Science Behind Pixar

Science Behind Pixar at Henry Ford Museum

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Disclosure: The Henry Ford hosted our visit to Science Behind Pixar to facilitate this article. All opinions are our own.

The Science Behind Pixar exhibit opened at the Henry Ford Museum in mid October 2017. The exhibit will be there through March 18, 2018. We took advantage of the Ann Arbor Public Schools day off on Election Day to visit.

Science Behind Pixar

Science Behind Pixar Video Walkthrough


Posted by Ann Arbor with Kids on Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Favorite Parts of Science Behind Pixar

My daughter loved the computer terminals. She got to make her own character using building blocks. Her character looks like it would fit right in with Wall-E.

Science Behind Pixar - Virtual Character Building

She designed a dorm room for Monsters University.

Science Behind Pixar - Virtual Set Building

For my 2.5 year old niece, the best part was building her own physical model of a robot (like Wall-E and Eve).

Science Behind Pixar - Physical Model Building

Other Parts of Science Behind Pixar

I loved that the exhibit activities featured many different Pixar movies to demonstrate different techniques.

  • Finding Nemo – Movement of Fish – groupings and directions
  • Cars – Overlays of the car designs and decals and level of detail based on distance from camera
  • Inside Out – Rendering time simulation
  • Ratatouille – How detail affects rendering time
  • Brave – Simulation & arm controls
  • Up – Lighting

There were models to see. Like this life size Buzz Lightyear. Other life size models include Sully and Wall-E.

Science Behind Pixar - Buzz Model

There were also smaller clay models on shelves in a display case like Mike Waszowski (Monsters Inc) and Heimlich(Bugs Life).

Science of Pixar - Clay Models of Mike and Heimlich

Suggestions for Your Visit to Science Behind Pixar

After our visit I have a few suggestions to make your visit go smoother. Science Behind Pixar Stats

  • Avoid Meal Times – Our session started at noon, and my daughter asked to go around 1:30 because she was hungry. There are no food/drinks allowed in the exhibit. 
  • Arrive Early – When booking in advance, make sure to leave plenty of time to arrive and park. 
  • Age Recommendations – I suggest the exhibit for elementary school through adults. My 2.5 year old niece was with us and found some activities she enjoyed too although she didn’t stay in the exhibit as long as my daughter.
  • Split Up if Needed – If you have kids at multiple ages, it would help to have multiple adults so one could leave when the younger ones are done.

Planning Your Visit to Science Behind Pixar

The Science Behind Pixar requires an additional timed ticket in addition to your museum admission. Admission slots are every 30 minutes. Tickets for Science Behind Pixar are:

  • Henry Ford Members: $5 for ages 3+
  • Non-Members (includes Henry Ford Museum admission): 
    • Adult: $27
    • Youth: $21.25
    • Senior: $25

Tickets can be purchased online in advance so that you can ensure your most popular 

Pixar’s Next Movie: Incredibles 2

Speaking of Pixar, don’t miss the trailer for the their next movie: Incredibles 2.

Incredibles 2

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