One of the bigger mistakes Warner Brothers made in the last decade or so was letting animation director Brad Bird move on to a job at PIXAR after they bungled the release of his first film The Iron Giant. Once at PIXAR, Bird began work on his next idea, the story of a family of superheroes. The film would become The Incredibles, and for my money, is still one of the best films on the animation studios already impressive resume.
And while PIXAR has generally shied away from doing sequels to many of its films, there has always been some lo-level clamor amongst fans to see a second installment of the adventures of Mr. Incredible, his wife Elasti-Girl and their family. But Bird, at first perhaps sensing the lukewarm response that Cars 2 would receive, has remained hesitant in doing a follow up. And in a recent interview at Movies.com while doing the publicity rounds for his live action debut Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, he expounded on that hesitancy.
Bird stated that while he was open to the possibility of doing a sequel one day, he hadn’t found the right story to tell yet.
I think the reason it hasn’t [happened] yet is because the studio would like me to do it, if there were another Incredibles. And I’ve told them that I’m not really friendly to have someone else take away my child. I would like to think that I have several good ideas that could be incorporated into a next Incredibles, but I don’t have a whole movie yet, and the last thing I want to do is do it just because it would open big, or something like that.
He also notes that he has given himself a pretty high bar to meet in terms of generating a story for a potential sequel.
I want to do it because I have something that will be as good or better than the original Toy Story 2 was, to me, a perfect sequel, because it absolutely respected the first film but found new places to go without selling out its characters. So if I could come up with an idea that is to Incredibles that Toy Story 2 is to Toy Story, I would do it in a second.
For all their technical genius, the folks at PIXAR have always struck me as storytellers first and animators second. The studio has built up a library of films based on their philosophy of making sure that a film’s story is as solid as it can be before going into production, which is what made a misfire like Cars 2 even more puzzling. But if Bird is willing to wait until he has a story idea that is just right, I’m willing to wait as well.