Edna Mode – The Incredibles
By Matthew Goudreau
Serving as the costume designer for superheroes in the Incredibles universe, Edna Mode is the biggest scene-stealer of any Pixar film. Her eccentric personality and satirical jabs at comic book tropes provide a great deal of laughs. Uniquely designed and voiced by director Brad Bird, Edna is a cross between Alfred Pennyworth and Q from the 007 canon. Edna finds herself presented with an opportunity to escape her imposed retirement when Mr. Incredible arrives with his damaged suit. Her conversation with Incredible leads to a hysterical put-down of the traditional cape and its detriment to the wearer. The subsequent montage of caped mishaps is clever enough even without Edna’s hysterical delivery. In addition to designing suits for the rest of the family, Edna provides an interesting perspective on the work of a hero. She doesn’t suit up and fight the villains, but she does have a strong sense of duty. She is also enthusiastic about her work and does it because she loves it. This is a sharp contrast compared to most superheroes, who act either out of a sense of duty or responsibility. Out of all the subversive elements of the film, this is perhaps the most subtle element. While her screentime is kept to a minimum, Edna is the first character that came to mind when I was asked about my favorite Pixar character. I guess Edna proves the old saying of “less is more” in the best sense.