The retro-futuristic home of the Parr family in Incredibles 2 fuses the fantastical and the real

The Parr family's home is perched over a waterfall (above left) and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views (above).
The Parr family's home is perched over a waterfall (above) and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views.PHOTOS: NYTIMES
The Parr family's home is perched over a waterfall (above left) and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views (above).
The Parr family's home is perched over a waterfall and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views (above).PHOTOS: NYTIMES

The modernist-inspired retro-futuristic home of the Parr family in Incredibles 2 fuses the fantastical and the real

NEW YORK • Forget Edna Mode - that is, if you can.

Edna, the pint-size fashion potentate of the movie Incredibles 2, casts a tall shadow in the world of style, her outsize specs, out-of-this-world wardrobe and briskly authoritative attitude calling to mind a salty composite of fashion stars - Rei Kawakubo, Iris Apfel and Edith Head, among them.

True, Edna is a certified scene-stealer in this sequel to the 2004 Pixar animated feature, but she is not alone.

Another standout in a smartly outfitted cast that makes this one of the most style-savvy movies you are likely to see this year is Evelyn Deavor, a 21st-century tech wizard, who wears her hair in a ragged auburn thatch and has a marked predilection for gauzy man-cut shirts and wicked ankle boots.

She is inspired in part by Patti Smith and Annie Lennox, and boasts no fewer than 20 distinct costume changes, crazily extravagant by cartoon standards.

"We wanted her to feel like she had her own style," said Ms Bryn Imagire, the movie's costume designer. "I call it Bohemian eclectic. Evelyn has a career and money of her own. She's luxury-minded."

In animation, with its relatively constrictive budgets, "a character's accessories are always the thing that goes first", Ms Imagire said.

"But it's the accessories that make the look and with this movie, we got to give her an awesome giant bag. She's got a hat and big glasses. We got to make earrings for her... she has faux snakeskin boots."

Yet all that flair is eclipsed at times by the movie's formidable setting, a 1,858 sq m Palm Beach modernist home where the heroically endowed Parr family - Helen (Elastigirl), Bob (Mr Incredible), Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack - set up housekeeping.

"The house was a character in the film," said Mr Ralph Eggleston, a Pixar Animation Studios director and production designer.

A riveting fusion of the fantastical and real, it is perched over a waterfall, its opulent landscape echoed in interior features, including the stream that meanders from room to room and continues underneath the house, travelling all the way to Municiberg, the film's metropolitan hub. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views.

It is a retro-futuristic superhouse complete with a fireplace masking a secret garage where Helen stows her Elasticycle; a space-age mobile that hovers over Jack-Jack's crib; a conversation pit in the great room; and movable floors that slide open to reveal an assortment of reflecting pools.

The house is built on a spectacular scale, intimidating even to its superhero residents.

"They talk about that in the film," Mr Eggleston said. "They see it as too much for them."

Like Edna, the house is a composite, its chief influences include the 1960s James Evans-designed house in New Canaan, Connecticut, with its cantilevered angles, and, Mr Eggleston said, James Mason's house in the movie North By Northwest (1959).

Its rambling public rooms are wildly theatrical, its more compact ones suggest an unexpected intimacy, and its over-the-top decorative features offer opportunities for any number of pratfalls.

The house's chief inspiration, Mr Eggleston said, was the lavish modernist setting in the 1968 Blake Edwards film The Party.

In that movie, you see Peter Sellers lose his shoe in one of the reflecting pools. It is a scene that is paralleled in Incredibles 2 when Bob stumbles over one of the house's oddly placed mini-lagoons.

"As designers, we get to make it look like it all works," Mr Eggleston said, gleefully, "and we don't have to worry about code."

It is a timeless sort of dream house impressive enough to have prompted Zillow, the real estate website, to supply a mock listing.

"All the bells and whistles of a secret lair, but with the space to raise an active family," it reads.

Among its many blandishments is an infinity pool that serves as a ceiling for the den. And yet the house is sunny and overwhelmingly cheery, even cosy at times.

Sure, it is inspired by a period house, Mr Eggleston said, "but there's a gentle optimism about it that says, 'This is the future and isn't that great?'".

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 28, 2018, with the headline 'Scene-stealing superhouse'. Print Edition | Subscribe