The Parr family is back! The Incredibles 2 proves to be even better than first one, which won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature back in 2005.

Things have changed for the family that audiences fell in love with over a decade ago. Not only are superheroes illegal in their world, but this time around, it’s Helen aka Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) who is the main hero saving lives, while Bob aka Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) is forced to be the stay-at-home dad, taking care of tweener Violet (Sarah Vowell), Dash (Huck Milner) and infant Jack-Jack. Needless to say, this switch-a-roo is difficult for Bob to get used to.

The role reversal isn’t the only surprise that comes with this action-packed sequel. Baby Jack-Jack develops into quite the little powerhouse of superpowers, which completely mesmerizes the sassy an exclusive superhero stylist Enda Mode (Brad Bird). What’s more, the kids really step up to the plate and assert their identities and superpowers in certain sticky situations. Meanwhile, the Parr family is faced with real-life monetary and emotional struggles that every family can relate to.

Even though the film presents all these new surprises, Incredibles 2 picks up exactly where it left off, which director/writer Brad Bird argues makes sense because “the Simpsons never age, so why should they?” Visually, the film looks stunning, and the action sequences keep you on the edge of your seat. Pixar really outdid themselves yet again.

ScreenPicks had the pleasure of attending the incredible press day to hear from the star-studded cast, the crew behind the visual masterpiece and Brad Bird. Here are the highlights:

The producers on how they use the advancement of technology over the past 14 years to make the film really pop off the screen:

Producer Nicole Grindle: “Well, honestly, the technology has allowed us to make the film look more like what Brad intended it to look like the first time. The characters are much more finely nuanced and developed. We were able to build a lot more sets more quickly. We’ve populated the world with a lot more characters that have hair and clothing.”

Grindle went on to point out, “That’s the stuff that most of you all don’t notice. But actually, that makes the world feel richer and more alive. Not to mention all the other visual effects stuff. And we’ve also got a lot of artists who have had 14 years to get better at their craft. “

Huck Milner on what it was like to voice Dash and be at the premiere since he was such a big fan of the first one:

Milner: “It was amazing and overwhelming. Because like in the beginning when I got out of the car, everyone was like sign this, sign this. And I’m not used to that. And then when I got inside, I felt more welcome and I felt, it was just really amazing to be there.”

Holly Hunter on her initial reaction when she learned that Elastigirl would be the main superhero this time around instead of Mr. Incredible:

Hunter: “Yeah. He was my instruction manual. That’s it right there. So Brad, I mean, we were like yeah. It was a while before I truly realized what I was really going to get to do in the movie. And I was really thrilled. But it was like a retroactive thrill. Because over a period of months before I started gleefully singing during our recording sessions about how great my part was. But to me, it was just really fun. I don’t think that this is a message movie in any way. I think it’s purely like luck, luck of the draw that this happens to be dovetailing with me, too, and times up. But obviously, time is up. Okay. And I feel that way personally. And it happens to be serendipitously reflected in this particular movie. But at the same time, it’s character revelation period. Everybody is having revelations including Jack-Jack. All the characters are revelations to the audience and to themselves. And so I’m no exception as Elastigirl. And in fact, I feel like in some ways, Violet’s adolescent thing, her Jag in this movie, the rage, there is adolescence that I feel from Mr. Incredible and also from Elastigirl, too. Like when I get on that.”

Craig T. Nelson on how he felt about Mr. Incredible not being the one saving lives this time around:

Nelson: “And in the movie, too. I’m on board with Huck. I auditioned. And my mom got angry. No, wait a minute. That’s a whole other thing. I was resentful when I was told where Mr. Incredible was going to be in this film. Not saving lives. Not exhibiting any kind of strength at all. We argued about it. And then I found out that I’m going to be helping save the family. And Bob is going to learn how to be a dad and he’s going to learn about these kids. And then the process started when we were recording. It was just so much fun. The stuff I did with Violet and the two of us together and Jack-Jack and that whole discovery. And then Dash. And then having to deal with Elastigirl out there doing what I want to do and being able to give her the encouragement. Let her know that everything is okay.”

