I guess this post could be considered a character study. I’ve mentioned previously the Pixar movies usually impress me with their story telling and character development. The Incredibles movies are near the top of the list, not just because I can identify with the villains, but because Edna Mode is my one of my favorite characters. (Followed by Elasta-Girl and Frozone. Mr. Incredible grew on me a bit more after the stay-at-home dad stint in the second movie.)
Why Edna? Technically, she’s a secondary character. Rather like Q from the James Bond movies. (Those movies/books would not be the same without Q’s gadgets.) Only Ms. Mode is a bit more eccentric than Q. She’s also something of a mystery. Just how did she become a lucrative super-suit designer anyway?
It seems safe to say she’s incredibly smart. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) I would image she was the type of child who stood out in school. Was she the shy, quiet kid bullies singled out, because they knew she would hate the attention, or was she equally flamboyant as her adult self? Either way, she most likely always won first prize at science fairs.
Usually, smart people end up becoming some sort of villain or side-kick. Why is that exactly? Those who skew toward villainhood are often the victims of bullies, who develop a chip on their shoulders. Or their brilliance simply isn’t appreciated by others. The side-kicks, on the other hand, don’t necessarily suffer from a lack of appreciation, though they are often relegated to the background, out of the public’s eye. Like Dr. Frankenstein’s Igor, and Alton Brown’s dungeon keeper. Edna Mode is anything except invisible with her big house and super-hero statues.
Personally, if I cast Edna as a villain, she would be the really sneaky, underhanded kind. Sure, she would still create those super-suits. Seems like a far more efficient way to pick off the Supers, than Syndrome’s convoluted inventions. Eh, he behaved true to type for someone who suffered from a lack of appreciation. Our villainess from movie 2, possessed a more compelling reason to be angry with the supers; though it was really an unfortunate case of bad timing, since their government support ended right before her parents were killed. She came really close to succeeding with her googly-eyed take-over-the-world glasses. Only to be out-maneuvered by children. Got to give it to Violet. The girl is a smart cookie.
What prevented Edna from becoming a villain, instead of “designer to the gods?” It is difficult to say because she has no backstory. We don’t know anything about her origins, or what truly motivates her. However, she does have a way with Jack-Jack. If the world ever succeeds in upsetting those two, it better look out. Only which one would be the side-kick? I’m betting it won’t be Edna.