The Incredibles 2 Rotten Tomatoes score is in as the sequel opens this week.
Reviews for The Incredibles 2 are trickling in with its Rotten Tomatoes score presently at 97%.
38 of the reviews are Fresh, with only 1 being positive; the audience ratings will be in once the movie opens this weekend.
The first movie back in 2004 finished with a 97% as well, and 75% of the audience stated they liked it. The Incredibles also brought in over $633 million worldwide.
The Incredibles 2 is projected to rake in $140 million for its own opening weekend.
Villains. Whatâs a hero to do?
As âThe Incrediblesâ adventure came to an edge-of-your-seat finale, Syndrome was foiledâthanks to baby Jack-Jack and an ill-advised capeâand his jet exploded into a firey ball, destroying the Parr family home. But the family was more bonded than ever; Violet showed off her new-found confidence, and Dash discovered that second place would do just fine. It seemed like a happily-ever-after ending until someone called the Underminer declared âwar on peace and happiness.â
Nearly a decade and a half later, fans will learn the fate of the Underminer when âIncredibles 2â opens in U.S. theaters on June 15. When âThe Incrediblesâ first burst onto the big screen, Mr. Incredibleâs super strength and Elastigirlâs stretchy flexibility wowed audiences around the globeâthe film grossed more than $633 million worldwide, earning an OscarÂź for best animated film. But according to writer/director Brad Bird, it wasnât the charactersâ powersâor the villainsâthat fueled the filmâs success. âI realized that the crime-fighting aspect of the story didnât interest me nearly as much as the whole family dynamic,â he says. âI think that people see themselves in these characters and thatâs why they fell for them the way they did. âThe Incrediblesâ and now âIncredibles 2â are really stories about a family.â
Since âThe Incrediblesâ debuted in 2004, the comic-book hero genre has skyrocketed within the film and television industry with major franchises exploding and new heroes emerging every few months. âThe landscape has certainly changed since our last movie,â says Bird. âBut the idea of our hero worrying about getting a job and paying the rent is still compelling. The challenge of juggling everything life throws at youâeven if you have super powersâis still relatable.â
In âIncredibles 2,â Helen is called on to lead a campaign to rebuild the supersâ reputation, while Bob navigates the day-to-day heroics of ânormalâ life at home with Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jackâwhose super powers are about to be discovered by his family. Bird knew for a long time that Helen would step into the spotlight in âIncredibles 2.â âI wanted this to be Helenâs adventure,â he says. âAnd I was intrigued by how Bob would handle that, along with the responsibilities at home.â
âBob isnât a bad dad,â says producer Nicole Paradis Grindle. âHeâs a little over-confident at first. He thinks, âIâm Mr. Incredible, Iâve got this.â But I think any parent can relate to the idea that kids can wear you down. Add to that a toddlerâthey want what they want and they donât like hearing âno.â Jack-Jack is no different, except when he gets mad, he bursts into flames.â
The film introduces a new villain with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. âThis villain is different,â says producer John Walker. âHelen has her work cut out for her to stop a villain who can manipulate people from a distance. And if Helen fails, her mission to bring back supers fails. A lot is at stake.â
According to Bird, the story strives to strike a balance between the adventure and the more ordinary aspects of family life. âItâs a dance between the mundane and the fantastic,â he says. âThatâs what makes the idea work.
âHelen might take a call in the middle of battling the bad guys to help her kid find his shoes,â continues Bird. âOr Violet might use her power of invisibility when she is feeling totally humiliated. Audiences see that and think, âYeah, Iâd do that, too.ââ
Holly Hunter and Craig T. Nelson return as the voices of Helen and Bob Parr, who still struggle to juggle their duties as parents and supers. Sarah Vowell once again provides the voice of the teen-queen of sarcasm Violet, while Huck Milner joins the cast as the voice of 10-year-old Dash, and Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as the voice of Lucius Best â aka Frozone. âIncredibles 2â also features the voices of Brad Bird as fashion visionary Edna âEâ Mode, Bob Odenkirk as savvy business man and super fan Winston Deavor, Catherine Keener as tech pro Evelyn Deavor, Jonathan Banks as Rick Dicker, Sophia Bush as âwannabeâ hero Voyd, and Isabella Rossellini as an influential ambassador and advocate for supers.
