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Edna Mode is a supporting character from the movie The Incredibles.

Fictional character biography

A half-Japanese, half-German fashion designer and auteur, Edna has created custom-made original outfits for superheroes since the "glory days", saying that she designs for gods. It is apparent that she feels infinitely superior to all other designers in the world and shows much disdain towards runway boutiques and modern fashion models, claiming that she had gone to Milanmarker to design clothing for the supermodels, and called them "Spoiled, stupid little stick-figures with poofy lips who think only about themselves." Edna is called out of a fifteen-year period of imposed retirement from "superhero work" to repair damage to Mr. Incredible's supersuit, and ends up producing a series of completely new, matching outfits for the entire family. For safety reasons, she is very insistent on not including, or completely rejecting capes in the new design. She is very talented and as demanding of others as she is of herself.

Due to her astonishing talent with fabric and fashion design—for example, the minimum width of Elastigirl is stated as 1 mm on the National Supers Agency file on the special edition DVD, her supersuit is missile-proof, resistant to temperature extremes, can stretch as far as she can (without injuring herself) and still retain its shape, and breathes like Egyptian cotton—she may herself have some minor mental super ability.

Character design

Director Brad Bird has stated that he intended E to be a combination fashion maven/gadget builder along the lines of 'Q' from the James Bond movies. The character is voiced by Bird himself.

The character Edna Mode may be based on real-life fashion designer Edith Head. Edna's hairstyle, ultra-diminutive stature, and facial features also resemble actress Linda Hunt's fashion editor character Regina Krumm, in Robert Altman's 1994 film Prêt-à-Porter as well as actress Linda Hunt herself, in fact. Brad Bird has said:

The character may be based on costume designer Una Jones, who shares not only physical appearance with the character, but also personality. Jones is also the acquaintance of many Pixar staff, as she lives near Orlando, in central Florida.. She may possibly be based on Mary Quant. She may also be based on the real-life fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld. Her name refers to EMode—a small piece of custom-designed software used by Pixar (not related to other similarly-named software). Calling the character "Mode" is also certainly a pun on the French and German word for "fashion". Also, her hairstyle, personality, and appearance at European fashion shows may be a vague connection to Vogue super-editor and fashion force Anna Wintour.

Her catchphrase of "dahling" may be a reference to actress Tallulah Bankhead.

Voice characterization

In the Disney on Ice live shows featuring The Incredibles, Edna is played by Pia Airaksinen and voiced by Kevin Delaney. Edna's comedic assistants are played by Shae Green, Kristian Ryan, and Richard Stringer.
  • Brad Bird says that he had approached Lily Tomlin for the character, but when he demonstrated the voice he was looking for, Tomlin suggested that he did well enough to perform himself.

Bonus content

  • In the special features section of the special edition DVD of the Incredibles, Edna is "interviewed" about her work in the film. When asked whether working with superheroes was difficult, she replies, "Superheroes are easy, darling. Mediocrity is much more difficult to work with—and it is in such great supply."

In other media

Edna stars in the Disney on Ice play Disney Presents Pixar's The Incredibles in a Magic Kingdom Adventure. She somehow anticipates an emergency at the Walt Disney World Resortmarker (the Parrs chose to go there after their initial vacation plans were foiled by Mother Nature). Then she hears about a robotic version of Syndrome interrupting the Main Street Parade and holding Mickey and Minnie Mouse hostage. When the Parrs arrive to become the Incredibles, she tells them that she had heard all about the incident and then monologues about how "ridiculous" Syndrome's homemade super-suit looks. After the day is saved, Edna goes with the Incredibles and Frozone to see the Enchanted Tiki Roommarker (Helen wanted the family to go to the Room first, but her idea was rejected by the rest of the family). It is revealed in this play that she has a trio of comical assistants who apparently are Supers themselves—as evidenced when one of them is flattened in an ironing machine and recovers without getting hurt.

In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Boom! Studios writer and editor-in-chief Mark Waid disclosed that Edna will have a cousin, Doc Sunbright, who serves as a doctor for the Supers, and that Sunbright will end up being a major player in Boom! Comics' first Incredibles story arc, "Family Matters", as he has to find out why Mr. Incredible's powers are fading.

Other appearances

  • An animated Edna (voiced live by Bird) presented Best Costume Design - with Pierce Brosnan - at the 77th Annual Academy Awards.


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