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11 Fascinating Behind-The-Scenes Facts About The Incredibles 2

Brad Bird, Events, Incredibles 2, Interview, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • June 13, 2018

Last Thursday I had the honor of attending the Global Press Conference for the Incredibles 2 at the London in West Hollywood. In attendance was writer/director Brad Bird, producers Nicole Grindle and John Walker, and the rest of the cast which included Craig T. Nelson (Bob), Holly Hunter (Helen), Sam L. Jackson (Frozone), Bob Odenkirk (Winston Deavor), Catherine Keener (Evelyn Deavor), Sophia Bush (Voyd), Sarah Vowell (Violet), and Huck Milner (Dash). The junket was also moderated by film critic and producer Scott Mantz.

(Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

(Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

Here’s everything I learned from the junket about the making of the Incredibles 2, from what went on behind the scenes during production to Brad Bird’s initial story inspiration.

  1. Brad Bird decided to start the sequel right where the first one left off, despite it being almost 14 years, because “I thought it was bold and weird; people take the time that passes very literally and they think linearly that the characters should have aged. But if they age, their super powers don’t reflect that part of life they’re in and their role in the family.” Bird also went on to mention that if it worked for the Simpsons, which has been on the air since 1989, that it could work for the Parr family. And if you see the film in cinemas on Friday, it obviously did.
  2. There have been huge leaps in technology since the Incredibles was released in 2004. The new technology that Pixar uses and pushes with each film, which is super evident in all the minute details from the hair on Dash’s head to the fibers on Helen’s pants, allowed them to make the film “look more like how Brad intended it to look like the first time.” Nicole Grindle went on to mention “the characters are more nuanced and developed, and we were able to build a lot more sets more quickly, we’ve populated the world with more characters, who have lots of hair and clothing – this is all stuff that most of you guys don’t even notice. Actually that all makes the world feel richer and more alive, not to mention all the other visual effects. We also have lots of artists who’ve had 14 years to get better at their craft, and a lot of artists who were kids when the first one came out and it’s a dream come true for them to work on this film.
  3. Believe it or not, the actors aren’t given full scripts when they come in to record, they’re only given their lines and direction from Brad. So most of the actors don’t even know the full story until they see it with everyone else at the premiere, when everything has finally come together. Holly Hunter didn’t even know about the role reversal until about halfway through her recording session with Brad, “I didn’t read a screenplay, because there wasn’t a full script. Brad was the screenplay, he was my walking encyclopedia; he was my instruction manual. It was a while before I truly realized what I was really going to get to do in the movie and I was thrilled.

    (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

  4. There are many layers to being an ~incredible~ director in animation; there’s dealing with the initial story, figuring out what to do with design, and even directing and shepherding the actors during their voice sessions. The actors come in solo and have to act as if their other co-stars are in the room, which itself can seem like a huge challenge. Sophia Bush mentioned that “I know I’m technically talking to Holly but she’s not there, its just me and Brad and I’m yelling into a void. It’s really so much fun, Brad knows what Holly’s done in the room and he knows how our voices are going to sound together, so you just trust your captain when he tells you that you’ve gotten it right. That the tone, volume, is all right – it’s very cool.
  5. Another challenge for the actors, since there is no screenplay, is figuring out just where they are in a scene. That thought alone can change how an actor delivers their lines, Sarah Vowell went on to discuss: “Are we talking to someone a few inches away or at the back of the room? Because that changes what you’re doing vocally. Like is this scene going to be in a car? How loud do I need to be?  You’re trying to get a sense of the literal architecture of where the characters are. Everything has to be drawn from scratch in animation, whereas with live action the actor is actually in the car; so trying to gauge where we are is really important. It’s not that we’re sitting at a kitchen table, its everything that being a family at a kitchen table implies.
  6. Helen being chosen to take the helm and save the day as opposed to Bob seems to have come at the right moment. Others have speculated that Brad and the team at Pixar released this movie now because of the rising tides against sexual harassment and assault, but in reality, Brad always had this idea brewing in the back of his mind. “The idea of the role switch, that the assignment would go to Helen rather than Bob, I had when we were promoting the first film.” Even Holly said, “it’s purely luck of the draw that this happens to be duck tailing with Me Too and Times Up; I feel that way personally and it happens to be serendipitously reflected in this movie and at the same time, it’s character revelation period. Everyone is having revelations, including Jack-Jack; all the characters are revelations to the audience and to themselves.

    (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

  7. One of my favorite facts from the junket was that the villain kept changing throughout development. It was left unclear who the initial villain was or what changed about them, but Brad discussed why the finished film is different: The superhero part, the villain part, always seemed to change. When I came to Pixar and said I think I have the other part of the story figured out, that old version got green-lit. Then John and Nicole came on, we got a crew and started spending money, and got a release date and then the release date got moved up a year and suddenly the pressure’s HUGE and that plot doesn’t work and now I’m screwed because I have a release date. The villain plot kept changing, everyone else had to adjust to it constantly, which only gave us more anxiety. But I think we wound up with the right version of the story.” 
  8. Another important element that changed included the Parr’s gorgeous mid-century modern home. Ralph Eggleston, production designer on both Incredibles films, played a huge part in designing the iconic new home. “One day Eggleston came in and we’d already put a lot of effort into that old house and we were under tremendous pressure. He said, ‘OK so I have this idea for this new type of house and you know it’s really going to screw things up for everyone, including me.‘” Eggleston then went on to tell Brad Bird that, “the house should not work for the Parr family; it should initially be impressive, but then you get in there and everything is wrong for the family, these things that are beautiful originally soon become this problem. The house has to be impressive but wrong for the family; they’re not in a comfortable place yet, they have to find their way there.” All these things Eggleston said was right but that also meant it would ruin months of hard work and everyone on the team would have to start over from scratch, but Brad Bird agreed to it anyways, “it totally screwed up the script and everything was a giant problem, but it felt right and what needed to change to help the story and characters.”
  9. Even Winston Deavor, the tycoon and superhero enthusiast who seeks out the help of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone in the sequel, was completely different when Bob Odenkirk signed on to voice the character. Deavor wasn’t always Mr. Nice Guy, “when we first started working with Bob, his character wasn’t so nice. It changed over the course of working on the film and he responded so well.” Odenkirk was just happy to be a part of a Pixar film, he “loved that Winston became more genuine; when he starts out he’s more exuberant, more excited, and as he goes you start to see an innocence to him which is more of a twist and even surprising. Where he ends up, I won’t say…

    (Photo by Araya Diaz/Getty Images for Disney)

