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Luxo Jr

Luxo Jr., Pixar's mascot, appeared in four short films created for Sesame Street.


Pixar's Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and Mr. Incredible share Disney's Annual Report cover space with Kermit and Miss Piggy


Pete Docter (seen above the vehicle's headlights) enjoys the Muppet Mobile Lab's visit to Pixar Animation Studios on March 12, 2007.


Steve Whitmire & Kermit at Pixar on March 12, 2007.


Statler and Waldorf in Presto.


Pixar staff in Martian costumes at their 2009 "Halloween Celebration".


Animator's office with Muppet action figures.

Dave Goelz and Frank Oz 2015

Dave Goelz and Frank Oz (wearing a Tomorrowland pin) at the Inside Out premiere party.


A meme featuring the character Disgust from Inside Out posted to the film's Facebook page on March 17, 2015. [1]

Inside Out 2 Spinney's

Spinney's Pizza logos for Inside Out 2.

PizzeRizzo Pizza Planet

The Best Pizza on the Planet


To Infinity And Biondo

Dory Marlin MB2018-310

"Animal and the Little Accident"

2013 Monsters Sink shirt

"Monsters' Sink" T-shirt, parodying Monsters, Inc.

Farscape Andy boots

Harvey in "...Different Destinations"

Pixar is a computer-animation studio, founded in 1986, known for its feature films such as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Cars, and Up, and many Oscar-winning or nominated shorts. In 1990, the studio, through John Lasseter, produced a series of shorts for Sesame Street featuring Luxo Jr..

Pixar began as The Graphics Group, a division of George Lucas' production company Lucasfilm. It was spun off in 1986 and sold to Steve Jobs, a co-founder of Apple Computer.

Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy appeared with Pixar characters on the cover of The Walt Disney Company's 2004 annual report.

In 2006, The Walt Disney Company, distributor of Pixar's feature films, acquired Pixar, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of Disney, and placing it under the same ownership as the Muppets characters.

On July 21, 2010, the team involved with producing The Muppets met with creative heads at Pixar to fine-tune the script.[1]

The Toy Story short "Small Fry" was packaged with the theatrical release of The Muppets; marking the second time that a non-Pixar film has showcased a Pixar short before it (the first being Disney's Bolt), and the first live-action film to do so. The short was a product of Pixar Canada, a subsidiary studio that operated in Vancouver, Canada from 2010 to 2013.

Another Pixar short, titled "Party Central" and starring characters from Monsters University, was released theatrically at the front of the next Muppet movie, Muppets Most Wanted.

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."[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 the 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 "Ladybugs' Picnic".
  • Also on The Incredibles DVD, Brad Bird speaks with an animator whose office is decorated with Palisades Toys Muppet action figures.
  • On the production commentary of the Blu-ray release of Cars, story artist Steve Purcell talks about how at one point Lightning McQueen would watch different things on TV, including, "a car puppet show. Car Sesame Street or whatever that might look like."
  • In a brief shot from the short Presto, the main character runs across the stage with a group of balconies behind him. In one of those balconies, Statler and Waldorf can be seen (at the 2:37 mark).
  • 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.
  • According to Frank Oz in a 2012 interview, the character of Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc. is named after Mike Oznowicz: "Well, [Monsters, Inc. director] Pete Docter was a dear, dear friend of my father’s and that’s how I knew Pete before my father passed away and before Pete was known at all years ago. He was just an animator. So I got to be very friendly with Pete after my father passed away and so, in honor of my dad, he named Mike Wazowski after my dad, which was nice."[6]
  • The book The Art of Up discusses the influence of Jim Henson and the Muppets on the character designs in the film Up.
  • Two Pixar staff members dress up as The Martians at their 2009 "Halloween Celebration".[7]
  • A 2017 live stream tour of the Pixar Animation Studios facility shows that the animation wing is decorated with replicas of The Muppet Show arches. (YouTube)
  • During the end credits of Toy Story 4, Bunny and Ducky refer to a frog puppet as "Rainbow Connection".
  • Pete Docter again pays tribute to Frank Oz's father, Mike Oznowicz in Soul, where his name appears on the wall of 22's former mentors.
  • In Inside Out 2, during a scene where Riley and her hockey teammates are having pizza in a common area, the name of the pizzeria seen on the box is Spinney's; a tribute to Caroll Spinney added by director Kelsey Mann. The book The Art of Inside Out 2 presents concept art for the restaurant and reveals that it was intended as a more prominent Easter egg for a deleted scene.[8]


  • The title of Pixar's second animated feature was referenced in the title of the first season Farscape episode "A Bug's Life".
  • In the Farscape episode "...Different Destinations," Harvey is seen wearing boots with the name "Andy" written on the bottom, similar to the toys in the Pixar film Toy Story.
  • The title card for the Kermit segment of Pepe's Profiles ("A Frog's Life") is similar to the title design of the Pixar feature film A Bug's Life.
  • In Tales of a Sixth-Grade Muppet, Danvers says that Monsters, Inc. gave fellow sixth-grader Cody Carter nightmares for weeks. And when Statler and Waldorf are making fun of Danvers' astronaut costume, Statler calls out; "Buzz Lightyear called. He wants his outfit back!"
  • In The Muppets, during some of the exterior shots of The Muppet Theatre, a banner ad for Cars 2 can be seen on top of a nearby building.
  • An interviewer for Fandango asks Elmo if he likes Up and WALL•E. Elmo says he likes all of them, especially Toy Story 3.
  • At a London press conference promoting The Muppets, Kermit says, "If you were talking to me, and I was Woody from Toy Story, this would be your interview." He then goes down to show nothing in the chair.
  • A sign on the front of PizzeRizzo boasts that they have "The Best Pizza on the Planet", referencing Pizza Planet, the restaurant that previously occupied that space in Disney's Hollywood Studios. Pizza Planet is an establishment that first appeared in Toy Story and has since been referenced in most subsequent Pixar films.
  • Ernie and Bert sing a part of "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story in their appearance on Elle.


