Interview with Incredibles 2 Director, Brad Bird

May 11th, 2018Interview with Incredibles 2 Director, Brad Bird

Brad Bird In 2004, AMC audiences were introduced to The Parrs, a typical family with super power tendencies. Fans fell in love with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl and their children Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. The Incredibles were a breath of fresh air from animation juggernaut Pixar, and simply put, a HIT at the box-office. Over time, fans grew eager for a sequel, but writer-director Brad Bird waited for the perfect time to add to this super story. Lucky for us all, the wait is finally over. Today, Incredibles 2 tickets go on sale and on June 15 The Parrs will be back where they belong, on the big screen at AMC Theatres.

We recently sat down with Incredibles creator Brad Bird to chat about the new movie and we quickly learned that he’s passionate about three things, 1) The Parrs, and 2) the art of storytelling and 3) animation. Here’s Brad Bird in his own words.

AMC Theatres: Fans really wanted a sequel from this movie. But with a 14 year gap, why is now the right time to revisit this dynamic family?

Brad Bird: Now is the right time because later would be too late {he said with a chuckle}. I think it has been a long time, but what I like is that nobody twisted my arm to do it. It was clear that fans wanted another chapter of The Incredibles but they were able to wait until I had something worth doing.

AMC Theatres: The young audience that saw the original movie are older now which means you’re introducing this superhero family to a new audience. How do you think the new audience will connect with the Parrs?

Brad Bird: The strength of the film hasn’t been the superhero part, it’s been the family part and how the movie puts a different slant on the superhero genre. I think one of the strengths of the original concept is that at any given point in your life you can connect to several different characters in the movie. For those of us who are parents, we know what it’s like to have a little baby who is developing their own powers, and how they are always slightly out of control. We’ve all been 10 years old and had enormous energy, or 14 years old and felt insecure and want to be invisible. Men know what it’s like for people to expect you to be powerful and women know what it’s like to be pulled in 1,000 directions at once. So in any moment, anyone can connect with one of more members of this family. I think for us, that’s our mother-load but also where we tend to have the most fun.

AMC Theatres: When developing new characters, what is your writing and animation process like?

Brad Bird: There is no one approach. It changes all of the time. Sometimes the story needs a certain kind of personality to come in to intervene and change things. It needs someone to effect the characters in this way and you build it from there. Sometimes you switch the nature of the character, the nationality, the sex, the age, and shift into another because you see there is an advantage to it. There is no one way it happens, characters happen in a million different ways.

AMC Theatres: What are some of the ideas for the film that didn’t stick?

Brad Bird: Oh there are way too many to talk about. If you pick any film I’ve made and ask that question, you would have the longest answer on this film because I wrote so many things we did not end up using. When you have that release date looming in front of you, you have to decide things very quickly. If something is really interesting but it doesn’t start helping the story you are telling, you have to cut it off quick.

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AMC Theatres: The superpowers the parents have, connects to traditional family roles. The mom, Helen is flexible, the dad and Mr. Incredible is strong. With the mom playing a different role in the family now, and without giving spoilers, what can fans expect to see with this shift in the family dynamic?

Brad Bird: Well without being nasty about it, Bob always assumes he is the best choice for any super assignment. In his own mind it’s not arrogant, he just has supreme confidence in himself. And he assumes everyone else does too. He assumes he would be the first choice. So when he’s not, he’s not sure how to deal with it. Helen who has sublimated her super side for a while, finds that side suddenly blooming again. And very quickly clicking back to professional mindset. And she kind of likes it. It was an interesting shift of those characters and it was an idea I had since the first film.

AMC Theatres: You’ve worked on numerous Pixars films. What is about Pixar and animation period that keeps you coming back to it?

Brad Bird: Hm, what draws me back to animation? Well, I think it’s just an amazing medium because it’s more about how things feel and less about how things are. If it’s done artfully it becomes amazingly potent and powerful. Bad animated features are probably the hardest thing to watch but a good animated feature stays fresh better than almost anything in film. If you look at Disney’s original 101 Dalmatians and compare it with any other movie made in 1961 one of them will look old and it won’t be 101 Dalmatians. So if you choose well it’s delightful 24 times every second and if you choose badly it’s painful 24 times a second. If it’s good it can rise to the very top of what’s possible in movies.

AMC Theatres: What is your best piece of advice for someone wanting a career in animation?

Brad Bird: I would encourage people to learn how to draw. Drawing is a very useful way to express what’s in your mind. It’s incredibly helpful whether or not you end up doing hand drawn or computer animation. I’d also encourage people to study all art and pour it into animation rather than just looking at animation. I think too many people that want to animate only look at animation. Any form of art can feed the medium of animation. And animation benefits every time someone pulls something from outside of animation and brings it into animation.

AMC Theatres: Ok, back to Incredibles 2. What is the best way to see the movie?

Brad Bird: The best way to see Incredibles 2 is at an AMC Theatres in IMAX theatre or a Dolby theatre. Either one of those will give you a superior cinematic experience. We are working very hard to make the film look great and both formats are the best way to see this movie.

You heard it right from Brad. The best way to see Incredibles 2 is at AMC Theatres in either IMAX or Dolby Cinema. You can get your tickets to see Incredibles 2 at AMC Theatres which opens June 15.