Disney Launches Pixar Fest, A Virtual Family Festival, To Mark The 25th Anniversary Of Disney And Pixar’s Toy Story

Disney today announced the launch of a virtual family festival to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Disney and Pixar’s Toy Story, and its 20 years of support for the charity MediCinema. Pixar Fest will premiere on Sunday 9th August with an epic collection of Pixar movies on Disney+, weekly watchalongs, animator masterclasses, quizzes for movie buffs, arts and crafts for kids, and new product releases.

  • Line-up includes Pixar movies on Disney+, daily Pixar inspired celebrations and weekly watchalongs on Disney’s social channels, masterclasses with a Pixar animator, online quizzes, plus arts and crafts for kids

  • Disney kicks off Pixar Fest with £750,000 donation to long-term charity partner, MediCinema, to help create new state of the art family cinema experiences in hospitals as part of its ongoing commitment to create Moments that Matter for those children who need them most

  • Pixar Fest’s ‘The Golden Lamp Awards’ to recognise the most memorable and unique Pixar movie moments, featuring Toy Story 4’s Tony Hale

  • Hand-drawn sketches reveal early concepts of Buzz Lightyear, including naming as ‘Lunar Larry’, to launch Pixar Fest

  • BAFTA Kids to present a Pixar animator masterclass hosted by film aficionado, Mark Kermode

Tasia Filippatos, SVP Disney EMEA said, “Pixar revolutionised the art of animation 25 years ago with the release of Toy Story and since then has brought us some of the most iconic and unique moments in filmmaking history. Pixar Fest will give fans of all ages the chance to celebrate their favourites through a host of activities and even cast their vote in ‘The Golden Lamp Awards’. We hope the line-up brings some summer holiday fun and movie magic to homes across the UK.”

As part of its ongoing worldwide commitment to provide comfort and inspiration through movie moments and help reduce isolation for seriously ill children in hospitals, Disney has pledged £750,000 to MediCinema to help reach more children by developing and building additional state of the art hospital cinemas in UK and Italy. Visits to these cinemas help improve wellbeing, and combat isolation and the anxiety of spending time on the wards.

This effort dovetails with Disney Movie Moments, a program, which enables young patients in hospitals across the U.S. to see the latest films from Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars while they are undergoing treatment and not able to visit movie theatres, creating positive memories for families. 

Kat Mason, Chief Executive of MediCinema said: “In our 20th anniversary year and 20 years of working with Disney, we are incredibly happy to be the recipient of this donation that will help ensure our cinema services can impact so many more children and their families. In addition, all money raised from the prize draws will help to make sure we can keep our current services running, which is more important now than ever for children and their families facing time spent in hospital.”

Following the celebration of Pixar Fest in the UK, the virtual festival will kick off in the U.S. on 5th September with another month-long celebration of all things Pixar.  The U.S. festival line-up will feature Disney and Pixar’s Onward, Inside Out, The Incredibles, Toy Story and Up. The festivities will also include new product launches, giveaways, Pixar-inspired recipes and other digital activations. 

Disney has marked the launch with the release of never-seen-before Toy Story artwork, which showcases the early designs and evolution of Buzz Lightyear. The stunning artwork features early character sketches including a variety of different faces, suit colours and wing designs, before he was transformed into the Buzz everyone knows and loves.

Pixar Historian Christine Freeman said: “Buzz is one of our most popular characters, and it’s fascinating to see the different ways that Pixar’s artists imagined him during the evolution of his design.  Even his name changed over time – from Tempus of Morph to Lunar Larry, to Buzz Lightyear. You can see the LL belt buckle (for Lunar Larry) in a few of these early designs.”

Ever since Woody and Buzz landed at movie theatres in 1995 in the first fully computer-animated feature film, Pixar movies have become favourites of fans across the globe.  To date, there have been 23 full-length Pixar films and 21 shorts, collecting an amazing 37 Academy Awards® with Disney Store’s top-selling Pixar merchandise of all time including its Buzz Lightyear talking action figure. An epic collection of Pixar movies and shorts are available on Disney+ – from classics like Finding Nemo to new Spark Shorts such as OUT and Float.

Pixar Fest’s line-up on Pixar’s Facebook page @PixarUK includes:

  • Sunday watchalongs on Disney’s social channels, with movies streamed on Disney+  including Toy Story (9th August), Cars (16th August), Inside Out (23rd August) and The Incredibles (30th August), plus Pixar quizzes hosted by Edith Bowman. Patients in MediCinema hospitals will be able to watch along on bedside screens at the same time and will also receive specially designed activity packs.
  • Talent including Tony Hale, animators and celebrities including Katie Piper, Danny Jones, Myleene Klass and Aston Merrygold will be unveiling their favourite Pixar moments over the last 25 years as part of ‘The Golden Lamp Awards’– with MediCinema nurses and volunteers shortlisting a special Moments that Matter category for fans to vote for their top Pixar moment.
  • shopDisney’s Pixar Fest Party At Home packs, which include everything fans need to host their own Pixar party will also be up for grabs via weekly competitions.
  • An online masterclass with a Pixar animator, hosted by film aficionado Mark Kermode, to teach fans how to draw Pixar characters and learn some of the secrets behind the animations, hosted on Disney’s social channels on 12th August.
  • BAFTA Kids will put on a virtual animation masterclass on 15th August where children submitted their questions to discover everything that they need to know about how to become a top animator.
  • Fans can also help to raise funds for MediCinema through Pixar Fest’s Charity Tuesdays to win money-can’t-buy Pixar prizes, including a drawing lesson with a Pixar artist and an exclusive piece of Pixar artwork through prize draws run by MediCinema.

Fans around the globe will be able to celebrate their favourite Pixar characters with brand-new products from Mattel, Funko and Pandora. Also launching is a new range of merchandise honouring the heritage of Pixar at shopDisney, including a new line of Aliens products that feature the Toy Story favourites as different characters from Pixar movies, including WALL•E and Up’s Russell.  Other “Pixar Alien Remix” toys will see Toy Story’s Aliens dressed as other Pixar characters including Carl from Up, Dot from A Bug’s Life, Dory from Finding Nemo, Edna from The Incredibles, Sulley from Monsters, Inc. and Princess Merida from Brave.

Pixar Fest will run from 9th August – 6th September, including watchalongs every Sunday in August across UK and EMEA. For more information, visit Pixar’s Facebook page @PixarUK