  • Anne-Marie voiced Lauren in the UK version of Turning Red
  • Will Arnett voiced Horst in Ratatouille
  • Patricia Arquette voiced Harmony's mother in Toy Story 4
  • Edward Asner voiced Carl Fredricksen in Up
  • Richard Ayoade voiced Counselor Jerry in Soul
  • Diedrich Bader voiced Brick Yardley in Cars 3
  • Jon Batiste created original compositions for Soul
  • Dee Bradley Baker voiced Mr. Jones in Toy Story of Terror!
  • Liliana Barba played additional voices in Coco
  • Ned Beatty voiced Lots-O'-Huggin' Bear (Lotso) in Toy Story 3
  • Jodi Benson voiced Barbie in Toy Story 2, Toy Story 3, and the short Hawaiian Vacation
  • Bob Bergen played additional voices in A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, WALL•E, Up, Monsters University, and Condorman in the short Small Fry
  • Mary Kay Bergman supplied Jessie's yodeling and additional voices in Toy Story 2
  • Andy Blythe and Marten Joustra composed music for video game tie-ins for Toy Story, Toy Story 2, A Bug's Life, and Finding Nemo
  • Benjamin Bratt voiced Ernesto de la Cruz in Coco
  • Albert Brooks voiced Marlin in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
  • Mel Brooks voiced Melephant Brooks in Toy Story 4
  • Yvette Nicole Brown voiced Coach Roberts in Inside Out 2
  • Carol Burnett voiced Chairol Burnett in Toy Story 4
  • Jere Burns voiced a detective in Incredibles 2
  • Ty Burrell voiced Bailey in Finding Dory
  • Ben Burtt designed the robot voices and voiced WALL•E and M-O in WALL•E
  • Michael Caine voiced Finn McMissile in Cars 2
  • James Coburn voiced Henry J. Waternoose in Monsters, Inc.
  • Robbie Coltrane voiced Lord Dingwall in Brave
  • Billy Connolly voiced King Fergus in Brave
  • Chris Cooper voiced Smokey in Cars 3
  • Sheryl Crow performed "Real Gone" in Cars
  • Billy Crystal voiced Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc.Monsters University, Mike's New Car and Party Central, and a Mike Car caricature in Cars
  • Joan Cusack voiced Jessie in the Toy Story sequels, the theatrical shorts, and the television specials
  • Andra Day voiced Sweet Tea in Cars 3
  • Ellen DeGeneres voiced Dory in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
  • Daveed Diggs voiced Paul in Soul
  • Phyllis Diller voiced the Queen in A Bug's Life
  • Paul Dooley voiced Sarge in the Cars franchise
  • Craig Ferguson voiced Lord Macintosh in Brave
  • Tina Fey voiced 22 in Soul
  • Nathan Fillion voiced Johnny Worthington III in Monsters University and Sterling in Cars 3
  • Jamie Foxx voiced Joe Gardner in Soul
  • Jim Gaffigan voiced Lorenzo Paguro in Luca
  • Brad Garrett voiced Dim in A Bug's Life, Bloat in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory, and Auguste Gusteau in Ratatouille
  • Dave Goelz voiced Subconscious Guard Frank in Inside Out and Inside Out 2
  • Jeff Gordon voiced Jeff Gorvette in Cars 2 and Cars 3
  • Michael Giacchino scored The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up, Cars 2Inside Out, CocoIncredibles 2, and various shorts, DVD features, and specials
  • Whoopi Goldberg voiced Stretch in Toy Story 3
  • John Goodman voiced James P. Sullivan (Sulley) in Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, Mike's New Car and Party Central, and a Sulley truck caricature in Cars
  • Bill Hader voiced a referee and a slug in Monsters University, Fear in Inside Out, Stan in Finding Dory, Axel the carnie in Toy Story 4, and Featheringhamstan in Lightyear
  • Tom Hanks voiced Woody in all four Toy Story films, the theatrical shorts, the television specials, and the Woody Wagon in Cars
  • Jess Harnell played additional voices in A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Finding Nemo, Cars, WALL•E, Toy Story 3, and Monsters University
  • Sean Hayes voiced Terri in Monsters University and Party Central
  • Christina Hendricks voiced Gabby Gabby in Toy Story 4
  • Tom Holland voiced Ian Lightfoot in Onward
  • Ian Holm voiced Skinner in Ratatouille
  • James Hong voiced Mr. Gao in Turning Red
  • Barry Humphries voiced Bruce in Finding Nemo
  • Bonnie Hunt voiced Rosie in A Bug's Life, Flint in Monsters, Inc., Sally in the Cars franchise, Dolly in Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4, and the short Hawaiian Vacation, and Karen Graves in Monsters University
  • Jason Isaacs voiced Siddeley and Leland Turbo in Cars 2
  • Eddie Izzard voiced Sir Miles Axlerod in Cars 2
  • Samuel L. Jackson voiced Frozone in The Incredibles and Incredibles 2
  • Allison Janney voiced Peach in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
  • Penn Jillette voiced the Buzz Lightyear TV commercial announcer in Toy Story
  • Rashida Jones voiced Cool Girl's Emotions in Inside Out and co-wrote Toy Story 4
  • Madeline Kahn voiced Gypsy in A Bug's Life
  • Mindy Kaling voiced Disgust in Inside Out
  • Michael Keaton voiced Chick Hicks in Cars, and Ken in Toy Story 3 and Hawaiian Vacation
  • Keegan-Michael Key voiced Ducky in Toy Story 4
  • Richard Kind voiced Molt in A Bug's Life, Van in Cars and Cars 2, Bookworm in Toy Story 3, and Bing Bong in Inside Out
  • John Krasinski voiced Frank McCay in Monsters University
  • Phil LaMarr voiced Krushauer and He-Lectrix in Incredibles 2
  • John Lasseter was the former chief creative officer of Pixar, writer and director of the first two Toy Story and Cars films, A Bug's Life, and several short films, writer and executive producer on the latter Toy Story films, and was executive producer on most of the studio's theatrical releases through 2018
