Tag Archives: disney

28 Fun Facts About Disney World

It’s the most magical place on earth…and the most mysterious!  Filled with hidden tunnels, secret passageways, INSANE casting rules, and lots of secretive tidbits, Disney World has remained a favorite tourist destination for kids and adults alike.

Whether you go with the kids or just go because you’re a kid at heart, there’s no denying that Disney World is a place where dreams come true…and now you can learn a little more about this magical getaway with these 28 Fun Facts About Disney World!

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28 Fun Facts About Disney World

There’s no gum sold at any Disney World or Disneyland park…so if you chew, bring your own.

It’s NOT a small world after all…Disney World encompasses over 50 square miles.

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Hidden Mickey Mouse heads can be found everywhere.

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Guests at Disneyworld are never more than 30 steps away from a trash can.  Some of them even talk to you!

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Since its grand opening, Disneyworld has only closed 3 times: Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in 2001, and a power failure in 2002.

Visit The Hat Shop on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and you’ll see an old pay phone on the wall. Pick up the receiver and you can eavesdrop on an interesting conversation.

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There are no bathrooms located in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, in keeping with the time period of that area.

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In the Magic Kingdom Train Station, look closely for articles left by other “guests,” including Mary Poppins and other characters from Disney films.

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An imagineer named George was killed during the building of Pirates of the Caribbean.  It is said his ghost haunts the ride to this day.  Workers say “goodnight George” before they shut down the ride each night as a superstition to prevent attraction break downs the next day.

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Epcot’s American Pavilion is home to an American flag taken from the rubble of 9/11/2001.

Underneath Disney World are miles of underground tunnels called utilidors that house the massive costume departments, cast member break rooms, garbage chutes and more.  It also serves as a way for cast members to get from one place to another without disrupting the “magic”.

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Disney World averaged 10,000 visitors per day when it first opened in 1971. Today that number has swelled closed to 50,000 visitors per day.

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The new Avatar section of Animal Kingdom cost more than $400 million to build.

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Epcot gardens grow over 30 tons of fruits and veggies each year to help feed hungry park visitors.

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The Disney Company bought 12,000 acres of Florida Wetlands located about 15 miles south of the park back in the 90’s. The idea was to maintain the balance of nature and offset the environmental impact of the parks.

More than 1.6 million turkey legs are consumed at the parks every year. They are such a fan favorite that you can buy turkey leg hats, t-shirts and other souvenirs.

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Disney’s first Audio Animatronics were introduced to the world at the 1966 World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. The two rides were “It’s A Small World” and “Great Moments with Abraham Lincoln”, which later evolved into today’s Hall of Presidents.

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You never have to pay for water in Disney World…just go to any quick service restaurant in the park and ask for a cup.

One of the most popular Disney souvenirs of all time was the Mickey Mouse watch. It was first introduced in 1933 and sold for $2.95. Walt Disney himself was presented with the 25th million watch in 1957.

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Disney’s Wedding Pavillion near the Grand Floridian Resort is designed to give the bride and groom a great view of Cinderella Castle while saying their vows.

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Over 10 million hamburgers, 7 million hot dogs and 9 million pounds of French fries are consumed by hungry Disney World guests every year.

Walt Disney World Costume Department is home to over 1.2 million pieces of clothing.

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It takes over 150 tractor trailer loads of decorations to deck the halls for holiday celebrations. Wonder what Disney’s electric bill is for all of this?  It’s zero…they have their own power plant.

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Admission was only $3.50 on opening day in 1971…a little more than $20 today.  Nowadays, a ticket is gonna run you closer to $100, depending on the parks you want to visit.

Designers built an apartment for Walt into the castle plan for Cinderella’s Castle, but he died before its completion. That space was later turned into a hotel room that’s only available if you win a promotion or sweepstakes.

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Disney World is the largest single-site employer in the US…and employees aren’t just called employees — they’re cast members.

