In 2004, Pixar introduced us to the superhero family known as The Incredibles. Attempting to maintain their normal civilian lives in a world that has grown to despise those with enhanced abilities, The Parr Family is forced to return to their heroic ways when a villainous force threatens to destroy every super in the world. Along with the main theme of good vs. evil, the movie touched upon the everyday struggles of parents trying to do what's best for their children. The film received overwhelmingly positive reviews; critics praising how the overused superhero genre had been given new life.
After years of waiting, Pixar announced a sequel would be made and released in June 2018. The second film sees matriarch Helen taking on the role of the heroic member of the family and facing off against a new treacherous villain. Since its world premiere early this month, fans and critics alike have been expressing positive reviews and the film is predicted to gross $110 million during its first week in the United States. Fandango reported ticket pre-sales exceeded other superhero standouts like Wonder Woman and Spider-Man: Homecoming. The wait is nearly over as the U.S premiere's date of the fifteenth is fast approaching. Before rushing to your nearest theater, refresh your memory of the first film with these 18 facts and secrets only true Incredibles fans will know.
18 THE INVINCIBLES
In the early stages of the film's production, director Brad Bird revealed the original title of the film was called The Invincibles. To keep the details surrounding the plot a secret, the production code for the movie was "Tights" although the characters end up wearing matching spandex suits. Influenced by his personal issues and enjoyment of 1960s comics and spy films, Bird decided to create a superhero movie that encompassed everything he liked and disliked about the classic action hero. Though having not intended to reference specific superhero comics, the film came to be compared to works like Watchmen and The Avengers, to which Bird humbly replied, "if you're going to be compared to something, it's nice if it's something good."
"At its heart," Bird saw the film, "as a story about a family learning to balance their individual lives with their love for one another." His visions for the characters included the parents "both suffering through dad's midlife crisis, a shy teenage girl, a cocky ten-year-old boy, and a baby." After pitching the idea to Pixar Studios in March 2000, Bird was taken aback by how readily they accepted his story, stating "it was refreshing to have a bunch of people who were... serious about film, and also just wanted to do stuff that they loved." He later praised them for "wanting to stay true to the nature of this story."
17 A HEROIC UNDERTAKING
Having been told his film would be impossible to make, Bird was given the assumption that the movie "would take 10 years and cost a gazillion dollars." Being the first Pixar movie to mainly feature human characters, Bird had to invent a completely new way to create his characters and give them believable movements that would allow for genuine interactions. The transition from 2-D to 3-D animation proved challenging to his crew who had just finished working on The Iron Giant. Due to the complicated nature surrounding how to animate the human characters to best tell Bird's story, a rumor began to spread that Disney was becoming reluctant to make the film.
Slowly becoming one of the most complex stories ever to come out of Pixar, the plot had a longer running time and more locations than any previous film the studios had worked on. During a visit to Pixar Studios, Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli was shown the movie's film reels and was asked his opinion. Much to Bird's surprise, Miyazaki replied "I think it's a very adventurous thing you are trying to do..." In the end, Bird admits he "had the knees [of the studio] trembling under the weight" of the film but saw it as "a testament to the talent of the animators." Recalling the difficult journey, Bird joked, "I came into a wonderful studio, frightened a lot of people with how many presents I wanted for Christmas, and then got almost everything I asked for."
16 AN INCREDIBLE FAMILY
Bird based each of the Parr family's powers on the traditional family stereotypes. As Mr. Incredible, Bob has super strength because a father is seen as the foundation of the family. Having to be the multi-tasking matriarch of the family, Helen is Elastigirl and has the ability to stretch herself to incredible lengths. Overwhelmed by teenage angst and awkwardness, Violet uses her invisibility and force fields to defend herself and keep others at bay. Bursting with energy, Dash is a super speedster while young Jack-Jack is still learning what he is capable of; having the ability to shape-shift, shoot laser beams, and spontaneously turn into fire.
Struggling to balance his work life with his family life, Bird created Bob as a means to channel his feelings of needing to put his dreams on hold to support his growing family. As the story began to change from typical action film to a family drama, Bird came to realize the Parrs were "pretty much like the rest of us -- facing the daily grind of bosses, traffic and minor misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion." In the end, aside from being a great superhero film, the movie became very much about how far a family will go to keep each other safe.
15 AN INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE
As with every superhero film, it's hard to create an original idea that doesn't draw from what has already been done. Though The Incredibles was the first superhero film to focus on a family with enhanced abilities, much of their powers bear an uncanny resemblance to Marvel's The Fantastic Four. Helen / Elastigirl's stretching ability is a direct reference to Reed Richards / Mr. Fantastic's powers while Violet shares the same abilities as Sue Storm / Invisible Woman. When he is being baby-sat by Kari, Jack-Jack demonstrates his ability to transform into fire, much like Johnny Storm / Human Torch. At the end of the film, the Parr family is confronted by the emergence of The Underminer, who looks like one of the Fantastic Four's longtime rivals The Mole Man. Due to these similarities, the creators of the 2005 film were forced to dramatically alter the script and add better special effects so as not to clash with The Incredibles.
DC Comics also had an issue with the film's use of the name "Elastigirl." In the DC Universe, Elasti-girl is a member of the Doom Patrol and has the ability to alter her size: expanding and shrinking as well as regenerating parts of her body. In the end, a compromise was reached that stated outside of the film, Helen Parr would be referenced as "Mrs. Incredible."
14 AN EYE FOR DETAIL
While Metroville looks like any other city in need of saving, much of the architecture in the film was inspired by the 1950s space-age futurism movement known as Googie. The style places a heavy emphasis on "exaggeration, dramatic angles; on plastic and steel and neon and wide-eyed technological optimism." Much of the classic staples of this style of architecture can be found represented in the Parr family home such as the slanted angles of the roof and the starburst clock above the kitchen sink. Tiki architecture, an extended form of Googie, is seen when Mr. Incredible visits Syndrome's island and has dinner with Mirage in front of a wall of lava in between two Easter Island faces.
In stark contrast, Edna Mode's fabulous home is a reflection of the sleeker architecture style of De Stijl, which emphasizes the "use of only primary colors, along with black and white." Much of her home is furnished with floor to ceiling windows, massive stone statues, and black furniture with red accents. On a somber note, Bob Parr's office represents a "Miesian modernist" with its stark white, gray and black tones and bright overhead lights that work to create "an oppressive environment." Confined to an office that barely fits his large frame, Bob is forced to stare at "a wall of bureaucratic filing cabinets while also compressed by a sole errant column that punctures the space."
13 WAITING FOR DELIVERY
Pixar is well-known for hiding various "easter eggs" in its movies, such as A113, which references the classroom number at the California Institute of the Arts. In The Incredibles, it's the conference room number where Mr. Incredible is attacked by the Omnidroid. When he's taken prisoner by Syndrome, he is placed in "Level A1" in "Cell #13." Also, "easter eggs" can be in the forms of recurring characters or voice actors. During the battle scene in Metroville, one of the cars bares an eerie resemblance to Doc Hudson from Cars.
However, among the beloved "easter eggs" Pixar has given us throughout the years, one classic appeared to be forgotten by director Brad Bird. Focusing on making his movie, Bird admits he "didn't think about the Pizza Planet [truck.]" In his defense, Bird was unfamiliar with the tradition of including the truck because this was his first time working on a Pixar film. First introduced in Toy Story, the famed truck has been a staple "easter egg" in every Pixar film. Though Bird remains adamant that the inclusion simply escaped his mind, eagle-eyed viewers stress that the Pizza Planet truck is hidden somewhere in the movie. Some argue that in the battle scene where Frozone and Dash join forces, in the distance can be seen a yellow pick-up truck. Despite persistent declarations that the truck does appear in the film, director and animator Lee Unkrich denies that it was included.
12 A POOR LIKENESS
In a DVD extra, it's revealed that before the superheroes were forced to live as their civilian identities, Mr. Incredible allowed a studio to use his image for a 1960s-style cartoon. The scene shows Bob and Lucious / Frozone watching the unaired pilot of "The Adventures of Mr. Incredible" and providing commentary throughout the episode. In one instance, Lucious comments that his character's skin tone has been altered and remarks "I'm white! They made me a white guy?"
