I make mention of this in my recap at The Hollywood Reporter of the marketing campaign for The Incredibles 2, but it’s worth reiterating just how much the first movie, released in 2004, has influenced the conversation around the cinematic super hero genre that has popped up since then. It’s consistently ranked alongside other movies based on existing super hero characters and properties and became the touchpoint for the wealth of criticism aimed at Fox’s recent attempted reboot of Fantastic Four.
It’s a bit odd, though, that it’s so beloved given its starkly Objectivist philosophical bent. You would think that a story that says “Yes, some people are inherently better and deserve to be treated as such” would run afoul of those espousing how everyone is equal and is worthy of the same treatment, but here we are. It’s especially puzzling given younger adults have reported time and again recently wanting to work and be involved with organizations that take a more empathetic approach to doing business, including the treatment of workers.
Still, here we are, on the cusp of yet another sequel from DisneyPixar, albeit one that seems more anticipated and longed for among the audience than some other recent entries. Adding on below to what has been shared at THR, here’s how the movie was sold.
Online and Social
The official website for the movie is pretty barebones, just the trailer, some stills, an “Activity Packet” to download and a lot of retail and other commerce information. Kind of surprising and disappointing there aren’t more games and character profiles here.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
There were also tie-in comics from Dark Horse.
There were a couple exclusive consumer product lines that aimed to bring the movie’s style to the real world.
An art show at Nucleus Gallery in Alhambra featured original pieces from artists inspired by the movies and characters.
IMAX released a video interview featuring Bird and other Pixar creatives talking about the movie and how anxious they were to see it on the biggest and sharpest of screens. There was also a short exclusive promotional spot for that presentation.
Media and Publicity
Hunter spoke in EW about what it was like to return to play Elastigirl and how the character has changed and grown since the first movie, including how that fits into the unique feminist moment happening in society at large. A bit later the studio introduced a number of new characters as well as explanations of what they would be doing in the story. Bird talked extensively with various press sites about the story and characters both old and new in interviews as part of a press day to promote the film.
Later on more information was revealed as Bird explained who the character are that want to bring supers back into the light. He also was interviewed about where the story picks up in relation to the first movie and what’s in store for the family and why he returned to animation after taking a few years to direct some live action features.
A good amount of the press in advance of release focused not on the movie itself but on Bao, the short being attached to the film, including how it was the first such Pixar short to come from a female director.
Jackson hit the publicity circuit, though talk unfortunately frequently turned to his role in the Marvel movies.
Elastigirl’s line, seen in some of the trailers and TV spots, about how she’s torn between job and family is a nice change from the first movie, which focused on Bob’s struggles with masculine identity. That shift shows how the cultural conversation has changed over the last decade and is likely contributing significantly to the audience’s anticipation.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.