Following the recent announcement that Brad Bird is working on his script for [The Incredibles 2](movie:673500), I've taken some brief breaks between squealing with excitement to revisit the original. Upon repeated viewings, The Incredibles holds up as my favorite Pixar movie, but I couldn't help but notice one particular character who heroically endures this entire scene without any fanfare.
For once, my mind is not on Edna Mode, and babysitter extraordinaire Kari McKeen is the reason for that. Between Imgur and Tumblr, I'm definitely not alone in thinking Kari deserves a little more attention for her own incredible abilities, and I'm here to prove that.
Here's the (lighthearted) theory: Kari was her own private superhero. And her power is babysitting.
Kari is only 13-years-old, but she's the most competent caregiver in the whole movie.
Tasked with taking care of Jack-Jack while the rest of the family jaunts around a dangerous island, facing certain death. And who would be left to take care of the baby if all of the Parrs didn't make it? Well, probably a relative, but Kari would definitely have some extra responsibility for a little while at least!
She arrives with teaching tools and Mozart
She is committed to packing in as much intellectual stimulation into what she believes will be one evening. Jack-Jack, however, turns out to be more advanced than she could ever imagine.
Things quickly get out of hand
Jack-Jack starts exhibiting powers beyond her level of comprehension, but she remains confident in her babysitting abilities. You can tell she's been trained for this. Need further proof she thought ahead?
She brought an extra shirt!
Notice how her shirt changes after Jack-Jack spills milk on her? This is someone who knows what her job entails and hasn't skimped on the necessary preparations. I think she and Edna Mode would get along well.
When the baby starts putting himself in danger, she does the right thing
Flashback to the earlier catastrophe (and yellow shirt), how does she handle it? She calls the parents. Of course, they don't pick up, but never fear. Kari has this completely under control. She's more adaptable than Mystique, and that blue biddy can shapeshift.
She sticks to the main objective even when the basic laws of physics are collapsing
She's watching a baby phase in and out of walls while he levitates throughout the house. She doesn't think about the mechanics of this ability or how she may have taken a one-way trip to crazytown. Nope, she's a professional, and instead she secures the baby. It requires pulling him out of the dryer (with the door still closed), but she secures the baby nonetheless.
The powers don't stop there, though
I'm pretty sure that "baby being consumed by fire" is high up there on the superior babysitter's list of no-nos, and Kari knows this. She has to find a way to save this child's life by putting out the fire swiftly.
She makes brilliant split-second decisions
She safely secures the burning baby and escorts him to the bathroom. There she sees a perfectly fine water source, the toilet, but smartly decides that the bathtub (which she had previously filled with water, presumably for an instance just like this one) is a better choice.
By the morning, she's a weathered pro
The entire living room might be scorched, but Kari has the baby situation completely under control. Look at that expression. That's the face of someone who has seen it all. You typically see it on a second-time parent when handling their younger child. Nothing can shock her anymore.
Okay, so she has one minor hiccup
And by that, I mean she gives the infant child to the movie's murderous, psychotic villain. A misstep, for sure. BUT, let's not forget that while she's been awake all night extinguishing Jack-Jack, she's also been calling for help from the kid's actual parents. Isn't it reasonable to assume that Kari figured out the Parrs were superheroes following Jack-Jack's superpowered evening? Trusting a costumed savior at the door is not that surprising given the circumstances.
No one will ever know of her diligent service to superheroes everywhere
The saddest part of this entire saga is that Kari's memory is wiped, and the powers that be are sure to keep this sensitive information under wraps. That means that no one will ever really appreciate Kari for her contributions to superherokind.
If there is any justice in this world, Kari will get at least a mention in The Incredibles 2. I see her as Edna Mode's resilient assistant, ready for all the outlandish tasks that the sartorial genius throws her way.