Fourteen years ago, the world was introduced to Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack. We laughed along with the Parr family as they faced superhero challenges and took part in crime-fighting escapades. The ending of the movie had everyone cheering on the superheroes yet saddened by the fact that it was illegal for them to continue to help people. There was so much fodder for another movie, so it was only natural that Disney Pixar would create the next part of the story, hence Incredibles 2, coming out in theaters on June 15!
Last week, I was invited to attend the press junket in Hollywood for both Incredibles 2 and the short that appears before it, Bao. An adorable and heartwarming story of a dumpling come to life, Bao hits moms and kids alike with the realization that kids grow up but the bond of mother and child will always be there.
Directed by Domee Shi and produced by Becky Neiman, Bao showcases Chinese culture in a way no one expects. It may be my favorite Pixar short ever, and is based somewhat on Domee’s mom and her experiences making dumplings for her family. Domee and Becky shared the back story of the creation of Bao, along with some behind-the-scenes storyboards. We also learned Domee’s mom was in the audience!
We took a food break — a Chinese buffet, of course, full of colorful authentic food that fit perfectly with the morning’s theme.
Sustenance for the next part of the day, photo opps with Edna and making my own short Incredibles video, then the junket!
The celebrities who attended the press junket were:
- Craig T. Nelson (“Bob Parr / Mr. Incredible”)
- Holly Hunter (“Helen Parr / Elastigirl”)
- Samuel L. Jackson (“Lucius Best / Frozone”)
- Bob Odenkirk (“Winston Deavor”)
- Catherine Keener (“Evelyn Deavor”)
- Sophia Bush (“Voyd”)
- Sarah Vowell (“Violet Parr”)
- Huck Milner (“Dash Parr”)
- Director Brad Bird
- Producer Nicole Grindle
- Producer John Walker
Right out of the gate, the moderator asked Brad Bird about the decision to start the movie immediately following the first Incredibles, as though no time was spent at all. Brad’s answer was basically: the Simpsons did it when I worked on it for eight seasons, so why not? If the characters had aged, it would have affected more of their powers and story so moving right along without taking into account the literal time that had passed.
Huck Milner, aka Dash, was a show stealer during the junket. His huge smile, his wit and his interjected one-liners were hilarious! He first saw the Incredibles when he was five, and even back then, his favorite character was Dash. Little did he know then what would lie ahead for him.
One thing that stood out during this junket was the fun amongst all the cast members — I see it a lot during interviews, but for it to happen during an animated movie, where they often aren’t even in the same room together until the premiere, was pretty amazing. There was so much humorous sarcasm, from Craig T. Nelson’s “resentment” about not being able to be saving lives like in the first movie. (“Bob” instead is taking care of the family, the most important job of all.) The entire interview could have taken place without any audience questions and we’d still have had so much to write about!
Sophia made a fun unintentional joke about how she enjoyed seeing the process all come together but when she was in the booth saying her lines, she would be yelling into a void, wondering if she was doing it right. The funny part there? Her character in the movie is named Voyd!
Samuel L. Jackson has quite a poker face when he’s not speaking. My friend and I were sitting in front in his line of vision and we both happened to get this shot.
Then just a few minutes later, this one!
Catherine Keener’s smile is beautiful. She’s very sweet in her obvious love for the project, and she was excited to have gotten to know the rest of the cast that she hadn’t worked with yet, to see all their uniqueness from beginning to end.
Holly was on the far end but her smile stood out as she shared that while she knows Incredibles 2 is a kids movie, it’s also not a kids movie. The adults out there love it as much as the kids, and Brad also joked that many adults had to make excuses or make things up because they want to come see it alone. I’m with them both — it is for kids, but it’s equally funny and enjoyable as an adult.
There’s so much more I could share, but instead, I’ll end it by saying that you need to go see the movie when it comes out. I’ll have a review post up on Friday morning, so be sure to check back then!
Have you watched the trailer yet? I guarantee, once you watch it once, you’re going to be hooked!