Everybody has a favorite Pixar film, but what it takes to make one is a mystery to most fans. Now the ingenuity behind the magic comes to light in the new exhibition “The Science Behind Pixar,” opening at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on Oct. 11. This immersive experience explores the science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts used at Pixar Animation Studios every day to bring their beloved films and characters to life.
Movie theater audiences witnessed a filmmaking revolution in late 1995 when Pixar released “Toy Story.” The movie was the first of its kind — a feature-length computer-animated production — and critics and the general public alike were enthralled to see something so fresh and groundbreaking on the big screen. Nearly 24 years and 21 box office hits later, Pixar continues to impress and delight.
Each section in “The Science Behind Pixar” focuses on a step in the filmmaking process, delivering an unparalleled view of the production pipeline used by the Pixar artists and computer scientists. Guests will enjoy more than 50 interactive elements, hear first-hand from the studio’s production teams in video profiles, and come face-to-face with re-creations of popular characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode, and WALL•E.
- Build a robot inspired by the ones in “WALL•E.”
- Discover how a bug’s-eye view was achieved for “A Bug’s Life,” through camera angles and large-set design within the computer.
- Create a virtual 3D shape and play it in a 360-degree view.
- See and touch scale models of many of the beloved Pixar characters.
- Explore lighting challenges, similar to what Pixar artists faced in creating animated water in “Finding Nemo.”
- Create a stop-motion animation of a jumping lamp.
- Take your photo with human-sized re-creations of many of your favorite Pixar characters.
The exhibition will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through April 5, except Dec. 25. Timed tickets will be required and may be purchased at dmns.org/pixar or 303.370.6000 — $29.95 adult, $24.95 senior (age 65+), $22.95 youth (ages 3–18). Tickets include general admission. Museum members receive discounted admission. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged.