If you watched The Incredibles, you likely fell in love with Jack-Jack, the baby of the Parr/Incredibles family. Whether it was his charm, his adorable mannerisms, he won the hearts of many before he even had the opportunity to showcase any powers. In the short film that accompanied the film’s DVD release, we were given a brief preview of the sheer number of powers that were hiding away underneath that cute exterior. In Incredibles 2, we see much more of Jack-Jack and exactly what he can do!
Given that the film grossed over $180 million over the weekend, there are millions of people who had the chance to see the film. If you haven’t, this is your warning that there are (slight) spoilers ahead.
Below are some of the powers that we see Jack-Jack showcase at some point in the film:
- Travels to another dimension
- Lights himself on fire
- Turns his skin gooey
- Transforms into a demon/monster
- Grows into a giant baby
- Makes multiple copies of himself
- Walks through walls
- Flies into the air upon sneezes
- Fires lasers out of his eyes (for prolonged periods or like a laser gun)
- Changes facial features to look like others
Although there is an extended sequence late in the film involving Jack-Jack, his key scene is arguably the one involving the raccoon, midway through the film. It is here that we are exposed to most of his powers that seemingly make him appear invincible, even if he is just fighting a small raccoon. How did Pixar arrive at these powers?
During an interview with the team tasked with working on Jack-Jack’s powers, that included Supervising Animator Tony Fucile and Effects Supervisor Bill Watral, I was told that the powers that were chosen were those that served the story and were the funniest. Both of these criteria are met well in this scene – Jack-Jack fends off a raccoon in a belly-aching way and his father discovers his abilities for the first time.
The team discussed Jack-Jack’s fire powers in detail. Effects Artist Jason Johnston shared the tiny details that they needed to look at to ensure that audiences would believe that bursting into flames was a power and that Jack-Jack, himself, was not in danger of being hurt from the flames. This involved experimenting with the flames as well as its colors. The result was a visual that effectively looked like a baby version of the Human Torch from Fantastic 4. It was a significant achievement on a technical level, especially if you compare it to what we saw in the Jack-Jack short over a decade ago.
There were hints given by the team of “other powers” that were developed during “brainstorming” sessions, but they were left out because of what the story required. Could we see them later down the line? That depends on if we see more of Jack-Jack. We will see Jack-Jack on the Incredicoaster, the roller coaster attraction opening at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure later this week. We may not see additional powers, but it will still be cool to see them come to life.
Incredibles 2 is now playing in theaters and smashing box office records – its opening weekend is the biggest ever for an animated film.