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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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Gorgeous New Incredibles 2 Poster Released

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Poster

Posted by Nia • April 12, 2018

In case you weren’t already counting down the days until June 15th while doing a million cartwheels around your home (OK, that one might just be me); on top of all the excitement Disney/Pixar just released a brand new poster for the Incredibles 2 today. And tomorrow the studio is debuting a new trailer! Could it get any better than this?!

Check out the official tweet from Disney/Pixar below:

Front and center is our favorite superhero family: there’s Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash, and Jack-Jack charging towards the camera. Jack-Jack, complete with laser vision, is after his arch nemesis: the raccoon. They’re all wearing their iconic super-suits, obviously designed by the fabulous Edna Mode, who is standing proudly towards the right. There’s also Frozone, back in action, and a slew of other new supers towards the back. Looming above the family is an ominous new character who creepily watches over the action in the poster.

So… there’s a lot going on here and I bet you have a lot of questions, like “who are all those new supers?” and “who in the world is that character with the creepy blue eyes?” Well, you’ll have to come back next week to find out. There’s a plethora of things I can’t tell you yet: like mind-blowing facts about the sequel and new characters and details about how it was all made that I learned from my most recent trip to Pixar. Luckily I’ll be able to talk about it all next week! (Including everything I saw in the first half hour of the Incredibles 2, filmmaker presentations, and more!)

Stay-tuned for tomorrow’s new trailer and make sure you check us out next week for more information from my trip to Pixar. And don’t forget your super-suits!

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Elastigirl is back, and this time she’s in the spotlight

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Trailer

Posted by Nia • February 15, 2018

Disney/Pixar released a sneak peak of the Incredibles 2 during the Winter Olympics and it’s jammed packed with all of our favorite characters from the first film: Edna, Frozone, the ridiculous villain named The Underminer, and of course the Parr family back in full superhero force; but the real star of this teaser trailer is Helen Parr aka Elastigirl.

Although this was just a little peek of what the film’s to offer come the summertime, it’s refreshing to see Elastigirl taking the helm and being the hero. And honestly – it’s quite fun seeing Bob, otherwise known as Mr. Incredible, struggling with being a parent while his other half is off saving the world and just well, being amazing. It’s something I’ve looked forward to since last summer at D23, when Brad Bird mentioned how this sequel would be focusing heavily on Elastigirl.

Already the roles have reversed compared to the first film. In The Incredibles Bob was off doing top-secret superhero missions and leaving Helen behind to take care of the children, among other things, and she had no idea where he was going or the danger he was putting himself into. Now, in The Incredibles 2, at the request of a mysterious tycoon, who’s all about bringing the superheroes back into the spotlight so they can continue saving the world, Helen gets to show off her unique powers and finally enjoy a glimpse of fame.

We never really saw what she was fully capable of in the first film. Sure we got little snippets of her power and strength while she was off rescuing her husband and transforming into a parachute and then a boat to save her children, but there was clearly so much more behind her character that I hope this second film addresses. I want to see Helen kick major ass and take names and go through her own character arc, like Bob did in the first film.

I’ve got to succeed, so she can succeed,” Bob professes to Frozone, while running around his living room looking after Jack-Jack.

I also loved how supportive Bob was in this trailer and how, despite making a mess out of most things, he’s trying to hold down the fort so his wife can go out there and live her dreams. You could also see the longing in Bob’s face as he watched Helen leave, and the fact that he probably wants to be at her side then more than anything.

We’re truly excited for the Incredibles 2 and it’s mind-blowing that we finally get to say, “The Incredibles 2 is coming out THIS YEAR!

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An Incredible Cast Announcement!

Brad Bird, Cast, Incredibles 2

Posted by Simoa • January 22, 2018

THE WAIT IS OVER. Almost. We still have a couple more months to wait for the release of Incredibles 2, but the cast for Brad Bird’s hotly anticipated super sequel is here! While the familiar voices from the first film are returning, there are a couple of new additions. And rather than just announce the cast in a press release, Pixar has taken it one step further. The Google Arts app, which matches up user selfies with works of art, has been really popular over the past couple weeks. Incredibles 2 has utilized it with amazing results. It almost recalls Syndrome’s data base from the first film. Check out the cast list and accompanying art work below!

