The first INCREDIBLES film came out on November 5th, 2004. I loved it. My two year old son loved it. I think everyone loved it. It was family friendly and still amazing enough to watch often over the last 14 years. I think everyone was surprised and delighted when they found out that Incredibles 2 was coming out. But why did it take so long? We got the chance to sit down with creator and director of INCREDIBLES and INCREDIBLES 2, Brad Bird, and executive producers Nicole Paradis Grindle and John Walker.
We asked Brad immediately why it took him so long to make another and he answered with,
“For me, it was, not intentional. I just didn’t think it was the greatest idea, creatively, to follow up a successful film with its sequel. I think that you want to take time, you want to think about it, you want to enjoy the process. For me, I was always thinking about it in the back of my mind but I had other things that were more at the forefront. The more I chewed on it, the more I thought, ‘Oh yeah, that’d be cool.’ And then suddenly it was 15 years later or something and I went, ‘Holy crap! I better get going on something!’ It’s not intentional and it’s not calculated in anyway. It probably would have been smarter if it were a cash grab to do it a lot sooner but I was just mulling on it and it finally seemed like the right thing to do. I didn’t want to wait any longer because clearly it was too long.”
It was too long Brad but we forgive you because we know that Incredibles 2 is going to be even better than the first one. And we found out that it was actually not that hard to step back into the Incredibles mindset because its animation. The characters aren’t going to age like real life characters. And Brad said he like those characters and they are comfortable to him so he was happy to get back into it. With animation they were able to start minutes after the old movie ended. They did have to recast the roles of Dash Parr and Rick Dicker. Bud Luckey, who voiced Rick Dicker, had sadly passed before Incredibles 2 so they had to basically start over for him. They ended up finding Jonathan Banks from Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul. And they found Huck Milner from New York which is the same place they found the original voice of Dash, Spencer Fox who had gotten too old to play the part.
And of course technology since then has changed a ton. Producer John Walker told us that “the thing that changed the most from the first to the second film here was (people talk about the technology, and the technology’s definitely improved and that makes a big difference) the level of artistry and competence of the people that work here is just off the charts. I mean it’s stunning to watch. It’s completely different from when we were here before.”
So like always, we asked about their favorite scene in the movie and Brad surprised me with his answer. Not because I dont think men know that they get stereotyped in movies but because I didn’t think a director would touch on it.
“Yeah. I have the worse soundbite because at any given moment I can love any part of the movie. It’s all stuff that I love. I love action scenes. I think that I enjoy putting Helen through action scenes just because her power’s uniquely suited to a certain approach to action scenes, which is fun. I loved dealing with Bob kinda having his self-esteem undercut a little bit by not being the first choice, which he’s never dealt with in his life before. And that just made me giggle while I was writing it.
Because, you know, there is a part of men that always assumes that we’re the best ones for the job. And there’s something funny about that. There’s something — it’s fun to poke a hole in that. And, you know, it’s like men hate not — asking directions. And it’s just a thing. It’s a primal thing that goes back to the beginning of time. And we’re deathly afraid of looking like we don’t know what we’re doing. And I think that because of that, because it’s deep in our DNA, it’s just right for comedy.”
My husband takes the child rearing role when I am not home and he does fantastic but I know many men who aren’t up to the challenge so I think its funny that they show that in this movie. Its just something that you don’t see often in films. And when asked about if the recent thing in the news of women demanding more influenced his decision to make Helen a strong woman he said, “No. I mean, the Incredibles had its strong women characters 15 years ago or whenever it was. And, I grew up with three sisters and a mom who was a strong person. I’m married to a strong woman. So, that’s always felt just sort of normal to me.” And it should be normal.
With all the superhero movies out now we asked what makes Incredibles 2 different and Brad told us that when Incredibles was first introduced there werent many superhero movies but now there are scads and scads. But he said,
“We always felt like what makes our film unique is that it’s about a family. And the roles — their superpowers were based on iconic roles of men and women and children in the family. You know, the dad is always expected to be strong. The mom is always stretched in a million directions. Teenagers are defensive and insecure. So, she has force fields and invisibility. Ten-year-olds are energy balls that just, you know, can’t not be on — eleven or off, that’s what they are [laughs]. And babies are unknowns. They could have no powers at all, or they could be the next leader, you know, of the free world or whatever. So where they were in the family was how we chose their powers. That was a unique approach, because it was more about stages of your life.”
I never ever thought about it like that. That is so clever on such a high level. I was amazed. Like my mouth was probably hanging wide open at the interview.
“And I think one of the reasons we’ve been successful is that everyone connects with at least two of the characters, and that’s because we’ve all been teenagers. We’ve all been children. Many of us have kids, and so we’ve dealt with little babies, which are really challenging to keep up with. And teenagers, which are, you know, also a handful in a completely different way. So, and we’ve had parents that seem kinda clueless at moments and the dad that maybe speaks before he really knows what he’s talkin’ about. And, you know, the mom that manages everything. That’s where our strength lies, and that’s what makes us different. If we thought about it in those terms, it became a lot easier to make our film.”
That is so true. We have all had those moments. I love Brad Bird even more now after that amazing answer. And I already loved him because he is the voice of Edna Mode. He really put so much thought and effort into this film. And so did John Walker and Nicole Grindle. Amazing team that I hope gets to work together many more times because from the 30 minutes I got to see of Incredibles 2 already it is going to become the best movie this year.
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 Parrs 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. Written and directed by Brad Bird (“Iron Giant,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) and produced by John Walker (“The Incredibles,” “Tomorrowland”) and Nicole Grindle (“Sanjay’s Super Team” short, “Toy Story 3” associate producer), Disney•Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” busts into theaters on June 15, 2018.
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