By Amy Rea

By Amy Rea

In 1995, Pixar released its first full-length animated movie: Toy Story.

pixar20lightyear Wander Minnesota: The Science of Pixar

Photo by Amy Rea

It was groundbreaking animation, it was a huge hit, and it was just the beginning in a spectacular run of animated movies that appealed both to kids and the adults who went to movies with them. Just think of the movies that immediately became beloved classics: The subsequent sequels to Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo (and Dory), Up, Inside Out, Wall-E, Ratatouille, The Incredibles–with each movie becoming more technically sophisticated than the previous one.

What does it take to make a Pixar film? A whole lot of effort, expertise, and creativity. A display opening June 9 at the Science Museum of Minnesota gives visitors the chance to see behind the curtain, learn about what happens (and why it takes so long), and experiment with several hands-on activities.

Photo by Amy Rea

Photo by Amy Rea

The exhibit starts with a short film that takes viewers on a tour of the actual Pixar studios and gives an overview of the intensive process involved in making these films.

pixar20production Wander Minnesota: The Science of Pixar

Multiple stations (that can be visited in or out of order) detail each step of the process, the challenges at that step, then provides ties to math and science and the hands-on activities.

pixar20simulation Wander Minnesota: The Science of Pixar

Photo by Amy Rea

Everything from first sketches to final renderings is explained.

pixar20inside20out Wander Minnesota: The Science of Pixar

Photo by Amy Rea

Activities are wide-ranging and there will be something for everyone, whether it’s an “assemble your own robot” that the youngest child can enjoy to more sophisticated technical challenges.

pixar20models Wander Minnesota: The Science of Pixar

Photo by Amy Rea

The exhibit, which is sure to be popular, will be open through Sept. 4. Oh–and for the adults who’d like to see it without tripping over younger visitors, check out this week’s Social Science event, open only for guests ages 21 and over.

What else is happening in our state? Be sure to check out the 10 p.m. Sunday night WCCO newscasts, where you can learn more in the weekly segment, Finding Minnesota.

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