Tom Porter '65, Pixar VP, on Museum of Science Exhibit
Posted 06/24/2015 11:01AM

Fenn alumnus Tom Porter ’65 says the Museum of Science in Cambridge, MA has been “instrumental” in working with Pixar Animation Studios, where Tom is senior vice president of production, to design an exhibit titled “The Science Behind Pixar,” which opens on June 28.

The exhibit explains in accessible terms what Pixar Animation Studios does and how they do it. Tom has been with Pixar since Steve Jobs launched the company in 1986 and prior to that, he was in the computer division at Lucasfilm. Years ago he worked on creating realistic wood and cloth patterns and textures for the film Toy Story.Tom (shown in the photo as he is about to attend this year’s Oscars ceremony) has won three Academy Awards. He says that the directors and designers at Pixar keep pushing for more and more sophisticated characters and environments.  

While the exhibit at the MOS showcases a six-foot model of Buzz Lightyear, a shark-size Dori from Finding Nemo, and a giant artificial tree modeled after A Bug’s Life, it is educational as well as fun and entertaining.

The exhibit, which occupies a 10,000 square foot area, includes various other Pixar creatures that serve to demonstrate the  science, technology, engineering, and math that go into Pixar designs. “The Science of Pixar” runs until January, and after that, the museum may tour the exhibit through 2020.