It’s been a long 14-year wait for fans of The Incredibles, but Pixar’s superheroic family saga finally returns to cinemas this weekend for Round 2!
For those folks whose geek interests include both superhero tales as well as Pixar’s formidable animated legacy, The Incredibles is among their very fave titles so the arrival of The Incredibles 2 is not without celebratory fanfare. We’re pretty stoked, ourselves, to have the Parr family back for more, and we got to thinking that we’d like to dedicate this week’s Friday Five to them – and that’s when we remembered. Because the folks at Pixar do love to add very, very subtle nods to their other films in the background from time to time, we thought we’d round up the places where The Incredibles have appeared in the Pixar-verse; see, they haven’t been “gone” quite as long as you thought!:
Did something about this shot featuring a boy reading a comic, in the dentist’s office belonging to the pint-size terror Darla’s uncle, strike you as familiar? It should, because that’s totally Daddy Parr himself, Mr. Incredible gracing the cover! (Why he’s on the back cover is a good question; okay, so the kid’s reading something else, but we’re sure that his next issue of Mr. Incredible is waiting for him at home when he finishes his homework. If he’s not sulking after that dental check up that is. Yeesh.)
Okay, gotta say this one is pretty fantastic: In the romantic interlude between Linguini and Colette, as they stroll past Notre Dame cathedral, they pass that most Parisian of street performer tropes, a mime. Only that’s no ordinary mime… that’s totally BOMB VOYAGE, you guys! The explosive-happy burglar – who Mr. Incredible has to let slip in order to save his fanboy and future nemesis Buddy at the beginning of the first Incredibles flick – seemingly retires to his native land to lay low and do his Marcel Marceau thing in between big scores. Sneaky.
And actually, there’s a second reference in Ratatouille though you really have to train your eyes to catch it – though once you do, you’ve gotta wonder why Linguini walked right past old Bomb Voyage. (Okay, clearly he’s in love… that’s the explanation.) But anyway, when the young chef is desperately trying to find a place for Remy the Rat to hide? Yeah, he’s not thinking it through clearly, but for a second we get a glimpse of his boxer shorts… and you guessed it, those are Incredibles logos! He’s a FAN, guys! (Or at the very least, a fan of colorful underwear.)
So, you would definitely be forgiven for completely missing this one the first (or second, or third) time around, not only because of the melancholy emotion of the scene itself, but also because the lighting in general is so darn dark at this moment in WALL-E. We had to bump up the levels on this pic a bit! But when our eponymous droid hero is overlooking his junk haul at the end of his day early in the film, if you look very closely in his little storage cubbies, there’s a paint-stripped and worn bobblehead of none other than The Incredibles‘ adopted uncle #1, Frozone. That toy’s messed up, but the body language is there!
Toy Story 3
If we’re totally honest, we’re not sure this one is an intentional reference or just a significant coinky-dink, but bear with us: In Toy Story 3, now-teenage kid protagonist Andy has a very busy teenage boy’s room jammed with posters on all four walls. It’s an extraordinary amount of detail and if you’re focused on Woody, Buzz and their pals you might not notice, but Pixar fans zeroed in on this poster high up exclaiming “Robot Attack!” – and how much, in some ways, it resembles the Omnidroid from The Incredibles. We definitely see it in the arms, but not so much so in the head and body. Hmm. Thoughts, fellow geeks?
Well, to cap off our list, there’s absolutely no way to deny this here direct shout-out – it’s spelled right out for you! For as Lightning McQueen and Mater roll down the highway at dusk in Cars 2, at one point they pass by a brightly lit retro sign for the Radiator Springs Drive-In movie theater. And what’s the feature flick this fine desert evening? Why, The Incredimobiles of course. Brilliant. It almost makes you long for The Incredibles to return the favor, if not in the current sequel maybe in a future one? There could be a marquee showing a documentary about the family… called PARRS. Thank you, we’ll be here all week!