At the end of the first Incredibles movie, all the way back in 2004, it was revealed that the seemingly powerless infant Jack-Jack actually had the potential to be the most powerful member of the Parr family.
Over the last few months, the trailers for this summer's Incredibles 2 have revealed that Jack-Jack has more powers than anyone would've thought. The kid can burst into flame, shoot lasers out of his eyes, turn himself into a little monster, and likely quite a few other powers that we haven't seen yet. How is that Jack-Jack can do so many things, while the other members of the family are fairly limited in their abilities?
According to Incredibles writer/director Brad Bird, the characters in the movie have powers that relate to their traditional family role. During a Q&A at Pixar Animation Studios, Bird explained that babies are often times the wild cards of the family, so he wanted to make Jack-Jack a total unknown when it came to giving him powers.
"What interests me is the idea of having a family," said of his super franchise. "Having there be a reason to hide the powers. And once I had that insight into what I wanted to do, I picked the powers based on who they were in the family. And so men are always expected to be strong, so I had Bob have super strength. Women, mothers are always pulled in a million different directions, so I had her be elastic. Teenagers are insecure and defensive, so I had Violet have force fields and invisibility. Ten-year-olds are energy balls that can't be stopped.
"And babies are unknown, maybe they have no powers, maybe they have all powers, we don't know. So, that's what Jack-Jack was, he was seemingly the first normal one in the family and then at the end of Incredibles you find out that he's the wild card, and that he's sort of the Swiss army knife of powers. And that to me reminds me of the way babies can grasp languages really easily and adopt them easily."
Later on, Bird was asked about the full extent of Jack-Jack's powers, and if there were any limitations when it came to putting the character together. He explained that, while Jack-Jack will have plenty of different abilities, he waned to make sure that things never got too out of hand.
"Really, the first limitations would go to the story team," the director said. "When I was saying here's this scene, here's this scene, now let's explore it visually. And I didn't put a lot of limits on them initially, and so they started doing everything. I think that we started to go, alright, we gotta settle down a little bit toward Act 3, we don't want to have any new powers in Act 3, and then we got into Act 3 and there were viewpoints. 'It would be really cool if we had one more new power here,' and so we kinda told ourselves to stay strictly on our diet and kinda broke it a couple times.
"We tried to treat this very unrealistic world, try to pepper in realism in terms of what people think, how they react to having powers, he's presented as a baby, so what interests him is what interests a baby, he never understands what's going on and can anticipate the villain's move or whatever. It's more like, that's shiny, I like that, this makes me angry, I want to go there! It's those kind of emotions and you build the superpowers around that. So he's still a baby, even though he has these powers that he only has limited control over."2comments
Are you excited to see Jack-Jack unlock his full potential in Incredibles 2? What other powers do you think the Parr baby will put on display? Let us know in the comments below!
Disney/Pixar's Incredibles 2 is set to hit theaters on June 15.