Monday, November 08, 2010

My Experience at the Pixar Exhibition

Ever since the Oakland Museum announced that it was hosting an exhibition of Pixar's 25 Years of Animation, I knew I had to go. I mean I have a Pixar movies site, for goodness sake, I must!

I'm not a person who feels I have to be first at everything, so this exhibition has been going on for three months already and in addition, the first Sunday of every month provides free admission. Last month I couldn't go, so this month I decided I must go and my friend Caroline joined me!

However, come Sunday morning, it was heavily pouring rain outside and I thought - well, there probably won't be that many people waiting in line today since it's raining so hard.

We got into Oakland at 10:15 and the museum didn't open til 11 and there were already quite a crowd lined up, huddled under their umbrellas 45 minutes early. So I hopped out of the car to wait in line while Caroline parked her car.

Ugh, it was so wet n cold waiting all that time and the folks ahead of us were a group a three with one tiny umbrella to share. Needless to say they were drenched by the time the gate opened. I was impressed at the loyalty of all these people to come see the exhibition. I would guesstimate that close to 1,000 people showed up!

Anyway, on to the awesome Pixar exhibition. It was so cool to see the storyboards and conceptual drawings. I found some of the collage pieces for The Incredibles to be really well done. Many of the acrylic and pastel paintings are beautiful pieces on their own and would look stunning on the wall as a unique piece of art.

There were 3-D models of all the characters from each Pixar film showcased in the middle of each room and in one room, there were a half dozen glass and wire sculptures of the different plants on the tepui plateaus of South America that were studies for Up. Absolutely GORGEOUS.

One of the highlights was something called a Zoetrope. It's like a small merry-go-round where different Toy Story characters are in various animated poses. The Zoetrope spins around faster and faster, the lights go dark in the room, then strobe lights flicker on the spinning Zoetrope and the figures come to life. There are sound effects to it, making it all the more real. It was VERY cool!

Another part of the exhibit I really enjoyed was seeing color studies for the scope of the film. I saw several - Up and WALL-E. The entire movie is made up in a series of panels that convey the mood of the film through the color schemes. They were simple pictures, but put all together it had lots of impact and you could see the whole film on one section of wall.

And of course, the conceptual art was wonderful. Many pieces were digitally created and they look just like colored pencil or conte crayon. Other pieces had the precise lines of an architect. The talent of the artists at Pixar are extraordinary!

So that was my experience of the Pixar exhibit at the Oakland Museum. I encourage you to go too, especially if you live in the Bay Area - Pixar is your neighbor and probably the premiere animation studio in the world.


Shmilfke said...

When are they coming to Montreal?

Amy P. said...

I wish I knew what stop they're making next. I hope they'll come to Canada! :)