Thanks to Disney Pixar, I was able to visit Pixar Animation Studios in California to learn all about the creation of Incredibles 2. After screening about 30 minutes of the film, I was able to sit down with the design team and chat all about the process. It was mind-blowingly amazing!
Incredibles 2 Creation Process
The beginning of the film shows the Parr family living in a hotel, as you can see in the trailer, and eating take-out. Not the ideal situation for a family. We know they resumed their roles as supers in the first movie and with Mr. Incredible losing his day-job they are broke and between homes. It gives this superhero movie a realistic reality with the focus on mundane struggles. Most families can relate to job changes and moving homes.
I know I keep saying this, but the design process at Pixar Animation Studios is simply amazing. You do not realize how many tedious details go into creating an animated movie. Design goes beyond the characters and main setting, even the take-out food packaging has to stay consistent with the mid-century design. Everything you see within the set, even props are created by hand with the overall movie design aspect in mind.
The Incredibles House – Parr Family Home
At the end of the first film, The Incredibles has their home destroyed. So going into Incredibles 2, the creators knew they had to design a new place for the Parr family to live.
When creating the second film, they used the first film as a starting point on how they wanted it to be designed. They based it on the 50’s but pushed a little forward into the 60’s – mid-century inspiration. They wanted to take the original 1,500 square-foot home the Parr family lived in during the first movie and increased to a 2,300 square-foot home for the second film.
They spent six months developing the entire house for the Incredibles 2 movie. The details were complete. They invested hours visiting homes in the Palm Springs area. They went into over 30 homes to take photographs and get inspiration for the design aspects of the Incredibles house from architecture to decor. Even the textures you see on the walls, granite countertops, and water were all created by hand.
Then they scraped it all….. and started over.
Since they created the new Incredibles house before the storyline was fully developed, they felt there wasn’t enough included in the home for some of the scenes you will experience at the theater. There are so many surprises you’ll love. So after six long months of making this house, they wanted more. They spent 3 weeks redesigning the entire house and went from their original 2,300 square-foot home to a beautiful 20,000 square-foot house!
Now, that’s a SUPER house.
They wanted some unique twists on the home so they brought some of the outdoors inside with water flowing throughout. They also had to make the home a super house by giving it some modern touches. While keeping the mid-century design they added what resembles high spy-tech gadgets. The house almost comes to life. I seriously cannot wait to see more of the film.
My first impression of the new Incredibles house is Meet the Robinsons meets Tony Stark. I love it and wish I lived there.
Mundane Meets Super
The writers wanted to keep this superhero movie focused on a family touch. Not too mundane and not too super. To give this balance, they mixed in real life family issues with superhero antics.
From the first Incredibles movie, we know that Bob has already dreamed of going back into superhero work. The trailer shows the hilarity that will ensue as Bob is home with the kids. You see Bob looking exhausted and beat down while telling Helen everything is under control on the phone. We can tell he wants her to believe everything is under control so she doesn’t rush back home, causing him to miss his chance to be a super again. He gets a real taste of what it is like to be a stay at home dad and even with superpowers, he struggles like all families.
Animating an Action Scene
The Pixar team did a fabulous job of making sure each scene is as realistic as possible. They studied real-life situations and events to create the Incredibles 2 movie. When making the Elasticycle for Helen, they brought in one of the Pixar Animation Studios artists to share her experience as a female motorcycle rider. How cool is that?!
Beyond her personal experience on a motorcycle, they studied wakeboarding water sports, skateboarding, and parkour to see how people can move. Although Helen is a super and has an elastic body, they wanted her movements to flow similar to what you may come to expect without going unrealistically overboard.
When creating action scenes that involved speed, the artists would create a storyboard that shows the real speed of a train or other vehicle movement to compare the angles and jumps Mrs. Incredible would have to take to keep up. Then they would gauge the height of the buildings based on these angles to give a realistic view.
Everything about creating an animated film is impressive to me. I love how much thought and work goes into the movies our families love. I now have a much larger appreciation for the films.
Incredibles 2 in Theaters June 15, 2018
Purchase your tickets to see Incredibles 2 in theaters June 15th on Fandango now!