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What It’s Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

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The Pixar Animation Studios aren’t open to the public, but invited guests do get to visit on occasion. I was lucky enough to have been invited as part of the Disney sponsored #Incredibles2Event trip. I actually had the opportunity to see 2 different buildings AND got to take a peek into the Pixar Archives. It is such a beautiful campus where art, technology, and creativity are obvious priorities.

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and ArchivesWhat It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

The Steve Jobs Building

The Steve Jobs building is the “main” building on campus. It houses the Luxo Cafe where you can purchase lunch, the Pixar Studios store, employee mail room, 2 art galleries, character statues and out front of this building sits the iconic Pixar Lamp and Luxo Ball (that lights up at night).

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

Incredibles 2 concept art, seen in the Steve Jobs building atrium, as seen on March 26, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
Incredibles 2 concept art, seen in the Steve Jobs building atrium, as seen on March 26, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

On the first floor (the Atrium) the large art pieces rotate out depending on what film is being worked on. While we were visiting, there were some amazing Incredibles 2 pieces displayed.

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

Incredibles 2 concept art, seen in the Steve Jobs building atrium, as seen on March 26, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

There is also a screening room where we got to screen about 35 minutes of Incredibles 2 and the new Pixar short film Bao. I always love intimate screening rooms so it was fun to get to experience this one!

This level really is so full of life. There are creative work related posters, small meetings or  meet ups, and I even saw a guy ride past on a scooter!

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

Throughout the day in this building we met with creators of the film and even got to design our own super with a fun activity.

Press create their own Super at Incredibles 2 Long Lead Press day, as seen on April 4, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)

The second floor (at least the portion where invited guests are allowed to access) has 2 different art galleries. On this trip it was Incredibles 2 and Coco. I love the commitment to art and how the employees get to benefit so much from it. We weren’t allowed to take photos ourselves but were given access to photos so we can share it with all of  you!

The Incredibles 2 art gallery, as seen on March 8, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
The Incredibles 2 art gallery, as seen on March 8, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
Brianne Moseley reviews comps against art in the Incredibles 2 art gallery, as seen on March 8, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
The Incredibles 2 art gallery, as seen on March 8, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
The Incredibles 2 art gallery, as seen on March 8, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
The Incredibles 2 art gallery, as seen on March 8, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)

Brooklyn Building at Pixar Animation Studios

The first night we visited we were invited into the Brooklyn building for a Bao themed dinner. This building was just as gorgeous and even has a Hearth lounge inside the fireplace!

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

The Grounds

While we didn’t get a full tour of the grounds, I did see enough to tell you that they are absolutely gorgeous. Employees even have access to a Pixar themed basketball course and a swimming pool.

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

Pixar Archives

In addition to the Pixar Animation Studios property we were also taken to visit the Pixar Archives. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but after talking with the professional archivists I completely fell in love with this act of preserving history. They take great care in making sure everything is preserved as well as it can be and that they know where it all is when needed.

For example, the artists behind Incredibles 2 pulled out quite a bit of from the Incredible archives. They were able to easily find and reference everything from full art pieces to 3D versions of characters to very early sketches.

The building is extremely secure and protective of the items inside. We couldn’t even bring a pen into where the archives are held!

Archives Manager Juliet Roth at Incredibles 2 Long Lead Press day, as seen on April 5, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)
Exhibitions archivist Melissa Woods and Archives Manager Juliet Roth at Incredibles 2 Long Lead Press day, as seen on April 5, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)
Archives Manager Juliet Roth at Incredibles 2 Long Lead Press day, as seen on April 5, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)
Lead Archivist and Pixar Historian Christine Freeman at Incredibles 2 Long Lead Press day, as seen on April 5, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)
Lead Archivist and Pixar Historian Christine Freeman at Incredibles 2 Long Lead Press day, as seen on April 5, 2018 at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif. (Photo by Marc Flores)

I definitely left with a new appreciation for all that goes into creating a Pixar film and am even MORE excited to see Incredibles 2 on June 15th.

What It's Like to Visit Pixar Animation Studios and Archives

Incredibles 2

Have you seen the trailer yet?! SO good!

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Allison Waken is a wife, mom of boys and Phoenix, AZ native. She has been creating inspiring content for All for the Boys since 2011. Allison loves travel, movies and spending as much time as possible with her family while she can!

2 Comments

    • It really was! Every time I visit a place like this I change my mind about what I want to be when I “grow up” 😉

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