Even though there are now two Incredibles films, we have yet to see Honey, the wife of lone Black superhero Frozone (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson). Interestingly enough, Disney/Pixar was initially going to include a scene between Honey and Frozone in Incredibles 2 but deleted it due to story constraints. That storyboarded scene, posted on io9, is included in the film’s home release, finally giving fans a good look at Honey and the role she could have had in the movie.
In the scene, Honey is shown looking out the window of her and Frozone’s apartment to find chaos happening on the streets below. Not wanting her husband to go out crimefighting, she rushes to hide his super suit, causing a back-and-forth between husband and wife, ultimately resulting in Frozone freezing his wife’s feet so she can’t move as he grabs his costume from the cupboard she hid it in.
Director Brad Bird introduced the scene by giving some background on Honey and why the film’s creative team ultimately decided to keep her as a disembodied voice. “We felt like we A) stayed away from the big action scene too long and that we were killing the momentum we were gaining by having the big action scene. And B) we also ultimately decided the off-cameraness of it was part of the joke and then Honey can be kinda anyone you imagine her to be.” This echoes Bird’s earlier statements about Honey’s voice being used as a running gag in the franchise.
Sure, the scene might have slowed things down, but it’s still irritating that Honey is seen as such a tertiary character that she doesn’t deserve screen time. Even more irritating is that her voice is used as a joke. A devil’s advocate argument could be that Honey is used in a similar way adults are used in the Peanuts specials. But there’s a clear difference as to the statement Charles Schultz was trying to make than what Pixar’s doing.
With Charlie Brown’s teachers and parents, the joke can be interpreted as showing that adults and children sometimes don’t understand each other and that the focus of the specials isn’t the adult point of view at all. But what commentary is being made by having the audience never see Honey? To use Bird’s words about allowing the viewer to imagine Honey how we want to, that could be interpreted as encouraging audience members to see Black women as if they’re all the same and interchangeable, not individuals.
Plus some of the character designs shown for Honey are a little suspect-looking. One, in particular, shows Honey with a flared, bulbous nose and scowl, making her look less like a human and more like an “angry” stereotype.
You will be able to judge Pixar’s treatment of Honey for yourself when Incredibles 2 is released on Digital HD October 23 and Blu-ray and 4K November 6.
Meanwhile, artist Crystal Hill’s version of Honey from 2016 is picking up traction again. Check out our interview with her here.
Incredibles 2 is great!!! I was excited by this idea for the next movie (or TV show?) to feature this rad family. From chill13 on DeviantArthttps://t.co/gAik3nF14n#Incredibles2 #Frozone @BradBirdA113 @Disney @DisneyPixar @TheIncredibles Of course, it’d have to include #ednamode pic.twitter.com/3GdHSjadi3
— Edward Charles (@EdwardComics) June 28, 2018
How do you imagine Honey looks?