It's time to dig out those super suits and hit the theater. This summer, the Parr family returns in The Incredibles 2, 14 years after the original film premiered in theaters and took the world by storm. Although the new movie seems as if it were a long time in the making, it will pick up where the first movie left off, although the Parrs have to deal with a few new changes. Elastigirl has gone back to work as a superhero, leaving Mr. Incredible home to raise the children and become Mr. Mom. Hilarity and villainy are sure to ensue.
The first movie received a lot of praise from fans and critics alike. It won two Academy Awards and became the first animated film to ever win the Hugo Award for Dramatic Presentation. The sequel has some big shoes to fill, but the Parr family have entertained fans before, and they are certain to entertain fans again as The Incredibles 2 tears into theaters.
For those who haven't seen the new movie - or those who want to relive the original - there are still a lot of facts that fans might not know about The Incredibles and the making of the first movie.
Here are 20 Things You Didn’t Know About The Incredibles.
20 The Incredibles is based on a true story
It might not seem like it, but the story behind The Incredibles took inspiration from real life. That doesn't mean that the movie's creator, Brad Bird, has a family of superheroes, but if you look beyond the super powers and fighting villains, the Parr family feels like a real family unit: they are more than just animated characters. This is because Bird took inspiration from his real life when he created the story of The Incredibles.
"Consciously, this was just a funny movie about superheroes," Bird said in the book To Infinity and Beoynd!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios. "But I think that what was going on in my life definitely filtered into the movie."
That makes sense because most film writers probably unconsciously filter themselves into their movies, even if they don't realize it. It works, because that's what makes the Parrs feel so real.
Take the father, for example: he is a superhero at heart, but he must work a job in insurance to pay the bills. He can't be what he really wants to be. When Bird originally conceived the film, he was in a similar state: all he really wanted to do was animation. Fortunately, in the end, things worked out.
19 The original title was The Invincibles
During the course of making a movie, many things about that movie changes. Sometimes it's the story that gets tweaked. Sometimes it's the setting. Sometimes it's something as huge as the plot. At other times, it's just little things.
One of the hardest things about a movie isn't the making of the movie itself, though. Sometimes the hardest thing is just deciding on a title. And in the case of The Incredibles, the title had to serve as the name of the Parr family's superhero name as a group. Interestingly enough, though, they were not always The Incredibles.
In the book 1000 Facts About Animated Films, there are a few interesting facts about The Incredibles. One of those facts is that The Incredibles were almost called The Invincibles.
What's even more interesting, though, is that the codename for the movie (the names that studios call movies when they don't want anyone to know what they're working on) was simply Tights.
The Incredibles certainly seems to work better than The Invincibles or Tights, so it's a good thing that the studio decided to change the name early on. But the early title does beg a question: is the Parr family actually invincible?
18 Frozone can’t use his powers when he’s dehydrated
Here is a fact that some fans will get - at least those who watched The Incredibles movie very carefully and paid attention to little details - Frozone can't turn his powers on and off at will. He's not like Iceman in that regard.
Frozone needs one thing when using his incredible freezing powers: water.
That means if his body lacks water, his powers don't work. So if Frozone gets dehydrated, he is basically powerless. This is actually in the film, when there is a building burning down in Metroville, and Frozone and Bob show up on the scene to save people. Although most would expect Frozone to use his powers, he tells Bob that he can't because he's dehydrated. Instead, the two men work together to help evacuate the building and save all of those people inside.
This is why it's important for Frozone to drink lots of water: it isn't just for his health. It's also for his powers. And he needs to keep those powers turned up to max at all times in Metroville, where villains roam free. Because what's a superhero without his powers - and his super suit, but that's on Frozone's wife, isn't it?
17 Metroville is a combination of Metropolis and Smallville
Welcome to Metroville, the home of the Parr family, otherwise known as The Incredibles. This fictional city presumably resides somewhere in the U.S. and was once the home to many superheroes before the city forced them into retirement. It then became a quiet little city, free of villains and superheroes battling it out on the city streets and destroying public property and endangering lives. Of course, the superheroes still live there, but they adapted to quieter lives, sort of like the Parrs. As any fan of The Incredibles knows, though, things didn't stay quiet in Metroville forever because villains never like to live by the rules.
