On November 6, Sharon Condiracci and her family went on a trip of a lifetime – they got to spend the day at Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, CA. Sharon was kind enough to send in a report of the day’s events. A big thanks to Sharon for the write-up and the many pictures!
Read her full report below:
Our trip to Pixar for the 7th Annual Cartoon Art Museum Benefit was an experience we will never forget. My husband and I surprised our son and daughter (Michael and Katelyn) with a trip of a lifetime! You see, our son, Michael, has been saying since he was 5 that he is going to work for Pixar (he’s 10 now) someday and we truly believe that he will make it happen, so this trip was something we could not pass up.
We arrived in Emeryville early Saturday morning so we wouldn’t be late for our VIP Tier events which started at 11 AM (2 hours before those with the Family Fun Tier Tickets). We arrived at the entrance gate with the big PIXAR letters, but the area was under construction so we were directed around the block to the 45th street entrance. We did stop for a quick photo-op outside the studio before entering the security check. Once we were cleared for entrance we parked our car and began our walk to the main entrance.
Right before entering, you have to pass by the huge Luxo, Jr. lamp and ball. The kids had a blast taking photos by them! When we walked into the atrium we were greeted by Pixar employees as well as the folks from the Cartoon Art Museum. My husband got in the crowded line for the Studio Store while I took the kids around the first floor taking pictures (and videos) of the life-size Mike and Sulley, Guido and Luigi, Buzz and Woody Lego statues, and a huge action figure box where you look like you are an actual toy from Toy Story 3…that was awesome – we are going to have the best Christmas card this year!
Michael was zooming around with a new friend from Utah, who surprisingly knew as much as he did about Pixar. We checked out the Luxo Café and a room that has the “cereal bar” (which was filled with a gazillion different kinds of cereal). Of course we also checked out the case packed with all the awards that Pixar films have won. Then we took more photos, this time with a gigantic Mr. Pricklepants and a wall mural of Lots o’ Huggin’ Bear and Andy’s toys.
After about a half-hour, my husband let us know that it was our turn in the company store, which had 2 short aisles of Pixar products. After spending a small fortune, we made it back outside and heard that Toy Story 3 director Lee Unkrich was in the house taking photos and signing autographs. Michael raced into line and was able to get his Pixarpedia book and Pixar hat signed before we all had to get ready to attend the private screening of Toy Story 3, where Mr. Unkrich introduced the film.
After the film, a few Pixar animators were available for open discussion, photos and autographs. Michael took this time to meet and greet with Pixar veteran Jeff Pidgeon. We also had the opportunity to watch the Pixar short films that were running on a continuous loop in another theater before going up to the 2nd floor (no photography allowed) to view storyboards for Pixar movies, concept art, and other art work from the studio’s films. We also had a chance to attend an animator’s drawing class taught by Adam Burke, who worked on Ratatouille.
While walking around the table to see how everyone was doing, Burke was amazed of Michael’s work!! (Ok, let me brag because my son is an awesome artist and Pixar is his thing.) My husband said that the look on Michael’s face at that exact moment was what this trip was all about! The session lasted 30 minutes in total, and then it was time for another photo-op and autograph signing. Once we finished upstairs it was back downstairs for our last look around to absorb the entire day’s events.
We will never forget our day at Pixar and look forward to making it back again next year, or maybe in about 15 years when we go to visit our son who will be working for Pixar!
Enjoy the pictures from our fun day!