An estimated 1.65 million pairs of eyeglasses have made their way to Disney World’s lost-and-found bins since 1971. Every year, the park finds an average of 6,000 cellphones, 3,500 digital cameras and 18,000 hats.

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Disney World’s biggest theme park, Animal Kingdom, encompasses 403 acres.

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

 

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Happiness is Where You Are

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“There comes a day
when you’re gonna look around
and realize happiness
is where you are.”
Moana

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios

Ask any animator, illustrator, cartoon lover, or storyteller where there dream job would be…chances are most, if not all, of them would have Pixar Studios on their list.

Located in Emeryville, California, Pixar Studios is the genius behind such classics as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, and much more. Known for inspiring creativity and a super positive work environment, Pixar has become a beacon in the corporate hemisphere…treating their employees with respect and encouraging animators to think outside of the box – so much so that many animators decorate their workspaces to look like castles, tiny homes, tiki houses, and playrooms!

With a sprawling campus that includes a basketball court, several game rooms, and even a secret speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase, Pixar Studios is a playground for creative minds. Though it may have been more open to visitors back in the day, it currently does not offer tours of the campus…but you can take a little digital ride through the history of Pixar with these 24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios!

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MORE PIXAR STUFF!!
Also, don’t forget to check out this collection of 51 Fun Facts About Your Favorite Pixar Movies or decorate your home with your favorite Pixar characters with this collection of Adorable Pixar Decorations You Need In Your Home.  Finally, you can learn more about Pixar and the start of this amazing company by reading Ed Catmull’s book, Creativity Inc.

24 Fun Facts About Pixar Studios 

Pixar was formed in 1979 and soon after became the computer graphics division of Lucasfilm.

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As part of Lucasfilm, they produced computer animation sequences for Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985).

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Steve Jobs bought Pixar for $5 million in February 1986.  In today’s money, that’s roughly $11 million.

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Luxo Jr. was the first Pixar film to be nominated for an Academy Award.  It was a defining film for the company and involved a young, energetic lamp that struggles to play with a ball as an older lamp looks on.  The little lamp, Luxo Jr., would go on to become part of the iconic Pixar logo in later years.

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The first Toy Story film was the first full-length feature film to be made entirely using CGI.  It had a production budget of only $30 million, less than half of Disney’s The Lion King, made only the year before, which cost almost $80 million.

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Toy Story 2 made almost $245 million domestically, making it the first sequel to make more than the original.

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In 2006, Disney bought Pixar for $7.4 billion.

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As a way to both market its animation software and generate money, Pixar once produced commercials for various companies, including Tropicana, Listerine, and Lifesavers.

“A-113” is an Easter egg that appears in all Pixar films.  It is a tribute to a classroom number at California Institute of the Arts that was used by many animation students, including John Lasseter and Brad Bird.

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There is a secret speakeasy at Pixar called The Lucky 7 Lounge – it is hidden behind a bookcase.

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Cars is Pixar’s most profitable film.  It has generated $10 billion (!!!) in just merchandise sales alone.

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John Ratzenberger has been a voice actor in every single Pixar film.

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Collectively, as of 2015, Pixar has won 26 Academy Awards, 5 Golden Globes, and 3 Grammys…I mean, NBD.

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The entire staff of Finding Nemo had to take a graduate course on Ichthyology (the study of fish) before making the movie.

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Pixar Studios has more than 1,200 employees.

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A typical Pixar employee only animates about 3 minutes of film per year.

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Toy Story 3 was the first Pixar film to gross more than $1 billion.

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There is an annual event called “Pixarpalooza”, complete with a Battle of the Bands competition.

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Animators at Pixar Studios go crazy with their workspaces.

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Pixar has an ergonomist come in on a weekly basis to make adjustments to the animators’ workstations.

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The name Pixar came about as a result of a mashup between two ideas.  Co-founder Alvy Ray Smith though the name should be “Pixer”, since it sounded like a fake Spanish verb for “to make pictures”…but another co-founder, Loren Carpender, liked “Radar”, since that sounded futuristic.  So, they combined the two into Pixar.