Written and directed by Bird (âIron Giant,â âThe Incredibles,â âRatatouilleâ) and produced by Walker (âThe Incredibles,â âTomorrowlandâ) and Grindle (âSanjayâs Super Teamâ short, âToy Story 3â associate producer), âIncredibles 2â is executive produced by John Lasseter. âThe Incrediblesâ was the film that introduced OscarÂź-winning composer Michael Giacchino (âUp,â âTomorrowlandâ) to movie-goers, and he returns to the Incredibles universe to create the score for âIncredibles 2.â
BEHIND THE MASK
Whoâs Who in âIncredibles 2â
Writer/Director Brad Bird looked to his own life when he created the original characters of âThe Incredibles.â âEveryoneâs powers are inspired by their role in the family and where they are in their lives at that time,â says Bird. âWe played with traditional archetypesâthe strong father figure and the multitasking motherâbut in the end, we found that most of us can relate to all of the characters in some way. Weâve all been that impatient 10-year-old or the insecure teenager. Weâve all felt like weâre shouldering an impossible load between home and work or school, and weâve all felt like weâre being pulled in too many directions.â
The idea that the movie is a family film extends beyond the audience it attracts. âWe could say that Helen is driving this story or Bob drove âThe Incredibles,ââ says supervising animator Tony Fucile, who helped design the original characters. âBut I think that the whole familyâthe Incredibles as a unitâis the protagonist in this story.â
âThe Incrediblesâ introduced Pixarâs first wholly human cast of characters. But according to Bird, who established the overall style of the characters with Fucile, Teddy Newton and Lou Romano, they didnât want their humans to look too human. âWe put a lot of energy into simplifying the characters and making them graphic,â says Bird. âThe farther you get from the center of a characterâs face, the less detail there is.â
Though Bird was happy with the end resultâthe technology available at the time did present some limitations. Character art director Matt Nolte says that 14 years of advances have made the looks easier to achieve. âWe went back to the original art and used the technology available to us now to create the looks that were always intended back then.â
âIncredibles 2â welcomes back to the big screen the family of supers that charmed audiences in 2004, as well as old favorites like Lucius Best (aka Frozone) and Edna âEâ Mode. The movie also introduces new characters to its super mixâfrom billionaire do-gooders to wannabe heroesâcreating a dynamic cast of characters brought to life by all-star voice talent.
HELEN PARR, known in the super world as Elastigirl, hung up her supersuit to raise the family with husband Bob, leaving their crime-fighting days behind them. But when sheâs tapped to lead a campaign to bring the supers back into the spotlight, she finds she can still bend, stretch and twist herself into any shape needed to solve the trickiest of mysteries. In short, sheâs still got it. Thatâs good news, too, because a new villain is emergingâunlike any theyâve ever seen before.
âWe treat being a hero as a vocation,â says writer/director Brad Bird. âThe government shuts down the program that protects supers and provides them with housing and jobs. So Helen and Bob are faced with a real-life dilemma. âWhatâs next? How will we pay the bills and provide for our family?â Theyâre just like the rest of us.â
Fortunately, opportunity knocks. Siblings Winston and Evelyn Deavor are huge fans of the supers and are starting a campaign to improve the public image of supers and ultimately bring them back. Says producer John Walker, âEvelyn does a cost benefit analysis and finds that Helen tends to solve crimes with far less damage than Bobâso they choose Helen for the job.â
Adds producer Nicole Paradis Grindle, âHelen has spent the last several years shouldering the household responsibilities while Bob worked office jobs. But she was really good at being a heroâeven if sheâs forgotten that a little over the years. So sheâs pretty excited to be back out there making a difference.â
Holly Hunter returns as the voice of Helen.