Think about the name of the city, though: Metroville. If it seems somehow familiar, it is.
The city's name comes from two famous cities known to comic book fans - especially Superman fans.
The first city is Metropolis, the city that is known for one of the most popular superheroes of all time: Superman. But before Superman was a superhero, he was Clark Kent and he lived in Smallville. This is where the "ville" part of Metroville comes into play.
It's likely that Bird wanted to honor a favorite superhero, Superman, in some way with his own superhero film. Mission accomplished.
16 Lily Tomlin was the first choice for Edna Mode, but the director took the role
"No capes!" Every fan of The Incredibles will always hear those two words in the infamous voice of Edna Mode, the fashion designer of Metroville who is responsible for designing almost all the superhero wear of that city. And although not everyone realizes it, her voice is actually that of Brad Bird, the film's creator and director. But before Bird took over the role, there were other actresses interested in it. Pixar reached out to several, including comedian Lily Tomlin.
Tomlin gained her claim to fame on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In, but also has a score of theatre roles under her belt, as well as movies. She created some of the most iconic sketch comedy characters of all time on Laugh-In, including the condescending telephone operator Ernestine, the five-year-old Edith Anne, and the prudish Mrs. Earborne.
One might think this would make Tomlin the perfect voice for Edna Mode, which is why Pixar approached her about it.
After Brad Bird recorded early "temp" tracks for the character, Tomlin heard them and insisted that he was the only person who was right for the role.
She was right. Bird turned Edna Mode into one of the most quoted characters in animation history.
15 The villain was based on the director
It's no secret that many animators model their characters from real people. Sometimes, they actually bring in models or study voice actors' features to get characters to look just a certain way. This guarantees that those characters will come across well onscreen. Sometimes, it is pretty obvious when animators do this, although sometimes, the person who a character gets based on is completely clueless until later.
This was the case with Brad Bird. The schedule and deadlines for getting The Incredibles to theaters on time meant that animators had to work some long hours under Bird. The animators decided to take it out on him in the only way they knew how.
Let's look at Syndrome: the villain has very distinctive physical features. He also looks nothing like his voice actor Jason Lee. If you look at a photo of Bird and then look at Syndrome, you start to see the similarities: Syndrome is almost a caricature of Bird.
This was intentional, although Bird had no idea that his animators planned it. In an NPR segment called Not My Job, Bird answered a question about it: "Yeah, but of course, with me being an idiot, I didn't notice this until it was well into production," he said. "I don't think I look like that, but everybody was sort of snickering behind my back."
14 The voice of Dash had to run laps while recording
Meet Dash Parr, the younger brother of Violet and the older brother of Jack-Jack. Dash is always on the go, but that's probably because he has powers that are similar to the Flash: he can run at incredible speeds. He can run so fast that he can even run on top of water, as seen in The Incredibles.
In the first movie, Dash's voice actor was a 10-year-old boy named Spencer Fox. Considering that Dash is always running around, he's often out of breath. Brad Bird wanted it to sound authentic, so the story is that he made Fox run laps around the studio to capture that particular quality. Fans can't deny that it sounds good in the film.
Unfortunately, Dash had to get a new voice actor with The Incredibles 2, because Fox went through puberty and his voice got a lot lower. That's what happens when a studio waits 14 years to make a sequel that features child actors. However, the new Dash actor, Huckleberry "Huck" Milner sounds a lot like Fox, so fans will have to wonder if he, too, had to run laps around the studio to get that classic Dash out of breath quality.
Fox is now a guitarist in an indie banned called Charly Bliss.
13 The 14-year gap between the first movie and its sequel is the longest in Disney/Pixar history
When it comes to sequels, the general rule of thumb is that you want to get the sequel out as soon as possible, because moviegoers are fickle and have a tendency to forget about franchises if you make them wait a long time for them. That being the case, though, it has been 14 years since the first movie hit the screens. And it's just now that we're getting a sequel in The Incredibles 2.
That is an incredibly long wait, and it actually set a record for Pixar films. It's the longest time between an original film and its sequel in Pixar's history.