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Pixar has a school, titled Pixar University, where employees can take free classes in sculpting, painting, ballet, and live-action filmmaking.

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When a Pixar movie succeeds at the box office, the leadership team hands out bonus checks by hand to congratulate everyone on the team.

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Pixar names the babies born during the making of each production in the credits.

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Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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51 Fun Facts About Pixar Movies

Whether they make you cry, laugh, or hug your toys just a little bit tighter, there’s no denying that Pixar has a way of tugging at the heartstrings.  Movies like Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Monsters Inc., Up, and WALL-E have earned their spots on favorite film lists, Oscar lists, and on several “go-to-movies-when-you-need-an-ugly-cry” lists…I mean, if that opening marriage montage from Up doesn’t rip your heart out and feed it to the dogs…

Stah-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaap!!

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Though each movie is a rollercoaster of emotions, whenever I see a preview with that little bouncing Luxo Jr., I instantly find myself smiling.  I have always enjoyed Pixar movies and a few Pixar films (Toy Story for sure!) would easily make it on my list of desert island flicks.

Of course there’s no denying that a TON of work goes into making these amazing movies…and teams of animators and designers often spend upwards of 5 years working on each Pixar film….and in those 5 years, a lot can go on behind the scenes!

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For lovers of any Pixar film or just Pixar in general, here are 51 fun facts about Pixar’s movie collection!  Plus, scroll down for even MORE Pixar fun!

 

51 Fun Facts About Pixar Movies

Toy Story (1995)

The toolbox on top of the milk crate that Woody is trapped in is a Binford, the same type of tool that Tim Allen used on his TV show, Home Improvement.

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The carpet in Sid’s house has the same hexagonal pattern as the carpet in the Overlook Hotel from The Shining.

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Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined.  After seeing the finished film, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career.  Jim Carrey and Chevy Chase were also offered the part, but were unable to sign due to the movie’s small budget.

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A Bug’s Life (1998)

The character of Thumper is named after Thumper the Rabbit from Bambi, one of John Lasseter’s favorite characters.

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A Bug’s Life only took three years to make, the shortest of all the Pixar film cycles to date.

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The two mosquitoes trapped in the light of the bug zapper are the voices of the co-directors of the film, John Lasseter and Andrew Stanton.

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Toy Story 2 (1999)

Toy Story 2 is one of three Disney movies to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture.  The other two are Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King.

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For the scene where Woody looks at the merchandise from “Woody’s Roundup”, mockups of the toys were shown to Tom Hanks in the recording studio.  His spontaneous reactions to the toys were recorded and used for Woody’s dialogue in the scene.

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The dust in the scene where Woody meets Wheezy set a record for number of particles animated for a movie by a computer.

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Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Sully had 2,320,413 animated hair strands!  It often took 11 to 12 hours to render a single frame of him for that reason.

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Monster’s Inc. is the first Pixar film to tease their next film by including a small cameo (in this case, their next film would be Finding Nemo).

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Unlike previous Pixar productions, each of the main characters (Sully, Mike, and Boo) were assigned their own individual animator.

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Finding Nemo (2003)

As of September 2015, Finding Nemo is the bestselling DVD of all time, with 41 million copies sold.

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The role of Dory the fish was specifically written for Ellen DeGeneres.

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Despite the fact that Marlin and Dory spend a good portion of the movie together, Dory never says Marlin’s name.  The two also have opposite personalities and are opposite colors on the color wheel.

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The Incredibles (2004)

The Incredibles is perhaps one of the most violet Pixar films, with 35 explosions, 189 buttons being pressed, and approximately 640 gunshots.

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The line Syndrome says to Mr. Incredible (“Too late!  Fifteen years too late!”) holds special meaning, as the sequel to The Incredibles is set to release 14 years after the first.

