25 Years of Animation

6 July 2012 to 6 January 2013

PIXAR – 25 Years of Animation brings the stories, characters and worlds from animated films such as Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, A Bug's Life, Up, and Cars to Bonn. This art exhibition with over 500 artworks from Pixar Animation Studios that give insights into the creation of computer-animated motion pictures will be on display in Germany for the first time. Visitors to this show will not be confronted with finished film scenes, but with sketches, graphics, colour drawings and sculptures. A large array of monitors, projection surfaces and touch screens provide insight into the artistry and process of creating a Pixar film.

Pixar, which is part of the Walt Disney Company today, was founded in 1986 and initially produced short films and commercials. In 1995 the enterprise revolutionised the cartoon genre with Toy Story, the first entirely computeranimated film. So far, over 40 million moviegoers in Germany have seen the studio's twelve most important motion pictures, a further one with the title Brave will be showing in the summer of 2012.

The works shown in PIXAR – 25 Years of Animation come from film studios. This art exhibition enables an insight into the world of filmmaking which is otherwise not open to the public. In the Pixar Studios in Emeryville near San Francisco a film is initially developed with traditional methods such as drawing, painting, pastel painting and sculpture. In the next step the characters are digitalized. Visitors to this exhibition will not be confronted with end products, in other words, finished film scenes, but with sketches, graphics, colour drawings and sculptures: initial felt tip sketches of ideas on movie characters, coloured chalk drawings of landscapes or cities, and so-called maquettes, sculptures that facilitate the further development of a character by providing a more precise impression of its three-dimensional appearance. Furthermore, colour scripts, large colour drawings, which summarise entire scenes and bring across the chromatic atmosphere of a whole film at a glance, will also be on display.

John Lasseter, Pixar's chief creative officer, quintessentially explained that Pixar movies are made up of three basic elements: "world", "character", and "story": the worlds in which the film takes place, the characters and their actions, and the stories that are told. The division of this exhibition into three main chapters is also based on this concept. A large array of monitors, projection surfaces and touch screens not only enable the vivid representation of filmic elements, but also provide additional information.

The "Artscape" and the "Zoetrop" are two highlights of this presentation. The "Artscape" is a room in which a film about Pixar's worlds is shown on a wide screen in HD quality with Dolby Surround and Ambient Light. For this purpose, master drawings and paintings from different films were digitally brought to life and enhanced with sound design. The film was conceived especially for this

The "Zoetrop" is an installation which was also developed especially for this show. It was inspired by the principles of animation before the development of film. As in a kind of three-dimensional flip-book concentrically arranged discs of decreasing size show maquettes of characters from the movies Toy Story and Toy Story 2. These characters are all arranged in different poses. Fast rotations and strobe light trick the human eye into seeing moving figures.

Show bibliography
  1. Image from ExhibitionPhoto: David Ertl © Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Museumsmeile Bonn
Helmut-Kohl-Allee 4
53113 Bonn
T +49 228 9171–200

Opening hours

Mondays closed
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–9 p.m.
Thursdays–Sundays, 10 a.m.–7 p.m.
(including public holidays even those which fall on Mondays)

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