Pixar Tech: California Science Center Exhibit

Discover how animators use modeling, rigging, simulation, and more techniques to create fantastical worlds.

Let's just get something straight from the get-go: Radiator Springs, Monstropolis, the Axiom are all real locations, true story, and Woody and Buzz Lightyear and Lightning McQueen and WALL-E absolutely exist, too... in our hearts.

The feelings for Pixar places and people (and robots and toys and cars) run strong among fans of the company's dandy line-up of films, and delving deeper into how these characters and worlds are created, from a technological angle, will only enhance our positive emotions for "Toy Story" and "Monsters, Inc." and the 15 other heart-tuggable features the Emeryville-based studio has masterfully created.

The California Science Center will dig into just exactly how a Pixar story wends its way to the screen when The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition debuts on Saturday, Oct. 15.

It's the large-scale exhibit's West Coast premiere, one that includes hands-on activities spread over a sizable (as in 12,000-square-feet) space.

Kids and bigger kids shall learn how animators employ modeling, simulations, rendering, rigging, lighting, and a host of other complex and marvel-filled tech-cool techniques to give Sulley his teal-purple fur, Nemo his clownfish scales, and all of those "Up" balloons their color, movement, and presence.

STEM, in short, will be in full effect throughout the show, revealing how the mysteries of art and the principles of science can weave together to create a perfect and perfectly satisfying blend of both disciplines.

And if you need a snapshot with Buzz Lightyear or WALL-E or Sulley or Dory or Edna Mode — "no capes!" — look for "human-size recreations" dotting the exhibit. Over "40 interactive exhibit elements" play a part of The Science Behind Pixar, filling out the Pixar universe in detailed and delightful ways.


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Have an aspiring animator in the family? Simply adore funny films lush with feeling? Is everything in Pixar real to you, from Bing Bong of "Inside Out" to WALL-E's bff Hal the cockroach?

Secure your ticket now.

(And, no joke, everything in Pixar is totally 100% real, according to our emotions, no argument, let's not even go there, done. We mean, the scene in "Toy Story 3"? Please. Don't argue with your heart strings on this one.)

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