My Tour of Pixar

Last Wednesday, I got to visit Pixar’s Emeryville campus, which is just a short bus ride from my house. We got visitor badges from the security guard, and entered the campus. It’s gorgeous. There are lots of tree-lined paths and brick, metal, and glass buildings. Our friends Patrick James and Kim Ross who work at Pixar gave us a tour of the facilities.

Visitors are normally only allowed to visit the parts of the office with wood flooring. The carpeted areas are off-limits. You’re not allowed to take pictures in the upstairs gallery. After we walked around the balconies and bridges that surround the Cafe Luxo and Pixar Gift Shop, we walked on the forbidden carpet and walked past Pixar’s beast of a render farm and into the sports area. In addition to the soccer field in front of the Steve Jobs Building, Pixar has a basketball court, a heated swimming pool, and a volleyball court. Pixar encourages their employees to take breaks regularly to prevent injury.

After lunch (a delicious spiced-chicken piadina at the Cafe Luxo) we went back past the sign reading “Closed Set; Producer approval and employee escort required” with our guides to see Pixar’s crazy offices. I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures, but you can search online for pictures of the crazy cubicles. Here are my favorites:

  1. The small, Mexican-themed shed, complete with a sign reading “Tacocat Taquera” and wall of books about Pixar and animation.
  2. The Indiana Jones-inspired cubicle with old maps, props, and photographs, and vines hanging from the curved ceiling

We also saw a group of people wearing blue and red jumpsuits. They’re the animation interns, and they always wear ridiculous outfits on certain days. It supposedly comes from an “old” Disney tradition.

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