CLOSE
YouTube / Numberphile
YouTube / Numberphile

Talking Math at Pixar

YouTube / Numberphile
YouTube / Numberphile

In this video, Brady Haran of Numberphile visits Pixar to find out how they use math to make animated movies. This is actually a pretty deep dive on the math; we've seen Tony DeRose do this kind of thing before, but he rarely has time (and a math-literate interviewer) to get into the details. If you're interested in math and Pixar, this is delicious. I just want to be clear, this is very heavy on math, so if you're looking for cool animations, you will be disappointed! Math nerds, enjoy:

If Tony DeRose's name sounds familiar, perhaps it's from this post I wrote in March featuring a bunch of lectures he has given on...wait for it...math and Pixar!

Also, check out the YouTube page for this video; it has links to various papers by DeRose, Ed Catmull, and the somewhat retro-designed Pixar Research home page. (Note: I used Pixar's Renderman software for an independent study class in the mid-1990s...that site looks familiar!)

(Via Hello Internet, a very fun podcast. Check out Brady's Pixar "stranger" badge!)

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Amy Meredith, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
arrow
travel
You Can Still Visit This Forgotten Flintstones Theme Park in Arizona
Amy Meredith, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0
Amy Meredith, Flickr // CC BY-ND 2.0

Like many pop culture institutions of the 20th century, Hanna-Barbera’s The Flintstones hasn’t been relegated to just one medium. The animated cast of America's favorite modern Stone Age family sold cigarettes, starred in a live-action 1994 film, and inspired all sorts of merchandise, including video games and lunchboxes. In 1972, it also got the theme park treatment.

Bedrock City, located 30 minutes from the Grand Canyon in Williams, Arizona, was the brainchild of Linda and Francis Speckels, a married couple who bought the property and turned it into a 6-acre tourist attraction. Concrete houses were built to resemble the Flintstone and Rubble residences and are furnished with props; a large metal slide resembles a brontosaurus, so kids can mimic the show’s famous title credits sequence; and statues of the characters are spread all over the premises. The site also doubles as an RV campground and parking site.

A Flintstones theme park house
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

A statue of Bam-Bam at the Flintstones park in Arizona
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

A statue of Wilma Flintstone at Bedrock City in Arizona
Matthew Dillon, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

When it first opened, Bedrock City employed actors to stay in character, but the remote location proved challenging to retain both employees and visitors. Over the past four decades, it's had a steady stream of tourists, but not enough to turn a huge profit. Atlas Obscura reports the attractions are in various stages of disrepair.

Linda Speckels put the property up for sale in 2015 with an asking price of $2 million, but it has yet to sell. One possible hold-up: The new owner would have to negotiate a fresh licensing deal with Hanna-Barbera and Warner Bros. for the right to continue using the show’s trademarks. (A separate Flintstones park in South Dakota, owned by another member of the Speckels family, was sold and closed in 2015.) With its proximity to the Canyon, the 30 total acres could be converted into almost anything, from a mall to a golf course. For Flintstones enthusiasts, the hope is that the park’s unique attractions won’t be reduced to rubble.

nextArticle.image_alt|e
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
arrow
holidays
Watch Terry Gilliam's 1968 Animated Christmas Card
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images
Carlo Allegri/Getty Images

In 1968, future Monty Python member Terry Gilliam was kicking around London, working as an animator. He was asked to put together an animated segment for a Christmas show, so he hopped over to the Tate and photocopied a bunch of Victorian Christmas cards for inspiration. The resulting film, The Christmas Card, is brilliant, bizarre, and delightful. Enjoy some pre-Python madness from the master:

If you liked that, check out Terry Gilliam explaining his animation technique in 1974.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios