“Every movie is its own creature, and each one needs its own care and feeding, as you discover over the course of making it”. These are the words of Incredibles 2 director Brad Bird in the introduction of The Art of Incredibles 2 and across a series of intricate sketches, storyboards and art, what really strikes you is the character of it all. Bird indeed has fed and cared for this living creature very well indeed.
People have been waiting for Incredibles 2 since the end of The Incredibles and in July here in the UK (thanks World Cup), we finally get to see the result of 14 years of waiting! However, this new superbly set out and very stylish looking (perhaps Edna had a hand in its design) art book for Pixar’s blockbusting sequel acts in many ways as a huge teaser. Massive spoilers are kept low, for instance the identity of the film’s mysterious villain The Screenslaver is not spoiled across these pages (although it was for this reviewer due to one Twitter twit…thanks world cup), although there are details pertaining to some chase/fight scenes and character developments within, so do be warned if you are wanting to go in fresh as a newly washed super suit.
The – largely pictorial (this is an art book after all) – insight into the film’s development is the priority here and you have a collection of creative and exciting sketches to behold. Some of the storyboards look thrilling on paper alone and promise many exciting moments in store for viewers when they are transferred to screen. Plus the collection of aspects cherry picked from this world, give you a real sense of what is to come, from the impressive architectural factors of the Parr family home to the costume design for the supers, this book shows the amount of thought and detail that goes into this and every Pixar production (or most animated films in general for that matter).
Interview excerpts from Bird, story artists, supervisors, set designers and more, punctuate the lovely imagery at select times and what we draw from all these insights is, going back to our opening statement, character. It is a great sign that most of the decisions taken and directions explored were all done on the grounds of what was right for the characters and the audience’s feelings towards them. This book provides further hope (after some rave reviews) that the wait has been worth it, for it provides us with a clear impression of just how much care has been taken in bringing these beloved characters and this, well, incredible, world back to the big screen.
Yes, some elements are most certainly missing for fear of spoiling things for any readers and perhaps more fun facts (Pixar films are full of Easter eggs) or character bios/art could have been here but for the sake of those waiting to see the film, perhaps it is wiser – like Dash on the sports field at school - to hold back just a little bit. Regardless, this is still a super art book, which leaves you eager to see certain mapped out moments fully realized in the cinema.
Bring on July (thanks world cup).
THE ART OF INCREDIBLES 2 / EDITOR: KAREN PAIK/ PUBLISHER: CHRONICLE BOOKS / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW