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HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right? 'The Incredibles' Edition

Feb. 26, 2015
An engineer who moonlights as a film critic reviews "The Incredibles" as part of HPAC Engineering’s “HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right?” series.

Editor’s note: Hollywood long has been known for—ahem—taking liberties with the truth (just ask any composite character). In HPAC Engineering’s ongoing series “HVAC in Popular Movies: Did Hollywood Get It Right?," Ron Wilkinson, a professional engineer who moonlights as a film critic, takes a look at movies and television series whose makers may or may not have let HVAC fundamentals get in the way of a good story.

Holly Hunter, the voice of Elastigirl in the hit Disney-Pixar film “The Incredibles,” poses with her alter ego, along with Mr. Incredible (left), Frozone (right), and baby Jack-Jack (top), during the Pixar Play Parade at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim Oct. 27, 2009. (Photo by Scott Brinegar/Disney via Getty Images)

The Incredibles (2004)

In this computer-animated superhero comedy from Disney-Pixar, a family of superheroes forced to hide their powers is trying to live a quiet suburban life when the patriarch, Bob Parr (a.k.a. Mr. Incredible), longing for his glory days, gets a mysterious message from alluring secret operative Mirage. In tried-and-true “Mission: Impossible” style, the message, contained on a tablet-like device, self-destructs in a cloud of smoke, sending Bob coughing into the hallway and, of course, setting off the fire alarm. Sure enough, seconds later, the fire sprinklers release. The kids’ laughter echoes from the far corners of the house, and hilarity ensues. A close cousin to the cinematic cliché whereby lighting a match under one fire sprinkler causes all to activate, this is an unlikely event in all but the most sophisticated mission-critical fire systems, not to mention a single-family residence.