If you have ever seen an animated movie and thought that not that much goes into it then you are so so wrong. I had no idea how many people and how many hours went into animation. This past month we went to San Francisco to visit our favorite superhero family, the Parrs. After 14 years Incredibles 2 is finally coming out (June 15th) and we got to meet some the awesome minds behind the movie. They have to make sure everything is set up right down to the way the clothes on the characters swish correctly.
Deanna Marsigliese, a character artist for Pixar, met us for our NO CAPES presentation. I thought she was a park actress at first because she was in period dress but she just likes to dress that way. Daily. That is commitment and she pulls it off. She looked absolutely fabulous. She has a whole wardrobe full of mid-century pieces, which is one of the reasons she believes she was brought on to the Incredibles 2 team. The Incredibles world is heavily inspired by mid-century aesthetics and since Incredibles 2 takes up minutes after the last one left off it has the same aesthetic. And the main characters aren’t the only ones who have to be clothed. The background characters have to compliment the scenes around them and the main characters. And they wanted to keep that iconic 50’s feel on them.
The Pixar team developed a new process to refit clothes on animated characters. For the background men, they created 12 unique garments and six different body types. Adding variations in patterns and colors totaled 72 uniquely costumed male characters. When it comes to the women, they made 20 unique garments and seven body types. Changing color and hair variations, they came up with 64 uniquely costumed characters.
Inspirations for the Parr Family
- Bob Parr – Bob Newman, business man and family man.
- Helen Parr – Mary Tyler Moore, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. Fabulous women who are career minded and also strong. Elastigirl’s new costume had to be inconspicuous because of supers being illegal so its now darker colors so she can blend in the shadows more.
- Violet – She seems rebellious so 1950s design did not feel right when clothing her. The team looked at the newer 1960’s instead for her. Keds, cuffed jeans, and sweaters.
- Dash – Brad Bird loved that Dash is just a normal kid and only wears T-shirts and jeans which meant they saved money and time by making one t-shirt and shading it a bunch of different colors and patterns. Fun Fact: They always kept the Incredibles colors in his shirts– yellow, orange, and red. Look back at the movie and check out his tshirts to see!
- Jack-Jack – Actually, whenever Bob is home alone with him, he is just in a diaper. You will only see Jack-Jack dressed when Helen is home. Sounds a lot like when my kids are home with my husband.
But Edna Mode was a bit different this time around. With Edna, her head is a oval and her body is a triangle. Brad Bird (the director and also the voice of Edna) mentioned that E is German and Japanese so the team started looking at Japanese designers. So Shading Art Director Bryn Imagire looked at nature like flowers, mushrooms, animals, snakeskin and also at abstract things like metal. She felt that Edna would reuse discarded things.
Evelyn Deaver is a new character that is introduced in this film. Her look was inspired by Diane Keaton, Annie Lenox, and Gloria Anderson. Brad Bird wanted her to feel bohemian and smart. Evelyn is a designer who works a lot and is very rich. It was important that she felt relaxed with her own style. Inspiration for her clothing also came from Patty Smith. Bryn noticed that when Patty wore a masculine shirt it made out of gauzy material or had a dainty print. This seems to be her way of blurring gender lines and stepping in to a man’s world. They also dressed her in a lot of neutral tones.
Fran Kalal is the Tailoring Lead and she told us that tailoring’s job is to, “Take what we know about art and fashion to make the outfits and what we know about math and science to make them move.” So basically they have to make sure the fabric moves like the right kind of fabric. The designers have to start from scratch. Bryn and Deanna provided the shading artist with photographs and even a physical sample of what they were looking for when possible. Then that team would start by building a 3D sculpture of the costume in their software. They would then use that to generate two versions. One version would show the model how to move and not be visible – the other to be visible and show colors. They showed us pictures of the versions and it was pretty cool. Then the program is told whether the fabric is light or heavy like cotton or velvet. And they can even make it shiny or not shiny in different spots. That is called color instruction.
Another thing they worked on was hair. Every character had a different hair style but with the program they could apply the background characters with different hair styles. Different colors as well. You would not believe how much thought goes into it. They have so many different combos. And there was a newly developed new hair tool made specifically for Incredibles 2. They had a whole team that had to make sure that Helen’s hair did what it was supposed to in each shot. Because we all know that hair is not going to be perfectly in place when you are saving the world!
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 superpowers 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.