Back in April, we visited Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, California to chat with some of the best and brightest creative minds behind Incredibles 2. Here’s everything we learned:
2. In true Pixar fashion, Incredibles 2 contains an easter egg for the next Pixar film to be released — so, in this case, Toy Story 4.
3. But don’t expect to recognize it. According to creators, the easter egg “probably won’t make any sense until Toy Story 4 comes out.”
4. Incredibles 2 also 100%, absolutely, definitely contains the famous Pizza Planet Truck somewhere.
5. If you look at the marquis of the movie theater at the end, you’ll see “A113” written across it. This is a running easter egg in Pixar films, and a sweet nod to a room number at the California Institute of the Arts where many Pixar alums once studied.
6. Frozone’s wife, Honey, was originally going to make an appearance in Incredibles 2, but creator Brad Bird explained they didn’t end up including Honey visually because she’s “funnier as a voice.”
7. The team did design the character Honey, and even though she didn’t appear in the film, the character design appears as another superhero.
8. The hair in Incredibles 2 looks super different than hair in any other Pixar movie. Pixar developed a new hair program specifically for the movie. Each of the characters now has hair digitally grown on their scalp, which is meant to react more realistically to gravity and look “less floaty and light.” The last time the Pixar hair program was revisited was with 2001’s Monsters, Inc.
9. There’s a whole team of people whose job is to go into every single shot of the movie and make sure that the hair is reacting and moving correctly.
10. If you look closely, you’ll see that Violet’s hair is notably longer in Incredibles 2. With the new hair program, animators were able to grow her hair longer so it could cover her body more fully when she’s in her shy state.
11. Take a long glance at the sky in Incredibles 2 and you might see the same clouds from Pixar’s 2015 movie The Good Dinosaur. The creative team did such groundbreaking cloud work on that film, animators often used those same clouds as a template for the sky in Incredibles 2.
12. Municiberg isn’t based on any major city. It’s supposed to be “the kind of city that would be rapidly expanding, a midwestern kind of medium-sized city, like Denver, Colorado.”
13. The super suits in Incredibles 2 look very different from the ones in The Incredibles largely because technology has advanced so much. If you look closely, you can see a thicker weave in the suits, plus more folding, creasing, and texture when the characters move.
14. The Incredibles and Incredibles 2 are both supposed to take place in the “mid-century” era, aka the 1950s and 1960s.
15. Even though Bob’s holding a newspaper in The Incredibles that says 1962, Brad Bird clarified that the films are “’60s-influenced,” but with advanced gadgets, “just like a good James Bond movie or an episode of Jonny Quest.”
16. Everything in Incredibles 2, from the architecture to the costumes, has been painstakingly modeled to mimic the mid-century American era. Even the furniture textures are made of era-specific materials like grass cloth and include specific decorative materials like teak and rosewood.
17. If you look closely, you can see terrazzo, an expensive type of composite flooring, all over Winston Deavor’s house that the family stays in.
18. The creative team based Deavor’s house design on Phillip Vandamm’s house in the 1959 film North by Northwest, as well as multiple houses in Palm Springs, California.
19. The Incredible family home in the first movie was meant to look downward-facing and slumped, signifying that the family was under duress.
20. In this film, the home the family stays in is meant to look like an upward arrow, signifying that they’re doing better this time around.
21. Every background character in Incredibles 2 is dressed in mid-century-specific costuming. The costuming and design teams used home store patterns from the time period as inspiration, and steered away from fashion ads that might come off as unrealistic.
22. The costumes are detailed down to the individual zippers and buttons. The team would bring in clothing, shoes, and accessories from their own closets to model each piece’s intended fit so animators could get the clothing’s movement and shape right.
23. To costume the background male characters, designers made 12 unique garments and resized them to six different body types. By creating variations of patterns, they got 72 uniquely costumed characters.
24. To costume the background women, the team created 20 unique garments and seven different body types. Taking into account details like hair color, there are 64 uniquely costumed characters.