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Want to steal all of Edna’s fashionable costumes?  The code to her lab is 6395742.

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Cars (2006)

This was the last feature film of celebrities Paul Newman and George Carlin.  Both died shortly after the movie was released and, ironically, Cars would turn out to be Newman’s highest-grossing film of his career.

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More than 100 unique car characters were created for the film and the merchandising.

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One of the racing cars is white and sports an Apple logo with the number 84.  A nod to then Pixar owner, Steve Jobs, this racing car pays homage to the Apple Macintosh computer, which came out in 1984.

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Ratatouille (2007)

In order to nail down the movements of rats, Pixar animators kept rats as pets for more than a year to better study the movement of their fur, noses, ears, paws and tails.

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Director Brad Bird cast Patton Oswalt in the main role after hearing his stand-up routine about the menu at the Black Angus Steakhouse.

The window shop displaying dead rats actually exists.  It is the window of Destruction des Animaux Nuisibles, an exterminator established in 1872 located in France.

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WALL-E (2008)

Coincidently, composer Thomas Newman’s uncle, Lionel Newman, worked on the film, Hello, Dolly!.

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WALL-E takes place 700 years in the future.

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Andrew Stanton and the Pixar team watched every single Charles Chaplin and Buster Keaton movie during lunch breaks for about a year and a half to inspire the possibilities of pure visual storytelling.

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Up (2009)

Though only 20,622 balloons appear on the house when it first lifts off, Carl’s house would actually need 12,658,392 balloons to lift off the ground.

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Carl’s face and body were modeled after squares.  This was to emphasize how boxed in he was in life and in his home.

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Were you a hot mess watching that marriage montage in Up?  You’re not alone.  Even in storyboard form, the married life sequence that opens the film brought members of the production team to tears.

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Toy Story 3 (2010)

Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, both in love with the chemistry their characters shared on screen, insisted that they record their lines together in the same room, a style of recording rarely done with animated films.  Voice actors John Goodman and Billy Crystal did the same in Monsters, Inc.

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There are 302 characters in Toy Story 3 and it was the first animated film ever to make more than $1 billion worldwide.

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When Barbie is going through Ken’s closet, she comes across a blue and gold Letterman jacket with a “K” embroidered on it and a “State” pennant lying across the front.  Michael Keaton, who voiced Ken, graduated from Kent State University, whose colors are blue and gold.

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Cars 2 (2011)

Cars 2 was the first Pixar film not to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Film.

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After Mater and McQueen are done “cow tipping”, you can see them drive past the Drive-In.  The movie being shown in the Drive-In is The Incredimobiles, the cars version of The Incredibles.

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The British Intelligence seal in the private jet that McMissile and Shiftwell use says “Honor, Animus, Vis Equorum”, meaning “Honor, Spirit, Horse Power”.

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Brave (2012)

Even though she does not have a love interest, Merida was granted the status of Disney Princess, an honor that upset a lot of true Disney fans.  She’s the first Disney princess not to be based on any pre-existing character or historical figure and is the first princess to be represented from Pixar.

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Kelly Macdonald, Robbie Coltrane, Emma Thompson, and Julie Walters, who all starred in Brave, also had roles in the Harry Potter films.

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The only thing we ever see Merida eat is apples.  This might be a dedication to Steve Jobs, who passed away during production of this film.  Brave is also dedicated to him.

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Monsters University (2013)

When Sully enters Mike and Randall’s room with Fear Tech’s pig, a motivational poster can be seen above Randall’s bed that reads, “Winds of Change: Shh…Can you hear them?”.  Randall says this same line to Mike in the locker room in Monsters, Inc.

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Monsters University, along with Cars 2, are the only Pixar films not nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars.  Both of their predecessors, Monsters, Inc. and Cars are the only Pixar films not to win Oscars.

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As the students enter the School of Scaring building, they all touch the front paw of the statue in front of the building.  This is a reference to a tradition at Harvard University where students touch the left foot of the statue of John Harvard for good luck.  As a result, the foot of the statue of Harvard is shiny and polished down.  The animators included that on the statue in the movie as well.

