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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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Incredibles 2 Soundtrack Cover And Playlist Revealed

Incredibles 2, Soundtrack, The Incredibles 2

Posted by Joanna • June 1, 2018

The Incredibles 2 soundtrack cover and playlist has been revealed, and it’s already ticking all the boxes for us! Check out the cover art below:

I’ve always loved how stylised the art is for the Incredibles franchise – it’s bold and vibrant, just like the soundtracks Michael Giacchino has composed for them. We’ve already heard some excerpts of the new soundtrack in the variety of teasers and trailers that have been released over the past few months, particularly in the latest 1-minute clip that we posted about earlier in the week. It didn’t really seem possible that a soundtrack could sound more upbeat and more exciting than the original The Incredibles soundtrack, but Giacchino’s composing superpowers appear to have achieved the impossible!

Have a look at the full playlist below (minor spoilers ahead):

1. Episode 2
2. A Tony Perspective
3. Consider Yourselves Undermined!
4. A Matter of Perception
5. Diggin’ the New Digs
6. This Ain’t My Super-Suit?
7. Elastigirl Is Back
8. Train of Taut
9. Rocky vs. Jack-Jack
10. Ambassador Ambush
11. Hero Worship
12. Searching for a Screenslaver
13. Super Legal Again
14. Renouncing the Renunciation
15. World’s Worst Babysitters
16. Helen of Ploy
17. A Dash of Reality
18. Hydrofoiled Again
19. Jack Splat
20. A Bridge Too Parr
21. Together Forever and Deavor
22. Elastigirl’s Got a Plane to Catch
23. Looks Like I Picked the Wrong Week to Quit Oxygen
24. Happily After-Deavor
25. Out and a Bout
26. Incredits 2
27. Here Comes Elastigirl – Elastigirl’s Theme
28. Chill or Be Chilled – Frozone’s Theme
29. Pow! Pow! Pow! – Mr. Incredible’s Theme
30. Devtechno!
31. Chad Tonight Talk Show Theme
32. Chad Tonight Newscast Bumper

So what kind of plot information can we glean from the titles? Looks like Elastigirl will be taking the pilot’s seat again (“Elastigirl’s Got A Plane To Catch”), and I can only assume that “Rocky vs. Jack-Jack” is referring to a face-off between Jack-Jack and his raccoon nemesis. “Looks Like I Picked The Wrong Week To Quit Oxygen” certainly sounds dramatic! We’ll just have to wait until June 15th to find out what on earth that could mean.

You can pre-order the Incredibles 2 soundtrack on Amazon.com now.

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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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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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‘Bravo, Edna’ – New Incredibles 2 Teaser

Incredibles 2, Pixar, The Incredibles 2, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • April 9, 2018

You may not have had the chance to watch the new teaser that Pixar released last week for the upcoming Incredibles 2 – this one heavily features the ‘iconic’, ‘explosive’ Edna Mode (no complaints here), and proves that our favourite superhero fashion designer is just as eccentric as ever. Watch the new teaser below:

Edna Mode was a firm favourite in the original The Incredibles, voiced by director Brad Bird. Aside from hearing famous fashion stars such as Heidi Klum, Nina Garcia and Andre Leon Talley singing Edna Mode’s praises, this teaser also provides us with some new, never-seen-before clips. These mainly take place in Edna’s stylish abode, and she appears to have created a brand for herself – the ‘Mode Collection’.

We’re also shown part of a scene between Helen and Bob Parr – Helen, or Elastigirl, is trying on a supersuit that is shocklingly not designed by Edna Mode. Understandably, the supersuit isn’t really up to par, and definitely not up to Helen Parr’s standards.

“Edna designed this?” “No! Some guy named Alexander Galbaki.”

We’re looking forward to seeing more Incredibles 2 content as the release date (June 15th) inches ever closer.

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Incredibles 2 trailer coming soon – the wait is almost over!

Pixar, Rumors, The Incredibles 2, Trailer

Posted by Joanna • November 11, 2017

With the spotlight understandably on Coco at the moment, it’s easy to forget (and hard to believe!) that the next Pixar film release is going to be Incredibles 2, due in theatres next June. With 2018 very much on the horizon it already seemed likely that we’d be getting our first glimpse of the movie soon, and this assumption has just been backed up by some firm evidence – a rating of an Incredibles 2 trailer by the Ontario Film Authority.

At D23 this year, the audience was treated to some footage of the much-anticipated sequel. All we really know so far is that Incredibles 2 is going to focus more on Elastigirl, or Helen Parr, Jack-Jack’s newly found superpowers are going to be explored, and there’s going to be a raccoon! You can read our post from when the D23 footage was first shown for more details.

It’s been a long wait for Pixar fans, but some new Incredibles content is finally coming our way. Keep an eye on our Twitter page for updates! 

 

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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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