  10. There’s a scene in the sequel where Jack-Jack takes on a raccoon, and it’s probably the highlight of the film. Watching it back at Pixar in April and then again last week, I can tell that it’s already an iconic scene, one that will be talked about for decades. The scene and overall inspiration for the iconic battle actually came from the first film: “Teddy Newton had this idea back on the original film – he had a gang of raccoons that Jack-Jack confronts. In his original drawings the raccoons came up and shoved Jack-Jack and it went a lot darker; they fought and went to the bottom of the pool, but the idea always killed me because raccoons vaguely looked like robbers. Teddy did a drawing where he’s watching an old movie like in the Incredibles 2 and he sees a classic robber with a mask and looks out in the yard and something is stealing from him, a ‘robber’ is stealing from his family. It doesn’t matter that its garbage, Jack-Jack doesn’t know that, he knows that he’s being robbed and he must do something about it. So I loved that and it was so visual and clear and it was such an off the wall idea that it was one of the things I couldn’t wait to do if we got another Incredibles going.”
  11. As Brad Bird mentioned, there was a lot of pressure going into the sequel; the tight deadlines and story issues weren’t the only thing that bothered him, he was also worried about how audiences would perceive the Parr family amidst all the Marvel superhero films being released. Brad’s darkest moment came two years ago when he feared if people would be sick of the Incredibles 2 by the time it was released. But Brad started thinking about what truly inspired him about the Parr family and why he made this film in the first place. “What excited me wasn’t the superheroes, it was the family dynamic and everyone’s roles in different parts of their life. Superhero’s are a just twist of lemon you squeeze on top of it all. Families are a continent of fresh opportunities because it’s so universal.

The Incredibles 2 comes to theaters this Friday! Be sure to let us know what you think of the film below and on Twitter! We can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

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Incredibles 2 Film Review: Supers Are Definitely Back in the Spotlight

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Review, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • June 11, 2018

A lot has changed since The Incredibles was released in cinemas way back in November 2004. First of all, like so many others my age, I’ve basically grown up within that time frame; graduating high school, surviving college, and taking the biggest risk of my life as I stuffed my car to the brim with everything I owned and moved across the country to fulfill my dreams, crossing my fingers and toes I was making the right decision. Obviously a lot has changed in the film industry too, and yes, I’m talking about the elephant in the room: the Box Office monster that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. There have literally been hundreds, no, millions of superhero movies made in the last 14 years. So much that I’ve stopped shouting, “ANOTHER ONE?” whenever I see a trailer or hear rumors about the next Thor VS. Iron Man installment; instead I just sit there, defeated, and accept the fact these movies are just never going to end.

©2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Despite all that, the Incredibles 2 somehow still seems refreshing. Seeing Bob, Helen, Dash, Violet, and Jack-Jack on screen again felt like I was reuniting with my long-lost relatives; the ones I saw only once when I was a kid but always somehow managed to keep in touch with throughout the years. The same relatives I never thought I’d see again but we miraculously found a way to coordinate a date where everyone was available. And even though the reunion was only for a few hours, the reminiscing was unforgettable and even more memories were made together.

Brad Bird takes the helm again as both writer and director of the Incredibles 2. Most of the original cast returns, Craig T. Nelson as Bob, Holly Hunter as Helen, Samuel L. Jackson as Frozone, etc., save for Spencer Fox, who voiced Dash in the original, and Bud Luckey. Unfortunately Bud Luckey passed away earlier this year, so Jonathan Banks stepped in to voice the iconic Rick Dicker.

The sequel starts right where the first one left off, with the Underminer bursting through the concrete parking lot on his massive mining machine, threatening the innocent people of Metroville. C’mon, you didn’t think they’d let the Underminer not get at least a few more minutes on screen? Despite some hiccups during the opening sequence, like the family fighting over who gets to actually save the day and who’s stuck babysitting Jack-Jack, they barely manage to stop the Underminer from destroying the city center. Frozone even pops in at the last minute to help out. The Parr’s barely have time to celebrate their first real success as a superhero family before they’re apprehended by the police and thrown into an interrogation room. It turns out the world isn’t ready to have supers helping them again and they bring up a good point: if the Parr’s never helped in the first place, there’d be less damage to clean up and the officers could follow protocol to get things back to normal. Who knew everything the Underminer stole was insured?

The family has no home to return to, since it was destroyed at the end of the first film, and they’re soon relocated to a modest hotel with the help of their old pal Rick Dicker. But they can only stay in the hotel for two weeks; Dicker’s Super Relocation Program is shutting down, so it was the least he could do for the family before he’s forced into retirement. Once the two weeks are up, the family will be on their own, which means one of them is going to have to get a job in the real world again to support their family. Bob shudders at the thought of returning to a cramped desk, we all know how well that turned out in the last film, but Helen is quick to offer her help and seems eager at doing something more with her life. Bob dismisses Helen’s offer and as the couple fight over who’s turn it is to support the children, they’re interrupted by Frozone, who slithers into the scene from the shadows. He gives them a business card from tycoon and superhero enthusiast Winston Deavor (voiced by Bob Odenkirk) and tells them to suit-up; Deavor wants to chat with the trio at his headquarters. Could this be another reconnaissance mission? Or a top secret assignment that’s only worthy of a superhero? Bob nearly rips his shirt off in excitement, but Helen backs away, cautious after literally being thrown in jail that same day.

Despite the mixed feelings, they all head to Deavor’s gorgeous high-rise building downtown. He greets them like old friends, showering them with praise and nostalgia as he explains his history with superheroes and how much their legacy means to his family. We’re even introduced to Winston’s sister, Evelyn Deavor (voiced by Catherine Keener), as she stumbles through the doors of his office, nearly dropping all of her paperwork and blueprints and other mysterious documents. Winston is the face of the company, the businessman, while his sister is the one who designs everything behind the scenes. Winston then gives a presentation to the trio, detailing how they want superheroes legal again. But how are they going to achieve this goal? With the help of Helen AKA Elastigirl, obviously. Of course Bob is flabbergasted – he’s Mr. Incredible, the strongest and “manliest” superhero in that room, it should be him bringing superheroes back into the spotlight. But he also causes the most damage, which is the laws biggest complaint against supers. Elastigirl, on the other hand, is sleek and tidy; Evelyn’s research even proves Elastigirl’s damage numbers are way less than Bob’s.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

When Helen finally accepts her new job, it almost seems too good to be true for the Parr family. Not only does Helen get to suit up like old times, but the Parr’s are quickly moved into a new gorgeous mid-century modern home, complete with fancy gadgets and waterfalls. Everyone seems to be content with where things are going and ready for the challenges ahead. Of course that all changes once Helen leaves and Bob is stuck with the children and his new role as Dad. As Helen fights crime, stopping trains from derailing and helicopters from crashing, Bob is stuck at home dealing with Violet’s pubescent rage, Dash’s ridiculous math homework, and the discovery of Jack-Jack’s new never-ending powers. The more Helen rises in popularity, garnering interviews and news specials on TV, the more Bob struggles – seething with jealously and nearly exploding due to his lack of sleep and rising stress levels. It’s not that easy for Helen though, she’s soon faced with conflicts of her own as a new villain, the Screenslaver, starts provoking her on missions. The Screenslaver is able to manipulate people from their screens – be it TV’s or glasses, and if you look into the hypnotic light for even a second then you’ll be under their spell. As the Screenslaver puts more and more people in danger through their manipulation, Helen struggles with finding out who’s behind this facade and is thrown off kilter each time they make an appearance. The more Helen’s superhero fame rises, the louder Screenslaver gets and the more elaborate their plans become.

