“The Science Behind Pixar” exhibition opens on Friday, 10/11 at Denver Museum of Nature & Science

DENVER, Sept. 24, 2019 — 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 — modeling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting, and rendering — 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. 

These are just some of the activities included in the experience: 

  • 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.
  • Discover how models are given a virtual skeleton so the animators can add movement.
  • Become immersed in the techniques used to add color and texture to every surface in a film. 
  • Take your photo with human-sized re-creations of many of your favorite Pixar characters.

“We are excited about bringing this unique experience from Pixar Animation Studios to the Colorado community,” said George Sparks, President and CEO of the Museum. “Pixar films are one of the most inspiring examples of how science, technology, engineering, art and math can intersect with creativity and imagination to bring joy and awe to people of all ages.”  

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. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged. Guests pay $29.95 adult, $24.95 senior (age 65+), $22.95 junior (ages 3 – 18). Book online and save. Students receive 10 percent off adult admission onsite with their ID. All tickets include general admission. Museum members receive discounted admission.  

About the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
The Denver Museum of Nature & Science is the Rocky Mountain Region’s leading resource for informal science education. Our mission is to be a catalyst and ignite the community’s passion for nature and science. The Museum offers a wide variety of engaging exhibitions, programs, activities and scientific research to inspire public appreciation and understanding of the wonders of Colorado, Earth, and the universe. The Museum is located at 2001 Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO, 80205. Information: dmns.org or 303.370.6000. Many of the Museum’s educational programs and exhibits are made possible in part by the citizens of the seven-county metro area through the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District. The Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Connect with the Museum on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

Support for The Science Behind Pixar
The Science Behind Pixar is funded through support by Google, members of the Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative (SMEC), Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).

About Pixar Animation Studios
Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative, and production capabilities in the art of computer animation. The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave,” “Inside Out” and “Coco.” Its movies have won 35 Academy Awards and have grossed more than $14 billion at the worldwide box office. “Onward,” Pixar’s 22nd feature, opens in theaters on March 6. 

This exhibition was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. © Disney/Pixar. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

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