Exclusive: Inside Pixar – A Photo Tour

A rarely-seen glimpse of the company's Emeryville campus.

by | July 15, 2008 | Comments

Inside Pixar

From Toy Story to WALL-E, Pixar has produced some of the world’s most beloved animated movies of the last decade and a half. From their Emeryville campus, a short hop from the city of San Francisco, Pixar’s strive to innovate and passion for story has seen them mine cinematic gold pretty-much consistently since their first feature.

Needless to say, when they invited RT to come and tour the very epicentre of their excellence, we couldn’t refuse. On the following pages, enjoy an exclusive glimpse into the heart of Pixar.

Inside Pixar

Past the main gates, a long, tree-lined path takes employees from the parking lot through the gardens to the entrance to the main building.

Inside Pixar

In front of the main building, a recent installation: Luxo Jr. and his ball, looking ever so slightly larger than he was back in 1986…
Inside Pixar

Behind Luxo Jr., nestled in the haven of Pixar’s gardens, an amphitheatre provides a venue for outdoor presentations and events.

Inside Pixar

Sports facilities in the garden include a full-sized swimming pool and a volleyball court – converted in between Ratatouille and WALL-E into a beach volleyball court.

Inside Pixar

Outside the main entrance, on sunny days staff convene on picnic tables to eat their lunch and talk about their projects. What we heard of Toy Story 3 we aren’t allowed to pass on…

Inside Pixar

Inside, Pixar’s main atrium is the epicentre of the facility, designed so that the company’s different departments would interact here on coffee breaks and lunch.

Inside Pixar

At Cafe Luxo, Pixar’s finest get their pick of some very, very tasty cooked meals and cold treats at very reasonable prices. We’re incredibly jealous.

Inside Pixar

On the other side of the atrium is the mailroom, and on the right, unfortunately closed for refurbishment during our visit, the Pixar gift shop.

Inside Pixar

But the most exciting room on this side of the atrium is the cereal room. Doing much as its name implies, it features a whole host of tasty cereal, peanut butter, milk in varieties most will be unaware exist and other breakfast goodness and, best of all, it’s entirely free.

Inside Pixar

The games’ room is on this side of the atrium too, featuring a full-sized Table Tennis table, foosball and air hockey, as well as a bank of videogame consoles loaded with the WALL-E videogame. Elsewhere is this rather handsome pool table.

Inside Pixar

The artwork in the atrium changes for each film in cinemas. In this case, WALL-E adorns every pillar…

Inside Pixar

…while the walls are full of awesome pieces of concept art from the film.

Inside Pixar

To the sides of the atrium are hallways leading to the company’s various department work spaces. These are strictly no-go areas for unaccompanied visitors.

Inside Pixar

The animation department which, as we visit, is already hard at work on Toy Story 3, Up, and a handful of other Pixar projects, is a hive of self-expression; this employee, for example, is working out of a garden shed.

Inside Pixar

The computing power necessary to generate Pixar’s outstanding imagery can be found in the Render Farm. With more blinking lights than the Axiom, the Pixar Render Farm is heaven if you’re a computer.

Inside Pixar

Pixar’s state-of-the-art screening room. We’re treated to the very first screening of WALL-E when we visit in May 2008, but for employees this is a great venue for screenings of films that might have an influence on current projects.

Inside Pixar

And so our tour of Pixar comes to a close, and we’re fairly convinced that this is the coolest office space in the world…

WALL-E Week on RT and IGN

RT – Pixar’s and Stars’ Favourite WALL-E Moments

Sigourney Weaver, Angus MacLane, Ben Burtt, Jim Morris and Andrew Stanton share their most memorable moments from the film.

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IGN – WALL-E Explained

Get an insight into the animation process as WALL-E Directing Animator Angus MacLane.

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RT – Inside Pixar – A Photo Tour

Rotten Tomatoes’ cameras are given a look inside animation mecca as Pixar opens the doors of its Emeryville, CA campus to us.

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IGN – The Pixar Philosophy

Key WALL-E staff including Andrew Stanton, David DeVan and Derek Thompson tell IGN what it’s like to work at Pixar.

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RT – The World of WALL-E

To celebrate RT’s freshest film of the year, we bring together eight WALL-E crew to talk about the film’s journey from concept to completion.

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IGN – At the Heart of WALL-E

Director Andrew Stanton explains, in his own words, why the WALL-E experience has been a special one and how he crafted the film.

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RT – The Storyboards of WALL-E

Story Artist Derek Thompson gives RT readers an exclusive look at the storyboarding process on the film and shares some boards.

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IGN – WALL-E UK Review

Critic Anna Smith delivers her verdict on Pixar’s latest and adds to the film’s fresh Tomatometer…

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RT – Ben Burtt’s WALL-E Sound Masterclass

The world’s most renowned Sound Designer exclusively teaches RT readers the basics of building WALL-E‘s world of sound.


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