Will Helen defeat the Screenslaver? Will supers be accepted again? And most importantly, will Bob be able to learn how to do math homework while somehow helping Violet with her boy troubles?

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights reserved.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

I’m usually not a fan of sequels, I think they’re almost always unnecessary and only made to benefit the studio executives, forcing beloved characters into contrived situations because it’s what the public demands. The Incredibles 2 still worked and the film is a solid sequel but it’s just that, a second installment, a DLC added to the main story-line of a popular video game. Although I had a lot of fun watching the sequel I didn’t leave feeling as inspired or blown away as I did after watching the first one, and I’m actually OK with that.

I really enjoyed the fact the sequel explored more of the Parr’s family dynamics. It was great being able to see the family interact more, how they worked together at home and out in the field, how they showed their love for each other in unique ways, and even how they managed to get around their conflicts when they butted heads. Although I’m not a parent, Bob’s struggle to be a good Dad and take care of his family was still relatable; from staying up to the wee hours of the morning trying to figure out how to help Dash with his homework to going out of his way to help Violet with some personal struggles, it brought me back to my youth and my own relationship with my parents. I also enjoyed that the roles were so obviously reversed – that alone created enough conflict to carry the entire film. Helen being in the spotlight, receiving praise for her powers and abilities to save the day was a refreshing change. Her role in the sequel seems to have come at the right moment. I loved the conflict between Helen in the spotlight and Bob stuck at home, gutted that it’s not him getting all the glory. I’m glad Brad Bird decided to show that side of Bob, as it only makes him more human and empathetic. Without spoiling anything, I’d also like to say that Jack-Jack and Edna Mode steal the entire film. Edna was always my favorite, but I have a newfound respect for her after this. If Pixar announced tomorrow that there’s going to be an Incredibles 3 but it would only focus on the relationship between Jack-Jack and Edna then I wouldn’t even be mad, in fact, I’d start throwing my money at them right now. The pair deserves their own film series ASAP.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

The characters and story are one thing, but the Incredibles 2 wouldn’t soar without Michael Giacchino returning to his classic score and the overall design and animation seen throughout the film. With every Pixar film, there is so much detail thrown into every single shot. Artists spend months researching and designing elements on screen so that it can look as realistic as possible by the time it’s projected in cinemas. From the immaculate mid-century modern home the Parr’s move into, the lighting in the city as Elastigirl sits on top of a roof surveying the area, the detail on every single piece of clothing that the characters wear, the animation when Bob finally succumbs to the pressures of parenthood, and all the ridiculous explosions and special effects; this film is gorgeous and stands up to Pixar’s motto: “The art challenges the technology, and the technology inspires the art.” I don’t even question the way a Pixar film looks on screen anymore, at this point I’m just expecting to be staring at the screen in awe, with my mouth agape at how they treat the water in the oceans, the clouds in the sky, and the dirt in the ground.

With that being said, the Incredibles 2 still had its issues, and most of it revolved around the script. The film is nearly two hours long and it definitely felt like it. The film started off with a big bang but when it got to the second act the spark started to fade away, so by the time the film was over I was almost relieved. Finally, we got there! The pacing lagged and it didn’t feel natural, in turn that made the ending feel clunky and forced; as if the outcome had to happen because Brad Bird was running out of time and needed to wrap things up. Without giving away important twists and turns in the story, I still wish the stakes were upped more in terms of how Helen was going to make supers legal again. Everything felt so easy, and besides the superhero legacy, nothing else was really at stake for Helen. If Helen failed, then what’s the worst thing that could’ve happened? Return home to Bob? The Screenslaver was an interesting villain, powerful and manipulative, but the character was flat and one dimensional. Until the face behind Screenslaver is revealed, the character only feels like they were thrown into the picture to add that random conflict for Helen. The reveal could’ve been better executed, making that realization even more gut-wrenching and maybe less predictable.

Although the Incredibles 2 was far from perfect, I still got to enjoy some heartwarming moments, great laughs, amazing action sequences that pushed animation technology to even greater places, and on top of that, I got to spend time with some of my favorite characters. Who says every movie released by Pixar has to be mind-blowing or change the animation industry? Who says every film has to be as good as the first? Why can’t it just be a solid sequel and help us escape for a few hours from the horrors of the real world? If you’re looking for that distraction, then definitely check out the Incredibles 2, which bursts into cinemas this Friday.

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There Is Now An Incredibles 2 Art Show At Gallery Nucleus

Art, Brad Bird, Gallery Nucleus, Incredibles 2, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • June 2, 2018

Today Gallery Nucleus finally opened up A Tribute Exhibition to the Incredibles 2. The gallery is partnering with Oh My Disney, Disney Fine Art, Cyclops Print Works, and Pixar Animation Studios to present a unique experience showcasing more than fifty original Incredibles themed artwork. If you’re in the Los Angeles area be sure to check it out, the art show will be running from June 2nd until July 1st.

Thanks to Oh My Disney, we’ve provided some of the pieces that will be on display at the show. If you’re lucky enough to attend this month, you can even buy some of the prints in person. We’re definitely looking forward to stopping by and adding some more Pixar themed art to our collections. And don’t worry, if you’re not in Los Angeles you can still buy prints online starting tomorrow!

We hope all this fantastic art gets you excited for the Incredibles 2, which comes out June 15th!

By Eric Tan

By Eric Tan

By Bryan Mon

By Eric Tan

 

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How Pixar Employees Utilized Their Archives for The Incredibles 2

Behind The Scenes, Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Pixar, Pixar Archives, Pixar Employees, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • May 31, 2018

During my most recent visit to Pixar for an Incredibles 2 press event, which was a massive thrill in itself,  I was given an exclusive tour of their new archive facility. And it was definitely the cherry on top of a very fabulous two days at the studio. Inside the archives I learned how Brad Bird and his team went back in time to research the designs and characters for the Incredibles 2.