Sophia Bush on getting to be the voice behind superhero Voyd in the film since she was such a big fan of the first one:

Bush: “One of the things that I just think is so cool about the whole thing is the layering of all the technology that makes these films look to all of us the way they look in Brad’s head. It’s wild to see the early stages of animation and to watch some of the scenes and then see what they become in the final edit. And it’s also totally nuts to go into the studio. I know that technically I’m talking to Holly. But she’s not there. It’s like me and Brad. And I’m just yelling into a void going am I doing this right? And he knows how our voices are going to sound together. So you trust your captain. And when he tells you that you’ve gotten it right, that the tone is right or the volume or the size of your yelling, it’s very cool.

Catherine Keener on the differences between voicing an animated character compared to live action:

Keener: “First, I’m just getting to know all these people. But I’m realizing that Brad kind of mined a lot of the inside of these people in the characters. And like Craig was talking about, I was just talking to him about his kids. And he’s a big mush dad, granddad. And you can see that. All of these people are awesome. I would see any movie where Holly is a badass regardless of gender. And I don’t know. I’ve done press with this man. I know he’s done roles where he’s played maybe not so likable a guy. Is that right? But he actually is very, very sweet and his character has that, too. So I just appreciate how insightful you are, even though you’re incredibly weird in a way. In the best way.”

Bob Odenkirk on his initial reaction after seeing the final cut of the film:

Odenkirk: “It was super fun to see it. I loved it. I’ve been knocked out by the visuals in this film. And I’ve only seen the little moments from it in the course of recording this. So to see it in the big beautiful color on the giant screen, I knew it was going to be amazing. And it’s beyond all expectations. I feel like somehow there’s new technology that you’re not telling us about. But because it just looks, it’s got such richness and depth that was a great treat. But again, like everyone else, I didn’t read the whole script. There is never a whole script that you can read. So it’s the first time I get to see the whole story.”

He continued, “And I’m once again amazed at Brad Bird’s talent as a writer and director and orchestrator of story. There’s like five movies in this movie. And they all work together to throw each other into relief and make each other better. And it was a hell of an experience. And everyone in my family, including nieces and nephew, young, my son and daughter, older, teenagers. Everyone related to, they enjoyed the whole story, and everyone related to different characters and themes because there are so many and they’re delivered on so well.”

Brad Bird says grow-ups don’t need kids to enjoy the film:

Bird: “Kids are strangely treated like beards. For animated films. I’m a single guy. But I want to see this. I found a kid. Can I come in now? Here is this kid. He was roaming the streets. I told him I would pay for his ticket. Will you let me in? And it’s like no man. It’s an art form. It’s like for anyone that likes movies. And you don’t need to have a kid. People are constantly coming up to me. My kid really enjoyed it. I go, did you like it? They go oh yeah, sure. But Billy really liked it. And I’m like, I made it for you. And Billy can come. But I’m not a kid. And I made it something that I would want to see. And we’re not kids. And we worked on this.”

Holly Hunter on why The Incredibles 2 is not a kid’s movie:

Hunter: “Yeah. I think that we probably all felt that way about the first one as well, which was that it was a movie that stood on its own. It’s not a kid’s movie. In a way, this one is particularly more not a kid’s movie. Although kids totally dig it. There were a lot of kids in the audience in the premier night who loved it. And even small kids love Jack-Jack and love Dash. But I think it works, it’s like Bob said, in a way, the movie has a complexity that is really astonishing in that it has got like five different movies. And they all work in concert with each other. They all need each other, all five. But it’s an incredible fabric that’s been woven together. It’s very sophisticated.”

Samuel L. Jackson on being involved in so many superhero roles with multiple production companies and the influence of Incredibles on Marvel and vice versa:

Jackson: “As I recall my other superhero family kind of fell out in Infinity War, didn’t it? And it happens and nobody called me to help them be good. I did bring all these people in the shield and now all the sudden, I’m not there. So the other company that makes movies that are like this- some of them are good- there is a real interesting playbook I look at when I watch my old movie.”

He continued, “And it’s almost like they have this secret sauce. Sometime I would be on set and look at the director and wonder why after doing one TV show would he be doing this? Why this guy who typically does deep dramas is working on this project. But they know what they are doing. The relationships with the people on the inside of those films always become very intimate and sometimes there is family discord.”