Pixar Perfect

By Shu ChiangMovies - 09 June 2010 2:00 PM | Updated 16 June 2010

Pixar Perfect

It takes nearly an hour, driving from downtown San Francisco to Emeryville, the little town across the bay, south of Berkeley, north of Oakland, where Pixar Animation Studios are located.

Once out of San Francisco, the springtime views from the Bay Bridge are magnificent, the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz visible in the distance. If this was the daily commute for a Pixar employee, it wasn't half bad.

Not long thereafter, exiting the highway, with outlet malls and train tracks forming part of the scenery, the coach ferrying journalists to Pixar turns into a sleepy neighbourhood, no pedestrian in sight, passing Emeryville's town hall before pulling up at the cast-iron gates to Pixar grounds.

And this, was it. Alighting from the coach, a giant model of Luxo Jr, the desk lamp often seen in Pixar's opening credits, is the first trace of the Pixar legacy on display.

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Across from Luxo Jr are the glass doors leading into Pixar itself. The sunlight reflecting off the glass panels of the building facade make it difficult to see what's inside. The suspense is killing us.

Once inside, it's everything a Pixar fan can want. Life-sized building-block models of Buzz and Woody great you at the reception. There's free candy in a bowl and nifty company name cards with Pixar characters, if you want some keepsakes.

Visitors pose everywhere, with the various paintings and models of animated characters, and snap as many pictures as they can. The Pixar gift shop sets pulses racing; you mean, I can buy the plush-toy talking dog from Up? Excellent.

InSing.com was given an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, entering the work areas of the Pixar staff, some of whom zip around on skate-scooters, and shown how movie props, models and other 'artifacts' are stored for posterity.

We also got to meet some of the remarkable talents behind the upcoming film, Toy Story 3. Take a look at our gallery to see more of our special visit to Pixar!