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How "The Incredibles" Came To Life
THE INCREDIBLES was born in the imagination of director Brad Bird, a filmmaker who wanted to make a motion picture that would capture everything he'd always loved about the movies: grand adventure, unconventional families, inventive thrills, cutting-edge imagery, sharp humor and characters so compelling and true-to-life you can't help but become involved in their emotional and moral dilemmas. The hitch was that Bird wanted to do all this in an animated feature that would raise the art form to the next level of dramatic achievement. Could it be done? Bird believed passionately that it was possible.

At the time that Bird came up with the story of THE INCREDIBLES he was also a brand new father—with dizzying thoughts about how a person integrates their family life with their personal dreams. This led to the creation in Bird's mind of a father—indeed, a superhero father—who is forced to give up his passion—in this case saving the world—for the good of his family, much to his chagrin.

Thus was born Bob Parr, formerly Mr. Incredible, whose family long ago entered the Superhero Relocation Program and are living typical foible-filled suburban lives—until a mysterious communiqué gives Bob a chance to rescue the planet, and his own sense of self-worth, one more time.

As Bird began to write the story of THE INCREDIBLES, he realized that two very different ideas were coming together as one: he was writing the wildly imaginative spy adventure he'd always wanted to see; but, he was also writing a drama about the ties that bind us and how the greatest superpower of all might simply be the power of a family. Ultimately, Bird began to view the Parrs as being pretty much like the rest of us—facing the daily grind of bosses, traffic and minor misunderstandings that get blown out of proportion—but just a little more incredible.

"At its heart, I saw THE INCREDIBLES as a story about a family learning to balance their individual lives with their love for one another,” says Bird. "It's also a comedy about superheroes discovering their more ordinary human side. As I wrote, I wanted to create a world filled with pop culture references— with spy movie gadgets and comic book super powers and outrageous evil villains using ingenious devices—but at the same time, to create a story within that world that is very much about family. I really poured everything in my heart into the story. All these personal things—about being a husband, being a father, the idea of getting older, the importance of family, what work means and what it feels like to think you're losing the things that you love—all of these are tucked into this one big story.”

At the same time that Bird hoped to push the technical limits of animation, he also hoped to push the form's storytelling potential to a new edge. "To a certain degree, I was inspired most by the classic Disney animated films like ‘Lady and the Tramp' which have such indelible characters that they've stood the test of time,” he says. "The question was how to do that with the very best tools the art form has to offer today.”

When Bird finished an early draft of the script, he brought the story to the only people he was convinced would understand his vision for an animated film that he hoped would look, feel and be produced unlike any other: Pixar Animation Studios.

Innovation has long been the name of the game at Pixar, the company behind many of animation's biggest blockbuster hits and critical sensations including the pioneering "Toy Story,” as well as "A Bug's Life,” "Monsters, Inc.” and "Finding Nemo.” The studio is always looking for original stories from creative visionaries, and the minute John Lasseter—Pixar's vice president of creative and an Oscar® winning filmmaker in his own right—heard Bird's pitch, he knew

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