25 years of Pixar's archives (photos)

Road Trip at Home: A traveling exhibit of the famed animation studio's artifacts finally comes home to the Bay Area.

Daniel Terdiman
Daniel Terdiman is a senior writer at CNET News covering Twitter, Net culture, and everything in between.
Daniel Terdiman
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Finding Nemo pastel

OAKLAND, Calif.--If one thing is clear in the film business, it's that there has never been a studio as reliably successful as Pixar Animation Studios. Over 25 years, Pixar has turned out 11 feature films, and every single one of them has been a commercial and critical hit.

Over those 25 years, Pixar has built up a gigantic archive of storyboards, sketches, models, videos, and much more; since 2005, an exhibit featuring hundreds of individual elements of that archive has been traveling the world, delighting thousands of people from New York to England to Japan to Australia, and beyond.

Now the exhibit, titled "Pixar: 25 Years of Animation," has come back to the Emeryville, Calif., studio's backyard. It is currently appearing at the Oakland Museum of California, and currently features 500 pieces, including some from Pixar's latest smash hit, "Toy Story 3."

But the show naturally also has all kinds of treats from each of the studio's previous 10 films: "Toy Story," "A Bug's Life," "Toy Story 2," "Monsters, Inc.," "The Incredibles," "Cars," "Ratatouille," "Wall-E," Pixar's award-winning short films, and, of course, "Finding Nemo."

This is a pastel painting by Ralph Eggleston from 2003's "Finding Nemo" entitled "Sequence Pastel: First day."

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To infinity and beyond!

The Pixar story, at least in the popular imagination, began in 1995 with the release of "Toy Story," the first feature film ever done entirely with computer animation.

This is a pencil drawing of Buzz Lightyear, one of that film's stars, done by Bob Pauley. It is also the signature image for the museum exhibition.

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Buzz model

This is a cast urethane resin model of an early Buzz Lightyear, made for "Toy Story" by Bud Luckey. The exhibit features models like this from all of Pixar's 11 feature films, including characters like Woody from "Toy Story," Linguine and Remy from "Ratatouille," Gill from "Finding Nemo," Mike from "Monsters, Inc.," and so on.
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'Toy Story' storyboard

This is a storyboard for the original "Toy Story," from 1995. It was drawn in pencil and ink by Joe Ranft.
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Woody in pencil

This is a pencil drawing of a very early depiction of Woody, the main character in all three "Toy Story" films. It was drawn for "Toy Story" by Jeffrey Pidgeon.
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Early Buzz Lightyear

An early drawing of Buzz Lightyear, for "Toy Story," done in mixed media by Bud Luckey, with color by Ralph Eggleston.
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Mr. Potato Head

A mixed media drawing of the plan for Mr. Potato Head for "Toy Story" in 1995, by Bob Pauley.
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Three of Woody and Buzz

These are three images of the main stars of the "Toy Story" franchise, done for the original 1995 film: Woody and Buzz. In the upper left is "Woody and Buzz," done in pencil by Bob Pauley. On the right is the Woody model packet drawing done by Bud Luckey and Bob Pauley in mixed media. And on the lower left is "Buzz," by Bob Pauley, done in mixed media.
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Luxo Jr., and the ball

This is Luxo Jr. and the ball, which any Pixar fan should recognize as the studio's corporate mascots. This model was created in 2010 in plaster, styrene, and metal springs, by Neftali Alvarez, with printing by Carol Wang.
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Flik model packet

This is "Flick Model Packet Drawing," done by Bob Pauley for 1998's "A Bug's Life," featuring that film's main character, Flik.
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Flik's harvester

This is a schematic of the harvester that Flik built in "A Bug's Life." The drawing was done in mixed media by Bob Pauley.
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The offering stone

In "A Bug's Life," the ant colony at the heart of the story found itself having to make seasonal offerings of seeds and other goodies to a group of evil grasshoppers. This image of the offering stone was done in acrylic by Tia Kratter, with layout by Nat McLaughlin.
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This is a mixed media painting of Jessie, from 1999's "Toy Story 2," by Jill Culton.
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Jessie II

This image of Jessie, from "Toy Story 2," was done by Jill Culton in pencil.
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The Pixar storyboarding process storyboard

This is Joe Ranft's famous "The Storyboarding Process as Told in Storyboards," which depicts the humorous side of the process used at Pixar to create storyboards for its films.
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Sullivan in colored fur

For 2001's "Monsters, Inc.," Tia Kratter--with maquette by Jerome Ranft--created "Sullivan Fur Pattern Studies," depicting several possible colors for the fur of Sully, one of the film's two main characters.
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Door Vault