BOB PARR cherishes his days as Mr. Incredibleâa popular super with mega-strength and the power to singlehandedly take out the bad guys. Ever since supers were outlawed, Bobâs been mostly lying low, raising the family alongside his wife Helen. But when sheâs called on to stretch her super skills and hopefully change the public perception of supers for the better, Bob must manage the household on his own, which calls for a completely different set of super powers.Â
The idea that Helen is chosen to lead the campaign to bring back supers stings Bob at first. âBob loves being the hero,â says story supervisor Ted Mathot. âBut heâs a bull-in-a-china-shop kind of crime fighter. So while Helen is the better choice in terms of improving the supersâ reputation, Bob is surprised and maybe a little disappointed he didnât get chosen. But he wholeheartedly supports Helen.â
Always a champion of his family, Bob isnât afraid of taking on the duties at home eitherâbut heâs hit with a few surprises along the way. âBob is perfectly capable of taking care of Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack on his own,â says Bird. âBut he has to fail a lot before he can succeedâlike we all do every single day as parents. Failure, however, isnât easy for this particular hero to accept.â
Adding to the challenge of taking on the household responsibilities solo is the fact that Jack-Jackâs super powers are emerging. âBob is really excited to discover that Jack-Jack has powers,â says Walker. âBut with those powers comes a real challenge. Toddlers are hard enough without lasers shooting from their eyes.â
Craig T. Nelson provides the voice of Bob.
VIOLET PARR, the firstborn of the Parr clan, is an introverted and intelligent 14-year-old teen that doesnât quite fit in with the normal crowd. Socially awkward, outspoken and sarcastic, Violet plays her teenager role to perfectionâall while secretly mastering her super powers of invisibility and creating force fields. A super at heart, Violet canât help her urge to fight crime alongside her family.Â
âViolet turned a corner at the end of the first movie,â says producer Nicole Paradis Grindle. âThanks in part to her role in fighting crime with her family, she was beginning to believe in herself. She was wearing her hair off her face and was confident enough to ask her longtime crush, Tony Rydinger, to go to the movies.â
American-history author Sarah Vowell lends her voice to Violet.
DASHIELL PARR is a 10-year-old boyârestless, relentless, curiousâwith the remarkable power of super speed. Dash sports a hearty sense of adventure and a boundless supply of energy. Heâd love nothing more than to show off his special skills and fight a few bad guys along the wayâand doesnât understand why he has to keep his powers a secret.Â
Says producer John Walker, âDash got a taste of life as a crime fighter in the first film. Returning to regular life doesnât really interest himâhe loved fighting crime with his family and, even better, showing off just how fast he can be.â
Since Spencer Fox, the 22-year-old original voice of Dash, no longer sounds like a 10-year-old, Huckleberry âHuckâ Milner was brought in to voice the middle Parr.
JACK-JACK PARR, the baby of the family, likes to sit back with a bottle and a good story. Well-versed in gibberish with a penchant for throwing food, Jack-Jack seems like a typical toddler, but he just might turn out to be the most powerful Parr in the household. Â
âThe family has no idea he has powers,â says Walker. âAt the end of the first film the audience gets the first glimpse of what Jack-Jack can doâlike bursting into flames and turning into a demon babyâbut the Parrs didnât see that all happening.â
Heâs still 100 percent toddler, too, with a host of needs, wants and ever-changing emotions that keep even the best parent guessing. âAnyone whoâs taken care of a regular baby day in and day out knows that it can be exhausting,â says writer/director Brad Bird. âToddlers have curiousity and mobilityâbut zero judgment. And Jack-Jack isnât just trying out one powerâhe has a multitude of powers going on.â
LUCIUS BEST is not only Bobâs best friend, heâs a fellow-former super whoâs so chill, he can make ice with the point of a finger. But even when heâs not fighting crime as Frozone, Lucius is all about style. He has a quick wit and a cool, can-do attitudeâand he wouldnât think twice about breaking out his supersuit if it could help bring supers out of hiding.
âLucius is the first super to get approached about the new campaign,â says story supervisor Ted Mathot. âHe quickly lets Bob and Helen in on the plan, which he thinks sounds great. Heâs adjusted pretty well to civilian life, butâlike Bobâheâd jump at any opportunity to be a super again.â
Samuel L. Jackson returns as the voice of Lucius in âIncredibles 2.âÂ
EDNA âEâ MODE possesses impeccable design sense, a keen understanding of cutting-edge technology and an unmatched skillset. A creative visionary, she longs for the return of supers so she can once again create functional yet cutting-edge supersuits.
