The Pixar: 20 Years of Animation exhibition invites visitors into the fascinating minds behind Up, Finding Nemo, and other Pixar films.

By Merissa Jane Lee and Denise Heng

Original sketches from Pixar’s first production, Toy Story.

The Annexe at Science Centre Singapore now boasts the world’s largest animation exhibition.  Pixar: 20 Years of Animation features more than 300 sketches, paintings, sculptures and storyboards that chronicle the journey of our favourite Pixar films from paper to the big screen.

Held in South East Asia for the first time, the exhibit is open to public from Apr 2 to Jun 27.

The 3,000 square metre space was transformed into a maze divided into 3 parts: character, story and world, which are the ingredients that make up an animated film, according to John Lasseter, director and chief creative officer of Pixar.

Fans of Monsters Inc. will recognise the doors on the welcome clip at the start of the exhibit. The magical doors which serve as the portal between the human world and the monster world is an apt symbolism for leaving the realms of reality for the whimsical world of Pixar.

After a brief introduction regarding the history and success of Pixar, visitors are taken behind the scenes of their favourite films, like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles.

Can you spot Edna Mode?

Original sketches of Buzz Lightyear, Edna Mode and other classic characters are featured, alongside numerous paintings and sculptures done by various Pixar artists.

The highlight of the exhibition would most definitely be the 7-feet high, 12-feet across Toy Story Zoetrope.

Sign at the entrance of the Zoetrope

The Zoetrope, which can be translated as the “wheel-of-life”, is an animation display featuring 150 3-dimensional (3D) figurines from the first 2 instalments of  Toy Story on a rotating display.

Using strobe lights, the fascinating display, which is unique to Singapore, creates an illusion of continuous motion, giving viewers an insight into the basic principles of animation.

“For laymen like me, the Zoetrope is a real eye-opener to how animation works,” said Sandy Chwee, 31, a cinema manager.

Another Singapore-exclusive exhibit is Artscape, an 11-minute video which uses digital technology to simulate 3D motion from the original artwork of Pixar artists. Artscape allows visitors to witness the sketches and paintings featured in the exhibit literally come to life, through the perspective of the artists.

Interactive Kiosks at the exhibition

On top of that, Interactive Kiosks are also located in the centre of the exhibit, showcasing behind-the-scenes videos of classic films. Through these videos, visitors can meet the artists of the films and learn what inspired them. The videos contain footage of the crew at work, sketching, sculpting and writing.

“This is something I want to do in the future, so witnessing these brilliant minds at work is truly inspiring,” said Nur Inani, 20, a student at Raffles Design Institute.

As Lasseter once said, “Computers don’t create computer animation any more than a pencil creates pencil animation. What creates computer animation are artists.”

This exhibition is a first in Pixar history, where the brilliant creations of their artists are displayed to the public for the first time. The young and the young at heart will definitely enjoy the ride “to infinity, and beyond!”

Ticket Prices

Adults – $20, Child (3 to 16 years) – $15

Family Package (2 Adults and 2 Children) – $60

Tickets can be purchased at Science Centre Singapore’s website.


The Annexe, Science Centre Singapore, 15 Science Centre Road

Opening Hours

10am – 6pm, from now till Jun 27,  2010

(Closed on Mondays except school and public holidays)