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.
Want to learn more about the home that did make it into Incredibles 2? Click here!
Back to the Drawing Board
Despite being a jaw-dropping wonder, this house wasn’t the original setting for the Parr’s triumphal return to the silver screen.
Given their previous home’s fiery end (it was destroyed by their nemesis, Syndrome), the Parr family definitely needed a new home. Incredibles 2 Production Designer Ralph Eggleston and his team of animators and artists were tasked with its creation.
“We had a bunch of crazy ideas and I kept saying, ‘It needs to be bigger! It needs to be bigger! Wouldn’t it be great if it could be bigger?” Yet Director Brad Bird was concerned about the challenge of staging intimate moments between the characters in large spaces. So Ralph and his team met in the middle, creating a smaller-scale home that was still bigger than the original film’s 1,500 square foot Eichler-inspired design. The result was a 2,300 square foot midcentury home.
The entire house was designed—with building and texturing completed and lighting animation underway—when Brad had to consolidate a number of sequences. He came back around to the idea of a bigger house, so Ralph and his team threw out the house they had spent nine months crafting. The catch? They had just three and a half weeks.
“Implementing in production meant working in production, or in other words, we would focus on what part of the house would be in the sequences filming next,” says Ralph. “We couldn’t design the whole house at once, with this one we had to work in production order. It’s very difficult to do—believe me.” Despite the time crunch, the team was able to implement their original ideas alongside new ones, creating a dream-worthy Midcentury Modern house for the Incredibles.
Where did Ralph and his team gather the inspiration needed to create not one, but two dramatic pieces of Midcentury Modern architecture? They went straight to the source and dove in on the magical world of midcentury design.
According to Ralph, they looked at a lot of Ezra Stoller’s photography of midcentury architecture. Ezra’s work helped inspire how they would approach the actual filming as well as how to stage things in the home. “A lot of his photography is about big and medium, dark and light—and not a lot of stuff in the middle. That was how we approached the design of the film.”
The iconic Sunnylands Estate in Palm Springs, California afforded plenty of ideas for how a sprawling home can also host intimate areas—necessary for a movie depicting a super tight-knit family. Ralph and his team also tackled this problem by creating moving elements in the house. By the push of a button, a room can transform from being able to host 10 guests to hundreds. Even James Mason’s precipice house in North by Northwest lent itself for inspiration.
Despite creating and scrapping an entire house, the end result is an incredible home that Ralph refers to as, “a James Bond house on steroids.” Will suit our super family? You’ll have to catch the movie to find out!