Pixar Zoetrope at California Adventure Pixar Zoetrope at California Adventure
Cartoon Culture

Pixar Zoetrope at California Adventure

Head’s up: the Pixar Toy Story zoetrope created for their MoMA exhibit a couple years back is now on display at California Adventure. And if this still isn’t a good enough reason to visit California Adventure, then just check out the YouTube video below:

(Thanks, Joe Campana)

  • Jay

    I’m guessing John Lasseter had zoetrope envy after visiting the Ghibli Museum in Japan!

  • Babbit Catstello

    would luv 2 see a hi-res version of this. as much as i adore utube, those blocky vids often disappoint.

  • Yeah, I wish the picture was better too, but at least it gives a basic idea of what this thing looks like. Too awesome!!!

    We keep debating how soon we should take our daughter to Disneyland for the first time, given that she’s only 14 months now, would she remember it, etc etc? This makes me want to go sooner rather than later. I’m sure she’d love it even if she didn’t understand completely what it was.

  • Paul N

    One more reason to visit California Adventure, bringing the count to… one.

  • John A

    A very simple principle taken to steller levels. Just another reason why these guys are in charge at Disney.

  • Babbit — you and me both.

    I originally wasn’t going to upload the video, but when I saw that nobody else had, I put it up, low quality and all.

  • There is NEVER a good reason to visit DCA :)

  • Soos

    A Pixar creation not unlike Lasseter’s face prefixing a Miyazaki movie.

    Sarcasm aside, it’s rather cool in person. Lucky to have seen it during the Pixar exhibit at the MoMA.

  • uffler mustek

    between the bunch of us, DCA holds a few guilty pleasures for me – and the fact that it’s got a liquor license is nice.

    Booze makes everything better.

  • I can’t think of California Adventure without thinking about John Hench’s take on the park when he first saw it completed: “I liked it better as a parking lot.”

  • Paul N

    A friend who was working on opening the park invited me to a soft open. After sampling it’s, um, charms, we went to dinner where she asked me what I thought. As I made superficial compliments about a handful of things, she said “It’s not worth $40 a day.”

    …still isn’t…

  • I saw that at MoMA, and it was Awe. Some.

    I would pay $10 for that alone.

    If they have the A/V setup they did at MoMA, don’t even think about it–just go.

  • red pill junkie

    Yeah, High res picture of this would be nice. Maybe in the Rattatoille upcoming DVD,? or am I asking too much here?

    But nevertheless it looks astounding.

  • Anyone in SoCal with a pass has GOT to see this in person. It’s just too cool to describe to see these toys dancing around right in front of you!

  • Galen Fott

    There is ALWAYS a good reason to visit California Adventure:
    MuppetVision 3D!

    Oh yeah, and much better video of the zoetrope here.

  • Steve Gasbarre

    Apparently the video is no longer there. It is available at archive.org, though this 3 second clip may not fully download.

    Here’s a slightly smaller 3 second version — essentially the same.

    It would have been nice to see the YouTube version in Hi-res, since there’s better perspective of the display.

  • I liked it fine as a parking lot but the animation building at DCA is certainly worth checking out. When I went about a week ago I had no idea I’d be seeing anything new but was pleasantly surprised to see the zoetrope there as well as maquettes from some other Pixar movies. The zoetrope is incredibly well-made and a joy to watch. I have a picture of it here:


    Took a little video of it but with the dim light and the spinning and the glass of the display case it is not very easy to film.

  • I worked at DCA for a few years during my undergrad days. I’m so happy it’s getting a much needed face lift. Such a disappointing theme park.

  • Emily

    Wow! That’s so neat. Maybe I’ll get a park hopper pass to justify going to California Adventure.

  • JAY- I’ve seen the Ghibli version from their museum as well man! I hear ya!

  • There used to be a REALLY high quality animated gif of the recording of this thing floating on the internet. Like a 7 megabyte gif. And it was sharp. You could see little army men running around and everything. Dang.

  • Galen Fott

    Try going to this page then. And click on the link. I think that’ll work. It’s the same video as Steve Gasbarre linked to, just a little higher res.

  • snuppy

    I saw this same sort of thing at the Ghibli Museum. And I thought it would make a great ride at a Disneyland!
    A darkride.. But instead of animatronics there could be lots of animated scenes you… ride by.. using this principle. Only bigger!
    It would move so smoothly and everything!

    …although the flickering lights would probably kill people.

  • hehe- it’s so low res because it was obviously filmed with a phone. When the exhibition was in London last year that zoetrope thing was guarded by big guys in suits. No one was allowed to take pictures or films, lest they wanted to be thrown out.

    I’m surprised no representative has been in touch with you asking you to remove this post! Zoetropes are top secret.

  • Bobby D.

    Paul N says:

    ‘One more reason to visit California Adventure, bringing the count to… one.”
    The park isn’t perfect by any means…but, ‘Soarin’ Over California’ is a World Class ride…given the choice between ‘Nemo’, and ‘Soarin’…not even a contest…in my opinion. Cheers.

  • That zoetrope is similar to a winning entry from the recent platform animation festival in Portland. Gregory Barsamian built a giant rotating sculpture titled “No Never Alone” that featured a static central figure being temped by a barrage of moving figures presented by strobe light.

    DCA is no Disneyland, but then what is (besides Disney World). But its’ still worthwhile, get the park hopper. I can’t believe no one has mentioned The Aladdin show; that show kicks butt! And I’m prejudiced (since I worked on it), but It’s Tough to Be a Bug is a fun show. And there is Tower of Terror. I admit the show with Whoopie Goldberg and most of Paradise Pier is kind of a waste of time. I know A Bug’s Land is nothing unique, but any ride that has Joe Ranfts’s voice is OK with me.

  • victoria

    Wow that thing was so cool, i know what I’m asking santa for this christmas. I know it’s impossible but let me dream.

  • Inkan1969

    Cool. So Pixar finally built their own. :-) I first went to the Ghibli Museum in 2003. I had NO idea what a zoetrope even was, other than a movie studio that FFC ruined ;-). So when I went to the museum, this was completely unexpected. Now of course I knew about flipbook animation, but it never occured to me that you could do the same trick with 3D models. I walked down the hall and saw the wooden models on display and thought, “must be maquettes or something”. Then I turned my head and noticed the zoetrope spinning. Then the effect HIT me! :-D The illusion of movement looked so convincing to me. I did know how this thing was working,..but I still felt like these figures had really come to life. I STILL think of the Ghibli zoetrope first when I think of what is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen in my life.