© 2017 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Pixar itself is a magical place, and I don’t have enough room in this post to write about how it meant to visit the studio for the first time (stay-tuned for an upcoming post about just that), but the archives are really something special.

Just think of your favorite Pixar film and then think about all the hard work that went into making it. All of the designs that were created in the 3+ years of developing the film are all archived in their new 15,000 square foot facility.

Originally the building was just a raw cement warehouse, but the folks at Pixar spent a few years making it perfect and customizing it to accommodate all of the designs. The facility is now a working space where employees from Pixar can come to visit and pull designs for their research.

The archives is so big that it could get a little creepy when you’re there by yourself; every time someone enters through the main door there’s a cute little doorbell that rings, which alerts whoever’s working that someone has entered the premises. *Cue dramatic music*

I wanted to spend days, hours, WEEKS in that building looking at each and every piece of art work but alas, I only had less than an hour inside.

Archives Manager, Juliet Roth, led the tour and has been with Pixar for 15 years. Everyone who works in the archives has a master’s degree in library science with an archive focus, or something similar. According to Juliet, “this is as much my job as a story artist is an artist that draws storyboards, we work really closely with the art and story teams in production, that’s where the majority of the materials are coming from. We also collect scripts from editorial, some animation drawings, and we also have a historical collection; which is more about the history of Pixar as a company, sort of what is culturally unique. What makes Pixar Pixar?”

(Photo by Marc Flores)

So, what does the Pixar Archives house exactly? And how did going back through the old designs help the artists prepare for the Incredibles 2?

  • The archives hold molds and maquettes of some of your favorite characters, like Mr. Incredible; some are full body while others showcase a range of emotions and expressions for the animators to study as they work. Artists were able to come into the archives and use these old designs as a starting point when re-creating the characters for the sequel. “They make the sculpts so they can sit on the animators desks and they can reference it as they’re animating all the smile lines, teeth and tongue and eye shapes, so we have a lot of them for all the main characters in The Incredibles. You can draw a character all you want, the drawings are really wonderful, but there’s nothing like bringing a character to life in 3 dimensions.”
  • The archivists work with the production team to integrate themselves into their pipeline. Once a design has served its purpose in production, such as going through art reviews and being approved by the director, it slowly makes its way into the archives. But it doesn’t stop there: the archivists spend time with the team, making sure the artists hand off important information, such as the context of the artwork that was created. It’s even important to know about the characters who didn’t make it in the final film or a character who might’ve started off as the villain but ended up the hero; whatever it is, they like to get the contextual information because the archivists are the “information experts in the future.”
  • The archives also hold all the concept art that was created during The Incredibles and the rest of Pixar’s feature films. In relation to the world of the Incredibles we saw heaps of collages from the first film, pieces assembled from copious magazines and other materials created for character and costume designs; there were also color scripts from Lou Romano; background roughs, character sketches, and original Tony Fucile model packs, which is basically a blue print of the main characters; Ralph Eggleston and Lou Romano gouache paintings; different versions of Edna Mode’s concept art, in each one you could see her attitude, despite it being completely different to what made it on film; and finally the tour included Tony Fucile’s Edna designs and expressions. It was pretty neat seeing what Edna could have looked like and how all of these different artists initially pictured her in their minds.

    (Photo by Marc Flores)

    (Photo by Marc Flores)

  • Ralph Eggleston and his team came to the archives prior to starting their work on the sequel 3 years ago. Eggleston was trying to work out designs for the Incredibles 2, particularly for all of the background characters. Since they had done so much work on the first film with unused characters and villains, they decided it was a good place to start and pull from, maybe even re-using old designs. You’ll definitely see a lot of the initial forgotten supers and background characters in the Incredibles 2 next month.

    (Photo by Marc Flores)

    (Photo by Marc Flores)

Some other fun things I found in the Pixar archives worth noting:

  • The building houses a collection of press clippings from the early days of Pixar, including clips from when Pixar was first founded and when Steve Jobs bought it; those artifacts go back to Juliet’s earlier quote of “what makes Pixar Pixar?” That thought alone blew my mind because the posts I write for Upcoming Pixar, and even this post, *might* somehow end up in the archives one day.
  • Before Pixar started making movies they sold software and hardware and they made some commercials; like the dancing Life Savers holes in Babies and the boxing Listerine in Boxer, which were both Pixar’s claim to fame before Toy Story. They had copies of the original software and items from the commercials mentioned on display. Those items all come from Pixar’s “historical collection.”
  • They even saved original crew gifts from the wrap parties of each feature film; for the first Incredibles they had given out t-shirts. I asked for a shirt but unfortunately they were out of stock.
  • The walls of the archive facility were decorated with original concept art from Brave, Up, Monsters Inc., and an even original character line-ups from Inside Out.
  • At the end of the building there were display cases that showcased a squash and stretch maquette of Sulley from Monstes Inc., samples of different Sulley concept art, a maquette of Woody’s original character design which was a ventriloquist dummy, and a maquette of Buzz Lightyear AKA Lunar Larry’s original design. There was even a printed card that showed a bunch of potential titles for Toy Story, my favorite being Toys in the Hood. The best part was seeing some of the bronze statues the employees at Pixar get after being there for 5, 10, 20 years, etc.

    (Photo by Marc Flores)

You could get lost in the Pixar archives and honestly, if that happened to me I’d be content living inside the building for the rest of my life. Although it was only a tour, I could see how important the archives are to the employees at Pixar and the company’s legacy. It’s amazing that the everyone at the company has a place like the archives to escape to, where they can venture into the past to study previous films and pull designs for research. It not only makes them stronger artists, but it makes the content coming from Pixar even more important and relevant. The more Pixar grows, the more designs and artifacts the archivists have to help continue to build the company’s legacy.

Don’t forget to grab your tickets to the Incredibles 2, which comes to cinemas on June 15th. Only 15 more days to go!

P.S. Do you have your super-suit packed and ready to go?

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The Making of Bao: Story, design inspiration, and more!

Bao, Behind The Scenes, Domee Shi, Interview, Short Film, Shorts

Posted by Nia • April 23, 2018

Bao is Pixar’s new theatrical short that will be playing this summer in front of the Incredibles 2. It’s one of my favorite shorts from Pixar and it goes without saying – the film is full of scrumptious designs and a heartwarming story that will have you begging for more. If you haven’t yet, be sure to check out our review of the film.

During my most recent trip to Pixar I learned some fantastic things about the making of Bao from director Domee Shi, production designer Rona Liu, and producer Becky Neiman-Cobb.