25. Bob’s style is based on Paul Newman.
26. Helen’s style is based on Mary Tyler Moore, Marilyn Monroe, and Audrey Hepburn, who are all “strong, career-minded, and look fabulous all the time.”
27. Violet’s style is based on a more modern, rebellious look. Designers decided that ‘50s fashion wouldn’t really suit her, and looked more to the ‘60s and current fashion to give her a different silhouette.
28. Dash only has one T-shirt model that was shaded a bunch of different colors and patterns over the course of the movie — but always in the Incredible family’s signature colors (yellow, orange, and red).
29. The only time Jack-Jack wears clothes is when Helen’s home. When Bob is alone with Jack-Jack, he’s always wearing diapers with no clothes.
30. Evelyn Deavor’s style is based on Diane Keaton, Annie Lennox, Yoko Ono, and especially Patti Smith. The design team worked with a color neutral palette and mixed soft, feminine pieces with more masculine working pieces to embody her character.
31. Because Evelyn Deavor makes her own money and is wealthy, her wardrobe is meant to reflect her success. She dresses in luxurious material like tweed, leather, and faux zebra hair (all the fur she wears is meant to be faux fur).
32. Edna Mode’s two new costumes in Incredibles 2 were loosely inspired by Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
33. According to Brad Bird, Mode is Japanese and German, so designers used a lot of Japanese clothing as inspiration for the character’s new costuming, as well as inspirational material like origami.
34. Her new looks were also largely inspired by nature — mushrooms, flowers, animals — as well as unconventional materials like metal, crumpled-up pieces of paper, and snake skin.
36. Violet’s usually dressed in some shade of purple. The color becomes dark and desaturated when she’s going through a tough emotional time, and brighter and more vibrant when she’s happy.
37. Jack-Jack’s voice in both movies is the voice of Supervising Animator Tony Fucile’s son, Eli. Eli’s 16 years old now, but he was just a baby when Fucile followed him around their house with a boom mic for an hour and recorded all his noises.
38. From start to finish, it took about a month to complete Jack-Jack’s fire superpower effect.
39. Jack-Jack’s fire power was particularly difficult to design. The team tested out glowing eyes, different sized flames, and even experimented with changing the color of his skin. Unfortunately, he ended up looking like a “red devil baby.”
40. Jack-Jack’s fire effect never includes any smoke or embers because animators wanted to make sure it was clear that Jack-Jack is the source of the fire, he’s not on fire.
41. Animators used reference photos of fire sources that burn without looking like they’re on fire, like barbecue fire starter cubes.
42. Jack-Jack’s new goo power — when he turns into a a sticky, gummy, honey-like substance — was something animators wanted to include in the first film, but the technology just wasn’t there yet.
43. The goo power had to go through several designs to make sure it didn’t look “too disgusting.”
44. Helen’s Elasticycle went through multiple designs — some looked more like a car, some were minimalist designs that she wore like a costume, others toyed with the idea of her body becoming the structure of the bike.
45. Designers used other sports — water sports, snow sports, and skateboarding — as inspiration for how Helen could use the Elasticycle once it split.
46. The character Voyd is based on Bird’s dog, who “only had two settings: In your face, love me, love me, love me, love me, LOVE ME! And when you finally said, ‘Get off!’ it became, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry!’”
47. Brad Bird always told creators that The Incredibles is about mixing “the super and the mundane,” which is what makes it so funny and compelling — i.e. when Helen is going on a high-speed motorcycle chase, it’s interrupted by Dash calling her because he can’t find something in the house.
48. The Incredible family’s superpowers are based on their archetypal roles within the family. According to Bird, “Men are always expected to be strong, so I had Bob have super strength. Mothers are always pulled in a million different directions, so I had [Helen] be elastic. Teenagers are insecure and defensive, so I had Violet have force-fields and invisibility. Ten-year-olds are energy balls that can’t be stopped. And babies are unknown — maybe they have no powers, maybe they have all powers, we don’t know.”