Jack-Jack is the breakout star of Incredibles 2, having no less than 17 powers of his own, and we're here to explain why that is. In Pixar's highly-anticipated sequel, Helen Parr is the super recruited by an organization to do hero work, while Bob stays at home to watch the kids. At first, Mr. Incredible thinks the job will be relatively easy, but he quickly learns he's walked into a responsibility he wasn't even slightly prepared for.
Violet's dating woes and Dash's new math homework would be enough to put any parent over the edge, but the Parr family have a third child to look after: the adorable baby Jack-Jack. Unbeknownst to them, the toddler has an array of abilities manifesting (audiences first saw them at the end of the original film). When Bob discovers the truth about his youngest, he's both thrilled and horrified by what this all means. Jack-Jack isn't like the Parr's other offspring, making him more of a handful than your typical infant. Just about all of the supers we've met in the Incredibles universe have a single power they control, but Jack-Jack's got many.
What are Jack-Jack's Powers?
Near the end of the film, Bob tells Helen that she missed Jack-Jack's first 17 powers. The Pixar Wiki takes things one step further by listing 18 powers for Jack-Jack. Here's the full list to date.
- Superhuman strength and durability
- Transforming into a demon baby
- Transforming into a fire baby
- Transforming into a giant baby
- Turning body into metal
- Turning body into rubbery substance
- Molecular vibration
- Interdimensional travel
- Laser eyes
- Generate electricity
Jack-Jack displays many (if not all) of these powers over the course of Incredibles 2, most notably during the now-famous sequence where he fights a raccoon. Obviously, due to his age, Jack-Jack has yet to master his abilities, so he requires a special suit that's prepared to deal with whatever happens. His Auntie Edna Mode (who gleefully agrees to babysit Jack-Jack when she discovers his powers) made one herself. The outfit seems to adapt to whatever form the baby takes; in the third act when Jack-Jack becomes a giant, his costume remains intact. Another handy feature is the blackberry-lavender flavored flame retardant.
Why Does Jack-Jack Have So Many Powers?
The easy answer to this question is because it's funny to see a baby exhibit so many different abilities and overwhelm his father. Fortunately, director Brad Bird went a little deeper than that for an explanation. Edna tells Bob Jack-Jack is a polymorph, which essentially means he has unlimited potential as he makes his way through development. Jack-Jack's set of powers also ties into Bird's approach when giving each member of the Parr family their specific power. It's reflective of Jack-Jack's personality as a baby, as the filmmaker said during a press conference we attended in April:
Men are always expected to be strong, so I had Bob have super strength. Mothers are always pulled in a million different directions, so I had her be elastic. Teenagers are insecure and defensive, so I had Violet have force fields and invisibility. Ten-year olds are energy balls that can’t be stopped. And babies are unknowns. Maybe they have no powers, maybe they have all powers - we don’t know. That’s what Jack-Jack was; he was seemingly the most normal one in the family and then at the end of Incredibles, you find out he’s a wild card and he’s sort of the Swiss army knife of powers.
This is part of the reason why Bird opted to have Incredibles 2 pick up literally right after the events of the first film. He wanted to maintain the established dynamic of the family, which would be been impossible if the characters aged. Theoretically (unless polymorphism is permanent in this case), Jack-Jack could assume control of a single power as he gets older - one that connects to his basic personality. Since Dash is 10 years old in the movies, this likely takes place fairly early in childhood. By the time The Incredibles picks up, it seems like Dash has been a trouble-making speedster for years.
It's possible Jack-Jack's evolving powers could be explored in an Incredibles 3, but it remains to be seen if that film will ever happen. Pixar is moving away from sequels for the near future, and Bird himself isn't to keen on followups. Plus, he has no interest in a college-aged Jack-Jack, so this might be all we get.
Source: Pixar Wiki
- Incredibles 2 (2018) release date: Jun 15, 2018