In a world where superheroes are no longer allowed to save the day, there is one family that stands out above the rest—despite their best efforts.
Produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures, Incredibles 2 catches up with the Parr family as they try to save the future of supers everywhere. Bob, Helen, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack (who is developing some rather unique powers) all return for the action-packed sequel—which just so happens to take place in an incredible Midcentury Modern home.
Back to the Beginning
According to Production Designer Ralph Eggleston, Incredibles 2 is set in the early 1960s—but not past ‘62.
“It’s still that netherworld of The Incredibles—the world that Director Brad Bird always imagined that these characters lived in,” says Ralph. “Brad grew up in the ‘50s and many superheroes—no pun intended—took flight in the ‘40s and ‘50s, so this is the world within which he believed these characters would best exist.”
“We had an aesthetic outline given that it is a sequel, but since it’s been 14 years we wanted to take advantage of all the new tools and technology,” he says. “We didn’t want to shock the audience with the change, so at the beginning of the film you’ll notice that we actually—and I don’t mean this in a negative way, I mean that we did it intentionally—we kind of dumbed down the new animation because we wanted the beginning of this film to look more like the original film.”
Ralph and his team then found strategic points in the opening action scene to introduce the advances in animation, doing so in such a way that the audience still has a cohesive experience.
Meet the House
In the original film, the Parr family lives in a 1,500 square foot Eichler-inspired home—complete with a soaring roofline and cameos by what appears to be a Haywood Wakefield dining set and a Jens Quistgaard ice bucket. Unfortunately, their home meets an untimely demise thanks to their nemesis Syndrome. As a result, Incredibles 2 starts with the Parrs living in a one-room interstate motel for the months that separate the two films.
Thankfully, our intrepid super family doesn’t find themselves there for long, as a new job opportunity for Elastigirl moves them to what Ralph refers to as, “a James Bond house on steroids.”
“The house is a character in the film,” says Ralph, noting that the action takes place not only in and around the house but underneath, in the pool and even via secret entrances and exits.
So what makes this mod house so incredible?
Aside from sporting yet another enviable roofline, the house is brimming with midcentury details: Terrazzo floors, stone fireplaces, clerestory windows, a sunken living area, built-ins, a floating staircase—even starburst light fixtures.
“We wanted the house to be seen but also somewhat hidden in nature. If you look behind the house there is a giant waterfall and it runs through almost every room in the house,” says Ralph. Taking the use of natural materials to a whole new level, the water runs into and through their house before flowing down and underneath to a stream below.
“The floors will open up to create different streams of water as it runs down and through the house, and again, that is such a wonderful feature to see but it becomes problematic,” he says.
One of Ralph’s favorite features of the house, aside from the Parr’s master bedroom, is the den. Thanks to the magic of Disney the den’s ceiling is actually the bottom of the pool, allowing for views of the people swimming above.
“Look, who would have kids in this house, right? Jack-Jack’s room has a fireplace! It wasn’t designed for kids,” he says. “We had a lot of fun making fun of the kinds of things you would or wouldn’t put into a family home, and you’ll see how it comes into play. Even Bob—he keeps running into steps that he can’t remember were there or a step that moves, and then he’s got little bruises on his shin and he’s always stepping into water that he didn’t think was there. It’s really, really funny.”
According to Ralph, the house is as much of a character as anyone in the family, and a big part of its role is to be uncomfortable for the Parrs. Despite their secret identities as the Incredibles, they are a humble superhero family—something they learn through the course of the film thanks in part to the house.
“The house is something they could imagine themselves wanting, but by the end of the film realize, ‘its not us’. It’s a lot of fun,” says Ralph. “I think it’s a vital character in the film and I’m really proud of the work everyone did.”
Incredibles 2 opens in theaters everywhere today, June 15th!
But Wait—There’s More!
Keep an eye on the Atomic Ranch Instagram and Facebook for even more Incredibles 2-related Midcentury Modern goodness. Hint: It may involve a trip outside of our offices!