Although 14 years have elapsed since the release of the Academy Award-winning Pixar original, for the Parr family mere moments have passed since the arrival of the Underminer at the end of the 2004 film and the opening of Incredibles 2. That means Jack-Jack is still a baby, Violet and Dash are temperamental children, and very little has changed in that animated world. Therefore, we can deduce that the long-awaited sequel takes place in the same year as the first film, but what year is that?
“I think people take the time that passes in the real world very literally and they think that, linearly, the characters should have aged," writer/director Brad Bird said at a recent press event for Incredibles 2. "But if they aged, their superpowers wouldn’t reflect the part of life that they’re in and the role they play in the family.”
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It stands to reason that The Incredibles is set in, or at least near, 2004, the year it was released. However, it's definitely not, and there are clues to that scattered throughout the film. The Incredibles, and, therefore, Incredibles 2, actually takes place in 1962.
The design aesthetic is retro meets retro-future, from the cars and the architecture to the fashions and the technology. Oh, sure, some of the computers are advanced, even by early 21st-century standards, but get a load of Helen Parr's telephone cord and avocado kitchen.
“Brad’s watchword for the whole movie was that it should seem like the early-sixties vision of the future —TV’s Jonny Quest and Walt Disney’s original Tomorrowland," producer John Walker said in comments flagged in 2016 by Oh My Disney. "So we have things like the monorail on the island, which feels like it was designed in the early 1960s …”
But it goes beyond the film's look and feel. The Incredibles gets very specific, offering up a day, month and year, courtesy of the Metroville Tribune read by Bob Parr: May 16, 1962.
Armed with that knowledge, we can figure out when the heyday was for supers like Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and Frozone. The Incredibles opens with a younger Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl fighting crime before the story skips forward 15 years, to a middle-aged Bob working in his dead-end office job. That, of course, means those early scenes are set in 1947, which only makes sense, as it corresponds to the Golden Age of comic book superheroes.
It also sheds a little more light on Bob's wall of nostalgia, whose keepsakes, newspaper clippings and propaganda-style posters that resemble World War II collectibles.
Written and directed once again by Brad Bird, Incredibles 2 stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, Bob Odenkirk, Catherine Keener, Isabella Rossellini and Brad Bird. The film opens Friday nationwide.