Skip to main content

INDUSTRY INSIGHT: Designers' top Pixar characters revealed

Alun Edwards says

Alun Edwards

Alun Edwards

"Having twin daughters aged 8 has given me plenty of rainy afternoons to be entertained by the beauty of Pixar films. It might be a bit controversial but I'm going to go with Lightning McQueen and all the other vehicle characters from Cars.

"Although not one of their biggest blockbusters, I love all the usual Pixar visual tricks that come into play. They are kings of having an overall art direction and production styling. Where I think they excel in this feature, is bringing what is effectively cold, metal machines to life and giving them their own world to live in and, at the same time, still relating it back to ours.

Autothropomorphism

"I think it must have been quite an exciting challenge and also liberating to have made a new world and view it from new, rather than relying on fitting into our physical world. So many subtle touches, from Americana automobile styling being applied to the landscape, to tiny Beetle cars being the bugs, the allure of corporate giant vs the smaller, honest man, a saucy Porsche named Sally, the Italian Luigi and Guido and all their eccentricities, right through to the villain - the fame-seeking and thoroughly unsporting Chick Hicks - is proof that if you have a moustache… you're the doomed baddie!"

Alun Edwards (opens in new tab) is design director at creative agency Studio Output (opens in new tab).

Pixar animators drew over 43,000 sketches for the designs of the vehicles in Cars

Pixar animators drew over 43,000 sketches for the designs of the vehicles in Cars

Chris Malbon says:

Chris Malbon

Chris Malbon

"The Pixar universe is huge, all memorable and big stars in there own right, Woody, Buzz, Lightning, Mr Incredible... but the one that I really love, the one that really stands out for me and made me chuckle, isn't just one, its the hundreds of cute little multi-eyed green aliens in the grab-a-prize machine from Toy Story.

"The clone race made me laugh so much and they only had screen time for what, two minutes? But it was enough, and the line, 'I have been chosen', when the claw reaches down and grabs one - pure class.

I love lamp

"That's what Pixar does so well, they create these lovely moments, short stories within one big one, it's the root of Pixar. The little film that kick-started it all for them, the lamp and baby lamp lasted under... 10 minutes? But in such a short amount of time they showcased a creative spirit and an amazing ability to tell a story and for the time, using a unique media that had never been done before."

Chris Malbon (opens in new tab) is a freelance designer and illustrator.

Pixar animator Jeff Pidgeon provided the voice for the adorable green aliens for all three Toy Story films

Pixar animator Jeff Pidgeon provided the voice for the adorable green aliens for all three Toy Story films

Rob Redman says

Rob Redman

Rob Redman

"This is both the easiest and hardest question to answer. Every single character Pixar creates has huge amounts of thought, passion and effort put into it. However when push comes to shove there is just one that could only be a Pixar creation and that is Luxo.

"Luxo is a perfect example of how a skilled animator can create a believable character from an everyday object and what's more, make it loveable. Empathy with both Luxo and Luxo Jr comes naturally. Huge efforts went into making the short with John Lasseter even sleeping under his desk so he (and Ed Catmull) could get it finished in time to show at SIGGRAPH.

Iconic image

"The reception the film got has lived on as the character of Luxo, I believe, is possibly one of the most iconic ever made by Pixar, with it even taking pride of place in their logo."

Rob Redman (opens in new tab) is a 3D artist and founder of Pariah Studios (opens in new tab).

Luxo Jr was the first film produced by Pixar in 1986, with John Lasseter finding inspiration for its characters from his desktop lamp

Luxo Jr was the first film produced by Pixar in 1986, with John Lasseter finding inspiration for its characters from his desktop lamp

So, that's what our designers think. But who's your favourite Pixar character and why? Let us know in the comments box below...

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of six full-time members of staff: Editor Kerrie Hughes, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, and Staff Writer Amelia Bamsey, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq. 

Topics