How many times did you see Incredibles 2 in theaters? But maybe the more important question is how many times do you plan on watching it now that it’s been released on digital and Blu ray? You can watch the movie again (or for the very first time!) in the comfort of your own home, or anywhere else with your laptops, iphones, and other devices. But the really amazing thing is that you don’t have just the movie at your fingertips, but a wealth of bonus features. As is the case with Pixar home releases, you can expect both quality and quantity.
Joanna and I were so excited about the special features that we teamed up for this post to break them all down. Read on for our favorites!
Here, Joanna found some pretty cool highlights:
I’m always a fan of the Pixar audio commentaries, and I remember especially loving it on the original The Incredibles DVD because you had the choice to listen to either the director’s commentary or the animator commentary. The animator commentary makes you see the movie in a whole new light, and it really gives you an insight into how the whole animation process works. It feels like such a treat to have the commentary on Incredibles 2 led by animators again (supervising animators Dave Mullins, Alan Barillaro, and Tony Fucile, and animation second unit and crowds supervisor, and also the voice of Kari, Bret Parker). These animators all worked on The Incredibles back in 2004, and it was so interesting to hear about the technological advances and how much has changed (for the better!) in how animated movies are created.
There are also some great Easter Egg reveals in the commentary – the Godzilla-like creature shown on the TV during the motel dinner scene is actually Jonesy the iguana from “Toy Story of Terror!” And the ‘num-num cookies’ that Jack-Jack will do anything for are based off of the apparently delicious cookies that are served in the Pixar cafeteria.
If you missed Kari the babysitter in Incredibles 2, then you’ll want to keep listening right to the end – in what can only be described as the perfect finale to the commentary, Bret Parker brings her back to life as the credits roll down the screen.
Strong Coffee: A Lesson in Animation with Brad Bird
Brad Bird’s passion for animation is irresistible. Running about 20 minutes long, “Strong Coffee” is a tribute to the director. Joanna says that this featurette really shows how much Brad Bird pushes the team. She always thought The Incredibles was a leap forward for Pixar – there was such a noticeable improvement in human animation, facial expressions, gestures, and performances. Incredibles 2 feels like Pixar have bounded forwards again.
In Simoa’s view, “Strong Coffee” functions as a mini documentary, where the subjects are Brad and animation. The director discusses his beginnings at Disney Animation, where he was mentored by the legendary Milt Kahl when he was still a child. (And that mentorship preceded any official program offered by Disney). Fans of Kahl will also be delighted to see some footage of him, as well as Brad’s fond reminisces of his mentor and Disney’s other elite animators, known as the Nine Old Men, who continue to influence him today.
Here is a young Brad Bird, looking exactly the same as he does now, with Classic Hollywood and Disney Legend, Fred MacMurray. Unfortunately we don’t have any more details on this photo, but we’re glad it exists!
Paths to Pixar: Everyday Heroes
Love hearing Pixarians describe their jobs and the challenges and joys of each film? Paths to Pixar gives viewers just that, but the director, producer, artists, technicians, and animators talk about another job they do at home that’s just as inspiring and challenging: parenting. You may be surprised by this featurette, as some of these Pixarians reveal their vulnerabilities and uncertainties when it comes to both jobs. I think parents and aspiring parents will appreciate this featurette because it’s so honest. Anyone with children of their own can relate to the struggles depicted here, the overwhelming love of family, and the determination, particularly of the women, to be working mothers who don’t have to sacrifice family or work.
Super Scene Breakdowns
With Elastigirl front and center in Incredibles 2, it’s only fitting that one of the bonus features focused on her. A team of women, including producer Nicole Paradis Grindle, animators Amanda Wagner and Jessica Torres, and tailoring lead Fran Kalal were on hand to discuss her expanded role. But that’s not all! They also provided insight into their own roles on the film and how excited they were for her to be in the spotlight.
“Racoon Fight” was of course about the film’s scene stealer, Jack-Jack, and how that epic fight came to be. Here, Brad Bird is joined by producer John Walker, story artist Pete Sohn, animator Kevin O’Hara, and layout artist Mike Leonard. This scene was so popular back when Teddy Newton pitched the idea for the first film, and Brad was adamant that it be in the sequel.
Getting to learn about the behind the scenes is always a treat, because everyone’s passion and enthusiasm is tangible, and the details are fascinating.
Joanna’s a pro at finding these!
On the UK Blu-ray for Incredibles 2, one of the bonus features listed on the case is simply ‘Easter Eggs’, and I think I may have found them. In the Bonus Features section, while you’re hovering over Bao, press up twice, and you’ll be shown a couple of animation outtakes. One shows Evelyn stroking a teddy bear (?!) while watching Bob and hypnotised-Helen fight. And the other shows Evelyn talking to Helen through the glass of the cold room, pausing to rub off the condensation her breath has made.
If you press right twice while hovering over Bao, you’re shown a hilarious clip of Brad Bird telling a story about the inspiration for the iconic raccoon scene – Brad’s dog had a scary encounter with a raccoon at his old house, and Brad was forced to (in Brad’s words) punt the raccoon off of his beloved pet.
“The raccoon flew maybe 5 feet or something, landed and then just CUSSED ME OUT. And then it was like, ‘I’M COMIN’ BACK FOR YOU, POODLE. THIS ISN’T OVER.’”
It’s absolutely worth a watch just to see Brad’s impeccable impersonations of his dog and the raccoon. Honestly, I wouldn’t have minded Brad adding ‘Raccoon’ to his list of voice acting roles in Incredibles 2.
Heroes and Villains
Once again, I’m just blown away by the amount of attention and detail that characterizes Pixar’s approach to filmmaking. So much about these bonus features is illuminating. I guarantee everyone will learn something new and come away with even more appreciation for the film itself. For example, character and costume designer Deanna Marsigliese based one of the wannabe supers, Brick, on herself.
See the clip below detailing Winston Deavor’s design and personality.
A total of ten scenes ultimately didn’t make the cut, but they would’ve been great additions to the film! Thankfully they are included here, and what I wouldn’t give to see them as actual fully animated shorts! But the storyboard versions are really appealing. Fans who were hoping for more screentime of Frozone’s wife Honey may be disappointed by “Frozone and Honey,” since it rehashes the supersuit gag from the first film. Brad Bird’s favorite of these is “Kari Revisited,” which you can watch below.
This is yet another gem to be added to your collection, if you love Pixar and love moviemaking.
Have you had a chance to watch any of these and the other bonus features? Let us know your favorites!