  • Denis Leary voiced Francis in A Bug's Life
  • Jay Leno voiced Jay Limo in Cars
  • Mark Lesser provided Parisian loop group voices in Ratatouille
  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus voiced Princess Atta in A Bug's Life and Laurel Lightfoot in Onward
  • Bud Luckey worked as a story artist and/or character designer on several Pixar features, developed Woody in Toy Story, voiced Rick Dicker in The Incredibles, Chuckles in Toy Story 3 and Hawaiian Vacation, and directed and provided the vocals for the short Boundin’
  • Jane Lynch voiced Neptuna in the short Small Fry
  • Kyle MacLachlan voiced Riley Andersen's father in Inside Out and Inside Out 2
  • Cheech Marin voiced Ramone in the Cars franchise and the Corrections Officer in Coco
  • Mona Marshall played additional voices in Monsters, Inc., Emmet in Monsters University, and Riley's Mom's Disgust in Inside Out
  • Edie McClurg voiced Dr. Flora in A Bug's Life and Minny in Cars and Cars 2
  • Frances McDormand voiced Momma Ida in The Good Dinosaur
  • Bobby McFerrin sang the music for the 1989 short film Knick Knack
  • Kate McKinnon voiced Stan's wife in Finding Dory
  • Rove McManus voiced a crab in Finding Nemo
  • Carla Medina voiced the departures agent in Coco
  • Helen Mirren voiced Dean Hardscrabble in Monsters University
  • Bobby Moynihan voiced Chet Alexander in Monsters University and Party Central and Forgetter Bobby in Inside Out and Inside Out 2
  • Kathy Najimy voiced Mary in WALL•E
  • Laraine Newman played additional voices for Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, Cars, WALL•E. Up, Toy Story 3, and Monsters University and voiced Riley's Mom's Fear in Inside Out
  • Paul Newman voiced Doc Hudson in Cars
  • Catherine O'Hara voiced Brook Ripple in Elemental
  • Ed O'Neill voiced Hank in Finding Dory
  • Peter O'Toole voiced Anton Ego in Ratatouille
  • Sandra Oh voiced Ming Lee in Turning Red
  • Patton Oswalt voiced Remy in Ratatouille and the short film Your Friend the Rat
  • Frank Oz voiced Fungus in Monsters, Inc. and Subconscious Guard Dave in Inside Out and Inside Out 2
  • Keke Palmer voiced Izzy Hawthorne in Lightyear
  • Jonathan Paine was a character modeler for The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, Boundin’, and One Man Band
  • Hayden Panettiere voiced Dot in A Bug's Life
  • Jordan Peele voiced Bunny in Toy Story 4
  • Austin Pendleton voiced Gurgle in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
  • David Hyde Pierce voiced Slim in A Bug's Life
  • Aubrey Plaza voiced Claire Wheeler in Monsters University
  • Amy Poehler voiced Joy in Inside Out and Inside Out 2
  • Paula Poundstone voiced Forgetter Paula in Inside Out and Inside Out 2
  • Karen Prell was an animator for A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc. (uncredited), and the short films Geri's Game and For the Birds
  • Questlove voiced Lamont "Curley" Baker in Soul
  • Mike Quinn animated crowds in A Bug's Life and the marionette scenes in Toy Story 2
  • Vanessa Redgrave voiced Mama Topolino and the Queen of England in Cars 2
  • Carl Reiner voiced Carl Reineroceros in Toy Story 4
  • Don Rickles voiced Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story movies, theatrical shorts, and the television specials
  • Adam Rodriguez voiced a detective in Incredibles 2
  • Stephen Root voiced Bubbles in Finding Nemo and Finding Dory
  • Isabella Rossellini voiced the Ambassador in Incredibles 2
  • Maya Rudolph voiced Daniela Paguro in Luca
  • Geoffrey Rush voiced Nigel in Finding Nemo
  • Kristen Schaal voiced Trixie in Toy Story 3, Toy Story 4, Hawaiian Vacation, and the television specials
  • Tony Shalhoub voiced Luigi in the Cars franchise
  • Dale Soules voiced Darby Steel in Lightyear
  • Kevin Spacey voiced Hopper in A Bug's Life
  • Bruce Spence voiced Chum in Finding Nemo
  • Octavia Spencer voiced the Manticore in Onward
  • Tara Strong played additional voices in Monsters University and Toy Story 4 and voiced the computer in Toy Story of Terror!
  • Cree Summer played additional voices in Toy Story 4
  • James Taylor performed "Our Town" in Cars
  • Russi Taylor played additional voices in A Bug's Life
  • Kirk Thatcher voiced the foreman in Inside Out 2
  • Jennifer Tilly voiced Celia Mae in Monsters, Inc.
  • Ashley Tisdale voiced the leader of the Blueberry Scouts in A Bug's Life
  • Jacob Tremblay voiced Luca Paguro in Luca
  • Stephen Tobolowsky voiced Ron the manager in Toy Story of Terror!
  • Tracey Ullman voiced Grecklin in Onward
  • Usher voiced a valet in Incredibles 2
  • Wilmer Valderrama voiced Gaxton in Onward
  • Julie Walters voiced the witch in Brave
  • Kerry Washington voiced Natalie Certain in Cars 3
  • Sigourney Weaver voiced the Ship's Computer in WALL•E and herself in Finding Dory
  • Weezer performed "You Might Think" in Cars 2
  • Betty White voiced Bitey White in Toy Story 4
  • Fred Willard played BnL CEO Shelby Forthright in WALL•E
  • Jeffrey Wright voiced Poppa Henry in The Good Dinosaur


  1. ABC News "Disney Picks Pixar's Brains for Muppets Movie" by Borys Kit
  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
  6. Interview with Frank Oz by Scott Neumeyer. October 12, 2012
  7. Pixar Halloween Celebration 2009
  8. The Art of Inside Out 2, Chronicle Books, 2024, p. 154-155.

See also[]

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