Helen Parr, (voice of Holly Hunter) known in the Superworld as Elastigirl, hung up her Supersuit to raise the family with husband Bob, leaving their crime-fighting days behind them. But when she’s tapped to lead a campaign to bring the Supers back into the spotlight, she finds she can still bend, stretch and twist herself into any shape needed to solve the trickiest of mysteries. In short, she’s still got it. That’s good news, too, because a new villain is emerging—unlike any they’ve ever seen before.

BOB PARR (voice of Craig T. Nelson) cherishes his days as Mr. Incredible—a popular Super with mega-strength and the power to singlehandedly take out the bad guys. Ever since Supers were outlawed, Bob’s been mostly lying low, raising the family alongside his wife Helen. But when she’s called on to stretch her Super skills and hopefully change the public perception of Supers for the better, Bob must manage the household on his own, which calls for a completely different set of super powers.
VIOLET PARR (voice of Sarah Vowell), the firstborn of the Parr clan, is an introverted and intelligent 14-year-old teen that doesn’t quite fit in with the normal crowd. Socially awkward, outspoken and sarcastic, Violet plays her teenager role to perfection—all while secretly mastering her superpowers of invisibility and creating force fields. A Super at heart, Violet can’t help her urge to fight crime alongside her family.
DASHIELL PARR (voice of Huckleberry “Huck” Milner) is a 10-year-old boy—restless, relentless, curious—though his remarkable power of Super speed certainly sets him apart. Dash sports a hearty sense of adventure and a boundless supply of energy. He’d love nothing more than to show off his special skills and fight a few bad guys along the way—and doesn’t understand why he has to keep his powers a secret.
JACK-JACK PARR, the baby of the family, likes to sit back with a bottle and a good story. Well-versed in gibberish with a penchant for throwing food, Jack-Jack may seem like a typical toddler, but he just might turn out to be the most powerful Parr in the household—if only his family had a clue of what this kid can really do.  
LUCIUS BEST (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) is not only Bob’s best friend, he’s a fellow-former Super who’s so chill, he can make ice with the point of a finger. But even when he’s not fighting crime as Frozone, Lucius is all about style. He has a quick wit and a cool, can-do attitude—and he wouldn’t think twice about breaking out his Supersuit if it could help bring Supers out of hiding. 
EDNA “E” MODE (voice of Brad Bird) possesses impeccable design sense, a keen understanding of cutting-edge technology and an unmatched skillset. A creative visionary, she longs for the return of Supers so she can once again create functional yet edgy Supersuits. The petite and powerful fashionista treats her clients like family, dahling, but sticks firmly to her long-held assertion: No capes!
WINSTON DEAVOR (voice of Bob Odenkirk) leads a world-class telecommunications company alongside his genius sister, Evelyn. Ultra-wealthy, savvy and suave, Winston goes big in everything he does—including his infatuation with Supers. He has been a supporter of Supers returning—all he needs is a hero (or three) to help him change public perception and bring them back into the sunlight.
EVELYN DEAVOR (voice of Catherine Keener), the brilliant brainchild behind her brother Winston’s telecommunications company, knows her way around tech. She loves tinkering with tech, and has never met a problem she can’t solve.
RICK DICKER (voice of Jonathan Banks) heads up the official Super Relocation Program, helping the Parr family keep their Super identities secret—that’s no easy feat with this family. But Rick takes his job very seriously—at least until his division is shuttered, leaving the Parrs all on their own.
VOYD (voice of Sophia Bush) is a young, overeager “wannabe” Super and a mega-fan of Elastigirl. Her superpower is the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow the objects to appear and disappear, and shift in space.
The Supers find an advocate in a dignified foreign AMBASSADOR (voice of Isabella Rossellini) who is committed to the support and legalization of Superheroes.
It’s a lot to take in, but thankfully this is only the beginning! Helen aka Elastigirl is the main character in this film, and based on what we’ve learned, this was a very thoughtful decision. Personally speaking, my hopes for this film have skyrocketed. I think it’s amazing that Bob will be the one in charge of the household, taking over Helen’s role, and that the filmmakers are treating that kind of work with the respect it deserves. Each of the new characters, particularly the female ones, are super interesting! I’m wondering if VOYD will be to Elastigirl what Buddy/Syndrome was to Mr. Incredible.
Incredibles 2 will be flying into theaters on June 15, 2018!

