Pixar Veterans Put ‘Pixar in a Box’ For the Sake of Education and the Future of Storytelling

Monday, November 18, 2019

By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire

Almost everyone can remember a time throughout their education in which they were told, “You’re better at math and science than English and the arts” or vis versa. We were all put in boxes—left-brained or right-brained—with educational and career paths that pretty much stuck to that course, alongside people who were on the same path.

We’re all pegged at an early age: left-brained or right-brained; good at math and science or good at English and the arts. And then we’re sent down a path, encouraged into activities and studies and ultimately maybe a career.

But a lifelong road carved by minor skills developed as a child doesn’t make much sense, does it?

Cue Pixar. 

Movies like Toy Story and Monsters, Inc. helped usher in the disintegration of this concept of separating the left and right brain. Making these movies required artists and scientists and technologists to come together to tell stories in new and magical ways. It required creative and collaborative problem solving between diverse thinkers and artisans.

And that’s exactly what we’re talking about on this episode of “The Grow Wire Podcast,” with 22-year Pixar veterans, Elyse Klaidman and Tony DeRose.

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Elyse was the Director of Pixar University as well as Director of Archives and Exhibitions, while Tony was a Senior Scientist. Their two (very different) worlds collided to bring the intersection of art and technology along with Pixar’s culture of creative problem solving to education. And they did this with Pixar in a Box, an online resource exploring the academic concepts that go into creating Pixar films, including art, math, science and engineering.

The goal of Pixar in a Box was twofold: Give students a mechanism to understand the relevance of what they’re learning and how it’s used every day at Pixar, and to empower a more diverse group of future storytellers.  

Tony and Elyse dive into this and much more, dissecting the positive culture at Pixar, what businesses can learn from the company and their hopes for the future of storytelling. 

You won’t want to miss this one. Tune in to hear the full podcast episode on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and YouTube.