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Up to date as of February 02, 2010

From Muppet Wiki

Luxo Jr., Pixar's mascot of sorts, appeared in four short films created for Sesame Street.
Pixar's Woody, Buzz, and Mr. Incredible share Disney Annual Report space with Kermit and Miss Piggy
Pete Doctor (seen above the vehicle's headlights) enjoys the Muppet Mobile Lab's visit to the Pixar Studio.

Pixar is a computer-animation studio, founded in 1986, known for its work on such features as Toy Story and The Incredibles, and many Oscar-winning or nominated shorts. In 1990,[1] the studio, through John Lasseter, produced a series of shorts for Sesame Street featuring Luxo Jr..

In 2006, the Walt Disney Company, distributor of Pixar's feature films, acquired the entirety of Pixar's assets, placing it under the same ownership as the Muppet characters. Pixar characters appear with Kermit and Miss Piggy on the cover of the 2004 annual report.


Muppet Mentions

  • The Muppets have frequently been cited on different occasions by Pixar artists as an influence, perhaps most apparent in Monsters Inc. The film's co-director, Pete Docter, has often stated that The Muppet Show influenced his work in terms of both humor and character.[2] He expounded on it in greater detail in 2009:
The Muppet Show was a big influence on me and just because of the sense of quirkiness, the fun and especially the sense of very specific characters that they created. It really transcended puppets. I think, these guys became, for me, very deep characters. They have a lot of sides to them, and they’re really amazingly well-defined characters.
—Pete Docter[3]
  • Speaking specifically on character development, Docter used the example of Fozzie Bear's facial expressions to explain a bird character from Up, in an NPR interview:
Terry Gross: You gave Kevin emotion, the kind of emotion you couldn't read in the real bird that you based him on, so what kind of methods did you find for giving your bird emotion.
Pete Docter: Well, the cool thing was, we did the same thing that I described where there is no facial expressions. And, the Muppets do this wonderfully. Where you'll have Fozzie, who has no facial -- other than he can open and close his mouth -- the rest of it's just movement. So, the bird has a great deal of expression and range of attitudes, but it's all through movement.[4]
  • A San Francisco Chronicle reporter noticed Docter's Muppet influence:
Peter Hartlaub: Some of the characters in "Up" have a Muppet vibe.
Pete Docter: "The Muppet Show" was definitely something I watched when I was growing up. They're such great characters. I think in a lot of ways that was an influence on Pixar in general.
Peter Hartlaub: In what way?
Pete Docter: They just had this great specificity in their character. I don't even think they thought of them as puppets. They were caricatures of people, but they had real underlying foibles. Fozzie has some sadness to him. He's a failed comic, and that's what makes him funny, of course. ... There's a sense of funny, quirky, goofball stuff, but it always comes down to character, and the whole show is running off these personalities. That's what we're trying to do. However the plot works out, it's always a character study that gets you through the movie.[5]
  • In Finding Nemo, Dory briefly refers to Nemo as Elmo, and in audio commentary on the DVD release, Andrew Stanton explains that Austin Pendleton was cast as one of the fish on the basis of the crew's fond memories of Max from The Muppet Movie.
  • On The Incredibles DVD, a feature devoted to Bud Luckey discusses his work on Sesame Street and shows a clip of "Ladybug Picnic".
  • The end credits to Up include a dedication "to the real life Carl and Ellie Fredricksens who inspired us to create our own Adventure Books"; the list includes Mike Oznowicz, father of Frank Oz.


  • The title of Pixar's second animated feature was referenced in the title of the first season Farscape episode "A Bug's Life".


Pixar and Henson/Muppet productions have had many other connections, in terms of both voice casts and crew.

  • Bob Bergen played additional voices in A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, and Cars
  • Ben Burtt designed the robot voices and performed WALL•E and M-O in WALL•E
  • James Coburn played Henry J. Waternoose in Monsters Inc.
  • Billy Crystal played Mike Wazowski in Monsters Inc. and a Mike Car caricature in Cars
  • Joan Cusack played Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl in Toy Story 2
  • Ellen DeGeneres played Dory in Finding Nemo
  • Phyllis Diller as the Queen in A Bug's Life
  • Paul Dooley played Sarge in Cars
  • Brad Garrett played Dim in A Bug's Life , Bloat in Finding Nemo and Auguste Gusteau in Ratatouille
  • John Goodman played James P. Sullivan in Monsters Inc.
  • Ian Holm played Skinner in Ratatouille
  • Allison Janney played Peach in Finding Nemo
  • Madeline Kahn played Gypsy in A Bug's Life
  • Richard Kind played Molt in A Bug's Life and Manny the van in Cars
  • Mark Lesser provided Parisian loop group voices in Ratatouille
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus played Princess Atta in A Bug's Life
  • Bud Luckey worked as a storyartist and/or character designer on every Pixar feature, developed Woody in Toy Story, played Rick Dicker in The Incredibles, and directed the short Boundin'
  • Cheech Marin played Ramone in Cars
  • Edie McClurg played Dr. Flora in A Bug's Life and Minny in Cars
  • Bobby McFerrin sang the music for a 1989 short film: Knick Knack
  • Rove McManus played a crab in Finding Nemo
  • Mona Marshall played additional voices in Monster's Inc.
  • Kathy Najimy played Mary in WALL•E.
  • Paul Newman played Doc Hudson in Cars
  • Peter O'Toole played food critic Anton Ego in Ratatouille
  • Frank Oz played Fungus in Monsters Inc.
  • Jonathan Paine animated character models in The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Boundin’, and One Man Band
  • Hayden Panettiere played Dot in A Bug's Life
  • Austin Pendleton played Gurgle in Finding Nemo
  • Karen Prell animated on the features A Bug's Life and Toy Story 2 and shorts Geri's Game and For the Birds
  • Mike Quinn animated crowds in A Bug's Life and the marionette scenes in Toy Story 2
  • Don Rickles played Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story and Toy Story 2
  • Tony Shalhoub played Luigi in Cars
  • Fred Willard played BnL CEO Shelby Forthright in WALL•E


  1. The Street We Live On timeline
  2. Apatoons #138. Amateur Press Association. 2005
  3. ScreenCrave "Interview with Up Director Pete Docter" by Mali Elfman
  4. NPR "'Up' And Away With Pixar's Pete Docter" by Terry Gross, May 26, 2009
  5. SFGate "How director helped 'Up' take flight" by Peter Hartlaub, May 24, 2009

See also

External links

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This article uses material from the "Pixar" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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