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New image – “Incredibles 2 picks up, literally, where the first film left off”

Brad Bird, Incredibles 2, Pixar

Posted by Joanna • December 8, 2017

A brand new Incredibles 2 image has been released on Entertainment Weekly, and it shows us that the sequel will be just as vibrant and brilliantly stylised as 2004’s The Incredibles.

Here is the new image via Entertainment Weekly:

via Entertainment Weekly

For comparison, here’s a similar shot from The Incredibles from just after The Underminer has appeared. They’re not in their superhero attire yet, but you can see how the buildings and background still have that characteristic modern, simple style.

We already knew Incredibles 2 was to be set mere minutes after the original movie left off – those lucky enough to be in the audience at this year’s D23 presentation were treated to this information plus a teaser featuring Jack-Jack and a raccoon. Brad Bird has now also revealed that Violet and Dash’s role in fighting The Underminer isn’t entirely rewarding…

“Incredibles 2 picks up, literally, where the first film left off, with Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl battling The Underminer, while Violet and Dash are stuck with babysitting Jack-Jack.”

Elastigirl, or Helen Parr, is going to take more of a central role in this sequel, and we can’t wait to see another Pixar heroine given a bigger voice. The Entertainment Weekly post also features a great interview with the voice of Elastigirl – Holly Hunter. You can read their full interview here. It’s amazing to hear that working with Brad Bird again has been such a fun and inspiring experience for her. Her leaving statement in the interview sums up our feelings perfectly:

“I just think it’s beautiful that Incredibles 2 is allowing Mrs. Incredible to reveal all these other different colors of who she is.”

Incredibles 2 is set to release in just over 6 months on June 15th, 2018.

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In Depth: Why These Female Pixar Characters Mean So Much To Me

30 Years of Pixar, A Bug's Life, Brad Bird, Brave, Brenda Chapman, Cars 3, Finding Dory, Finding Nemo, Pete Docter, Pixar Heroines, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • October 20, 2017

It’s been over two weeks since the New York Times article on Harvey Weinstein was published and the dam finally burst in Hollywood. It seems almost unbearable to comprehend all the allegations that are still stacking up against Weinstein, not to mention the plethora of other men in the industry and beyond. The “me too” movement on social media has also shown a disturbing amount of women who have been sexually harassed and assaulted by co-workers, friends, and family members.

This past week I’ve found it hard to focus and carry on with my life, job, and day-to-day activities.  It’s empowering seeing women come together, but also distressing to learn how it’s happened to us all, one way or another.

I needed inspiration and I needed something to lift my spirits up so I turned to what I know best to help me in troubled times: Pixar films.

Over the years not only has Pixar produced some of the greatest animated films of all time, but they’ve also created some of the strongest and most relatable female characters in the business. I was going to try and talk about all of them, but then realized how long the post would be (actually this would make a wonderful book some day). Instead, I decided to pick my three most important female characters and share why they mean so much to me both as a woman, and as a professional working in the animation industry.

Merida

Brave came out at a perfect time in my life, I was a sophomore in college and I was struggling with trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I was feeling the pressure of comparing myself to other people my age; be it with work, relationships, and even school.  I was even feeling pressure from certain family members about my love life and if I was going to be getting married anytime soon (this is a true story for any Greek woman).

Then Merida arrived, with her ridiculous hair goals, amazing horse-riding skills, and sassiness I wish I had when I was a teenager.

Merida broke the mold when it came to princesses – she had her own goals and her own motivations that she wanted to achieve in life, even if it went completely against what her family has wanted for generations. She didn’t care what her family thought and she was ready to fight against her mom if it meant being able to do what SHE wanted to do in life. Maybe she didn’t really have any dreams or goals at the moment, and that was OK – as long as she wasn’t stuck being a princess and fitting the mold, then she was content. That was Merida’s life, and she wanted to pursue those dreams of being free and exploring the countryside with her horse.

