A while back, I made a short list of interesting fan theories on the basis that rethinking the structure and content of films, stories, and games could help us to question our own world on a deeper level.
Well, I feel it’s high time to bring the exercise back for round two. I have a brand new batch of reality bending re-interpretations to make you reevaluate your thinking. Why? Why NOT? It was a load of fun to do and I want to see if anyone out there can spark up some debate or share their own theories.
As with the last time, these theories are NOT CANONICAL and are mere speculation by those who love the work of great storytellers and want to analyze them deeper. That said, let’s have some fun and open our minds.
The Incredibles Is a Modern Retelling of Atlas Shrugged
As is the case with most Pixar movies, The Incredibles deals with surprisingly deep subject matter for a family animated feature. In this case, it’s the story of a man torn between his family and his struggle for usefulness in the face of a mid-life crisis.
But what if the message was much more? What if, in reality, the movie borrowed a few pages from the collective playbooks of objectivist philosophers around the world?
An article from Steve Damerell of The Free Liberal reveals several similarities between John Galt, the main protagonist of Atlas Shrugged, and the movie’s own Mr. Incredible; namely their shared rational self-interest – John and his desire to promote the individuality of productive individuals like himself on one hand, and Mr. Incredible and his desire to reclaim his glory days to better protect the world and his family on the other.
What’s more, both stories showcase how society can fall apart when the most productive members within it stop contributing in response to a lack of adequate recognition for their work. The world of The Incredibles was left defenceless without its superheroes and it’s only when they return to do their jobs and get the respect they deserve that the people are saved. The scene of Mr. Incredible holding the body of the massive Omnidroid ala Atlas lifting the globe drives the point home.
Honestly, this theory is so smart that I doubt that the writers intended it to be read that way. Still, I’ve always said that the best stories are the ones that hold up when viewed with a stronger contextual lens.
The End of Minority Report Is a Hallucinatory Dream Sequence
Before the notions of the dystopian cyberpunk future and technophobia were worn down to a stub, movies like Minority Report were considered great works. It used its setting to tackle the issues of due process and criminal intent in the justice system.
… Or it would have if many fans weren’t convinced that the ending was WAY to happy to be real.
According to many fans, the Tom Cruise’s character of former Precrime Chief Anderton suffers from hallucinogenic dreams of heroism when he is caught and placed in a containment chamber. This was more believable to fans who felt that Anderton’s wife breaking him out of jail, the villain committing suicide, and the Precogs being saved was suspiciously happy and convenient.
The theory is backed up by the fact that the warden even tells Anderton that those placed in suspension in the containment chamber “have visions” wherein “all your dreams come true.”
Again, this feels too smart to be intentional. But it adds a new layer to the story that better fits the darker themes of the rest of the film.
Isaac’s Mom Was Trying to Save Him; Not Kill Him
I’m not going to lie, this is the real reason I wanted to revive this topic. I was legitimately proud of myself for finding this all on my own.
The game The Binding of Isaac is a modernized, psychedelic, black comedy retelling of the classic bible story of the same name. Of course, when you realize this and consider all of the biblical imagery that the story calls on, you’re left to wonder if Issac’s Mom is right.
In game, it is suggested that an extended time left isolated with nothing but televangelist T.V. to entertain her has caused Isaac’s Mom to hallucinate that the voice of god is commanding her to sacrifice her son to free him from his corruption. Also, it’s shown that Isaac’s abuse has caused him to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder as a coping mechanism (his alter egos take the form of other playable characters).
However, the multiple bible references in game (both Isaac and his multiple identities are named for famous biblical figures and you do fight the horseman of the apocalypse, demons, and the devil himself) hint at this being a world where demons and demonic possession exist. We even see a demonic alter ego of Isaac in one cutscene.
So, Isaac seems to be clearly possessed by a demon, but not just any demon. I put it to you, readers, that each of Isaac’s identities are actually a part of a legendary demon that was known as a collective of creatures – the infamous Legion – and his mom was trying to slay him and not Isaac.
Perhaps, the creators will confirm or deny this when The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth comes out. We’ll just have to wait until then.