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

  1. Bao has two meanings in Chinese: steamed bun and to treasure something precious. Domee thought it would be the perfect title for a story about “a precious little steam bun.”
  2. Domee’s #1 obsession in life, outside of animation, is obviously food (and I don’t blame her – I think about food 24/7). “I love food, not just eating it, but drawing it as well.” Before the days of Bao, Domee was making art about food and posting it online. You might remember some of the food related gags and little food-centric comics from her My Food Fantasies
  3. Domee was also inspired by food folk tales because “they’re so cute and strange – like the little gingerbread man and that one song, there was an old lady who swallowed a fly.” With Bao, she was inspired to do a Chinese version of all those folk takes she loved.
  4. According to Domee, the first ingredient to Bao was obviously food and the second ingredient was what she knew best: growing up as an only child. Domee’s family was a small immigrant family that moved from China and lived in Toronto. Domee’s father worked a lot and because of that she spent a lot of time with her mom growing up. Her mom would hold her close whenever she could and treated her like a “delicate little dumpling.” When Domee started growing up and doing things on her own, it was hard for her mom to let go and she’d tell Domee,“I wish I could put you back in my stomach so I’d know exactly where you were at all times.” Domee even said, “It’s that creepy sweet love of a mom who doesn’t want to let go of her little dumpling that was the spark that became the heart of the story.”

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Domee wasn’t only inspired by her relationship with her mom, but she was inspired by her. She is a “dumpling Queen.” Food was how Domee’s mom showed her love for her and they formed a special bond making dumplings together over the years for numerous holidays and events. “In Chinese culture, food and family go hand in hand. When you want to show that you care about someone and that you love someone, you don’t say ‘I love you’ you say ‘have you eaten yet?'”
  6. Her mom was involved in the research for Bao. She’d come in to do “dumpling making demos” for the animators and effects and simulation artists.

    (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

  7. The third ingredient for this short was Chinatown, specifically Chinatown in Toronto where Domee grew up. She wanted to honor that setting and the equally vibrant Chinatown grannies. “I wanted to celebrate their bold colors, their keen eye when it comes to picking out the freshest produce, and their determination to get the best deals in town.”
  8. The style of Bao was inspired by 2D Japanese animation, especially the visual styles of My Neighbors the Yamatas and One Piece. Domee “loved how squishy the characters looked and how pushed their expressions were.”

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  9. Though translating 2D designs to 3D was the biggest obstacle Domee and her team had to get past. Some poses and expressions didn’t translate as well when it was created with 3D software, since 3D itself is its own medium. Some of the design aspects Domee wanted to pull from My Neighbors the Yamatas or One Piece were going to be an challenge, like the mother’s massive head and exaggerated limbs, but there’s nothing that a little planning can’t solve, especially in animation production. In the end, after trial and error, they were able to combine 2D graphic design and 3D modeling, which gave Domee range to achieve what she wanted.
  10. Production designer Rona Liu “oversaw all the visuals in the film.” Her job was to work with the different departments to make sure the look was cohesive and adhered to Domee’s vision.
  11. According to Rona, Domee wanted the short to look and feel very, very cute. It was also heavily influenced by Japanese folk art. She loved the “simple and graphic designs and the fact that a slice of life was the main subject… she wanted to borrow some of that philosophy with Bao, while keeping focus on the characters as much as possible.”
  12. The patterns on the mother’s clothes supported her emotional journey throughout the film. When the mother is unhappy and lonely, Rona used muted colors. When the mother is happy, the colors were “bold and red and auspicious.”
  13. The environment also played a supporting role to the characters. The background designs used throughout the short are not perfectly straight; if you look closely at some of the sets in the trailer and even when you see the film this summer, you’ll find that none of edges actually meet perfectly together, lines are wibbly wobbly. The mother’s house in particular had to reflect that she was an immigrant, a “blend of East meets West.” Rona had decided all the built-ins in the mother’s kitchen would be Western, while all the things the mother buys would be Chinese. 
  14. According to producer Becky Neiman-Cobb, the pork filling was the hardest thing for the effects artists to figure out. “It took two months for them to master the look and feel of the pork filling for the short.” What made the food effects so challenging was that, “we’re all experts as to what food looks like.” And food is the star in Bao, so “if it didn’t look perfect or believable it would pull the audience out of the story.”

Make sure you save lots of room for dessert because Bao is coming to theaters June 15th!

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Spoiler Free Review: Pixar’s Bao Is A Delicious And Heartwarming Treat

Bao, Domee Shi, Review, Short Film, Shorts

Posted by Nia • April 23, 2018

Earlier this month I was one of the first audiences to watch Pixar’s new theatrical short Bao. I’ve had a lot of time to think about the film since then, and I’m still 100% certain it might be one of my favorite shorts to come from the studio.

Bao is directed by Domee Shi and she just so happens to be the first female to direct a short film at Pixar. Although that fact alone is unnerving, considering the studio has been around for 30+ years and their Brain Trust has been notoriously male dominated; it’s inspiring to see the studio finally moving forward and giving others the opportunity to tell their stories.

Domee was born in China and raised in Toronto, which heavily influenced the setting and aesthetics for Bao. Domee is only 28-years-old and landed a Job at Pixar after graduating from college in 2011. Before her directorial debut, Domee was a story artist and had worked on The Good Dinosaur and most recently Inside Out.

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Bao’s initial story started over 4 years ago – while working on Inside Out Domee was feeling that itch to make something herself, a film that was ultimately weird and uniquely hers. Domee had initially intended for the short to be her weekend gig, but when Pixar had an open call for short pitches, she decided to throw her story into the mix and see what would happen.

She first pitched it to Pete Docter, the director of Inside Out, Up, and Monsters Inc., to get his feedback. He was so passionate about the story and enthusiastic about her idea that she decided to pitch it to the studio. And obviously through their support and feedback Bao was green-lit as their next theatrical short.

Bao tells the story of a Chinese mother who’s dealing with an all too familiar feeling among parents: figuring out what to do with their life after their children have grown up and moved out. The empty nest syndrome soon evaporates when the mother discovers that one of the dumpling’s she’s about to eat suddenly springs to life. She’s given another chance at parenthood as she watches her baby dumpling grow up in the world around her. As the story progresses the mother realizes that what she wished stayed precious and innocent soon matures and grows bigger and “doesn’t stay cute forever.”

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Without giving anything away, here’s what I absolutely adored about the short:

  • As with most of Pixar’s shorts, the entire film was done without any dialogue. There’s always so much that can be said with a glance or a simple touch that 10+ pages of dialogue can never achieve. There were so many precious and heartbreaking moments throughout the short between the mother and her baby dumpling that were conveyed beautifully through the animation, lighting, and overall character design. I don’t think I can even picture this film with even one line of dialogue.
  • The character designs were unique and definitely stood out from previous Pixar films. The characters depicted in the short, from the mother to some of the other human people she interacted with, had massive heads that were un-proportioned to their bodies, sort of like living breathing caricatures. While watching I sometimes wondered how these characters were able to keep balance and walk from one room to the other without tipping over. The overall design of the baby dumpling was both scrumptious and adorable, even when it got older and started growing a little scruff around its chin.
  • I loved the fact that FOOD was the star of this short. OK, baby dumpling aside, there were so many gorgeous close-ups of noodles and vegetables and delicious Chinese desserts that my mouth was watering for the duration of the short; I even had to look around to see if anyone heard my stomach grumbling. The amount of detail that went into the food was mind-blowing – there’s a scene towards the middle of the short when the mother prepares an epic feast for her and the baby dumpling and I still can’t get over the steam rising from the food as it sat on the table, waiting to be eaten.
  • I loved that we were able to be immersed in a different culture, albeit only being for 8-minutes. In Sanjay’s Super Team, the short that played in front of The Good Dinosaur back in 2015, we got a unique look into Sanjay Patel’s childhood and the Hindu traditions of his family. And the same happens in Bao as we experienced an inside look at Domee’s own relationship with her mother as she depicted the Chinese customs she was familiar with growing up.
  • Bao’s story was simple and effective; despite it focusing on Chinese characters and their culture, the messages and heavy themes depicted were universal. In Coco, the film relied on it’s story being told through Miguel and his Mexican culture, but the themes of death and importance of family heritage were both prominent and relatable to everyone all over the world. With Bao, the same can be said with the mother and her Chinese background but the themes of struggling to deal with an empty-nest and accepting your child will one day grow up could be understood by people from all walks of life. I’m not a parent, but I could relate to everything the mother went through based off when I first moved away from home.

Bao is also important to me because my family are immigrants. I was born in the United States but my Grandparents immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in WWII to escape the Nazi occupation. I’ve seen similar tales told in live action, but now with the help of Bao, Coco, and Sanjay’s Super Team, it’s helping those types of stories become accepted in the world of animation. I’d love to see more unique films come from the studio moving forwards and I only hope they’re giving more opportunities to talented artists like Domee Shi and Sanjay Patel so that they can tell stories about their families and life experiences.

I really can’t wait for you to see Bao in cinemas June 15th! Keep your eyes peeled for an upcoming post about the making of Bao, complete with more story and design inspiration.

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Exclusive: Our Thoughts On The First 30 Minutes Of The Incredibles 2

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Review, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • April 18, 2018

I had the pleasure of watching the first 30 minutes of the Incredibles 2 at Pixar Animation Studios earlier this month. I’ve dreamed about visiting Pixar since I was a wee lass, imagining what it would feel like to walk through the atrium that’s nestled snugly in Emeryville and breathe the same air as some of my favorite storytellers. Don’t worry, there’s a separate post coming about visiting the studio for the first time. But in short, I honestly never thought I’d ever get to watch a film at one of my favorite places on earth.

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

I had goosebumps walking into the the screening theater in the Steve Jobs building and I might’ve (OK, I definitely) had tears in my eyes and the biggest smile on my face as the lights slowly turned off before the film. The ceiling then lit up and at first glance it looked like little fireflies were floating above us, as magical soft buzzing filled the theater. At that point I had died and gone to heaven.

Then without hesitation, the Incredibles 2 began. Tread lightly for some minor spoilers.

It’s been 14 years since we were last with the Parr family and the action started just where it left off. I was hit with a wave of nostalgia as I was greeted with the familiar faces of Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, Jack-Jack and even Frozone as they teamed up to fight against the Underminer in a stunning opening battle; it was almost like we had never parted.

I spent the night before my trip re-watching The Incredibles, so obviously the most jarring aspect for me was how stunning the characters and the world looked with the new technology. The super-suits were gorgeous and fit the characters bodies just right; their hair and facial expressions and all the visual effects were jaw-droppingly gorgeous and realistic. The action was also fast-paced and I barely had a moment to breathe as the family found unique ways to put the Underminer to a stop before he completely destroyed the city.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Though, it turns out the people of Metroville weren’t very keen on the Parr family helping to save the day. In fact the officers who apprehended the family after they thwarted the Underminer’s plans were convinced that if they had simply done nothing, there would have been less damage to the city. It’s clear the public is still not interested in supers or what they could do for the world.

Rick Dicker, who is head of the Super Relocation Program and helped the Parr’s out in The Incredibles, makes a few cameos in the first 15 minutes. Dicker shows up to help the Parr family for the last time, as his program is now disbanded. The family is left at a dingy hotel to try and figure out what to do with their lives. How are they going to move forward? It’s hard for them to accept everything at first, surely Bob and Helen aren’t going to return to their mediocre civilian lives, not after Bob left his boring job in the first film and the family got to use their powers out in the open after years of secrecy?

Cue Frozone, who appears just at the right moment. He offers a shiny beacon of hope to Helen and Bob: a business card from Winston Deavor, tycoon and superhero enthusiast, with an invitation to come meet him at his headquarters. The other catch? He wants them dressed in their old super-suits. Bob is ecstatic, and nearly bursts through the walls of the hotel to find it, but Helen is cautious after their most recent kerfuffle with the law.

We then meet Winston at his massive high-rise building (which definitely left me with my mouth hanging open). We’re also introduced to his sister, Evelyn Deavor, who makes an entrance as she stumbles through the doors of his office with heaps of paperwork. Winston is the face of the company while his sister is the one who designs everything behind the scenes; she’s the one responsible for Elastigirl’s sleek new motorcycle and a slew of other nifty high tech gadgets. #GirlPower

 

 

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

Winston gives a presentation to the trio about how he wants to bring supers back into the spotlight and that Helen AKA Elastigirl is the woman for the job. It takes a lot of convincing from Bob, but Helen finally accepts. The rest of the footage from the press event showcased Helen as she was thrown into the spotlight, trying to make a living for her family while also being the new face of the superhero renaissance (complete with an impressive runaway train/chase sequence). We got a more detailed look inside the Parr’s new home, courtesy of Winston. Goodbye sad hotel, hello gorgeous mid-century modern mansion! There were also a few scenes that highlighted some of Jack-Jack’s strengths as he faced off against a new enemy.

30 minutes is obviously not a lot of time to judge a film, and despite it leaving off in a pretty safe place, who knows where the story will go or what will happen to some of the characters along the way. The first half hour set up the characters perfectly and what you think will happen for the remainder of the story. It’s still unclear what trouble Helen is going to come across in her attempt to make a good name for supers or if Winston and Evelyn are as good as they appear to be. Also, is Bob going to be able to cope with being a stay-at-home dad and take care of his family? I’m curious to see how the new villian Screenslaver, who appeared in the most recent trailer, will come into play.

