There was something magical about the overall aesthetic of that first Incredibles film. It definitely seemed like a nod to decades past in the U.S., but it was much more than that. This world — in addition to having corded phones — had tech that would make James Bond foam at the mouth. Given that Incredibles 2 literally picks up where that first film left off, you’d expect there’d be a consistency in the tech logic, and rest assured, there is.
But what exactly were they going for here? LRM had a chance to attend a press day at Pixar studios, and during the press conference, writer-director Brad Bird discussed the aesthetic and tech logic of the film, saying:
“I would say that the movie has a late-fifties/early-sixties aesthetic, and that we’ve tried to stay with that. It is a strange world. It doesn’t adhere strictly to the sixties. So we have … In the first movie, we had an iPad before there were iPads. In fact, I think Apple owes me on that one.
“So we have gadgets that are futuristic gadgets, but for instance, in this movie we don’t have portable phones. In some aspects of this story, it would have made things easier if we’d had cellphones and in other aspects it would have made things harder, because you’re always going, ‘Well, why don’t you just pick up your phone?’ And that gets to be boring story-wise, too. ‘Oh, let me stop and check.’ You know? You’d have a movie with all these fantastic characters basically going, ‘Hmmm.’ You know? And so it’s always been this blend of sixties futurism, the way a Bond film is or Johnny Quest or something like that. So that part of it has always been influenced by spy movies.”
I love me some old-school futurism. As someone who grew up on films like the Rocketeer, that whole idea of a romanticized future always resonates with me at my core. I do love hearing the overall in-world logic behind it, though, and it’s very clear just how important creating this world is to Bird.