The Science Behind Pixar takes STEM to infinity… and beyond!

CINCINNATI – It’s your turn in the artist’s seat as Cincinnati Museum Center (CMC) reveals The Science Behind Pixar. The interactive exhibition showcases the boundless limits of STEM, imagination and curiosity, thrilling you as you come face-to-face with some of your favorite characters, including Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley, Edna Mode and WALL•E. The Science Behind Pixar opens Friday, October 22.

Since Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story debuted in 1995, generations have grown up with the studio’s films and characters. CMC is excited to share the magic of Pixar and the science that brings it to life with Greater Cincinnati. The ingenuity of animators and engineers comes to light in an immersive experience that explore the science, technology, engineering, art and math concepts Pixar Animation Studios uses to bring their beloved characters to life.

“Pixar immerses us in worlds that begin to feel familiar even in their fantastical whimsy. We rewatch their films again and again because it feels like reconnecting with an old friend,” said Elizabeth Pierce, president and CEO of Cincinnati Museum Center. “As we get older, we rewatch these films because it feels like reconnecting with our younger selves. That’s the power of Pixar. And how those experiences are created shows us the power of STEM.”

Through eight interactive areas, The Science Behind Pixar empowers guests to imagine the STEM concepts behind Pixar’s films by shining a lamp on eight of the steps in the filmmaking process – modeling, rigging, surfaces, sets and cameras, animation, simulation, lighting and rendering. The exhibition delivers an unparalleled view of the production pipeline used by Pixar’s artists and computer scientists, featuring more than 50 interactive elements.

“The Science Behind Pixar shows us that if you can dream it, you can literally create it,” adds Pierce. “With interactive elements that make the complex concepts of digital animation accessible to a variety of age groups, the exhibition will inspire the next generation of imagineers to bring their own dreams to life.”

To better understand the science and math that goes into creating the worlds and characters of Pixar’s films, guests will hear first-hand from members of the studios’ production teams. You will also be invited to experience different roles within the production pipeline through screen-based activities and physical interactive elements. Some of the activities included in the exhibition:
Discover how camera placement and angles created a bug’s-eye view in A Bug’s Life
Create a digital sculpture from an artist’s sketch
Use lights to solve challenges similar to ones faced by Pixar in creating underwater scenes in Finding Nemo
See how models are given a virtual skeleton that enables animators to pose them
Build a robot inspired by those in WALL•E
Try your hand at stop-motion animation of a jumping lamp and watch a short film of what you produced
See and touch scale models of many of Pixar’s beloved characters (except Mike and Sulley. We don’t want a code 2319).

The Science Behind Pixar is open through April 24, 2022. Tickets are available at