There’s only one way to find out though… iron your good ol’ super-suit and fly to cinemas on June 15th! If you can’t possibly wait until then, just keep re-watching the trailer below (like me):

And make sure you come back for some more coverage from my most recent trip to Pixar!

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27 Explosive Facts About The Incredibles 2 That Will Get You Pumped For The Film

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Interview, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • April 16, 2018

On April 4th and 5th I visited Pixar Animation Studios for an amazing two days that were solely dedicated to the Incredibles 2. While I was there, basking in the magic of the studio, I attended presentation after presentation on the making of the sequel, got to see the first 30 minutes of the film, was one of the first audiences to see Bao (the new short that will be playing in front of the film come summertime), and I even got to do arts and crafts as I created my own superhero (a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life).

(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Here are some of my favorite things I learned about the making of the Incredibles 2 from all of the filmmaker presentations that will definitely have you dusting off your super-suit, anxiously tapping your toes, and eyeing the calendar as you count down the days until June 15th.

  1. Despite it being 14 years since The Incredibles, Brad Bird set the Incredibles 2 right after the first film because he “wasn’t interested in a college aged Jack-Jack.” He thought the Parr family would stay more iconic if everyone situated themselves and stayed the same. If it worked for the Simpsons, it would work for the Parr family.
  2. In the sequel Bird wanted to explore the roles of men and women, especially the importance of fathers participating, allowing women to express themselves through work and that they’re just as vital as men, and he even wanted to shine a light on how we’re constantly being controlled by screens. Bird was also keen on depicting the difficulties of parenthood and how parenting can be seen as a heroic act.

    (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

  3. The reason it took 14 years for the team at Pixar to create a sequel to the The Incredibles was because Brad Bird finally had a story he wanted to tell. Although most sequels in Hollywood are obviously cash grabs, Bird wasn’t interested in the film being produced for the sole purpose of making more money for the studio. He wanted to “make a film that audiences would enjoy 100 years from now.”
  4. According to Ralph Eggleston, who was the production designer on the sequel, the look of the Incredibles 2 was inspired by mid-century mundane architecture, which is basically “not the coolest looking buildings, but the stuff that was in between the cool buildings.”
  5. In order to build this new world from the ground up, Ralph Eggleston and his brilliant team of designers had to think about details that wouldn’t even be featured in the film, such as a mosaic that was included on the side of a hotel or another fancy mosaic that was in Bob’s new office. If it was featured in the film, only a brief glimpse would make it on screen.
  6. Brad Bird wanted the designs in the film to be “the best and most everything… to be set in places that were real and to cheat only when they absolutely had to.”
  7. Compared to the Parr’s gorgeous new mid-century modern home that you saw in the recent trailer, the house was originally much smaller based off the needs of the story. But after Brad Bird had to combine different elements of the story, they needed a much bigger house and in a shorter amount of time. Of course this came way after the first home had basically been developed. It had taken the team of artists 8 months to design that first house, and they only had about 2 1/2 weeks to re-design everything again. It’s mind-blowing to think they created that gorgeous home in that amount of time but according to Bird, “everyone rises to occasion when crunches are really made in the schedule.”

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  8. Like every film at Pixar, the Incredibles 2 began in the story department. The story artists essentially create a story reel, which is a drawn version of the film. Their main job is to communicate what the film would ultimately be on screen, AKA Brad Bird’s final version of the film. The boards consist of relatively quick drawings edited together with temp music, sound, scratch, etc.
  9. A lot changes between what’s seen in the boards and what makes it on screen. In fact, some of the hardest parts to board in the Incredibles 2 were the action scenes. In the script they were pretty nonspecific, which Ted Mathot, Story Supervisor on the sequel, pointed out “they usually said something like ‘amazing action sequence ensues’ so it was up to the board artists to bring that to life.”
  10. The board artists approached the action scenes through the character standpoints. How does a character specific to that world and film, such as Elastigirl, approach the situations? How can she make that action unique from what’s seen in copious amounts of other films in Hollywood? By making it more specific to Helen and her powers, it made the action scenes better.

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  11. Collaboration is key in Pixar’s filmmaking process and it’s important that everyone’s on the same page about what they’re looking at, especially with all of Ralph Eggleston’s designs. Once things are taken into the storyboard phase it can get super tricky. That’s where pre-vis comes into play. Pre-vis builds simple models and prototypes everything quickly into a computer so that everyone at the studio who’s working on the film can have it as reference. That way, all the of the background, character designs, props, etc., all remain consistent and no one is creating new designs. Pre-vis creates maps (mapping out the action in the scene, where characters need to be at certain times), floor plans of the new locations, and even compiles all of Eggleston‘s work so that it could be used by everyone in all of the different departments throughout production.
  12. It’s also important for Brad Bird to see those sets created by Eggleston in the storyboards. The reason why this is so crucial is because things can be tested in the board stage before it’s sent to the other departments. You don’t want to be making changes to the backgrounds or character designs once it gets to animation.

    (Photo by Marc Flores)

  13. The sets department at Pixar is responsible for a plethora of different elements in each film – they’re the reason why each Pixar film looks so unique and stands out from some of the other animated films released by other studios. They make all the props the characters interact with, the interior and exterior sets, the vehicles, the skies, and even the set extensions. The department is so big it has be to be separated into five sub departments: modeling, set dressing, shading, set extensions/skies, and sets tech.
  14. The modeling department are the sculptures and upholsters – they make the world feel more natural and more real in a computer, which means they basically have to touch literally all the props in the film (disrupting all the straight lines that are normally made in computers and making them look more natural).
  15. The set dressing department arranges everything, taking all the props made by the modeling department and filling in the empty spaces in each scene. They fill up places with furniture and handle essential story point objects (a sink full of dirty dishes, a table full of breakfast in the morning, etc).

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  16. The shading department takes all the props and sets and gives it the color, texture, reflections, and the qualities it needs based off how each objects reacts to light; their biggest challenge is trying to replicate how it would look like in real life. “They take marble and make it shiny and they make the cabinets in the kitchen semi-glossed. They deal with the world that’s close to us and the characters.”
  17. The set extensions/skies department deal with the world that’s far away from us. The big cities in the background, the big/broad skies, etc.
  18. And finally, with set tech, they are the unsung heroes of the set department. They do a lot of coding and support and they’re the ones who keep everything running. For the Incredibles 2, they created a 360 degree camera that showcased the whole world in each scene; they even created the parts of the set that didn’t make it in to the final shot. For example: the set tech’s prune each set based off the framing. Everything that’s not needed for an exact shot gets taken away and turned off, so it doesn’t have to be rendered or run through the pipeline. It’s all done to save space and memory and it’s usually applied on a shot by shot basis.
  19. According to Deanna Marsigliese, character artist on the Incredibles 2, “Costume design for animation is no different from costume design for live action – in fact, many people argue that costume design for animation is more difficult.”

