The Incredibles came to be in a three-dimensional idiom, not intending to simulate documentary reality but straddling a line between photorealism and cartoons. While you can sense from the film itself that these 3D figures are borne of cartoon archetypes, the actual evidence is here in the book: early drawings of Edna Mode, Bob Parr and Syndrome carry the textures and flourishes of the finished characters in the form of only of a few lines or snips of paper cut from magazines.
The book is dominated by collages from character designer Teddy Newton; gouache drawings by Lou Romano, production designer; and pencil and marker drawings by animation supervisor Tony Fucile. Highlights for fans will surely include a 1998 drawing by Lou Romano depicting the whole Parr family. What's amazing about this unique image, drawn two years before the film went into production, is that four of five family members look virtually the same here as they do in the final film. Six years and a million story changes and yet these character designs haven't budged. There is also a complete color script from the film in a giant double foldout at the center of the book.
With nearly all story references carefully eliminated, this becomes a picture book that, at least for those who haven't seen the film, can veer in many different directions. Sketches of abandoned characters and scenes share spreads with finely rendered cartoons that you might mistakenly think have been licensed back from the pages of The New Yorker. All told, in a season overflowing with movie tie-in literature, for any serious student of the art form, The Art of The Incredibles is a must-have. -Animation World Magazine