As they continue to watch the episode, Lucious is appalled by the less-than spectacular animation quality and questions the inclusion of a bunny sidekick named Mr. Skipperdoo. Bob tries to quench Lucious' growing disgust with the episode but realizes his friend has a point and stops trying to defend the creative choices of the production team. When Frozone is attacked by the villain known as "Lady Lightbug", Lucious shouts "Oh, oh, I get caught! The black superhero gets caught!" In his outrage, Lucious remarks "This is a stain on my otherwise spotless endorsement record... Frozone is only involved in quality work. Crappy animation reflects badly on me!" The commentary, which can be viewed on Youtube, ends with the two bickering over the rabbit and Lucious storming off.
11 UNTAPPED POTENTIAL
When first introduced to young Jack-Jack, audiences were led to believe the heroic gene had skipped a generation and left him as the only normal one in the Parr family. After being kidnapped by Syndrome who sought to raise him in the ways of evil, Jack-Jack retaliated by unleashing a variety of powers including turning into fire, then solid lead, before raging out into a little hellion. In the short extra entitled "Jack-Jack Attack," we saw babysitter Kari struggle to control the troublesome toddler as he displayed his ability to teleport from one area of the house to another, levitation, enhanced strength, shooting laser beams from his eyes and more spontaneous combustion.
However, there was one power Brad Bird sought to include in Jack-Jack's impressive line-up but unfortunately wasn't able to due to technical issues. During his transformations scene with Syndrome, Jack-Jack was supposed to turn into goo, but technical directors "insisted it would take two months... to make it happen." This led to heated arguments between Bird and producer John Walker, who revealed he'd "love to give you goo! I want to give you goo! But four transformations are enough!" A scene in which Jack-Jack explores his ability to shoot lasers from his eyes by chasing a raccoon was meant to appear in the first film as well but has been teased to make its debut in the sequel.
10 PREPARE FOR TURBULENCE
During the film's director commentary, Bird reveals that Holly Hunter, the voice behind Helen Parr / Eastigirl, was insistent on learning proper military radio protocol during the movie's flight scene where Helen is forced to call in backup when her plane is targeted by missiles. The language she uses suggests her character may have had Air Force training at some point in her life or is familiar with Air Traffic Control lingo.
After discovering her children have slipped their way onto the plane, Helen is distracted in her reprimanding of their actions by an alert showing that the craft is being followed by two fast-moving objects. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Helen leaps into the pilot's seat and tries to make contact for help. "Transmitting in the Blind Guard" is Helen's call to the emergency frequency where two-way communication has yet to be established due to no one responding to her desperate pleas. Announcing "India Golf Niner-Niner is buddy-spiked," Helen is saying in U.S military brevity code that "friendly anti-aircraft radar has locked on to me (please don't shoot.)" Realizing she is running out of options, Helen tries to get Violet to form a force-field around the plane in case of a crash landing, calling for whomever may be listening on the other end of transmission to "abort, abort, abort" because there are children aboard the craft.
9 THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF COOL
There's no denying the commanding presence that is Samuel L. Jackson. From Mace Windu in the Star Wars franchise to Nick Fury in the Marvel Universe, he has certainly gained a reputation as a man you don't want to mess with under any circumstances. With this in mind, it's no wonder Bird chose him to play Lucious Best; wanting the character "to have the coolest voice."
Describing Frozone as "an amazing, kinda cool and awesome character who gets to hang out with a really great family," the actor expressed enjoyment doing voice-over work for the movie and getting to witness the various interpretations of what his character could and should be. He also revealed his delight that people come up to him shouting his tag-line "where's my supersuit?" When it was revealed The Incredibles would be getting a sequel, he expressed relief and excitement that he would have the opportunity to reappear as the beloved character. He also teased that while the younger generation may not recognize him as Frozone, those that grew up with the first film and now overcome with childhood nostalgia, "they've been waiting" for the sequel and "they're knocking little kids over to get in line."
8 GIVEN THE COLD SHOULDER
Despite never having made an on-screen appearance, perhaps the most iconic character in The Incredibles is Honey Best. As the wife of Lucious / Frozone, Honey can be heard yelling at her husband from across the room when he tries to find his supersuit after seeing the city is being attacked by one of Syndrome's creations. In one of the greatest dialogues in movie history, the two argue back and forth shouting memorable phrases as "You tell me where my suit is, woman! We are talking about the greater good!" to which Honey replies "Greater good? I am your wife! I am the greatest good you are ever gonna get!"
