The summer’s most style-savvy movie is a cartoon.
Edna, the pint-size fashion potentate of “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 isn’t alone.
Another standout in a smartly outfitted cast that makes this one of the most style-savvy movies you’re 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.
Yet all that flair is eclipsed at times by the movie’s formidable setting, a 20,000-square-foot 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,” says 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, traveling all the way to Municiberg, the film’s metropolitan hub. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic views.
It’s 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,” Eggleston says. “They see it as too much for them.”
Like Edna, the house is a composite, its chief influences including the James Evans house in New Canaan, Connecticut, with its cantilevered angles, and, Eggleston says, James Mason’s house in the movie “North by Northwest.” 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, Eggleston says, 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’s a scene that’s 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,” Eggleston says, gleefully, “and we don’t have to worry about code.”
It’s 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 cozy at times. Sure, it’s inspired by a period house, Eggleston says, “but there’s a gentle optimism about it that says, ‘This is the future, and isn’t that great?’”