It doesn't seem like The Incredibles have lost any fans in that amount of time.
In fact, it seems like fans are even more excited about the sequel than ever.
The good news is that it seems that the sequel, in spite of the gap, is true to the original movie, which is something fans might concern themselves with. It also seems like a good idea that the sequel actually picks up right where the first movie left off, in spite of the gap in real world time. Most fans will agree that this is a sequel that was worth waiting for.
12 It was the first Pixar movie with humans main characters
Humans are one of the hardest things to animate. That means that it costs a lot more to make digitally animated movies about humans than making animated movies about animals. This would explain why The Incredibles is the first Pixar movie to focus almost entirely on human beings.
Bird acknowledged the difficulty of making such a movie: "We had a story that was bigger and more complicated than anything. It was longer [121 minutes], it had four times the number of locations and all of the characters were humans, and that’s considered the hardest thing to do," he said in an interview with Awn. "And they change their costumes and they age and their bodies change. And they have hair and hair under water and hair blowing through the wind… It’s just insanity."
But he and his team managed despite the difficulty.
"We got it done within the same kinds of parameters of all the other Pixar films, with 10 times the resources," Bird said in the interview with Awn. "We kept it within the ballpark budget of the others by building stuff specifically to camera. You adhere to a plan so you can stretch every little cent to its furthest."
11 The character powers are based on their personalities
This probably isn't a huge secret to anyone who has watched The Incredibles more than once, but for those who might not realize it, each character in the world of the movie has powers related to their personality.
Think about it: Helen, aka Elastigirl, is one of the most flexible people in the film, and that's not referring to her superpower of being super bendy and stretchy. She's a mother who juggles handling all of her household duties while taking care of children and keeping them safe and protected. Then there's Mr. Incredible, aka Bob, who is the breadwinner of the family (although that changes in The Incredibles 2), the strong and brave head of the family, who has super strength.
As far as the children go, Violet is the teenager, which makes sense, because all she really wants is for everyone to leave her alone: she has powers of invisibility. Dash is her younger brother, who talks really fast and has the attention span of a gnat. Iit only makes sense that his power is super speed.
Finally, there is Jack-Jack, the youngest Parr, whose powers are not quite known yet, because he is still a toddler: a world of possibilities is still open to him.
10 The first Pixar movie rated above G
When one thinks of Disney and Pixar, one usually thinks of G-rated movies, solely intended for young children. But then Pixar broke the mold with The Incredibles, which became the first Pixar movie to receive a PG rating.
With many Disney and Pixar movies, there are some jokes and lines that go completely over kids' heads, but that are meant for the adults watching the movies with them.
In The Incredibles, there are a few things that seemed more mature than a typical G-rated movie. For example, Helen worries about Bob having an affair. Syndrome mentions something about getting busy in a line about Helen and Bob. Helen and Bob constantly indulge in PDA.
There are also some scenes of fighting in the film, although nothing gets too bloody. There is even a scene where Mr. Incredible saves a man from taking his own life. It is a superhero movie, after all, so some violence is necessary.
Finally, to top everything off, Edna Mode is a chain smoker. She always has a cigarette dangling from her fingertips. There are even a few alcohol references in the movie.
All of these things might seem innocuous by themselves, but when combined, they are why The Incredibles got a PG rating.
9 There is a Die Hard reference in the first movie
Pixar movies have a lot of little references that will probably go over kids' heads but that adults will love. This includes Easter eggs to other and even more mature movies that parents are all too familiar with. The Incredibles does this in one scene by referencing one of the Die Hard movies, Die Hard with a Vengeance.
Why does this reference even exist? It's because Samuel L. Jackson is in both movies.
In Die Hard with a Vengeance, Jackson played Zeus Carver, a shop owner who saves John McClane (Bruce Willis) from one of the bombs planted by the evil Simon (Jeremy Irons). There is a scene in The Incredibles where the police ask Frozone to freeze that is nearly identical to a similar scene in Die Hard with a Vengeance.