    (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

    (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

  20. Just like the architecture in the film, the clothes are also heavily influenced by mid-century aesthetics.
  21. Deanna has a passion for vintage styling, particularly mid-century modern, and she incorporates the styles she loves into her daily wardrobe (when I saw her at Pixar she wore a gorgeous vintage shirt and skirt and looked like she had just traveled through time to give us the presentation) and that’s one of the reasons she was brought on to do costume design on the Incredibles 2.
  22. Deanna’s creative process included two different components: being creatively theoretical, “which is all about abstract thinking through storytelling” and being creatively practical, which is obviously centered around being clever and efficient (which is more focused on dressing all of the background characters).
  23. Bryn Imagire, the Shading Art Director, returned to the world of the Incredibles after designing costumes on the first film. Since the sequel isn’t really set in a specific time period, Brad Bird was OK with the team referencing current fashion since some characters wouldn’t work well within that time period, such as Bob wearing his iconic jeans and a T-shirt.
  24. Technology now is more advanced than it was 14 years ago, so even that affected the clothes and the shading and how the garments fit the characters. Looking back, their original super-suits stretched a lot and didn’t feel like they were worn by the characters; they just looked like they were pasted over their bodies. So their new suits in the Incredibles 2 are made from actual patterns and have real pattern textures, which means they don’t stretch around as much and they actually feel like real fabric.
  25. According to Bryn, Bob’s style was inspired by Paul Newman, “the handsome, robust family man.” Also, since Helen is helping bring superhero’s back into the spotlight, Bryn focused on Mary Tyler Moore, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn for her costumes; “they were all strong, career oriented, and fabulous women all at the same time.”
  26. At one point in production, Brad Bird told Bryn that Edna Mode is actually Japanese and German, so Bryn looked at Japanese fashion designers for inspiration: Rei Kawakubo, Eiko Ishioka, and Chitose Abe were huge in the development process for her. Bryn chose those designers because they “contrasted heavily to what they wear in their day-to-day lives and what they design for their models; their personal looks are way more comfortable compared to the high fashion created for their lines.”

    ©2018 Disney•Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

  27. According to Fran Kalal, Tailoring Lead, one of the biggest challenges of designing clothes for animation is the artists at Pixar “can’t take a sweater from Up and throw it into the world of the Incredibles 2, it just doesn’t fit into that mid-century modern world. With each film the artists have to start from scratch every time and re-define the visual language of what fabric looks like in each new place.”

Make sure you stop by again later in the week – I will be posting about the first 30 minutes of the Incredibles 2, going in-depth about the making of Bao, writing a review of the short film, and also sharing a bunch of other things I experienced during my trip to Pixar earlier this month.

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The New Incredibles 2 Trailer is Here!

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Trailer

Posted by Nia • April 13, 2018

Today Disney/Pixar released an official new trailer for the Incredibles 2, which explodes into cinemas June 15th.

There’s a lot to digest here, so if you haven’t already, take a look at the epic video below (or re-watch it for the 100th time, like me):

The trailer begins as we share dinner with the Parr family, tonight’s special: Chinese food. Dash and Violet are back at it, fighting over minute things like whether or not Dash washed his hands before devouring egg rolls, as siblings are known to do. Before we know it though, we’re back into some serious action as we’re introduced to Helen AKA Elastigirl’s new job. “Help me bring Supers back into the spotlight,” says tycoon Winston Deavor, as he gives an impressive presentation about his plan for this superhero renaissance.

For the rest of the trailer we’re following Elastigirl as she zips across town on her sleek motorcycle, jumping through helicopters, using her parachute powers to stop a moving train, and just well, generally being amazing as she saves the day. Meanwhile, in stark contrast, Mr. Incredible is fighting his own battles at home. He’s not only dealing with Violet’s “adolescence,” Dash’s ridiculously hard math homework, but he’s also got to take care of and manage Jack-Jack’s new range of superpowers.

Even Elastigirl is struggling as she tries to adjust to her new life and reversed role. “You know it’s crazy, right? To help my family, I’ve got to leave it. To fix the law, I’ve got to break it.” Mr. Incredible is supportive and quick to respond with, “You’ve got to so our kids can have that choice.”

Some of the best bits from the trailer:

  • There’s a new villain named Screenslaver, who has a menacing design, complete with a robotic voice that sent chills down my spine. He’s obviously bad news and by the looks of it, he’s able to manipulate viewers by taking over their devices.

  • We’re introduced to the Parr’s gorgeous new mid-century modern home #HouseGoals
  • Frozone’s wife, Honey, is back, and she’s just as sassy as before. Talk about iconic, “Where you going ASAP? You better be back ASAP!”
  • We get to see the family working together to fight crime.

  • And of course there’s Edna Mode going over some new suit tech with Mr. Incredible.

I was lucky enough to visit Pixar on April 4th and 5th for an Incredibles 2 press event where I learned everything about the Parr’s fancy new home, got to find out how they achieved all those intense explosions with the visual effects team, saw some stunning new costume designs, and I even got the run down on some of those key story points that were depicted in the trailer.

Make sure to suit up and come back after April 16th to read all about what I saw and experienced last week.

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Here’s Your First 20-Second Look at Bao, Pixar’s New Short

Bao, Domee Shi, Shorts

Posted by Nia • April 12, 2018

Get ready, folks, because you’re in for an incredibly charming and delicious ride, not to mention a cuteness overload. Bao is Pixar’s new theatrical short, directed by first-timer Domee Shi, that will be playing in front of the Incredibles 2 June 15th.

Today the studio revealed via Instagram a small 20-second clip from the film:

 

The clip depicts the initial moments of a baby dumpling springing to life, it coos and cries and looks adorable as it spurts little arms and legs. The mother looks on with wide eyes and is bewildered at first, an honest reaction to someone’s food coming to life, but soon she’s full of love for the baby dumpling as she lifts it close and gives it a good cuddle.

On top of this new footage, Pixar also blessed us with a poster for Bao, which captures the tone and heart of the film while also paying homage to the simplicity of Chinese folk art.

Last week I had the honor of watching Bao at Pixar and although I can’t make any official comments until next week, I’m really looking forward to audiences all over the world experiencing the story that Domee Shi and her team of talented artists so delicately crafted.

Make sure to stop by again after April 16th to find out more about Bao, including story inspiration, facts about the look of the short, and more!

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