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16 Fantastic Pixar Sand Sculptures

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Getty Images

For most of us, making sand castles while playing at the beach is pure fun. But for professional sand sculptors, building art from sand is real work. These delightful Pixar-themed sand sculptures show just how elaborate these creations can get.

1. Feeling Brave?

Katrina Harris, Keys to the Magic Travel

When this great animated film came out a few years ago, Disney marked the occasion by holding a Highland Games Tournament at Epcot. To denote the special area, they used a sand sculpture as the sign, showing Merida, the twins, and some of the princess’ nervous suitors. 

2. Toys in the Sand

Flickr user Andy Fitzsimmons

Announcing movie releases with sand sculptures is nothing new to Disney. They commissioned this great sculpture at the Cannes Film Festival for the 2010 premiere of Toy Story 3.

3. The Future of Sand

Flickr user Hans Veneman

Holland’s European Sand Sculptures Festival takes place in Noordwijk every year. In 2008, the theme was Disney, and this delightful Wall-E sculpture took first place in the competition.

4. Robots in Love

Image courtesy of Flickr user Norbert Schnitzler

There have been many Disney-themed sand sculpture festivals, but only one is a yearly event sponsored by Disneyland Paris. The festival takes place at the Ostend beach in Belgium. At the 2012 event, Wall-E and Eve were there to watch over things.

5. Taste the Skill

Norbert Schnitzler also captured this delightful image of Ratatouille's Remy and his brother Emile enjoying some fine Parisian cuisine.

6. The Snide Spaceman

The 2012 show also featured a few of our favorite Toy Story characters. Here’s a quite smug-looking Buzz spotted by Flickr user Rick Vink.

7. Cocky Cowboy

And here’s his partner in crime, Woody, also captured by Rick Vink.

8. The Toy Aisle

Photos Magiques’ Facebook

At the 2011 Blankenberge Sand Sculpture festival, the theme was Disneyland Paris—and aside from recreating some of the most famous structures in the park, the artists also did tributes to many of Disney’s most famous characters. The Pixar tent featured all kinds of sculptures from their films, including these heroes of Toy Story: Buzz, Woody, and RC.

9. Out From Under the Bed

Photos Magiques’ Facebook

Another excellent sand sculpture inside the Pixar tent featured Mike and Sully ready to scare up some fun.

10. The Brightest Bot

Image courtesy of Character Central and Café Mickey user Dragy

Also spotted in the Pixar tent was this delightful Wall-E with light up eyes.

11. Speedy Sculpture

The Blankenberge fest also featured sculptures on the beach—like this massive Cars sculpture.

12. The Toy Box

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The 2013 Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture festival in England wasn’t Disney-themed, but their Hollywood theme was still broad enough to include this great Toy Story piece that featured a box filled with everyone’s favorite characters.

13. Just Keep Swimming

Steve Loadfink

While many of these sand sculpture competitions occur in Europe, there are plenty in the U.S. too, including the Sand and Sawdust Festival in Ocean Shores, Washington. The sculpting contest is broken into skill sets from amateur to master. I’m willing to bet the team building this Finding Nemo creation is part of the masters group.

14. Found Him!

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We’re used to sand sculptures coming in one color (sand), but sometimes their creators use a little color to accentuate their art. For example, this cute Nemo sculpture built at the 2003 Annual Miss Crustacean Pageant and Hermit Crab Races in Ocean City, New Jersey.

15. Monsters On the Beach

I don't know exactly where this sand sculpture was created, but the photographer, Flickr user Alcyonarain, does mention that it's somewhere in mainland China.

16. Don’t Be Such A Ham

This sculpture of Toy Story’s Ham was made by just one amateur, Flickr user wguru, who finished the design in less than an hour. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be a professional to make an adorable and totally recognizable sand sculpture inspired by a great film.

College Board Wants to Erase Thousands of Years From AP World History, and Teachers Aren't Happy

One would be forgiven for thinking that the Ides of March are upon us, because Julius Caesar is being taken out once again—this time from the Advanced Placement World History exam. The College Board in charge of the AP program is planning to remove the Roman leader, and every other historical figure who lived and died prior to 1450, from high school students’ tests, The New York Times reports.

The nonprofit board recently announced that it would revise the test, beginning in 2019, to make it more manageable for teachers and students alike. The current exam covers over 10,000 years of world history, and according to the board, “no other AP course requires such an expanse of content to be covered over a single school year.”

As an alternative, the board suggested that schools offer two separate year-long courses to cover the entirety of world history, including a Pre-AP World History and Geography class focusing on the Ancient Period (before 600 BCE) up through the Postclassical Period (ending around 1450). However, as Politico points out, a pre-course for which the College Board would charge a fee "isn’t likely to be picked up by cash-strapped public schools," and high school students wouldn't be as inclined to take the pre-AP course since there would be no exam or college credit for it.

Many teachers and historians are pushing back against the proposed changes and asking the board to leave the course untouched. Much of the controversy surrounds the 1450 start date and the fact that no pre-colonial history would be tested.

“They couldn’t have picked a more Eurocentric date,” Merry E. Wiesner-Hanks, who previously helped develop AP History exams and courses, told The New York Times. “If you start in 1450, the first thing you’ll talk about in terms of Africa is the slave trade. The first thing you’ll talk about in terms of the Americas is people dying from smallpox and other things. It’s not a start date that encourages looking at the agency and creativity of people outside Europe.”

A group of teachers who attended an AP open forum in Salt Lake City also protested the changes. One Michigan educator, Tyler George, told Politico, “Students need to understand that there was a beautiful, vast, and engaging world before Europeans ‘discovered’ it.”

The board is now reportedly reconsidering its decision and may push the start date of the course back some several hundred years. Their decision will be announced in July.

[h/t The New York Times]

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