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Inside Out (2015)

According to director Pete Docter, each emotion in Inside Out is based on a shape:  Joy on a star, sadness on a teardrop, anger on a fire brick, fear on a raw nerve, and disgust on broccoli.

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When Pete Docter and Jonas Rivera pitched the film to Mindy Kaling (Disgust), she was moved to tears and said, “I think it’s great that you guys are making a film that shows it’s difficult to grow up and that it’s okay to be sad about it.”

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Lewis Black was the studio’s first, and only choice to play Anger.

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The Good Dinosaur (2015)

Perhaps since it closely followed the release of Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur is the lowest-grossing Pixar movie ever, both domestically and worldwide.

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The Good Dinosaur is one of the few dinosaur films where T-Rex’s are not portrayed as villains.

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Since there were no dinosaurs to study while animating this film, young Arlo’s movements were based on those of young elephants.

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Finding Dory (2016)

The setting of the film was changed from an aquatic park to a Marine Biology Institute after the crew of Pixar screened the controversial documentary, Blackfish.

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Despite the 13 year gap between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, Finding Dory only takes place 1 year after the prequel.

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Hank the octopus only has seven tentacles because the animators realized they could not fit eight onto his body.  His backstory was rewritten to account for the missing limb.

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Want even MORE Pixar?  Check out these other fun posts!

 

Sometimes you just need a little fun in your life! Check back every week for a new “Just Bee-cause” post, where I discuss everything from celebrity news to favorite videos and websites!

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Toy Story Perler Bead Coasters

So for the last few days, we’ve been celebrating the release of one of my favorite movies, Toy Story.  And today I’m so excited to share this project with you!

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Made with Perler Beads (those little beads you used to play with when you were a kid…remember?  They go on the grid and then you burned yourself ironing them?  Yup!  Those beads!), these coasters are made to look like a couple of my favorite Toy Story characters.

This pack of 6 coasters contains one each of Woody, Buzz, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, Jessie, and a three-eyed alien.  Aren’t they just the cutest?  I think Buzz is probably my favorite!

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You can add a felt backing to these so they won’t scratch up the tabletop.  That part is optional, but I think the backing helps give these a completed look.

Want to make your own set?  Well, you’re in luck!  I’ve included a printable chart with the patterns to make all of these coasters, as well as how many beads you’ll need in each color.  If you want to change up the colors, go right ahead!  Just save the Excel sheet to your computer and edit away.

Toy Story Perler Bead Coasters

Materials:

  • Printable Toy Story Coaster Patterns
  • Perler Bead Large Peg Board
  • Perler Beads (amounts of each color are on the Excel sheet)
  • Parchment Paper or Masking Tape
  • Iron

 

Instructions:

  1. Following the printable patterns, arrange your design on your Peg Board.  You’ll do one coaster at a time.  There should be one bead on each peg…just follow the pattern, it’s super easy!  If you’re having trouble getting the beads on the board because you have chubby fingers like me, a tweezers works really well.
  2. Once your design is complete, cover your design with parchment paper.  If you buy a Perler Bead set, it may also come with ironing paper.
  3. Set your iron to the hottest setting and start going over your design with the iron.  Make circular motions, always moving your iron, until the beads have melted and molded together.  For a sturdy piece, keep ironing until all the bead holes close.  This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes or so.  Just keep moving the iron and eventually all the beads will melt.  Once all the beads are melted, place your piece under  a heavy book to keep it nice and flat (do not remove the parchment paper or peg board…just place the book right on the parchment paper-covered coaster).  Once cool, remove the parchment paper and cover the back with felt, if desired.

Celebrate creativity every Wednesday with a “Creativi-bee” post, where I share easy craft tutorials, project ideas, and craft collections.

