Taking Line 2, 4, or 5 to Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station and exiting out exit 1 will bring you to the DDP. Dongdaemun Design Plaza is a strange silver spaceship like structure which is host to a variety of events like Seoul Fashion week and from April 15- August 8th Pixar’s 30th Anniversary exhibit. Located in the B2 exhibition space is a no photo allowed journey of Pixar history and art. With concept art, storyboards, grey models and a light understanding of Pixar’s work and how they deal with building characters, stories and worlds.
For 13,000 won a friend and I wandered the packed exhibit, eventually ducking out of the line of people slowly meandering and reading every little bit of text and watching every screen, so that we could better enjoy the art. It was interesting to see concept designs for Toy Story, A Bugs Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Up, Brave, Inside Out, and The Good Dinosaur.
Some sections were bigger and longer than others, some more impressive, but it might have also been bias based on which movies we liked more in comparison to ones we weren’t as fond of. The Toy Story section is quite long, but since there are three movies full of content and design to pull from it makes sense. I hadn’t realized that the original concept for Woody was as a belligerent and rather dark character with a moving mouth piece like that off a nutcracker or ventriloquist doll.
One of the most interesting bits of the exhibit are little rooms you can go in to watch different things. The best being a zoetrope set up so that you can watch 4D models of the characters move with flashing strobe lights. Note: If the strobe lights aren’t going and you’re watching either the start-up or slow down of the zoetrope it can make you a little nauseous as your eyes and brain try to figure out what you’re looking at. There are two others, both where you sit and watch screens. The second one is of still paintings with minor movement or and music and the final one is where you can sit and watch the Pixar shorts.
For me the most interesting exhibit was the designs for Monsters Inc. Pixar went through multiple variations of character designs and style, more so then I could tell in other movies.
At the end of the exhibit is large statues of characters, Woody and Buzz and Mike and Sully that you can take pictures with. There’s also a small shop where you can buy decently priced things with the concept art or original character designs.