It is my privilege to be invited by Band PR to the Pixar: 20 Years of Animation exhibition. Though the exhibition is strictly NO PHOTOGRAPHY of any kind, I was given free rein under the context of "media". So you shall see some exclusive photos below.
The ticket price of $24 (adult)/ $19(children) includes admission to the exhibition, the Science Centre and a 3D Pixar movie, which I think is an extreme value for money. Plus the fact that parking is free at Science Centre, you can easily spend an entire day within the Science Centre compound exploring the wonders of science, watching the 3D movie, and the Pixar exhibition.
But if you are thinking of bringing your children along just for the exhibition, sans the other bundled attractions, my take is: leave your children behind. This exhibition is all about showing the visitors behind-the-scenes hard work that Pixar has put in to produce the end-product 90-minute animation that all ages enjoy. Apart from the life-sized Sulley and Mike from Monsters, Inc. at the entrance, the exhibition has very few visual stimulants that a young child would be enticed to stay longer than what your entrance fee is worth. Having said that, if your children enjoys watching "behind the scenes" featurettes packed in the cartoon DVDs or Bluray discs, then I'm sure they would love the exhibition, so let that be your litmus test.
Now, if you do choose to leave your kids behind, or if you are a young adult without children, and again, taking the litmus test, if you love behind-the-scenes perspectives of Pixar Animation, then this exhibition will blow your mind away. Don't feel guilty about leaving your kids behind, for they would prefer a toy for the same price much more than the entrance ticket you spend. With that, you can enjoy the exhibition without any distractions. Imagine, if you were to spend one full minute per exhibit, you would have to spend over 3 hours inside the exhibition.
Animation to Pixar is not just about animating. To Pixar, creating an animation is a journey into the imagination and bringing fantasy to life and with character. Besides the character, even the locations are meticulously researched and elements of realism injected. Pixar animators build a world surrounding the story - a back story - that you would never realise when watching the movie.
Which is what this exhibition brings you. It shows you the great lengths in bringing the movie to life. Apart from designing the main characters from the looks to establishing a personality, effort is not spared to define the location design down to the details. You would think that it is easier to produce an animation since there would be no limits to the design, but that also means the animators have to create every single visual element and would have no excuse to create a location that does not blend visually into the movie. For instance, the animators would illustrate paintings of the location design showing different times of the day to study the effects. Contrast that to doing a live movie, where you just pick a location and everything is already there for you.
The exhibition gives you a glimpse of what and how Pixar brings their animation to live, through numerous sketches, storyboards, paintings, 3D sculptures. There are also several projection screenings that are well put to showcase the transitions of how sketches turn into the final product.
Must-see exhibits: The Toy Story Zoetrope and the Artscape. The Zoetrope is made up of marquettes that spin around on a turntable. The strobes fire at a frequency that seems to animate these marquettes on a fixed position. The Artscape is a panoramic projection made up of 4 projectors, showcasing design artwork that is digitally manipulated to create 3-dimensional motion into the artwork.
Pixar: 20 Years of Animation, will end its run on 27 June 2010. Singapore is the only South East Asia stop, after which the exhibits will return to USA. If you are a fan of Pixar animation, you should not miss this exhibition. I brought my 3-year-old daughter with me and I had to leave after an hour because she started to fuss from the boredom. Nicole, the other blogger whom I met, was not even halfway through when I left. Now that's pure indulgence.