While at Pixar Animation Studio for the early Incredibles 2 Press Day we attended a presentation titled “YOU…HAVE…POWERS!!”. It was all about Jack-Jack’s powers and the challenges that came along with creating those powers from the Effects team. Participants included Supervising Animator Tony Fucile, Effects Supervisor Bill Watral and Effects Artist Jason Johnston.
If you saw the Jack Jack Attack short at the end of Pixar’s Incredibles (2004) than you already knew some of what was to come of Jack-Jack’s powers in Incredibles 2 and it’s no big surprise to anyone that Jack-Jack is a major scene stealer of the film. Now, imagine being one of the artists and feeling that kind of pressure, I mean how do you follow-up something that good?
Below are ten highlights from the “YOU…HAVE…POWERS!!’ presentation. I hope you enjoy reading them as much I enjoyed hearing them. Listening to these talented artist share their challenges, surprises and successes while creating Jack-Jack and his powers was fascinating.
1. The noises/voice you hear Jack-Jack make in both films is actual recordings of Tony Fucile’s one year old son, who is now sixteen.He and his wife followed him around one day after his nap to get all of his silly sounds on tape for the studio to use. It worked out so well, that he now wishes he would have recorded even more.
2. The Parr family is created of basic shapes. Tony Fucile drew the basic shaped heads for us and explained, “We had broken the characters down and I wanted to remind myself of the original characters. It was basically shapes – the shape of each of the characters heads and how they look. Arc, square, circle, heart, basically each person in the family and secondary shapes for each that would make up their hairstyles.” – Tony
3. Keeping Jack-Jack chubby was important. They worked with real babies to perfect his size and movements. They also used a three inch high sculpture of Jack-Jack to help create his look.
4. The artist decided to completely redesign the animation of Jack-Jack’s fire effect because Jack-Jack’s role while on-fire is bigger in Incredibles 2 and he has a lot more screen time. Also, because technology has advanced so much that they really can do a lot more.
5. There was a LOT of test animation drawn to get the perfect look of the fire. One of the things they had to remember while working was that Jack-Jack is the source of the fire, he is not on-fire. Which means no smoke or embers. The audience needs to see Jack-Jack, his face and what he is doing through the fire.
6. A new fire simulation was used to create the flames and colors. The animation you see in the film is several layers on-top of Jack-Jack to give the animators full control of the effects.
7. Director Brad Bird was involved in every step and insisted on keeping Jack-Jack’s glowing eyes while using the fire effect.
8. How many powers does Jack-Jack Have? He has 6 or 7 powers at least, pyrokinesis, laser vision, multiplication, levitation to name a few.
9. It was important to create Jack-Jack’s powers to be funny and not scary or creepy. Which did limit things.
10. Where there any powers that didn’t make it to the film?
Yes, in the first film he turns to metal and that’s not in the squeal. The effects team also worked on Jack-Jack turning into a goo-like substance but it didn’t fit the look of the film.
So many of Jack-Jack’s powers are used during this hilarious raccoon fight sequence. If you have not seen the film as of yet, you are going to love this scene.
Incredibles 2 is now playing theaters! I hope you will go see it. It’s a great film and fun for the whole family.
In “Incredibles 2,” Bob navigates life at home with the Parr kids while Helen leads a campaign to bring back Supers. But when baby Jack-Jack shows some surprising changes – including the appearance of a few unexpected super powers—Bob finds that it’s challenging to keep up (and awake), even for Mr. Incredible.
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You can also read my previous blog posts about my day at Pixar Animated Studios for the Incredibles 2 Press Event by clicking here.
Disclosure: I was provided with travel, food and lodging in exchange for my coverage. All opinions expressed are still honest and my own. Some photos and images were provided by Disney/Pixar.