Ten Things You May Not Know About Elastigirl
1. To all outward appearances, Helen Parr seems to be fairly typical in terms of stature. A housewife and mother of three, she is in her late thirties and stands a modest 5′ 8”.
2. But of course, we know her regular height is far from, um, regular. But just how far can she stretch? Well, that’s a bit unclear, and depends on which source you believe. It has been stated that Elastigirl can stretch out as thin as 1 mm (approximately 4/100s of an inch), which would put her maximum “height” at just under 100 feet. That’s pretty impressive, but Syndrome’s Operation Kronos database states that she can stretch up to 300 feet. Regardless of how far she can stretch though, she can leap up to 80 feet, and can use her elasticity to throw objects incredible distances, often utilizing a slingshot technique to maximize her throwing range.
3. All that stretching comes at a cost though; when she stretches out to support a heavy object, such as the family Winnebago she “held” as the family flew back for their ultimate confrontation with Syndrome, she clearly experiences a great deal of discomfort. Fortunately, her super suit provides her with added toughness, though the suit’s designer, Edna Mode, warns her that she can still injure herself by stretching too far. She’s still one tough cookie though!
4. Speaking of Edna Mode, she narrowly edged out Elastigirl on Rolling Stone’s list of “25 Best Pixar Movie Characters,” with Edna placing 9th while Elastigirl followed a few spots later at number 14. Don’t feel too badly for Helen though, she did much better than her hubby, Mr. Incredible, who came in at number 24.
5. Helen’s maiden name is Truax.
6. Eagle-eyed viewers might have noticed a nod to Peter Pan in The Incredibles. When Elastigirl looks at the size of her hips in the mirror and sighs, this echoes a similar gag from Peter Pan. Tinker Bell was similarly astonished (or surprised?…it’s hard to tell with fairies) by the size of her hips when she saw her reflection in a hand-held mirror.
7. Elastigirl was voiced by Holly Hunter, and there is a reference to another Holly Hunter film (Always, in which she played pilot Dorinda Durston) in the Pixar classic. When Elastigirl approaches Nomanisan Island (No Man Is An Island, get it?) in her jet, the scene is similar to Dorinda’s end-of-movie flight in which her plane also goes into an uncontrollable dive. In both instances, Elastigirl/Dorinda is initially distracted before returning to the controls to bring her plane back under control.
8. Helen’s call sign for her plane is “India Golf Niner-Niner,” (IG99), a reference to the 1999 film The Iron Giant, which was directed by Brad Bird (who also directed The Incredibles).
9. Elastigirl is also the name of a superheroine with similar stretching abilities on the DC Comics superhero team, the Doom Patrol. Pixar needed to receive permission from DC Comics to use the name in the film. In early promotional materials, you may recall that Helen Parr was referred to as Mrs. Incredible. This was necessary to avoid copyright infringements with the DC character (though today you’ll find her called Elastigirl in toys and other merchandise).
10. Elastigirl also shares her superpowers with a Marvel character, Mr. Fantastic from the Fantastic Four. Violet shares her invisibility power with the Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman, while Mr. Incredible possesses super strength just like the Thing. Dash doesn’t have a Fantastic Four counterpart, but Jack-Jack’s flaming ability mimics that of the Fantastic Four’s Human Torch (though admittedly Jack-Jack has a whole arsenal of additional powers, some waiting to be discovered!).
Tim Foster is the founder and editor of Celebrations Magazine, as well as the author of the Guide to the Magic for Kids. For him, Disney is all about sharing the magic…whether it be with friends, family, or even fellow Guests wandering about the parks. Speaking of parks, you’ll likely find him in Epcot’s Japan pavilion or riding “it’s a small world” for the 12,324th time (and still singing each and every time).