not only a bike (The "Elasticycle") during the Glory Days, she also had a mohawk. Bob was unaware of it, which leads to Helen reassuring him, "You didn't miss anything".
- According to official sources, Helen is in her late thirties and she is 5'8" (172 cm) in height and is 125 pounds (56 kg) in weight.
- Helen's (Holly Hunter) flight approach into Nomanisan Island is similar to Dorinda's (Holly Hunter) end-of-movie flight in Always where the plane is in an uncontrollable dive and then she pulls hard on the controls to regain control of the plane. In both, she is initially distracted before returning to the controls to avert complete disaster when the plane crashes.
- When borrowing a plane, Helen's pilot call sign is "India Golf Niner-Niner", which translates to IG99, a reference to the 1999 film The Iron Giant, also directed by Brad Bird.
- In the alternate opening to the movie, Helen Parr (then known by Helen Smith) was to be present at a welcoming ceremony by their neighbors along with her husband and daughter Violet (who was an infant at the time). One of her neighbors talks badly about children, causing Helen to snap at her and almost reveal her true identity, but managed to stop herself when her neighbor asked what her former job was. She also ended up allegedly taking Bob Smith to the hospital after the latter allegedly severely injured his fingers with a butcher knife while working the barbecue (in actuality, he was not injured at all, and dented the cleaver with his fingers as a result of his superhuman durability, so they were forced to fake his injury in order to maintain his secret identity). They were later endangered by an old enemy of Mr. Incredible, Syndrome (then a minor villain), but they managed to escape the house when their encounter with Syndrome caused a gas leak that detonated, although Syndrome was not nearly as lucky.
- Coincidentally enough, Elastigirl, Helen's superhero name, is also the name of a superheroine with similar elasticity-based superpowers that originated from the DC Comics superhero team, the Doom Patrol. The character's civilian name also resembles Helen's, her surname being Farr.
- This was the main reason why Disney/Pixar was forced to use the name Mrs. Incredible for marketing to avoid copyrights. The DC character's name has since been changed to "Elasti-Woman", presumably as a compromise to allow Disney/Pixar to use "Elastigirl" again.
- Elastigirl shares a powerset with Mr. Fantastic of Marvel Comics' Fantastic Four. Other members of the family have counterparts in the team.
- In earlier scripts of The Incredibles, after Helen calls Snug inquiring about a jet, he pilots her and the hidden children to Syndrome's island, and is killed when the plane was destroyed by the missiles. Helen realizes he is dead when she spots his cap sinking into the ocean depths with the wreckage. This is foreshadowed by photographs of Snug and Elastigirl together in her youth as boone companions still seen in the final cut of the movie, suggesting he was her flight instructor instead.
- Brad Bird fought to keep the scene as it was originally written which reached storyboard stage, but ultimately accepted that having Helen at the controls, and thus having the situation entirely in her hands, created more tension and impact.
- Helen is the fourth female protagonist in a Pixar movie, after Merida in Brave, Joy in Inside Out, and Dory in Finding Dory.
- ↑ "Incredibles 2 Themed Books - Take a Peek at 14 Different books (Jr.Novel, Activity & More)". YouTube. Retrieved on May 8 2018.