The first thing you see as you drive up to the Pixar Studios lot in Emeryville is this welcoming sign that lets you know you are about to enter a magical place. A place where the beloved movies of your childhood are made, where memories are just waiting to be born.
Having an exclusive sneak peek into Pixar was fun and exciting and I’m excited to show off some of the photos from our tour!
A little Pixar history
Whenever I tell people that Pixar is owned by Disney, they always state, “I didn’t know that!” It makes me realize that not many people may know how Pixar progressed throughout he years.
It all started back in 1979 when Goerge Lucas recruited Ed Catmull to lead Lucasfilm’s Computer Division. In 1983 John Lasseter is invited to join the graphics group, and was then hired full-time a year later.
Then in 1986, Steve Jobs purchases the Computer Graphics Division from George Lucas and establishes an independent company named ‘Pixar’. Luxo Jr. (a short film that includes the iconic Pixar lamp and ball) is unveiled and wins an Oscar for best animated short film. Several more films and commercials are completed…then fast forward to 1991 when Disney and Pixar announce an agreement to make at least one computer-generated animated movie — enter Toy Story, which was released in 1995.
Over the years, several more award winning movies are produced with a joint collaboration between Disney and Pixar. In 2000, Pixar moves to their current location in Emeryville, CA. In 2006, Disney agrees to purchase Pixar (this is also the year Cars was released). And the rest, shall we say, is history.
Life at Pixar
Walking into the Pixar campus, the first building you see is the Steve Jobs Building. This building seems like more than a tribute to Steve, it takes the idea of who he was and recognizes his unique character throughout the entire design process. Once you step inside, you can see what a huge inspiration Steve Jobs had on the entire design.
With an open concept foyer that allows tons of light inside, it becomes more of a gathering place than an entrance.
Just look at all these sky lights!
A quick glance around shows plenty of places to lounge, eat, and just mingle with co-workers whenever you need a quick break away from your office.
There is even a store right inside should you be inspired to purchase anything.
And a cereal bar so you can have breakfast whenever you’d like!
(Image courtesy of Pixar)
The foyer is filled with fun memorabilia.
And of course, there are highlights of the next movie to be released featured throughout the building.
Step outside and it doesn’t take long to see that life at Pixar is a working environment anyone would love to have. Complete with a swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field (where games are played twice a week), and a volleyball court. I love that physical fitness and enjoying the outdoors is just part of the Pixar experience!
If you look closely at the picture above, you can even see a fun little Easter Egg perched on top of one of the buildings. It is the Finding Nemo sea gull!
Can you imagine working in a place that values their employees so highly, and makes work not feel like work by having so many activities to take part in?! Just think of all the creativity that flows out of this place, it sure makes me want to get out and enjoy the outdoors more throughout my day!
Upcoming Pixar films:
Inside Out and the short film Lava (release date: 6/19/15).
Find out social media here:
https://twitter.com/PixarInsideOut (#InsideOut & #Lava)
I was provided an all-expense paid trip to cover specific events, all thoughts are my own.