Pixar: 25 Years of Animation



As an artist, I have long loved animation films of all kinds, and of course, Pixar rates among the top. Ever since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, I have realized the artists who make these films are some of the best in the world.

The Oakland Museum is hosting a retrospective showcasing the creative work behind Pixar’s wildly successful computer-animated films. The Pixar exhibit’s return home to Oakland came after a worldwide tour that began at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2005 and then went around the world to museums in Europe, South America, and Japan.

My son and I went today. The exhibit was more than 600 works by artists, displaying a plethora of drawings, paintings, and sculptures that highlight the Emeryville-based company’s wildly successful computer-animated films. You can see how variations of many of the characters developed during the creative process. I was surprised that three fourths of the entire time in producing one of their movies is in character development, script and story. That means only one fourth of the time is actually spent in generating the computerized characters!

Also interesting was the history of the company on how it started at Lucas Films, and was brought out and bought by Steve Jobs, the Apple CEO.

The only thing I wish it would have had was more about how the actual computer animation is done. As a retired computer guy, that would have been especially interesting to me.

Here is a short video about the exhibit–

No pictures were allowed inside the Pixar exhibit, but I did take a few shots of the art collection, which contained a few of my favorite artists of early California. The first is a Thomas Hill and the second an Albert Bierstadt–

And of course any art exhibit would not be complete without the “Art of the Motorcycle”. Arlen Ness, the godfather of choppers built this bike on exhibit: