The Science Behind Pixar (originally called The Science of Pixar and sometimes called The Science Behind Pixar Exhibition) is a 10,000 square-foot touring exhibition which opened on June 28, 2015 at the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts. On January 10, 2016, it started a national tour to other museums around the United States. In 2017, a copy of the exhibition was created for touring internationally.
The exhibition features 40 exhibit elements which demonstrate the production pipeline at Pixar. They are divided into eight sections, each one focusing on a step in the filmmaking process and using different films to illustrate said concept:
- Focused on the Toy Story films.
- Display cases contain maquettes from a variety of Pixar films across their history.
- Focused on the Cars films and the graphic design and paint finishes on each character with a projection mapping interactive allowing visitors to switch through different car styles.
- Sets & Cameras:
- Focused around Inside Out and the computational work that went into giving the Emotions their distinctive glowing forms.
Before entering the exhibit, visitors go into a theater to watch a five-minute introductory video. In the video, Pixar technical artist Fran Kalal and story artist Alex Woo briefly explain Pixar's production pipeline. It also features Pixar characters Mr. Ray and Roz greeting the visitors and providing them safety precautions for the theater. Roz appears again at the end of the video to say that she will miss the visitors once they leave the theater.
Human-sized statues of some of Pixar's characters appear throughout the exhibit as photo-opportunities and to mark different sections.
- Buzz Lightyear at the Modeling area
- Dory at the Lighting area
- Mike Wazowski at the Rigging area
- James P. Sullivan at the Rigging area
- Edna Mode at the Animation area
- WALL•E at the Camera area
The chart below lists the museums in the exhibition's tour and the opening and closing dates at each one.
|Museum||City||Opening date||Closing date||Notes|
|Museum of Science||Boston, MA||June 28, 2015||January 10, 2016||As said in a promo, it was meant to open in 2014, but was delayed to 2015 for unknown reasons. Later returned in 2020 after its stop in Dallas was cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.|
|The Franklin Institute||Philadelphia, PA||March 12, 2016||September 5, 2016|
|California Science Center||Los Angeles, CA||October 15, 2016||April 16, 2017||The closing date was originally planned to be on April 9, but it was delayed to the 16th for unknown reasons.|
|Science Museum of Minnesota||St. Paul, MN||June 9, 2017||September 4, 2017||Originally, it was planned to open on May 27 before being delayed to June 9 for unknown reasons.|
|Telus World of Science||Edmonton, AL, Canada||July 1, 2017||January 7, 2018||The international tour starts here.|
|The Henry Ford Museum||Dearborn, MI||October 14, 2017||April 14, 2018|
|Science World at TELUS World of Science||Vancouver, BC, Canada||May 19, 2018||January 6, 2019|
|The Museum of Science and Industry||Chicago, IL||May 24, 2018||January 6, 2019|
|The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry||Portland, OR||February 23, 2019||September 2, 2019|
|The Roppongi Hills Observation Deck Tokyo City View||Tokyo, Japan||April 13, 2019||September 16, 2019|
|The Denver Museum of Nature & Science||Denver, CO||October 11, 2019||April 5, 2020|
|Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art||Niigata, Japan||October 12, 2019||November 24, 2019|
|The Grand Front Osaka Knowledge Capital Event Lab||Osaka, Japan||December 21, 2019||February 24, 2020|
|Perot Museum of Nature and Science||Dallas, TX||Cancelled||Cancelled||Originally planned to open on April 25 before being cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic. It is unknown whether the exhibition will open here in the future.|
|The Fukuoka City Museum||Fukuoka, Japan||July 1, 2020||September 22, 2020||Originally planned to open on March 21 before being delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic.|
|The Nagoya City Science Museum||Nagoya, Japan||November 28, 2020||February 23, 2021|
|Hong Kong Science Museum||Hong Kong, Hong Kong||July 30, 2021||December 1, 2021|
|Cincinnati Museum Center||Cincinnati, OH||October 22, 2021||April 24, 2022|
|Hiroshima City Museum of Art||Hiroshima, Japan||February 11, 2022||March 27, 2022|
|Sapporo Art Museum||Sapporo, Japan||April 19, 2022||June 28, 2022|
The tour is expected to last for ten years with limited tour availability beginning in 2021.
- The introductory video is similar to the introduction video for Pixar in a Box.
- 1:55 Scale Die-casts of Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks and Brush Curber appear in one of the exhibit elements.
- Official Website
- The Science Behind Pixar at the Official Pixar Website
- Museum of Science Website (archived)
- Franklin Institute Website (archived)
- California Science Center Website (archived)
- Telus World of Science Website (archived)
- Science Museum of Minnesota Website (archived)
- Science World at TELUS World of Science Website
- The Museum of Science and Industry Website
- Oregon Museum of Science and Industry Website
- Roppongi Hills Website
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science Website
- Niigata Prefectural Museum of Modern Art Website
- TV Osaka Website
- Perot Museum Website
- Fukuoka City Museum Website
- Nagoya City Science Museum Website
- Hong Kong Science Museum Website
- Cincinnati Museum Center Website
- Hiroshima City Museum of Art Website
- Sapporo TV Website