Name the movie that makes you happiest. Chances are, it was made right here. Welcome to Pixar Studios – the home of Woody, Buzz, Dug, WALL-E, Mr. Incredible and the most creative, imaginative people on the planet.
This week, thanks to the upcoming release of Toy Story 3: The Video Game (read our impressions), we were invited to visit these hallowed halls of animation and get a firsthand glimpse of what it's like to work there. The answer? Well, when you play videogames for a living and you're still overwhelmed with paralyzing envy, you know you're somewhere special. Take a look, and prepare to re-evaluate your career choices…
Above: The gates of heaven. Aka, the entrance to Pixar Animation Studios, located on a sleepy side street in Emeryville, California (twenty minutes east of San Francisco)
Above: Follow the road for just a few yards and you'll encounter the first adorable reference to Pixar's films. There are so many more to come...
Above: The Luxo lamp and yellow ball, Pixar's dual mascots, are located right outside the lobby's front door. Check out the chair for scale!
Above: "Toy Box" is the sandbox mode in Toy Story 3: The Video Game. Journalists were asked to hand over their cell phones here before being whisked inside for a sneak peek at Toy Story 3: The Movie
Above: Pixar's massive receptionist desk, cluttered with awesomeness
Above: Like free candy served in a Monsters, Inc. safety helmet...
Above: Business cards served by the cast of Ratatouille...
Above: And local charity awards protected by the Green Army Men. Also, a crossover cameo from Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo!
Above: Behind the receptionist's desk is a pool table and an impressionist mural of a scene from Toy Story 3
Above: The coolest things you will ever see. These LEGO creations stand as tall - or taller - than a full-grown adult and are so intricate that we didn't realize they were made of plastic bricks until we got up close
Above: See the stairs in the above photo? Those lead to one side of Pixar's private offices. Follow them and you'll find the entire Incredible family waiting to greet you
Above: Heading back down the stairs, we noticed this little guy sketched on the wall. Remy!
Above: Ready to dig deeper into the studio? Right through here