I also really appreciated how independent she was and how she didn’t need romance in her life to be successful. She was content with being alone, even if that meant being isolated from her own family or off in the forest basking in her solitude, that didn’t matter to her; she didn’t need a man in her life to tell her what to do or to be content.

I was the biggest tomboy growing up, I got dirty rolling around and play fighting and spent most afternoons playing sports with the other kids. But I still liked to dress up and get pretty; that didn’t mean I had to do it all the time. I really appreciated how Merida didn’t always need to be pretty or dainty or wear fancy dresses and spend her time curtsying to all the men; she wanted to roll around in the mud, dance in the rain, ride on horseback, climb mountains, and shoot arrows. I loved that adventurous side of her and I loved that she didn’t let anyone tame her.

I wish I had Merida to look up to when I was that young tomboy.

 Cruz Ramirez

It’s a shame Pixar wasn’t able to create a character like Cruz until now. She is one of the better things to come from this summer’s Cars 3 release and she might actually be one of my all-time favorite characters now.

Like Merida, I wish I had someone like Cruz to look up to when I was growing up and dreaming about coming to work in the animation industry in Los Angeles.

What I love the most about Cruz is that she showed me it doesn’t matter where you were born or who your family is, if you set your mind to what you want to achieve in life then you can fulfill your dreams.

People might keep telling you no, no, no; and you might continue to get rejection letter after rejection letter, but you have to keep going, to keep pushing forwards; hearing no or getting a rejection letter does not mean you’ve failed, but giving up does. It’s okay to have doubts, to feel bad about yourself, but you can still carry on and push forwards.

I also really loved the signal she sent to boys and girls alike, how it’s OK to be a girl and be really interested in boy things (like racing cars) or vice versa. In a typical male dominated world, it’s important to show young children that you can do whatever you want; it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy or a girl.

Cruz is the type of female character we need in film and TV now – a woman who stands up for herself, who goes against the norm, and who never gives up her dreams when obstacles are in the way.

Helen Parr AKA Elastigirl 

Helen is important to me, not only because I’ve always dreamed of being a superhero and kicking all sorts of butt, but because she’s a wonderful mother and person to look up to.

At the start of The Incredibles she’s living a pretty normal life, only having to deal with the typical mom duties that come with any parent. But soon it’s clear that Helen can balance both the mom and superhero life when she’s forced to follow and rescue her husband, Bob Parr AKA Mr. Incredible, when he’s off trying to deal with his midlife crisis.

It turns out that Helen actually saves her husband, brings her family closer together, and in turn, is a huge part in actually saving the world from the supervillain Syndrome. Where would we be without her? I’m really excited for The Incredibles 2 and having some more focus on Helen; which is a good sign that Pixar is definitely moving in the right direction regarding female characters.

One of my favorite things about Helen is that she doesn’t take crap from anyone, not her husband, children, or even Edna. She wasn’t about to sit around and wait for her husband to come home, making up different stories in her head as to why he’s been acting so strange lately. She was also not afraid to go against the societal norms at the time and take things into her own hands – she had every right to know what her husband was doing and to go and find him.

Helen is the type of woman and mom I aspire to be one day, with her, anything is possible. She gives me the confidence that I can balance both my work and home life completely if I chose to go down that path.  I work in the animation industry and have hopes of gaining as much experience as I can and moving on to different studios and jobs in the future. Thanks to Helen, I know that I don’t need to wait around for anyone to make the right decisions for me, and it’s possible to have a family and a career at the same time and be happy.

Each female Pixar character has taught me something different about myself throughout the years. What I love most about Pixar films, and the female characters they create, is that they provide a plethora of diverse characters from all ranges of life. Yes, fish and robots and superheroes are all incredibly different, but when you look at the stories that surround each character, and the struggles each woman (or ant) has to overcome, it’s all universal.

Who are some of your favorite Pixar female characters? And why are they so important to you?

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In Depth: How Ratatouille Inspired Me To Fulfill My Dreams

Anniversary, Brad Bird, Opinion Piece, Ratatouille

Posted by Nia • June 29, 2017

Today is the 10 year anniversary of Pixar’s Ratatouille. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since we were last in Paris, learning how to cook alongside Remy, the rat, and Linguini, the garbage boy. Not to mention following them on their escapades through the city as they tried to covertly work together at one of the most famed Parisian restaurants.