This pencil drawing of the wonderful door vault, from "Monsters, Inc.," was created by Glenn Kim.
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More door vault

Another image of the "Monsters, Inc.," door vault by Glenn Kim, this time in mixed media.
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This is "Scarefloor," by Dominique Louis, with layout by Harley Jessup for "Monsters, Inc." It was done in pastel.
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Monsters, Inc. orientation

This great image of "Monsters, Inc., Orientation" was done by Ricky Nierva, in marker and ink.
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This is "Anglerfish," done in oil for 2003's "Finding Nemo" by Randy Berrett.
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Crush study

For "Finding Nemo," famous artist Peter de Seve created this pencil study of Crush the turtle.
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The Jumper

For 2004's "The Incredibles," Teddy Newton created this collage, called "The Jumper." Newton is one of Pixar's rising stars: he was the director of "Day and Night," the short film that accompanied 2010's "Toy Story 3."
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Lightning McQueen

For 2006's "Cars," Bob Pauley created this mixed media image of Lightning McQueen, that film's main character.
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Race Car color study

This is "Race Car Color Study," by Tia Kratter, done in mixed media for 2006's "Cars."
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Bob Pauley created this marker and pencil drawing, "Mater" of the truck of the same name for "Cars."
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Ornament Valley

Based on the stunning natural formation Monument Valley in Arizona and Utah, this is "Ornament Valley," done in acrylic for "Cars" by Tia Kratter.
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Luigi's Tire Shop

This is "Luigi's Tire Shop," done in marker and pen for "Cars" by Jay Shuster.
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Remy in the kitchen

For 2007's "Ratatouille," Robert Kondo created this digital painting of "Remy in the Kitchen," featuring that film's main character and chef, Remy the rat.
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Remy on the Skylight rough sketch

This is a rough concept of "Remy on the Skylight," created in mixed media by Harley Jessup for "Ratatouille."
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Remy on the skylight layout

This is the evolution of "Remy on the Skylight," advancing from the previous image to this digital painting by Dominique Louis, with layout by Harley Jessup.
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Django plans the heist

Harley Jessup created this digital painting of "Django Plans the Heist," depicting a crucial scene in 2007's "Ratatouille."
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This model of the ever-charming Wall-E, from the 2008 film of the same name, was done in plaster with a brass rod by various Pixar artists.
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Eve firing gun

For "Wall-E," Jason Deamer created this ink and marker drawing, "Eve Firing Gun," depicting Eve, the film's female robotic lead, and Wall-E's paramour, shooting at something that startled her.
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Plant storyboard

Peter Sohn and Max Brace created this digital painting of "The Plant" storyboard for "Wall-E."
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Wall-E colorscript

According to the exhibit, a colorscript "is artwork that visually supports the emotional content of an entire story through general color, lighting, and mood. It depicts the whole story in a chronological format that allows one to see the basic color structure to be applied to the entire film. The colorscript is one of the first opportunities to see the story as a whole. It is a low-resolution view that reveals the full emotional arc of the film. Colorscripts work because detail is removed and ideas are presented in their most concise form."

This is the colorscript for "Wall-E," a digital painting done by Ralph Eggleston.

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Fans of "Wall-E" will always remember the incinerator, depicted here in "Incinerator," a haunting digital painting by Noah Klocek.
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Balloonman Carl

This is "Balloonman Carl," done in pencil and marker for 2009's "Up," by that film's director, Pete Docter.
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Russell Stretch

This is a cast urethane resin model of Russell, one of the two main characters in 2009's "Up."
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Up storyboard

This "Up" storyboard is a digital painting done by Ronnie del Carmen, Josh Cooley, Rob Gibbs, Justin Hunt, Bill Presing, and Nick Sung.
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Hamm Ship

Fans of "Toy Story 3"--and there are many, given that the 2010 film surpassed $1 billion in worldwide box office--will instantly recognize this image from the movie's opening sequence. It is "Hamm Ship," done in pencil by Kristian Norelius.
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Western Opening

Robert Kondo created this pencil drawing of the "Western Opening" sequence in "Toy Story 3."
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Lotso poses

For "Toy Story 3," Danny Arriaga created this pencil drawing of "Lotso Poses," featuring the film's evil Lots-o-Huggin' Bear.
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End of the Line

Many fans of "Toy Story 3" recognized the fact that its climax featured one of the most existential moments in all of Pixar's films. Here, Robert Kondo captures an early moment in that sequence, the beat board for "End of the Line," done in a digital painting.

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