13. Pixar granted the wish of a 10-year-old girl, Colby Curtin, suffering from cancer, who wanted to see the film Up before she died. A Pixar employee flew to her home and screened a DVD for her and her family before it was released. Curtin died seven hours later, after having her wish granted.
Colby Curtin was diagnosed with vascular cancer on December 23 in 2005 after the doctors found a tumor in her liver. When Colby saw the trailer for Up, said she wanted to see the movie. So, on July 2 in 2009, her mother asked a hospice company to provide a wheelchair for Colby to go to the theater and watch the movie. But the wheelchair wasn’t delivered and by July 9 her condition worsened and she couldn’t be transported to the theater. Then a family friend called Pixar officials, who listened to Colby’s story and sent their employee with the DVD and stuffed toys. However, Colby couldn’t exactly look at the screen as she kept her eyes closed because of pain. Her mother instead gave a commentary of what was happening. Colby died a few hours later the same night.(1, 2)
14. The custom of listing production babies in the credits of animated films was started by Pixar in 1995 for Toy Story. Production babies are the children born to anyone working on a film during its production.
According to Lee Unkrich, a director at Pixar, the production team and film crew strongly associate the birth of their children to the movie they were working on at that time. Adding the name of the babies in the credits had become a way for the staff to permanently connect the memory of their children’s birth with the movie. There was also another similar list included in the credits for the movie Tangled called “Chameleon Babies”, which included the baby of real-life model for Rapunzel’s pet in the film.(source)
15. Pixar Animation Studios was built with special foundations, rubber isolators, and generators to ensure staff’s safety and to continue film production even when there are earthquakes.
Pixar Animation Studios has, perhaps, one of the most sophisticated buildings built to be functional despite large-scale problems, including earthquakes. Designed by Rutherford & Chekene, who recommended base isolated building system to secure the safety of the staff and also so that they could keep working in the event of an earthquake. The structural engineers incorporated a seismic isolation system that consists of a combination of 125 high-damping rubber bearings and 82 slider bearings placed between the steel framed ground floor and the foundation. The building is now located in Emeryville and is a 200,000 square foot studio.(1, 2)
16. The Pizza Planet Truck that makes deliveries for Pizza Planet in Toy Story appears in practically every Pixar movie, except The Incredibles.
The Pizza Planet truck is a 1978 Gyoza Mark VII Lite Hauler truck model used to make pizza deliveries in most of the Pixar movies. The truck is painted yellow and white, with a license plate that reads RES1536, a reference to the original Toy Story‘s resolution rendered at 1236 X 922. It also has a bumper sticker that reads “How’s my driving? Ha ha ha ha ha!” or “How’s my driving? Call this number to report me!”(source)
17. Many employees at Pixar have hut-like or cottage-like work spaces instead of cubicles making it look almost like a village set instead of an office.
Each animator at Pixar is allowed to do whatever they want to their office space. Pixar pays for the basic infrastructure, like walls, basic desks, chairs, computer equipment, and so on. But, the financial responsibility for all other decorations is for the animators to bear. One of the animators created a tiki cabin, while another even went on to build an entire second floor on top of his office. A lot of them tend to get competitive about how they decorate their individual space, because of which several spaces in the animation wing were converted into tiny duplex houses.(source)
18. Pixel Studios has a secret speakeasy room called “Lucky 7” hidden behind a bookshelf that opens by pressing a button hidden inside a bust of Shakespeare.
When Andrew Gordon, an animator at Pixar, found a small door in his new office that led to a small room clad in sheet metal that provided access to air-conditioning valves, he and his boss Andrew Stanton, along with their colleagues, decided to turn it into a hidden lounge. They decorated it with Christmas lights, lava lamps, and furnished it luxuriously and called it “The Love Lounge”. When he got a promotion and moved to a new office, he created a new one called “Lucky 7” that can be accessed by flicking a button hidden in the bust of Shakespeare which opens a wall panel behind a bookshelf.(source)