In The Incredibles, Frozone has a gun pointed at him, but explains that he just needs to get a drink of water and moves slowly towards the water fountain (he needs water for his powers). In Die Hard with a Vengeance, the scene is almost the same, except that Zeus is slowly explaining that he needs to answer a pay phone that rings. The similarities between these scenes is intentional.
8 It forced Fantastic Four to change to compete
The making of an animated movie like The Incredibles should not impact the making of any other movie, specifically a live-action film. But The Incredibles actually affected the making of the 2005 Fantastic Four movie that starred Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Michael Chiklis and Julian McMahon.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Cinescope reported that the CGI of The Incredibles was so good, particularly with the way that Elastigirl bent, stretched and moved, that it put pressure on the Fantastic Four filmmaking team to make their CGI equally as good. Fantastic Four especially needed its final battle scene to look better because it was ridiculous that an animated movie would outdo it.
That change ended up costing Fox an additional $20 million just on extra special effects.
They probably should have just asked Bird to help them do it better on a budget.
Reports also suggest that there were changes made to the Fantastic Four script, too, to separate it from The Incredibles. In the end, though, moviegoing audiences embraced The Incredibles far more than they embraced the Fantastic Four. The Incredibles fans waited 14 years for a sequel, while Fantastic Four limped to a finish with Rise of the Silver Surfer.
7 The Ratatouille connection
Metroville is full of villains. You've got the big name villains, such as Syndrome, but there are also a lot of more small-time villains, such as Bomb Voyage, who is a recurring villain throughout Mr. Incredible's time as a superhero.
Bomb Voyage was a mime-faced Frenchman who taunted Mr. Incredible every chance he could get. He eventually escaped the clutches of Mr. Incredible, though, and disappeared into oblivion.
Or did he? Because Bomb Voyage also appears in a later Pixar movie, Ratatouille.
It seems that his days of villainy are over and he decided on a career as a street mime in Paris.
As Ratatouille takes place 15 years after his last meeting with Mr. Incredible, Bomb Voyage looks older and a lot worse for the wear: he appears in Ratatouille as a balding pot-bellied man.
Although Bomb Voyage's name comes from a funny take on the French phrase, Bon Voyage, he originally had the moniker of Bomb Perignon, as a take on the famous champagne. However, the real Dom Perignon's owner, Moet and Chandon, would not agree to let Pixar use the Perignon name in the movie. So Bomb Perignon became Bomb Voyage. Either way, it's still funny.
6 The inspiration behind Edna Mode
One of the most iconic characters in The Incredibles that isn't a member of the Parr family is Edna Mode, the fashion designer most known for her abhorrence of superheroes who wear capes. Her certain type of style, voice, and attitude has everyone trying to guess exactly who her inspiration was, and there are a lot of theories about that.
Some believe that Edna is based on a real life fashion designer named Edith Head, who went on to work on some of the biggest movies during Hollywood's golden age, including The Emperor Waltz (which earned her an Academy Award nomination). Edna look a lot like Head, after all. There's also actress Linda Hunt, though, who also resembles Edna. Some speculate that the character is based on Vogue editor Anna Wintour, which is entirely believable. Others think that Edna is actually actress Lotte Lenya. There is even talk that she is based on fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi.
The Incredibles 2 will probably increase the speculation behind Edna's signature style and behavior.
So who is it? The team behind The Incredibles won't say. All that they offer is that they love the attitude that comes with the big glasses and flamboyant personality.
5 Two stars went on to live-action superhero movies
One of the best parts of The Incredibles for adults is the voice acting of Samuel L. Jackson behind Frozone. Not just anyone could portray a character like that, after all. A lot of that had to do with Bird insisting that Jackson was just so cool that the film had to have him.
Samuel L. Jackson is more than just the Snakes on a Plane guy. He went on to star in the Marvel universe as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury. That makes Jackson an official part of the Marvel cinematic universe. He will next appear in a Marvel movie with Captain Marvel, where he will reprise a younger version of Fury.
Jackson isn't the only one who went on to become part of a superhero universe. The voice of Helen Parr, aka Elastigirl, Holly Hunter also became part of comic book-inspired world. She went on to portray Senator Finch in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Sure, she already had a lot of acting credits under her belt before taking on Elastigirl, but it's her role in the superhero movies that fans will remember her for most.
