The Art of Incredibles 2 Is Really Incredible (book review)

It’s been 14 years.

Fourteen years without a sequel to the fan favorite film The Incredibles.  But Director Brad Bird and his team have been working hard at finding just the right story to tell that would make for a film worthy of being called The Incredibles 2.  And if the artwork and story glimpses from the new book, The Art of the Incredibles 2, is testimony enough, they have done a great job.

The striking cover to the new book – The Art of The Incredibles 2

Title: The Art of The Incredibles 2
Author: Karen Paik, editor
Cost: $40.00 (at Amazon.com for $25.47)
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Ages: 18 & up
Genre: Non-fiction, Art

Karen Paik put together the amazing art and stories about how the film was developed inside the covers of this beautiful book.  The cover itself is brilliant but simple with the now familiar Incredibles 2 logo (designed by Brad Bird himself).  But it’s the content in the middle that will excite you.  Without giving too much away, Karen put together pieces that highlight the wonderful world the Parr family lives in – a 50’s / 60’s modern retro style environment.

The Parr House, shown here from far away, has much more detail in the book. Kyle Mcnaughton digital; Philip Metschan previs

Going through the book is viewing world building in progress.  There are sections on characters, environments, and even vehicles.  For the characters, there are some great stories about how our favorite family of superheroes continued to grow and the direction the team wanted them to head toward.  There isn’t as much about Violet and Dash, but a lot about Bob, Helen, and Jack Jack.  Great storyboards in each section give you a hint of what’s to come without giving too much away.  There are a ton of new characters – a new villain in Screenslaver, some Wannabe Supers (who seem like they might be bad guys?), the Underminer (looks like a tribute to the Fantastic Four’s first villain), and even a group of International Supers.  I’m sure after the movie is released, I’ll go back with appreciation on these pictures in a new light.

The Happy Platter has a very familiar address to those who know it – 1313 S. Harbor Blvd.

The environment and vehicle sections give lots of great detail about style, influence, set design, and even the layout of the Parr family’s new home. But maybe my favorite was spotting a tiny detail in the menu for The Happy Platter.  It’s the address for Disneyland!  The vehicles are amazing.  As a kid, these were the kinds of things I would dream about making and they are coming to life in this film.  It was nostalgic and fun to look at how they designed each one like the Hydroliner, a luxury liner that is also a hydrofoil; the Underminer’s drill; and Elastigirl’s Elasticycle and how they adapted it specifically for her superpowers.

There’s even a section on outtakes!  Ideas the team had that either got morphed into something new or abandoned as the story developed.  It was fun to see the way things might have gone. This is a fun book with lots of great artwork and detail.  A must for any Incredibles fan.  And the nice part is you can buy it now before the movie comes out without any major spoilers!

Thanks to the folks at Chronicle Books for giving me a copy to review!

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