"Done properly, parenting is a heroic act. Done properly."
—Edna to Bob Parr about parenting.[src]

Edna "E" Mode is a major character in The Incredibles, a supporting character in Incredibles 2 and the deuteragonist of Auntie Edna. She is a supersuit and fashion designer for Supers, and a close friend of the Parr family.

Appearance & Personality

Edna Mode has short black hair with brown eyes, a bulbous nose and round glasses. She is about 4'3" tall. She is half-Japanese and half-German.

Edna has created custom-made original outfits for superheroes since the "glory days", proclaiming that she designs for gods. It is apparent that she feels infinitely superior to all other fashion designers in the world, as she shows anger knowing that Elastigirl got a new outfit from a rival designer but is not selfish. She shows much disregard toward runway boutiques and modern fashion models, claiming that she had recently returned from a fashion event in Milan after designing clothing for them. She is very talented and as demanding of others as she is of herself.

She is also shown to have a constant desire to create and design new things. She runs away with ideas, such as when Bob Parr asks her for a simple repair in his old suit, instead creating new suits for him and his family. She also doesn't seem to be a fan of capes for superheroes, primarily because of her rightful concerns over them being a safety hazard (this is proven true when Buddy Pine is killed at the end of the first film). Edna also seems not to be concerned with the past, saying "it distracts from the now," and is not very emotional. She is a nice lady who frequently gives "tough love," but mainly for the good of others, as evidenced when she smacks Helen across the head several times with a newspaper when Helen cries in fear of being cheated on by her husband.

Story

The Incredibles

Edna first appears attending the wedding of Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, sitting on the frontmost bench of the chapel between Rick Dicker to her left and Gazerbeam to her right.

Edna is called out of a 15-year period of imposed retirement to repair damage to Bob's super-suit, and ends up producing a series of completely new, matching outfits for the entire Parr family. For safety reasons, she is very insistent on not including capes in the new design (recalling the cape accidents of ThunderheadStratogaleMeta ManDynaguy and Splashdown), mainly because any superhero who had a cape got killed or trapped. Nevertheless, she still repairs Bob's old suit for 'sentimental reasons'.

Later, when Bob's wife Helen discovers that a rip of his super-suit has been mended, she suspects that Edna was the person who mended it. She contacts Edna, wanting to talk about the suit, and Edna insists that she come see her almost immediately. With that, Helen goes over to Edna's mansion, where Edna reveals that she has designed super-suits for the entire family, adding that each suit is equipped with a homing device. Seeing how Helen desperately wants to find out her husband's whereabouts, Edna hands her a device that gives her an exact location of where he is. After Helen finds out that Bob is on a faraway island, she breaks down in tears, in fear that she is losing the man she loves. Edna then whacks Helen on her head with a newspaper, demanding that she pull herself together, go confront the troubles he is facing, fight and win, now that she knows where he is. Before Helen leaves, Edna tells her to visit her after she gets back, as she likes her visits.

Incredibles 2

A sleep-deprived Bob shows up to Edna's mansion with Jack-Jack. Edna is furious that Elastigirl is wearing a costume made by a different designer, being Alexander Galbaki. She initially refuses as she does not see herself as a babysitter. However, once Jack-Jack exhibits a few of his powers, including mimicking her facial features, she accepts Jack-Jack from a sleep-deprived Bob. She examines Jack-Jack's to determine what features his supersuit should possess, and is astounded by the wide array of powers he possesses.

The next day, she demonstrates to Bob how Jack-Jack's suit functions in response to a few of his powers. She gives Bob a tablet that alerts the user when Jack-Jack is about to use one or more of his powers, so they can be controlled. She does not charge Bob, on the condition that she remains their exclusive suit designer, in response to Galbaki designing the suit Devtech gave to Helen. Edna promises that she can watch Jack-Jack anytime and for free. Later, in the courthouse, Edna is seen in the far left corner when the anti-super legislation is repealed.

Auntie Edna

Edna tells Bob that filling in for his wife Helen is challenging, telling him to drive safely while she takes care of Jack-Jack. There, Edna tells Jack-Jack to use his abilities so she can study Jack-Jack's powers. While Bob is away, Edna begins to study Jack-Jack's powers while babysitting him. While Edna initially enjoys studying Jack-Jack's powers, once he starts exhibiting his more aggressive powers, she struggles to control him. Edna has to eventually lock herself in her testing chamber to protect herself from Jack-Jack's combined fire and monster form. Later, when Mr. Incredible arrives, he thanks Edna for babysitting his baby in which unlike other babies she babysits, she does not charge Bob any fee for babysitting Jack-Jack. Later when Bob leaves, Edna sees Jack-Jack (presumably a clone of himself) standing next to her as she tells Bob that he forgot his baby.

Appearances

Trivia

  • Edna is one of the few female characters in the franchise voiced by a male, being director Brad Bird. However, she is voiced by female voice actresses in some foreign versions of The Incredibles, including the Arabic version.
  • Brad Bird originally had Lily Tomlin in mind for the part. However, Tomlin declined after she heard the idea Bird had and recommended that he himself was ideal to voice the character.
  • Edna's original designs were of normal human height, but Teddy Newton scribbled the concept art of a more diminutive character, which replaced it.
  • Her cameo appearance in the 77th Annual Academy Awards was shared with Pierce Brosnan who famously played James Bond himself in the mid-1990s and early 2000s (and was even accompanied by the famous Bond theme when he was introduced on-stage). Brosnan had left the role by the time the Awards took place.
  • Contrary to popular belief, Edna Mode is not based on Edith Head, a famous fashion designer with similar appearance and mannerisms. Brad Bird has stated that she is not based on any fashion designer.
  • Her surname "Mode" is both German and Dutch for "Fashion." In English it could be considered short for "Model."
  • Curiously, both the simplest and the most complex suits Edna designed were for Jack-Jack: the first one when he did not have powers, the second one for managing all of them.
  • She bears a slight resemblance to Despicable Me antagonist Vector Perkins.

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