A Home for Heroes: The Incredibles Domestic Design

UTS: Design, Architecture and Building
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Symposium Papers - Imaginary Worlds, 2005, pp. 1 - 17
Issue Date:
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In the animated film The Incredibles (2004) a dysfunctional family of superheroes is forced to go undercover and to refrain from practising heroic deeds and demonstrating their special powers. In an attempt to give it the image of normalcy this fictional family is placed within a stylishly designed modernist home filled with 1950s furniture, futuristic appliances and pastel colours and located in suburbia somewhere in North America. Deprived of doing what they really love this imposed lifestyle becomes quite frustrating for them. Inevitably, behind closed doors, in this fashionably designed domestic environment their special powers are occasionally expressed in mundane situations such as doing the housework, attending school or participating in the family dinner. This paper examines the design and animation process involved in the construction of this private living space and its links to the imaginary world of comic books and superheroes. The thinking on animation and design theorists such as Cholodenko, Clark, Furniss, Buchanan, Margolin and Csikszentmihalyi is applied to this scenario in particular and to animation in general and a wider argument for the placement of animation within Film Studies is also enunciated.
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