Originally, the character was supposed to make an appearance and concept art revealed her to be a curvaceous woman of color. Believing "she's funner as a voice," Bird revealed that the creative team had made a design for the character but used it as a model for a hero who makes a brief appearance in the film. Many were turned off by Bird's dismissal of the character with Monique Jones, writer for Shadow and Act, expressing the desire for a "richer characterization of Honey, something that showcases her as a rounded, fleshed-out character instead of just as sassy black voice."
7 SPEEDY RECOVERY
In 2004, the character of Dashiell "Dash" Parr was voiced by 10-year old Spencer Fox. As the lovable prankster of the family, Dash embraced his super speedster power but was restricted from showing his enhanced abilities by his mother Helen who feared him wanting to try out for sports. After surviving an epic battle and realizing they work better as a united family, the Parrs allowed Dash to join the track team, encouraging him but wanting him to be mindful to not allow his abilities to give him an unfair advantage. In order to have the character's "out-of-breath" dialogue sound more authentic, Bird had Fox run laps around the studio.
Also known as the voice behind Kim Possible's troublesome twins Tim and Jim, young Fox had to give up his role as Dash when puberty altered his voice. For the sequel the character will be voiced by Huckleberry "Huck" Milner and in the teaser trailers, he sounds identical to his predessesor. Still attempting to find the balance between having a normal childhood and protecting the city from evil, Dash is shown in the trailers as struggling to help his father understand a new math technique and embracing his heroic responsibilities by rescuing an elderly woman from being crushed by a car.
6 NEVER LOOK BACK DAH-LING
Some might be surprised to learn that the voice of the fabulous Edna Mode was actually that of Brad Bird himself. Originally the director had Lily Tomlin in mind for the role and even had her audition but after hearing his performance, she exclaimed "What do you need me for? You got it already." Intending for the character to have a blend of German and Japanese heritage, Bird envisioned Edna to be "a scientist and technical genius in addition to being a fashion designer." Attempting to ease into the darker side of comedy, Edna's reasoning behind her strict "no capes" rule is due to the fact that they've been responsible for the foolish and traumatic deaths of many superheroes over the years.
Bird revealed his feelings that he and the character share many personality traits and have the same level of dedication when it comes to their work. Inspired by the small countries where Edna is from and the dramatic impact they have on the rest of the world, he wanted Edna to be "a tiny character that dominates the room when she gets into it" and have a commanding presence that emphasized "she has never experienced doubt in her life." Much of her fierce personality and unique fashion sense has led to many drawing comparisons to designers Edith Head and Anna Wintour though Bird stresses the character isn't based on a specific person.
5 TIME TO GROW UP
Described by Rolling Stone's Peter Travers as a film that "deals with midlife crisis, marital dysfunction, child neglect, and existential angst," The Incredibles managed to breathe new life into the superhero genre, which had begun to grow overworked and stale throughout the years. Due to the film's touching upon sensitive subjects such as violence, death, and emotional turmoil, it received a PG rating; the first in Pixar history. The film begins with the growing hatred toward superheroes for interfering in non-super affairs and doing more harm than good when it comes to protecting the city. In one instance, Mr. Incredible saves a man who leaps from a building in an attempted suicide and instead of being thanked for his heroic effort, he is sued for "saving someone who apparently didn't want to be saved."
The movie also has Violet and Dash come to terms with the fact that what is depicted on TV isn't what happens in real life. Led to believe her husband is having an affair, Helen must rescue him when he goes missing and much to her dismay, her children decide to tag along for the adventure. In a cave, she attempts to rid them of their childhood ignorance of villains by telling them the ones they're about to face aren't like the ones from their cartoons, warning "they won't exercise restraint because you're children. They will kill you if they get the chance."
