Pixar is undoubtedly a behemoth of the entertainment industry as one of the largest and most recognizable animation studios in the world, but behind all of the fame and notoriety of the company is a team of creative minds who brainstorm the characters we see on the big screen.
Have you ever wondered how the Pixar animators do it; how they come up with such captivating stories in the midst of such visually stunning worlds? Well, this is the exact topic of the latest series to hit Disney+ this month. Titled “Inside Pixar,” the five-part docuseries follows five members of the Pixar team, looking at their specific role in the making of an animated feature film.
Each episode, about 15 minutes each, sits down with a Pixar professional as they discuss what their days look like at the studio headquarters in Emeryville, CA. Each creator not only discusses their work, but showcases a current or future Pixar project, giving viewers a sneak peek of what is to come.
The most shocking fact of the documentary was that the majority of the stories being told in these films began as the real life experiences of the creators behind them, just with an added element of Disney magic. Pixar’s upcoming film, “Soul,” set to release on Christmas Day, is largely based on the life of its co-director, Kemp Powers. In his episode, Powers discusses how he input his own experiences into the film to tell a story that was very important to him.
“Soul” will feature Pixar’s first Black protagonist, and while it is important for a film to appeal to all audiences, Powers discusses the importance of building a character true to their cultural identity, in this case as a Black man. Powers fought specifically to include a scene in the film depicting a barber shop, a center of Black male culture that Powers believes adds a distinct layer of authenticity to the film.
I think the most refreshing aspect of the docuseries was the diversity of the creators who were featured, both in roles at the company and in demographics. All animators, directors and screenwriters work to portray their lived experiences on the big screen, and because Pixar is seeking to diversify their team, new voices and experiences are being shared in an entertaining fashion.
While the documentary was by no means earth shattering or a great call to action to change the world we live in, it certainly was entertaining to watch. Honestly, if you have a Disney+ subscription and you have any shred of nostalgia for the movies created by Pixar, it is certainly worth a watch.
With the entire docuseries running just over an hour, it certainly is an easy watch that’ll give you a greater insight into the very human side of the movie-making industry, as well as give you a preview at the work coming out of Pixar Animation Studios in the near future. That being said, this docuseries will make you want to binge through all of your old Disney Pixar favorites, so fair warning before you dive in.