These two Incredibles actors went on to become part of their own superhero dynasties.
4 The movie is not inspired by Ayn Rand
For some bizarre reason, there are a lot of folks who believe that The Incredibles takes inspiration of Ayn Rand, and there are those who have even gone so far as to call it Ayn Rand propaganda.
Yes, there are people who think an animated movie is propaganda for a specific political agenda outlined in a series of fictional novels. One movie critic even called it "a barely disguised libertarian parable about the natural superiority of some individuals over others."
There is just one problem with these accusations: they simply are not true. Brad Bird isn't a libertarian.
Whenever asked about the similarities of his work to Rand, Bird refers to them as "ridiculous."
Not only that, but anyone who follows his Twitter feed can see that he has more centrist political ideas. Although some people like to see political ideas where they don't actually exist, there are still those who believe that Bird is a huge Rand fan and that every one of his movies includes her libertarian ideas.
The truth is that they don't. Yes, Bird's movies are creative, and yes, The Incredibles is one of his most creative works. But in no way does it have anything to do with Rand.
3 DC already had a character called Elasti-Girl
Helen Parr is one of the main characters of The Incredibles. She is not just a super mom, though. She is also a superhero known as Elasti-girl, and she takes on an even bigger role in The Incredibles 2. In fact, part of the new movie's plot revolves around her going back to work as a superhero and Bob staying home to raise the kids.
Believe it or not, there is another Elasti-Girl - notice the hyphen in the name. That Elasti-Girl actually belongs to DC comics (which some might call Disney/Pixar's rival as the Disney also owns Marvel). That Elasti-Girl has an alterego named Rita Farr. Yes, it's very close to Disney's Elastigirl's last name.
Like the Pixar version, DC's Elasti-Girl can expand and stretch her body.
Considering how similar the characters are, it's kind of surprising that no one seems bothered by it, especially when DC's character dates back to 1963, long before Bird ever had the idea for The Incredibles.
So what gives? Why isn't DC Comics throwing a fit? DC gave Pixar the rights to use that name, but only for the movie. That's why merchandising for Helen always has her listed as Mrs. Incredible.
2 It's the only Pixar movie without the Pizza Planet truck
In Toy Story, there is a restaurant known as Pizza Planet. It features predominantly throughout the movie. That restaurant also delivers and has a signature yellow truck that gets seen a lot in the Toy Story movies.
That truck appears in a lot of other Pixar movies, too. In fact, it's one of those Easter eggs that most fans can count on in a new Pixar movie. Up until The Incredibles came out in theaters, the truck appeared in every single movie Pixar made after Toy Story. Yet, for some reason, it's missing from The Incredibles, making that movie the first one without the delivery truck.
The omission of the vehicle wasn't completely deliberate, however.
"Oh, is that right?” Bird said to The Huffington Post when asked about it. “I don’t know. I was busy making the movie. I didn’t think about the Pizza Planet, so I would not be surprised if it was not in there and I would not be surprised if somebody got it in there when they were building the sets."
Turns out that someone did not build it into the set, and so the Pizza Planet truck does not appear anywhere in The Incredibles.
1 Brad Bird was originally told the first movie was too expensive to make
It was a long road bringing the first movie to the big screen. Bird first thought up the idea for The Incredibles 12 years before it ever came to fruition. It didn't even come up at Pixar until the year 2000. Even then, there were some big obstacles to get across to make the movie feasible.
In an interview, Bird talked about the long and arduous process of bringing the movie to life. For example, bringing humans to life in animation is way more difficult than animating animals.
"We were told at the beginning of it by some people here that it was an unmakable movie," he told IGN. "Just way too complicated, too many characters, too many costume changes, too many effects, too many locations, too many sets. If we had done the humans the way Pixar had done them prior to this, it would have taken four years just to build the characters."
Fortunately, Bird and his team started to think outside the box to make the movie happen: "So we had to invent a whole new way to build them. We were told it would take ten years and cost a gazillion dollars by people here who are very smart."
Do you have any The Incredibles trivia to share? Leave it in the comments!