Who doesn’t love a good Pixar movie? These films make us laugh and cry—sometimes laugh while crying. Here are a some of the quirkiest facts about your favorite animated films.
1. Wall-E was named after someone important.
Wall-E isn’t just a clever acronym for the Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class everyone came to love in 2008. The scriptwriters named the robotic protagonist after Walt Elias Disney, himself.
The Walt Disney Company acquired Pixar in 2006 after purchasing the business from Steve Jobs for $7.4 billion. Pixar wanted to pay homage to the brilliant creator of the animation world by naming the 2008 robot after him.
2. Merchandise, Merchandise, Merchandise
The Cars franchise is driving Pixar straight to the bank—in a good way. Just five years after the release of the first Cars movie, the franchise profited from selling more than $10 billion in merchandise. What drove the sales? All the toys, of course.
3. Clowning Around…with the Environment
No one could have guessed that the release of Finding Nemo would lead to a near environmental disaster. Fans of the film were so enamored with the main characters that many wanted a Marlin and Nemo of their own.
So many people purchased clownfish that the already threatened species was almost pushed to extinction. Luckily, they created Saving Nemo Foundation as a way to safely breed and raise clownfish in captivity. This allows people to purchase the tropical fish they love sustainably.
4. Pixar’s Secret Weapon
There’s only one person who can say he’s been in every Pixar film to date—and that’s John Ratzenberger. From the lovable piggy bank in Toy Story to his upcoming role in Cars 3, Ratzenberger is always a great addition to Pixar movies.
5. Up, Up, and Away
How many balloons do you think it takes to make a house float? 1,000? 10,000? Animators in Pixar’s movie Up used 20,622 to lift Carl’s home off the ground, but apparently, even that wouldn’t be enough.
Wired Science got to thinking about this problem and decided to work out the calculations. Depending on the size of the house and the size of the balloons used, it would take over 100,000 helium balloons to make a home soar.
6. Boo Is Real
There’s no doubt that the star of Monsters Inc. wasn’t a monster at all, but rather a cute little girl named Boo. Mary Gibbs, the voice of Boo, was the daughter of an animator working on the movie.
Gibbs, who was only five years old at the time, spoke about her experience voicing the character in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
“They would follow me around the recording studio, use puppets to talk to me, and have my mom tickle me or take money/candy away from me to make me laugh and cry…All real
7. A Near Disaster
Can you imagine being the person who accidentally deletes the animation for an entire movie? Well, that was almost the reality for one Pixar staff member.
During production of Toy Story 2, one Pixar worker accidentally deleted the animation for the entire movie when they ran a command deleting everything from their system. Luckily, the supervising technical director Galyn Susman, a new mom at the time, worked from home and had a backup version of everything they lost.
Wild. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to go watch Wall-E for the millionth time.