Get in on design workshops with Pixar Animation Studios at the Cooper Hewitt museum

Colorscript (four of multiple panels), The Incredibles, 2004. © Disney/Pixar
Image: Lou Romano Colorscript (four of multiple panels), The Incredibles, 2004. © Disney/Pixar

Pixar is always amazing us with its playful animated stories—many are featured on our list of the 50 best kids’ movies, and it was just announced that Finding Dory will finally hit theaters in June! This weekend, let your little creatives get involved in the process of animation and character development at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum's fourth Design by Hand series, a series of workshops dedicated to the work of influential design organizations. The series, running November 12–14, invites kids to get in on interactive workshops with the famed Pixar Animation Studios, focusing on character design in their thoughtful flick, Inside Out.

On Friday, November 13 from 4–6pm, teens will collaborate with Pixar designers while using collaging methods to explore shape, depth and feel of a character. Younger kids (ages 7–12) and their parents can join the family program on Saturday, November 14, where they'll work with Pixar designers to learn how collaging methods are used in character creation. There will be two sessions, one from 11am–12:30pm and another 1:30–3pm.

Aspiring designers also won't want to miss out on a special discussion with John Lasseter, chief creative officer of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios, and Michael Beirut from design firm Pentagram on Thursday, November 12 from 7–8:30pm. The audience at El Museo del Barrio will learn about Pixar’s collaborative design process and style of animated storytelling.

Pre-register for the workshops and talks at and call 212-849-8353 for more information. Workshops are free with registration and the discussion with John Lasseter is $15. Afterwards, check out the museum's new exhibit, “Pixar: The Design of Story,” highlighting the Pixar design process, story development and creativity by showcasing rarely seen hand-drawn sketches, paintings and sculptures from more than 25 years of Pixar filmmaking. Visitors can view over 650 Pixar artworks from movies such as Toy Story, Brave and The Incredibles on touchscreen tables.