I’m fortunate to live close enough to Philadelphia that I can head in pretty easily for any cool events happening there. And this summer the Franklin Institute science museum has a special exhibit all about “The Science behind Pixar”! So of course I had to head into the city and check it out.
The Science behind Pixar is a special separate exhibit, and admission to it costs a little bit more than regular admission. We spent over an hour with the Pixar stuff so I’d say it was definitely worth it. They do a great job combining hands on activities that are great for kids and adults alike with some of the actual science and math involved in producing these films.
I guess I always thought of making movies as more of an “artistic” sort of thing, so it blew my mind a bit to see all of the math involved in computer animation. It’s something I really know nothing about so I was fascinated to learn. In college I was an English major with a minor in math, so I’ve always been interested in both the arts and the sciences. It was very cool to see the two combined.
We also learned a lot about just how much work and time goes into creating a movie like this. At the end of the process each frame has to be rendered, and it can take over 24 hours for this to be done! No wonder they have so many people that work on these movies and in the credits!
There were a number of larger than life Pixar characters set up that were perfect for photo ops – because you know us Disney fans, we like to take photos with Disney characters! I got photos with some of my favorites, including Mike and Sulley, Wall-e, Dory, and Buzz Lightyear.
Almost all of the stations had interactive elements, and we played around doing things like creating the set for a scene in Monsters University, building our own Wall-e esque robots out of magnetic parts, playing with different camera angles on the set of A Bug’s Life, experimenting with different lighting techniques in the Up set, and many more fun things. I’m a big kid at heart so I had a blast playing around with all that they had to offer!
And of course it wouldn’t be complete without a gift shop at the end. I didn’t purchase anything, but there were some cute Pixar related items – a lot of it geared towards kids. They also had several books about Pixar and the work that goes on there which looked very interesting to me. I actually wish they had a book that contained the information from the exhibit itself (like you see at a lot of museums) because I would have purchased something like that.
If you’re in the Philadelphia area and are interested in checking out the exhibit, it’s open til September 5th at the Franklin Institute. Tickets are $29.95 for adults and $24.95 for kids but also get you admission to the rest of the museum, which is also worth checking out!
Does the Science Behind Pixar look like something you’d be interested in doing?