Earlier this year I had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pixar Animation Studios in San Francisco and to listen to presentations by a number of the set and action animators from the upcoming movie Incredibles 2! It’s hard to describe how amazing these presentations were and how they left my mind reeling so I won’t try.
Instead, here are some fun insights into the new movie to look out for when you go see Incredibles 2 in theaters June 15th that I learned from the animation presentations! And if you ever have the chance to listen to a Pixar presentation, do it. You’ll never look at a Pixar animated film the same way again.
So print out these Incredibles coloring pages, read this post, and get ready for one super ride! And I promise, no spoilers! Not until the movie comes out in June at least!
8 Insider Secrets About Incredibles 2
#1 – The Movie Picks Up Where Incredibles Left Off
Unlike many animated sequels, Incredibles 2 picks up with our superheroes right where Incredibles left off. The film will be set in the same mid-century setting where superheroes are still banned.
#2 – The Incredibles Have a New Home
While still in the same town, The Incredibles family is moving into a new home in Incredibles 2. The new home plays a big role in the film’s plot (I won’t spoil it) and is pretty much amazing. They designed the new film using inspiration from Frank Wright Lloyd homes, homes in Palm Springs, James Monroe’s home in North to Northwest, and more. It brings the outside in and uses organic plants and water throughout the home.
During our interviews with the Pixar animators for the film, they revealed that they actually designed a new, much smaller (about 2300 square foot) home for this Incredible family that was actually totally scrapped late in the animation process to fit a new plot point.
Since the Pixar team tries to never waste their work, the old house makes an appearance in the film anyway! I’ll be on the lookout to find out where this fun Easter egg appears in the film.
#3 – One Main Goal of the Movie is to Prove Supers Are Necessary
In the first Incredibles, superheroes were banned. In the sequel the writers and animators main purpose was to make sure that everything added up to one goal – showing why supers are essential and need to be brought back.
As the Pixar team was creating the movie, they specifically made decisions to make sure everything supported that storyline – supers were necessary.
We had the chance to listen to the team behind some of the Elastigirl action scenes and everything from the way they ended the scene to how they designed Elastigirl’s new bike was done in a way that only Elastigirl (or another super) could have that ability. They stop the train with Elastigirl using her body to slow down the train, she saves the passengers on the train using an ability only she can have, and her new Elastibike works in a way that makes sense with her abilities.
#4 – There is Way More to a Pixar Set Than I Ever Imagined
I wish I could put you in the room with me as I listened to the animation teams explain the process for creating a Pixar film. My mind was pretty much blown as I realized how much goes into the animation of a set.
This is a very short version of what goes into an animated set but hopefully can help you understand how much work goes into a film.
It all starts with a pre-visualization process where a team creates a rough draft of a scene so that everyone has something to use for visualization as they move forward.
After that a modeling team builds all of the 3d shapes for the scene by hand with clay. We had the chance to see some of these models during our Pixar archives tour and the details are incredible.
After the modeling is done, a team dresses the set where they basically arrange things in a room, what I think of as a set stylist. They also fine tune shots to make sure things are arranged and put in place that makes sense.
Once the styling is put in place, a shading team adds color, texture, and lighting to the different sets. Then next a group of extremely talented people create set extensions which basically extends skies, cities, and more to add background and depth to the shots. In Incredibles 2, they decided to go with a 3D city rather than the flat city you see in most animated shots, just another example of why this movie is so advanced in animation!
The final part of the team are the sets tech team member who supervise everything, clean things up, and trim shot by shot to make sure only the right shots are on the final screen. Kind of like a clean-up crew who make the final shots beautiful!
#5 – Incredibles 2 Balances the Mundane with the Super
Another key component of the film is balancing the super with the mundane. As the animation team put it, there should never be too long in the film that feels like mundane everyday life without an element of super in it and there should never be too much super without a moment of mundane. You can see this even in the trailer below where Helen calls Bob at home while she’s on her job as a super!
Watch when you see the movie for the first time to see how well the animation and story teams balanced these two worlds. It’s a huge component of the film and pretty amazing to see these two storylines combined throughout.
#6 – Elastigirl’s Elasticycle is As Realistic as Possible
One of the main goals for the team creating Helen’s Elasticycle was to make sure that it seemed realistic to anyone who has ever ridden a motorcycle before. They studied all sorts of riding techniques, water sports, and more to make sure that all of the movements were polished and believeable, or as believeable as a superhero’s mode of transportation can be!
#7 – The Two Incredibles are Similar Yet Different
Because of technology improvements and changes since Incredibles was released years ago, the two movies will actually look very different while maintaining a similar feel to the first film. The characters look a bit different (especially their hair thanks to the hair tool I talked about in this post on Incredibles 2 costume design), the animation is a bit different, and even the crashes look a little different thanks to brand new animation tools designed for this film!
#8 – The Pizza Planet Truck (Easter Egg) is In Period Design
One little spoiler alert – the pizza planet truck that has appeared in all of the Pixar films is going to be set in mid-century design. See if you can find it in the film along with any of Easter eggs the Pixar team placed in this movie!
About Incredibles 2
In Incredibles 2, Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell), Dash (voice of Huck Milner) and baby Jack-Jack—whose super powers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Incredibles don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.
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Incredibles 2 opens in theaters everywhere on June 15th!