Enter the Wonderful World of Pixar

By Michael Berick

museums for kids in la

The California Science Center’s new exhibit is Pixar perfect. PHOTO BY MICHAEL MALYSZKO

Dory, Sully, Buzz Lightyear and WALL•E are just some of the beloved characters in Pixar family films. Now you can explore the technology behind Pixar’s movie magic at a new exhibit, “The Science Behind Pixar,” making its West Coast premiere at the California Science Center, (700 Exposition Park Dr., L.A.; www.californiasciencecenter.org), one of many museums for kids in LA.

“The Science Behind Pixar” offers a fascinating insider’s look at how the studio constructs its award-winning motion pictures. This impressive 12,000-square-foot exhibit, which features more than 40 interactive components, contains eight sections that examine various steps in the movie-making process.

In “Sets & Cameras,” you’ll see how the insect-eye view was realized for “A Bug’s Life.” The “Modeling” section reveals how digital sculpting created the “Toy Story” characters, while “Rigging” will show how “Monsters, Inc.” characters were given movement. See how the Pixar artists solved the challenges of creating the watery world of “Finding Nemo” in the “Lighting” section and, in “Surfaces,” learn how colors and textures fleshed out “Cars” characters. You can also hear stories from members of Pixar’s production team about their work, and encounter your favorite Pixar characters.

Besides being pixelated by all of the fun cinematic magic, visitors will get lessons in STEM subjects as they relate to the work done by Pixar animation artists and computer wizards.

“The Science Behind Pixar” runs from Oct. 15-April 9. While admission to the California Science Center, open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., is free, admission to this timed-entry exhibit costs $14.95 for adults, $11.95 for ages 13-17 and $9.95 for ages 4-12. Advance purchase is recommended.

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