Though Pixar Animation Studios is known for the fantastical ideas that power their films—toys that come to life, an old man flying his house away with thousands of balloons, a family of superheroes—the stories come from the everyday ups and downs of the filmmakers’ own lives. “Our stories talk about the challenges, successes, and joys of our own experiences,” says Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter. “We tell those stories through the metaphors of characters and worlds we’d like to see brought to life.”

From the earliest back-of-envelope notes and sketches to the finishing touches of lighting and effects, Pixar’s filmmakers constantly strive to support the characters’ emotional journey with all the tools at their disposal. Everything you see on screen is designed and built from scratch with the story’s specific needs in mind. Though this is an incredible amount of work, it’s also an incredible opportunity, giving the studio’s filmmakers an unparalleled degree of precision and power in their visual storytelling.

This exhibit will give you an inside view of Pixar’s visual design process, from the perspective of the artists themselves. Though the pieces in these rooms are no more than the smallest fraction of the art that has been created at the studio, they give a sense of the years of experimentation, deliberation, and iteration that go into every film.



CaixaForum Girona
Girona, Spain
April 14 – August 22, 2021


CaixaForum Seville
Seville, Spain
November 26, 2020 – March 21, 2021

Pixar: 30 Years Of Animation

Many people don’t realize that we have many artists at Pixar working in traditional media—hand drawing, painting, pastels, sculpture—as well as digital media. Most of their work takes place during the development of a project, when we’re working out the story and the look of the film. The wealth of beautiful art created for each movie is rarely seen outside the studio, and the finished film we send around the world would never be possible without it.

Computer animation is both an extraordinarily liberating and extraordinarily challenging medium. While it contains no limits except those that you choose for yourself, it also contains nothing, down to the smallest detail, that you do not create yourself. You get nothing for free.

The development stage, the time before we build our digital world, is the time when we have the most creative freedom. We encourage our artists to explore as much as possible, to let their imaginations run wild. In turn, their art inspires our storytellers and filmmakers to new heights.

In the early days of computer animation, people used to ask us if the computer made the film. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since then. It’s been deeply gratifying to have our medium recognized for the art form that it is. In the years since the Museum of Modern Art in New York premiered Pixar: 20 Years of Animation, the exhibition has been updated and traveled around the world, throughout Europe, East Asia, Latin America, and Australia. It’s been wonderful to bring this inside look at the studio to so many different countries and to see how enthusiastically everyone has greeted the work of our talented artists. 



Pixar: 30 Years of Animation

Museum of Contemporary Art
Tokyo, Japan
March 5–May 29, 2016

Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum
Nagasaki, Japan
July 27 – September 8, 2016

National Museum of History
Taipei, Taiwan
November 11, 2016 - February 12, 2017

Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Seoul, South Korea
April 15 - August 8, 2017

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Hong Kong, People’s Republic of China
November 18, 2017 - March 5, 2018

OCTOBER 9, 2018 - JANUARY 20, 2019

Krizik Pavilon
Holešovice Exhibition Grounds
Prague, Czech Republic
February 15 - May 26, 2019

JANUARY 23 - AUGUST 30, 2020


Pixar: 25 Years of Animation

Oakland Museum of California
Oakland, California,
United States
July 31, 2010–January 9, 2011

Hong Kong Heritage Museum
Hong Kong, People's Republic of China
March 28–July 22, 2011

Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art
Shanghai, People's Republic of China
August 1–October 30, 2011

Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea
Milan, Italy
November 23, 2011–February 14, 2012

Palazzo Te
Mantova, Italy
March 15–June 12, 2012

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland
Bonn, Germany
July 6, 2012–January 6, 2013

Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe
Hamburg, Germany
January 26–May 12, 2013

Amsterdam EXPO
Amsterdam, Netherlands
May 30–October 27, 2013

Art Ludique Le Musée
Paris, France
November 16, 2013–March 2, 2014

Madrid, Spain
March 21–June 22, 2014

Zaragoza, Spain
September 10, 2014–January 6, 2015

Barcelona, Spain
February 6–May 3, 2015

Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias
Valencia, Spain
June 2–August 30, 2015



Museum of Modern Art
New York, New York, United States
December 14, 2005–February 6, 2006

Science Museum
London, United Kingdom
April 1–June 10, 2006

Mori Arts Center Gallery
Tokyo, Japan
July 1–August 27, 2006

Koriyama City Museum of Art
Koriyama, Japan
September 2–October 9, 2006

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art
Kobe, Japan
December 2, 2006–January 14, 2007

The National Museum of Scotland
Edinburgh, Scotland
March 2–May 28, 2007

Australian Centre for
the Moving Image

Melbourne, Australia
June 28–October 14, 2007

Helsinki City Museum
Helsinki, Finland
January 29–April 27, 2008

Hangaram Design Museum
|Seoul, Korea
July 2–September 7, 2008

Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
de Monterrey

Monterrey, Mexico
March 7–June 7, 2009

Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Taipei, Taiwan
August 7–November 1, 2009

Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts
Kaohsiung, Taiwan
December 8, 2009–March 7, 2010

Science Centre Singapore
Republic of Singapore
April 2–June 27, 2010