Interact with Pixar films and characters at new exhibit inside The Henry Ford

KODAK Digital Still Camera

DEARBORN, Mich. — Do you love Pixar movies like “Toy Story,” “Monsters Inc.” or “Cars”? If so, there’s a brand new exhibit just for you at the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation.

The touring exhibit is called The Science Behind Pixar and it’s now open. It basically explains each step of the movie-making process in a way that both kids and adults can understand and enjoy.

“Some of the highlights are Mike and Sully from ‘Monsters, Inc.’ and how do you actually get Sully’s arms to move, you can see that and interact with him,” said Kate Morland, museum manager of The Henry Ford. “You can see how WALL•E’s camera angles were done and see how it affects the scene and the mood in it.”

Would you say that the exhibit is set up in sequence from start to finish just like how a movie would be made?

“It somewhat goes in sequence. But Pixar artists will tell you that everything is happening all at once. That is how a single frame needs to progress through the process. There are artists at Pixar working in all of these different stages at the same time. A movie is in all of the different stages at once.”

Are all of the Pixar films included in this exhibit or just some of them?

“Most of them are included,” Morland explained. “Some of the very newest ones are not. For example, any upcoming films like ‘Coco’ are not included. It goes through ‘Inside Out.‘”

Being from the Motor City, I’m wondering what’s included in the exhibit from the “Cars” movie franchise?

“We have an excellent surfaces component. That talks about the surfaces of any character or any set pieces that are in a film. In this case, they are car hoods. You can play with the color of a car hood, put a Dinoco sponsor on it or Rust-eze.”

What types of interactive activities are included in this exhibit?

“We have digital and physical interactives here,” the museum manager said. “For example, we have a stop-motion interactive where you can move the Pixar light that bends. You can actually make your own film with those. You can also test out the coils that go into curly hair on Princess Merida from ‘Brave.’ You can go into a physical representation of the set from ‘A Bug’s Life.’

I’m guessing that The Science Behind Pixar was geared towards kids, but is there a lot for the adults to enjoy as well?

“Kids will really enjoy this. Anyone from a 2-year-old, who’s really excited to see these characters, up through an adult, who really wants to dig deep into the content. The exhibit is very well made from the Museum of Science in Boston in partnership with Pixar. They really know how to create a multigenerational experience.”

Please describe two or three artifacts within the exhibit that museum goers should not want to miss.

“I think people would be most excited about seeing life-size versions of characters like WALL•E, Dory, Buzz Lightyear. This are going to be real photo opps. Apart from that, I think people are going to dig deeper into some of the smaller models that we have and really find their own favorite components. It will depend on what their favorite movie is.”

There’s also a gallery featuring clay models of characters from various Pixar films. Those include Mike from “Monsters University,” Nemo from “Finding Nemo” and Luigi from the “Cars” movie franchise.

The Science Behind Pixar is now open at The Henry Ford at 20900 Oakwood Boulevard, Dearborn, MI 48124. Tickets are $5 on top of general admission prices and for members. In addition, tickets are sold on a timed basis every half hour.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 800-835-5237 or visit


A life-size version of WALL•E in the Science Behind Pixar exhibit. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


The Pixar Production Pipeline: These are the steps required to make a Pixar film from start to finish. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Life-size versions of Mike and Sully from “Monsters University” (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


This display shows how to change the foreground of the race cars. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Buzz Lightyear from “Toy Story” in the modeling section of the Pixar exhibit. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)


Attendees can change the color of car hoods and add a Dinoco or Rust-eze sponsor on it. (Jason Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)



Sponsored Stories

Sponsored Stories