For most of us, less culinary experienced food-lovers, it was a thrill to watch Remy create such tempting and savory dishes on the big screen. We almost forgot it was in fact an animated film and a rat was responsible for all of the colorful foods – creating unique dishes that would make even Gordon Ramsay stop in his tracks (after all, his signature dish did bring Anton Ego right back to his childhood). I was almost disappointed to find there are no rats who knew how to cook in real life or a little restaurant hidden in Paris that’s run by them. I won’t lie and say that after I watched the film for the first time, little 15-year-old me wanted to enroll in a cooking class and learn how to make food as well as Gusteau.

When the film was released, I’d just finished my freshman year of high school. There was a lot I had yet to experience in life: high school bullies, college rejection letters, heartbreak, and the cruel world of adulthood. I didn’t realize it at first, but in my worst moments, when I was doubting myself and my potential in life, the themes in Ratatouille kept me going and believing in myself.

When you look at the entirety of Ratatouille, it really is a simple film at heart. It’s about a rat, who’s always had a fascination for food and its flavors, and has always dreamed of becoming a cook. He never thought in a million years he would be cooking at Gusteau’s in Paris – the only person who truly understood him and kept him company was Gusteau himself, a figment of his imagination; giving him food tips and overall confidence boosts. It was even Gusteau who said that anyone can cook. Remy’s family didn’t really understand his love for human food, they wanted Remy to be apart of their rat civilization and way of living. But Remy always had that dream, the passion burning inside him, he never forgot about what motivated him every day; to do what truly makes him happy, even if other people doubted him or thought it was the wrong thing to do.

“Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”

This quote that Anton Ego delivers at the end of the film is pinned up to my desk at work. It’s a nice reminder every day to believe in yourself, even if others don’t or even if you come from a less privileged background. I’m thankful for this quote and the meaning it’s given my life. It’s one of the most important quotes in any Pixar film and probably any animated film released in the last 10 years. It’s the type of message that’s needed, especially today; not only for children, but for adults with hidden passions or who are still struggling to fulfill their own dreams.

Looking back at Ratatouille, it’s truly taught me that it’s never too late to run after my passion; to keep going, never stop, even if it seems impossible. Since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to work in the animation industry and tell stories. When I was in college I struggled to get internships and gain experience to one day land me a job at any big studio. When I graduated, I worked the odd job here and there to save money and to get me to Los Angeles. Almost two years ago I finally landed a job at a small animation studio. There’s still so much I have yet to learn, and so much I still want to do, but it’s landing that first job in the animation industry that made my heart want to burst. And I realized then, it’s all true – anyone can cook, or paint, or write. It doesn’t matter where you come from, or what experiences you don’t have; what’s important is that you have equal potential and you’ll end up where you’re supposed to be in the end.

In short, Ratatouille is undoubtedly one of Pixar’s most charming and unique films. Like the themes that carry on throughout Up, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, and most recently, Cars 3; the studio continues to share worthwhile lessons to children and adults alike.

Here’s to the next 10 years of inspiration and chasing after your dreams.

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Samuel L. Jackson Is Just As Excited About The Incredibles 2 As We Are

Brad Bird, The Incredibles, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Nia • December 17, 2016

Well it’s confirmed, Samuel L. Jackson AKA Mr. Frozone himself will be returning to the Incredibles 2.

It's about to go down… First recording session for…. INCREDIBLES 2!!!!

A post shared by Samuel L Jackson (@samuelljackson) on

 

From his recent Instagram post, its obvious he is just as thrilled as the fans that the sequel is coming to theaters soon. It was teased in the past, from Jackson himself, that Frozone would return in the second installment. From a Digital Spy interview back in 2014: “Every time I run into Brad Bird, he always tells me Frozone is part of what’s going on, so I have to believe that. I guess they could be the Incredibles without Frozone, but I think Frozone would be a wonderful addition to what’s already there.” We truly hope that we will get even more screen time from Frozone. Who knows what he’s been up to since coming out of retirement to help the Parr family. Let’s hope his wife has kept his super-suit at the ready. The Incredibles 2 will be smashing into theaters June 15, 2018.

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