Come be a big kid at SMM’s Social Science

Come be a big kid at SMM's Social Science

Are you a lover of all things Pixar? Do you dream of flowing through the sea with Dory, Melvin and Nemo? Maybe you want to hang with Woody and the rest of the Toy Story gang. Or maybe the science and technology behind creating one of your favorite Pixar films is simply something you would love to learn more about.

The Science Behind Pixar

Well, the Science Museum of Minnesota has your answer: The latest Social Science exhibit The Science Behind Pixar.  This is a 13,000 square foot exhibition that explores the math, computer science, and science that goes into creating Pixar films. The Science Museum will be the very first Midwest stop which opens Friday June 9th and goes through Labor Day, September 4th.

There will be three main areas for attendees to explore and experience: Meet the Characters, The Film Making Process, and Meet the Team.

Visitors will come face to face with re-creations of many of their favorite characters, from Toy Story legends Woody Buzz Lightyear, to Nemo and Dory, to Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc., to WALL-E from the beloved film of the same named film. Photography of smiles and wide eyed wonder is highly encouraged.

The majority of the exhibit will be focused on the film making process that Pixar utilizes to bring it’s characters and films to life will explore the following eight areas;

Story and Art: Where everything begins with the writers and artists
Modeling: The creation of 3D models
Rigging: Creating movement
Surfaces: The appearance of each character and element
Sets and Cameras: The movement and angels of characters through their environment
Animation: The fine tuning of movement to convey emotion and personality of characters
Simulation: Movement that is added by computers not animators
Lighting: The lighting of the scene
Rendering: The final step of putting everything together frame by frame

The last part of the exhibit is made up of videos and first hand commentary from the people involved in the creation of these films. These are the artists, computer scientists, and writers that bring these films to life through their creative work.

Maybe your interest is piqued and you just can’t wait until this opens in June.  Well, I would recommend you grab the web browser of your choice and head out to  This site will give you a sneak peak of some of the videos and interactive displays visitors will get to experience.

Social Science

Now, you’ve made it this far, and you really, really want to do this. You just don’t want to deal with the crowds and the kids. Well, there is a simple answer for you: Social Science: Pixar Preview. This is an event that is taking place the day before the exhibit opens to the general public, on Thursday June 8th from 6pm to 10pm for adults 21 years and older. This event allows you to grab an adult beverage, if you would like, and explore the exhibit and the museum while you listen to music and enjoy some special programs and presentations.

If the Pixar Preview interests you, head over to and sign up for the newsletter. You’ll then receive information on when you can buy tickets.

Ticket prices for the Pixar Preview are as follows:

Science Museum Members Non-Members MPR Members
June Social Science $19.95 $23.95 $19.95


Ticket Prices and hours for the Science Museum of Minnesota can be found at:

The exhibit runs from Friday, June 9th, through Labor Day.

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