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To Infinity and Beyond!

toystory

Come back every Tuesday for “The Bees Knees”, where I post the best quotes from my favorite movies, TV shows, songs, and books.

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Creativity Inc. Book Review

In my 30 or so years of existence, I’ve spent a good 15 to 20 years in the work force.  I’ve had good bosses and bad bosses.  I’ve had co-workers I’ve loved and who I consider family…and I’ve had co-workers I probably will never see again.  I’ve worked as a minion, a trainer, a key holder, and a manager.  I’ve had jobs that have changed me as a person and jobs that are completely weird and unique.  But in every job, no matter what it is, I need to be inspired.  I need to feel like I can make a difference and challenge myself to do better.  This is a feeling that has forced me in and out of companies and has helped influence several decisions I’m both proud of and ashamed of…

During a particular difficult time in my professional career, I was given the book, Creativity Inc. by my dad.  It was a pre-run copy that he got from the library where he worked and he allowed me to read it in the hopes it would inspire me to get out of my funk.  What resulted after reading Creativity Inc. was a life-changing moment…a defining moment…in my career.  It completely changed the way I view management, work life, and the humanity (or lack thereof) of corporate America.

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Written by Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar Animation Studios, Creativity Inc. sets out to explore how we can bring fun and creativity back into the workday.  Meant for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, this manual of sorts aims to train individuals to inspire originality and positivity in the workforce.  By using examples of how he manages at Pixar, as well as how day-to-day operations are led at the studio, Catmull teaches readers how to build a creative culture, no matter what your company aims to do or sell.

It’s no secret that Pixar is a behemoth in the animation industry.  With 30 or so Academy Awards and movies that almost guarantee a box-office hit, Pixar knows what they’re doing.  So what’s the secret?  Why is Pixar so widely admired…and so profitable?  The answer is simple…the employees.

People at Pixar are encouraged to brainstorm.  They are encouraged to take risks.  They are encouraged to fail and encouraged to dream.  THEY LIKE WORKING THERE.  They’re committed to doing their best and pushing themselves because their success is everyone’s success.  There are no scary labels there.  No “rules” about who you can and can’t talk to.  Do yourself a favor and Google “Pixar Offices”…you’ll see that nearly everyone surrounds themselves with things they love, people they love, objects they love.  It’s a company that knows it’s only as good as the people that work there…and the people that work there love and respect that.

That’s not to say the path has been easy.  Pixar wasn’t always the amazing company it is today, and it took a long time, and a lot of training, to get leadership to where it is today…but when a company has leaders that believe in the message and that work WITH the team instead of ABOVE the team, well, then you are on the way to greatness.

At its core, Creativity Inc. begs to answer the following question:  What does it mean to manage well?  Everyone has their own idea of what a GOOD manager is, but what qualities in a leader make a team successful?  How does one learn those qualities and use them in a way that will encourage the team to motivate each other and encourage each other to succeed?  Filled with all kinds of helpful quips and tips, this book attempts to offer some suggestions on how to manage, how to lead, how to inspire, and how to motivate.  If a leader doesn’t lead or isn’t trusted, the results can be detrimental.

After I read Creativity Inc., I quit my job.  I came to realize that I was not happy and was not being encouraged and motivated in the ways I knew I needed to be.  After checking Pixar’s employment page (because I mean, I’d wash floors just to work there!), I embarked on a job search to find something I could stand behind, a company I believed in and a job I could be proud of…and I found it.  And everything changed.  My stress levels plummeted.  My interest in work and success improved.  Hell, my desire to just do my daily job was fueled by the fact that I was HAPPY.  This is the secret, folks.  Whatever it is that makes you happy, that will help fuel your success no matter what it is you do.  Pixar knows it.  Google knows it.  More and more companies are FINALLY coming to realize that when their employees are happy, the company benefits…and if companies big and small make this a priority in how to improve their business, well, I think corporate America can make a huge change for the better…and as individuals, we can make changes that will help us for the better, too…both personally and professionally.

Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.

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