Naturally, material that is “born digital” is also preserved. In the company’s “Art and Story Collection”, there are art pieces from blockbuster movies such as Toy Story, The Incredibles, Cars, Inside Out and Coco. The archive also holds much material that was considered, but never used in the final versions of the movies.
As Pixar, which was founded in 1986, neared its 20th anniversary, filmmaker Leslie Iwerks made a documentary about the company, called “The Pixar Story”. While working on this Emmy-nominated documentary, film and interview materials were collected, much of which did not make it into the final film. All this, plus Leslie Iwerks’ own research material, was added to the non-production “Historical Collection” at Pixar.
See the trailer for Leslie Iwerks’ film The Pixar Story
The collection also includes artifacts from the company’s former premises in Point Richmond. When Pixar decided to move to today’s location in Emeryville, a collection bin was set up for employees to deposit what they thought should be saved. Many photos and documents from previous and current employees were collected in this manner. Christine herself walked around and collected items she thought ought to be preserved.
“On the last day in the old office, I ran around with a cheese plane and peeled things from the walls, like the kitchen sign,” says Christine.
Today, the Pixar archives are widely used, both internally externally. The archive is an inspiration for production teams, who want to explore previous characters for new movies, or, producing books, promotional products or extras for in-home releases. At the close of each film production, there is also an exhibition in the company’s headquarters, celebrating the production process itself. This is done partly for the company’s employees, but also to show visitors and press what Pixar is working on.
Goodies from the archives are also displayed externally, in particular the mobile exhibition “Pixar 30 Years of Animation“, which began its journey at the Museum of Modern Art in New York 2005. It is an exhibition to date seen by 5.7 million people in 17 countries.