âE takes over every room she enters,â says Bird, who lends his voice to the fan-favorite. âNo matter how big and strong the people around her areâand sheâs often surrounded by supersâher personality just dominates. I think we all summon our inner E during our most confident moments.â
WINSTON DEAVOR and EVELYN DEAVOR lead a world-class telecommunications company. âWinston and Evelynâs parents were big supporters of the supers,â says Brad Bird. âSo when they inherited the company, they continued this support and have decided to take it to the next level, kicking off a campaign to help the supersâ cause.â
Adds producer John Walker, âSince the government just shut down the program that helps supers, the time is right for the Deavors to step in.â
Ultra-wealthy, savvy and suave, Winston goes big in everything he doesâincluding his plan to bring back the supersâall he needs is a hero (or three) to help him change public perception and eventually make them legal again.
His brilliant but laid-back sister and business partner Evelyn knows her way around techâsheâs never met a problem she canât solve. When Helen is recruited to help the Deavors bring back supers, she and Evelyn become fast friendsâexchanging ideas, creating strategies and sharing a lot of laughs along the way. âThey form a sisterhood,â says producer Nicole Paradis Grindle. âThey find they have a lot in commonâtheyâre both strong and smart.â
Bob Odenkirk was called on to voice Winston, while Catherine Keener provides the voice of Evelyn.
RICK DICKER heads up the official super relocation program, helping the Parr family keep their super identities secretâwhich is no easy feat with this family. But Rick takes his job very seriouslyâat least until his division is shuttered, leaving the Parrs all on their own.
âRick Dicker is inspired by the G-Men from classic film,â says Grindle. âHeâs a âgovernment manââone of the feds. But this time, we see a softer, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing side of him.â
Jonathan Banks was cast to provide the voice of Rick Dicker.
THE UNDERMINER is a greedy villain who hopes to tunnel through the city in an effort to steal everyoneâs money from under their noses. Considering the destructive device heâs employed to pull off his missionâitâll take a hero (or five) to stop him.
Repeat Pixar contributor John Ratzenberger lends his voice to the Underminer.
The Supers find an advocate in a dignified foreign AMBASSADOR who is committed to the support and legalization of supers. Filmmakers asked Isabella Rossellini to voice the charismatic and distinguished character.
TONY RYDINGER is a regular guy who happens to be Violetâs classmate and major crush. But just when it looks like they might have a future togetherâor at least a first dateâTony discovers Violetâs super secret. Michael Bird returns to voice Rydinger.
âWANNABEâ SUPERS are a group of second-rate supers who aspire to join the ranks of the Incredibles, Frozone and other popular heroes. They team up with the Deavors to help bring supers back.
- VOYD is a young, overeager mega-fan of Elastigirl. Her super power is the ability to divert and manipulate objects around her by creating voids that allow the objects to appear and disappear. Sophia Bush lends her voice to Voyd.
- BRICK is super tough with mega muscles and a fearless spirit that showcases her strong name.
- REFLUX is a senior who has the unsettling super power of heaving hot lava, which helps him break into some of the most secure locales.
- Itâs mind over matter for KRUSHAUER who has the power of telekinesis. This guy can crush a car without even laying a hand on it.Â
- SCREECH sports big owl-like eyes and a head that rotates 360 degrees. He can fly, thanks to a pair of wings he made to complete his look, but his real power is a high-pitched screech that can break glass.
- HE-LECTRIX can shoot lightning bolts from his fingertips. Heâs high voltage, so itâs best to steer clear.
BACK IN TIME
Filmmakers Return to the Iconic Mid-Century Look of the Original
In 2004, fans not only fell for the characters in âThe Incredibles,â they also soaked up the mid-century world of the film. Since âIncredibles 2â picks up where the first film left off, the look is backâand thanks to advances in technology, itâs even better.
