Pixar animator visits Tuscarawas; looks forward to the future of animation

Kyle Nelson

Award-winning animator Bob Peterson detailed his experiences and work with Pixar Animation Studios at Tuscarawas on Wednesday evening.

Peterson wrote and co-directed Up, Pixar’s most recent animated film. Talking to a crowd made up of students, residents and family, Peterson gave insight into what it is like working with such a world-renowned animation studio.

“I knew something was up when I got in Pixar,” Peterson said. “I knew it was going to be big. There have been 10 films, and I know the story behind all of them. When we watch movies, we watch a series of memories going by.”

Peterson was raised in Brooklyn and Dover and graduated from Dover High School in 1979. He still has family in the area as his mother, Rev. Marlene Peterson, still lives in New Philadelphia. That is why his decision to speak here was an easy one.

“I’m very happy to be back,” Peterson said. “It’s great knowing that I would be returning to my home of homes in Tuscarawas. I forgot how lust things are here.”

The ever-growing field of technology has helped Pixar get to where it is today; however, it is not the only facet.

“Just think of technology as a tool to tell the story,” Peterson said. “We could use toothpicks to tell the story. I don’t care where animation goes as long as there’s a good story.

“Maybe next year it will be 4-D, and the fourth dimension is love,” he added. “There are times when I feel that there are effects that are so beautiful but don’t help tell the story.”

Despite all of the success of Up, Peterson continues to push ahead on new projects.

“I’m on track to do a movie in 2013,” he said. “We’ll see how it goes. I haven’t found my emotional nugget yet.”

The “emotional nugget” of Up is still something that Peterson holds onto.

“I had written it so you would think I’d be removed,” Peterson said. “But every time I watch this movie I get choked up.”

Contact regional campus reporter Kyle Nelson at [email protected].