Revisiting the Parrs: the timelessness, relevance of 'Incredibles 2'
MANILA, Philippines – Good things come to those who wait, and for Incredibles fans, it’s been a long 14 years.
Pixar is finally releasing a sequel to the much-loved animated movie, and it will start right where the first one left off – with the Parr family shooting off to defeat The Underminer after Dash’s track meet.
It’s an exciting moment for fans, but also for the artists who worked on the first movie all those years ago. Just ask Pixar’s Shading Art Director Bryn Imagire, who worked on both films.
“It made me so happy!” she said about working on revisiting The Incredibles world.
“Because I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to work on this movie and I really liked going back into The Incredibles world because I love the design aesthetic, very modern, very clean lines. And I also liked being with the family and being with the characters again because it’s like seeing my family after I haven’t seen them for a long time.”
Fourteen years and still 'timeless’
Bryn joined PIxar Animation Studios in 1996 and has worked on movies like A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Coco, and Up. As a shading art director, she works on getting the overall look of the film right by playing around with the colors and textures of characters, sets, and objects.
In many ways, nothing has changed in The Incredibles’ world. Visually, it still exudes a clean ‘50s vibe, and when it comes to the narrative, each of the Parr family members still possess the relatable personalities we fell in love with, and Supers are still illegal.
Still, the movie doesn’t necessarily feel like it’s set in the ‘50s or even like the first one was made 14 years ago, even though Pixar’s artists took a research trip to Palm Springs to study the area’s mid-century modern aesthetic.
“[Writer and director Brad Bird] has always been – on Incredibles movies – we use mid-century as an inspiration and a design aesthetic, but we can always do things that are present day, we can always pull from something that is from the past,” said Bryn on pulling off the look.
“I think that… when you touch on different parts of time, you can really make a film feel timeless in a way, and I think that’s what’s interesting about the first Incredibles – and now this one – that it can feel timeless.”
A family movie in ‘mean-spirited times'
In real life, though, a lot has changed, not just in terms of technology, but also politically and socially. Pixar couldn’t have seen the future when they made the first Incredibles in 2004, but it set the perfect stage for a much-needed heartwarming 2018 sequel.
“I think that we live in such an interesting, funny, kind of sort of mean-spirited times right now, that I think that a family movie where, although they’re superheroes and they have this very public super-life, the family, when they are at home together, that they are still a family and they’re very close-knit and they have each other. I think those qualities are very important at this time,” Bryn said.
In Incredibles 2, Helen is tasked with superhero duties in order to convince politicians to make Supers legal again.
Meanwhile, her husband Bob takes over the reins at home – taking care of their 3 kids, making sure their fancy new house doesn’t fall apart – a role that takes some getting used to after years of saving the world and later being the family’s primary breadwinner.
Between Helen and Edna Mode’s fabulous life as a career woman, Incredibles 2 also manages to talk about women’s role in society without being in-your-face about it.
It’s an aspect of the film that resonated with Bryn: “I admire all those qualities of being a female and having to juggle all those different aspects of career and home life. I also like how E is a female character also but she doesn’t have a family and just devotes her entire life to creativity and I also think that’s very interesting.”
Incredibles 2 opens in Philippine cinemas on Thursday, June 14. – Rappler.com