According to writer/director Brad Bird, the nostalgic look is remiscent of a movie genre that sparked his imagination back when the first film was in development. But the genre had nothing to do with comic-book heroes. âI was inspired by spy series and spy movies,â says Bird. âJames Bond, âMission: Impossible,â âThe Man from U.N.C.L.E.,â âOur Man Flint,â as well as a prime-time adventure cartoon called âJonny Quest.â There were a bunch of them in the sixties that had that cool, elegant flavor that we wanted to capture.â
From the architecture to the cars on the streets to the characters themselves, the original film invoked a fifties vibeâwith a contemporary twist and a nod to the future. In shortâit was a style all its own. Says production designer Ralph Eggleston, âWe arenât trying to capture the fifties, but peopleâs memory of the era. Itâs the retro future that never became.â
The team gravitated toward the clean lines celebrated in mid-century architectureâgarnering inspiration from a research trip to Palm Springs. According to Eggleston, itâs all about simplicity. âBrad Birdâs writing of characters and his storytelling skills are such that it allowed us to really caricature the world,â he says. âItâs not about reality. Itâs about believability. And the believability in âThe Incrediblesâ was less the look than the storytelling. Thatâs what was so real. The characters just felt realâeven though Bobâs ankles are about two inches in diameter and he canât fit both shoulders through that doorway at the same time. Itâs heightened reality.â
Since the Parrsâ home was destroyed at the end of âThe Incredibles,â filmmakers knew theyâd need new digs for âIncredibles 2.â Egglestonâs team originally designed a 2,300 square foot house, but the story later called for a much larger state-of-the-art home that the Deavors provide to the Parrs. âThe new house is a cantilevered house built on a precipice outside of the city,â says Eggleston. âInspired by a rocket with influence from a lot of different architects, we wanted a heavily caricatured look.â
According to Eggleston, at about 38,000 square feet of virtual space, the house features multiple rooms and unusual architectural features. âWe want the audience to be in awe, but still believe this is a real place,â says Eggleston. âSo we had to create a layout that would work with what was still an emerging story, which is challenging but really important to establish that believability.â
According to Anthony Christov, art director for environments, the high tech home is a reflection of the Deavorsâ wealth, embracing the futuristic aspects of mid-century modern design. âThe whole house is animated,â he says. âIt isnât a symmetrical design and is completely unpredictable.â
Filmmakers played with a fantastic reality with over-the-top gadgets, water features and a floor that moves like a sliding puzzle. âThereâs a deliberate contrast between this high-tech house and the suburban Parr family that leads to a lot of humor,â says Christov. âThe family isnât very comfortable there, though it takes them a while to realize that.â
Municiberg, which is the Parrsâ hometown, is anytown U.S.A., says Eggleston. It feels familiar, yet has no identifying landmarks that place it anywhere specific. âMuniciberg has grown since the first film,â he says, âat least in terms of background cars and characters and the costumes those characters are wearing. Our approach to these things has evolved over the years, so weâre able to do so much more.â
According to Eggleston, even though âIncredibles 2â takes place at the same time as the original, the team expanded the look to embrace styles introduced in the early 1960s. âThe original film embraced the mid-fifties,â he says, âbut we wanted to incorporate elements of the late fifties, early sixties. Itâs not specific, but it feels right.â
Baby Jack-Jack Calls for Big Effects
While the Parrs havenât yet discovered Jack-Jackâs super potential, the audience is privy to several of the toddlerâs powersâsome revealed high in the sky at the end of âThe Incredibles,â some shared in the 2005 short âJack-Jack Attackâ in which the tot inadvertently terrorizes his babysitter, and others were recently unveiled in a trailer for âIncredibles 2.â Even more will be discovered in theaters this summer.
Among Jack-Jackâs powers, so far:
- Bursting into flames/Pyrokinesis
- Laser vision
- Levitation and the ability to hang out on the ceiling and walls
- Multiplication â splitting into multiple Jack-Jacks
- Phasing â moving through closed doors
- Projecting bolts of electricity
- Transforming into heavy metal or goo
- Turning into a demon baby
According to effects supervisor Bill Watral, many of Jack-Jackâs powers are effects driven. But achieving the actual effects wasnât the toughest task the team had to address. âOne of our biggest challenges with Jack-Jack was maintaining the look of the babyâwhether heâs turning to goo or on fire,â says Watral. âNobody wants to see a burning baby, for instance, so we spent a lot of time making sure he was always appealing.â
Technological advances over the years allowed Watral and his team to enhance the characterâs look within effects like flames. âReading Jack-Jackâs face was really important,â he says. âWe created a shading treatment so that his facial expressions were clear: âIâm on fire but thatâs OK! This is fun!â We never want anyone to forget that this is a baby with powers. The effect should never outshine the humor, which is a lot harder to do than a big explosion.â