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A major exhibition celebrating the 20th anniversary of the company that created blockbuster movies such as Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Finding Nemo and Monsters Inc, opened in Edinburgh last week at the National Museum of Scotland.

Pixar: 20 years of Animation goes behind the scenes at the Pixar studios in California to show how films, which have won dozens of awards and earned more than pound;1.5 billion worldwide, were created.

On display are more than 250 original drawings and paintings showing the development of such famous characters as Woody and Buzz Lightyear from their earliest conception as rough pencil sketches.

The exhibition also includes 50 maquettes: sculptures of the figures made from resin and used to ensure that a character's smallest details are accurate.

Two audio-visual installations have been created especially for the show, with both Zoetrope and Artscape illustrating the way that computer and design technology is used to bring the figures to life and tell a story.

"Most people never get the chance to see the beautiful work that our artists create for each film, so this is a great opportunity," said a Pixar spokesman.

The show, which runs until May 28, has been designed to appeal to all ages -from children who are fascinated by the films, to adults who are keen to discover the technical and creative skills behind them. An events programme will be available in the holidays and at weekends.

A full-day continuing professional development workshop is being run on Friday, April 27 for primary and secondary teachers who will be given training in animation skills for the classroom by Red Kite Productions.

The exhibition is free to schools which pre-book T 0131 247 4206

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