The Grapevine

How Pixar Turned The Museum Of Nature And Science Into A Movie Lab

Back in 1995, Pixar first made animation history with “Toy Story,” a movie about sentient toys that became an instant classic for movie fans of all ages in no time. And now, more than two decades after the release of the movie, the studio behind it has cemented its place as one of the best of all time, producing countless ageless classic ever since, such as “The Incredibles,” “Finding Nemo,” and most recently, “Toy Story 4.”

And now, studio fans of all ages can get an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the various technologies and techniques that made these timeless movies possible, via “The Science Behind Pixar,” Denver’s Museum of Nature & Science’s newest exhibit.

“When we’re trying to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), we need as many different points of attack as possible. So for a lot of kids who might not be interested in the normal ways of learning about science and math in school, this introduces something they’re already familiar with,” Ka Chun Yu, Ph.D., curator of space science at the museum, said. Yu specializes in creating virtual environments that visitors can plunge their heads in, both for education and entertainment.

“Often, when people hear something is computer-animated, they assume you just push a button and suddenly magic happens . Having done computer visualizations of my own, I know there’s a huge amount of work involved before the artists even start, and that includes mathematicians, physicists, engineers and programmers,” Yu added.

Running from October 11 until April 5, 2020, the exhibit will cost extra atop regular admission, and will take the guests through different steps in the production process. This starts with modeling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering, attempting to break down the long and complicated process of making an animated film that are in the caliber of Pixar films.

Furthermore, the exhibit will also have more than 50 interactive elements, as well as photo ops with giant, crafter versions of beloved Pixar movie characters. There will also be hands-on activities that will help break-up the text-based information at the exhibit.

mickey-1185754_960_720 Thanks to its partnership with Pixar, Disney has managed to produce countless movie classics. Photo by Pixabay (CC0)