Pixar to star in exhibition at Cooper Hewitt museum

Will it bring out the inner-Anton Ego in art critics, many of whom seem eager to trash any museum exhibition that carries the faintest scent of commercialism or pop appeal?

The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York announced Monday that it will host an exhibition devoted to Pixar Animation Studios, the digital animation juggernaut that has produced such family favorites as the “Toy Story” franchise, “Finding Nemo” and “Ratatouille.”

“Pixar: The Design of Story” is scheduled to open Oct. 8 at the museum on the Upper East Side and will run for about 10 months through Aug. 7, 2016. The exhibition is expected to feature original artwork, including rarely seen hand-drawn sketches, paintings and sculptures, and will also explore how Pixar develops popular characters.


Visitors will be able to view concept art from movies such as “Toy Story,” “Wall-E,” “Up,” “Brave,” “The Incredibles” and “Cars.”

The Cooper Hewitt said the exhibition will be on view in its Process Lab -- an interactive space that was unveiled when the museum reopened in late 2014 after renovations.

Pixar will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2016. This year, the company has two feature releases: “Inside Out,” which is currently in theaters, and “The Good Dinosaur,” scheduled for release in the fall. The Emeryville, Calif., studio was acquired by Disney in 2006.

“With Pixar’s two film releases this year, it is the perfect time to go behind the studio’s practices and investigate how they arrive at design details, such as Merida’s fiery red hair in ‘Brave’ and the ‘mind world’ in ‘Inside Out,’ while also showing how they serve a particular story,” Caroline Baumann, director of the Cooper Hewitt, said in a release.

The show is being organized by Cara McCarty, curatorial director, and Kim Robledo-Diga, deputy director of education and interpretation at the Cooper Hewitt.

In 2005, the Museum of Modern Art in New York hosted a different Pixar-themed exhibition, “Pixar: 20 Years of Animation,” which has since traveled to museums around the world.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT

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