Color palette in The Incredibles

Looking at the movie bar code of Incredibles doesn’t seem like anything useful at first glance, but trust me, there is a story hidden in those bars, so let’s take a closer look…

The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles (2004)

The first set of pictures is basically random selection of screenshots from the beginning of the movie. On the movie bar code (above), I marked it as a “PART 1”. These were the glory days of superheroes, fighting crime in the city and saving people’s lifes. And those glorious times are further depicted by the color palette. The colors used in the first few scenes are highly saturated – full of live and energy.

But then, there was the lawsuit against all superheroes in the city. They were forced to stop using their superpowers and fit in with the rest of the citizens. So Bob (one of the main superheroes) starts working at insurance company and experiencing the “normal” life.

The following set of pictures was taken after the lawsuit, marked as a “PART 2” on the movie bar code.

The Incredibles (2004)
The Incredibles (2004)

The colors are now desaturated and muted. The prevailing color from these scenes is grey/pale green/brown (also visible on the movie bar code above).

Hopefully you can see now, what happened in terms of color palette- from highly saturated colors at the beginning (saving people’s lifes, fighting crime, basically doing what superheroes are meant to do), to desaturated, pale and muted colors after the lawsuit (having a boring job and “normal” life).

In this case, the color palette was used to document change of Bob’s life, when he had to stop using his superpowers and get a “normal” job, but I can easily imagine using this change in color palette in various different situations – the most obvious one would be being with someone who you love and than losing him/her. Or… (type in the comments below).


P.S. If you’d be interested in other example of cinematic storytelling in Incredibles, here is an article I wrote back in February 2012.

P.P.S. The movie bar of Incredibles can be found here:

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