On my trip to San Francisco, we were able to to do a lot of amazing things (like visit Google HQ), and tour the PIXAR campus and learn more about The Good Dinosaur, but being able to visit the PIXAR Archives to learn more about TOY STORY was incredible. We were the first public tour they (PIXAR Archives) has ever had – so it was really a privilege. I can not begin to tell you how cool this was. We got to see original drawings from the artists, 3-D models, photos and many other timeless pieces that the amazing ladies there have preserved and learned about so they could share with us.
Some of the things we learned about the Archives:
- Jonas Rivera (producer for Inside Out) was the one who suggested they create the PIXAR Archives. This was towards the end of A Bug’s Life in 2000.
- Things they collected were Documents that show what thoughts were during the creation process, review notes, press clippings, clothing and awards, among many other things.
- There are now, on average, about 5 million pieces in the Archives
- They keep a digital archive for all of the digital content
- They keep a Book and Video library for the artists to use for reference and research
- It is a living archives and they work with people on every film to collect materials and let them know what they need to keep for the archives
I loved listening to them tell us about how they store everything and what they keep and why it is important. They showed us several pieces for examples and we got to be in one of the archive rooms, so that was really neat as well.
Some of the things we learned about TOY STORY:
- The idea came about from the short film Tin Toy from 1988
- They wanted to make a feature film instead of just TV specials
- John Lasseter started sketching Woody
- Woody was based on Tinny the Tin Toy
- Buzz was based on Dummy the Ventriloquist toy
- Bud Lucky helped create over 200 sketches and variations of Woody and John Lasseter picked the one we currently know and love as Woody in Toy Story.
- Jeff Pigeon implemented the idea of a pull string, he got the idea from a Caspar the Ghost doll.
- Jeff Pigeon also did the first Buzz Lightyear drawings – his name started as Lunar Larry
- They got the colors (purple and green) for Buzz because they are John Lasseter and his wife’s favorite colors.
- In the beginning, Woody’s character wasn’t very likable, but his character and image changed.
- The amount of time and thought that was put into the movie is incredible – things like the eye view of the house from the toys perspective (like how the floor boards and walls would look, the colors, lighting, animals and more.
- They found a museum called the Unknown Museum (in Marin county) where they got inspiration for the mutant toys from the displays of pop culture arrangements.
- There is a doll they made with the Hulk’s body and arms and Erik Estrada from Chips as the head. This traveled through the generations on different desks at PIXAR before ending up at the Archives.
- Toy Story was the first Oscar for Pixar
- Toy Story was the first Oscar for Animated Film
- PIXAR has been around for 30 years!
If you haven’t seen Toy Story for a while, now is the time to pull it out and watch it again. It is such an iconic film and really changed the way cartoons were made. It was suggested that you mute the movie and watch it without sound so you can pay attention to things like the lighting, the views from which the characters are looking, and also the composition and angles.
This was such fun experience and I wish we could have spent more time there learning about the history of PIXAR at the PIXAR Archives.
This trip is sponsored by Disney, Pixar & Disney Junior. This does not affect my opinions and they are 100% my own.