The Science Behind Pixar opens June 9, letting Science Museum visitors go behind the scenes of the most beloved Pixar films | Science Museum of Minnesota

The Science Behind Pixar opens June 9, letting Science Museum visitors go behind the scenes of the most beloved Pixar films

May 11, 2017
Media Contacts

Kim Ramsden, Public Relations Director, (651) 221-9423
Sarah Imholte, Public Relations Specialist, (651) 221-9412
Peg Roessler, Roessler Public Relations, (612) 200-8600 

Media preview is Thursday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Download The Science Behind Pixar photos

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Science Behind Pixar, a colorful, interactive exhibit inspired by the science and technology behind Toy Story, The Incredibles, Inside Out, Monsters, Inc., WALL•E, and other beloved animated films and their characters, will open on Friday, June 9 at the Science Museum of Minnesota. This interactive 12,000 square foot exhibition showcases the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts used by the artists and computer scientists who bring Pixar’s award-winning films to the big screen. Tickets are on sale now at

Members of the media are invited to preview The Science Behind Pixar on Thursday, June 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please RSVP to Sarah Imholte (, 651-221-9412).

Complete media information is at

“We’re looking forward to opening the doors of The Science Behind Pixar this summer,” says Alison Rempel Brown, president and CEO of the Science Museum of Minnesota. “It’s an amazing blend of popular culture, art, science, and nostalgia with hands-on fun for everyone — from the smallest Buzz Lightyear fans to their parents and grandparents — who delights in Pixar’s beloved characters. They’ll find that important STEM concepts are behind the movie magic, and they’ll have a chance to try their hands at the processes that make it possible.”

Created by the Museum of Science, Boston and Pixar, and featuring more than 40 interactive elements, The Science Behind Pixar demonstrates the technology that supports the creativity and artistry of Pixar’s storytellers. The exhibition is broken into eight distinct sections, each focusing on a step of the filmmaking process — Modeling, Rigging, Surfaces, Sets & Cameras, Animation, Simulation, Lighting, and Rendering — providing visitors with a unique view of the production pipeline and concepts used at Pixar every day. Visitors of all ages will engage in and learn about the filmmaking process through hands- on activities inspired by some of Pixar’s most treasured films, from the first-ever computer animated feature film, Toy Story, which opened over two decades ago, to the 2015 release, Inside Out.

The Science Behind Pixar is a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made," said Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. "The interactive exhibition gives people the opportunity to learn about the jobs our filmmakers do every day and tackle similar problems. It's a great demonstration of how much creativity and imagination is involved in the science, technology, engineering, art and math thinking essential to our filmmaking process.”

The Science Behind Pixar offers a variety of hands-on activities that empower visitors to imagine the STEM concepts behind Pixar’s films in a fun, engaging format. To better understand the science and math that goes into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, visitors will hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. They will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline, through screen-based activities and physical interactive exhibits. In Sets & Cameras, for example, visitors will discover how a bugs-eye view was achieved for A Bug’s Life, through camera angles and large-set design within the computer. Visitors will envision how digital sculptures are created based on sketches from artists in Modeling, and explore Lighting to solve challenges similar to what Pixar artists faced in creating animated water with virtual light in Finding Nemo. Rigging showcases how the models are given a virtual skeleton to enable the animators to add movement, and in Surfaces, visitors can immerse themselves in the techniques behind adding color and texture to every surface in a film. Visitors will also have the opportunity to take their photo with human-size recreations of many of their favorite Pixar film characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode, and WALL•E.

The Science Museum of Minnesota is only the fourth museum in the nation — and the first in the Midwest — to host The Science Behind Pixar. Its run at the Science Museum is limited; it will close its doors on Labor Day, Monday, September 4.

Visitor Information
Admission to the Science Museum and The Science Behind Pixar will be $28.95 for adults, $22.95 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors age 65 and older. Discounts are available for Science Museum members, groups of 15 or more, and individuals with limited incomes. Tickets will be timed and dated, so visitors will be asked to choose a date for their visit and a specific entry time for The Science Behind Pixar.

The Science Behind Pixar was developed by the Museum of Science, Boston in collaboration with Pixar Animation Studios. © Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved. Used Under Authorization.

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). The exhibit is sponsored locally by Delta Air Lines

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. Creator of 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,” and “Brave,” the Northern California studio has won 30 Academy Awards and its films have grossed more than $10 billion at the worldwide box office to date.

About the Science Museum of Minnesota
The Science Museum of Minnesota is one of the state’s most popular museums, with a reach that extends well beyond its riverfront location in downtown Saint Paul. It serves hundreds of thousands of people each year with its engaging exhibits, breathtaking giant screen films, and unique special events. Science Museum education programs touch students in all of Minnesota’s 87 counties each year, and its research programs span the globe. For more information, visit


PLEASE NOTE: Images from The Science Behind Pixar are available for media use at Video footage is also available. Contact Sarah Imholte at (651) 221-9412 or for access.