4 WORTH THE WAIT
The 14-year wait for a sequel to The Incredibles is finally over; marking the longest gap in Pixar history. To explain the long absence, Bird revealed his "core idea" for the sequel would have Bob and Helen switch roles and further explore Jack-Jack's powers but stated having to constantly rework the plot increased the wait time between films. Holly Hunter expressed joy that her character Helen / Elastigirl would be getting her chance in the spotlight, showing her ability "to be a kind of savior" by "living up to her potential" and crediting the influence of the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements. She also expressed sincere gratitude for Bird taking the time to make a proper sequel that wasn't "based on money" but instead on "the real story."
When news of the sequel was first announced, fans of the original were quick to point out the long wait may have been in reference to the 15 years Buddy Pine / Syndrome spent planning his revenge after Mr. Incredible denied him his dream of working alongside his idolized hero. Others point out the long wait mimics the time jump the first film took after the Supers were forced to give up their capes and cowls and join the world as normal citizens.
3 PICKING UP WHERE WE LEFT OFF
Though many years have passed since the first movie, various sources have assured fans that the sequel picks up mere seconds after the first film ended. After Dash wins second place during a track tournament, the Parr family is walking to the parking lot, celebrating the victory when they are confronted by a giant drill that has burrowed its way to the surface to reveal a crazed villain known as The Underminer. After declaring "war on peace and happiness" for the surface-dwellers, the Parr family is seen donning their black masks in preparation to take down this new foe. In a teaser trailer for the sequel, it shows The Underminer attempting to attack the Metroville Bank and what appears to be City Hall.
Trailers also show the emergence of a sinister villain known as The Screenslaver who uses hypnotism to manipulate people into doing his bidding. In one trailer, he is shown trying to hypnotize Elasticgirl and threatening her with what looks like a stun-gun. The plot also centers around Helen becoming the hero of the family while Bob is forced to stay at home and watch over the kids; especially Jack-Jack whose sudden development of various superpowers has the struggling father at the end of his rope.
2 ASPIRING HEROES
Along with the introduction of a new villain, the sequel promises to include the emergence of a super-team known as "The Wannabes." Bird teases the idea that in the prequel, Syndrome had killed off many of the superheroes, leaving "the B-team" of leftover super-powered individuals to come "out of the woodwork" and make their presence known in society. Working with DevTech, a company hoping to sway the negative opinion of superheroes, these "second-rate supers" aim to bring a new wave of acceptance for heroes everywhere.
Voiced by Sophia Bush, Void is presented as a huge fan of Elastigirl who has the power to create voids allowing her to manipulate the location of objects. Brick is a tough, fearless spit-fire with incredible strength while Reflux is an elderly man with the ability to heave boiling lava. Krushaeur has telekinesis and He-Lectrik has the ability to shoot lightning bolts. Inspired by an owl, Screech has the ability to rotate his head 360 degrees and issue a high-pitched screech capable of breaking solid glass. To complete his outfit, he has a pair of functioning wings. Thought it's heavily implied the team is meant to aspire to be like The Incredibles, there have been some suggestions "The Wannabes" may go rogue or have a darker intention that remains to be seen.
1 POWERFUL POP-ART
In preparation for the release of The Incredibles 2, Gallery Nucleus in Los Angeles has opened "A Tribute Exhibition to the Incredibles 2." Opened in 2004, the gallery prides itself on being "a welcoming place for the art loving community." Showcasing over 5o original pieces of Incredibles-inspired artwork, the gallery formed a partnership with Oh My Disney, Disney Fine Art, Cyclops Print Works, and Pixar Animation. Running from June 2nd to July 1st, viewers of the exhibition are welcomed to buy prints in person or online. The show features work by 41 artists, with a strong emphasis on the artwork of Eric Tan.
In the piece featured above, Tan drew inspiration from the concept art of animator Tony Fucile. Using simple lines and shapes to create the basis for each character's facial structure. Bird specifically had the image saved with Pixar's archives where it was later used as a design on an exclusive t-shirt. Tan's recreation of the iconic silhouettes measures 14 x 28 inches with 150 prints available to buy. Along with various screen prints, the exhibition offers paintings, drawings, and fashion designs. Along with the Parr family, characters such as Frozone and Edna Mode are represented in the artwork. If you are unable to attend the event, the gallery's website has uploaded each piece of work for you to view and purchase while InsideTheMagic.net provides an in-depth video tour of the exhibition.