Khan Academy Launches Pixar In A Box Animation Lessons

Khan Academy Pixar in a Box

Oh, to be in middle and high school again, said no kid ever!

Then again, they didn’t have Pixar In A Box.

What is Pixar In A Box?

Khan Academy, the online video tutorial service, and Pixar Animation have come together to offer middle and high school students who struggle to understand how those tedious classes they take in school connect to the real world, an explanation for sticking with them.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy

“Many students start to lose interest in academics in middle and high school, partly because they don’t see how academic concepts relate to things they care about,” said Tony DeRose, Senior Scientist and Research Group Lead at Pixar. “Pixar in a Box aims to address this disconnect by showing how Pixar filmmakers use these concepts for creative benefit in their everyday work.”

Pixar In A Box shows students how math, technology, engineering, art and science are used to create their favorite animate characters and their worlds.    

Through a series of video lessons, interactive exercises, and hands-on activities, students will discover how the academic concepts they learn in school enable Pixar filmmakers to create new worlds, animate unique characters and tell stories through animation.

And this is not just for students. Anyone can access a behind-the-scenes look at Pixar Animation Studio’s creative process with the free online curriculum at

“Our mission at Khan Academy is a free, world-class education for anyone, anywhere,” said Sal Khan, Founder and CEO of the not-for-profit Khan Academy. “Sparking student interest in math and other academic fields is a key part of that, and we’re delighted to collaborate with Pixar to achieve this goal. Pixar in a Box gives students a new way to engage with key academic concepts and see how creative these concepts can be.”

Ed Catmull, President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios said,  “In my experience, creativity involves missteps and imperfections, which is one more reason it is important for every one of us to keep learning – in order to remain flexible and keep our brains nimble.  By working with Khan Academy on Pixar in a Box, we hope to encourage the excitement of learning and creative thinking for middle and high school students and to provide the tools to do it.”

Elyse Klaidman, Director at Pixar University and Archives added, “We hope that it not only gives students a behind-the-scenes look at how our movies are made but also gets them excited about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) concepts.

Pixar in a Box is available now. This is an overview of what you can learn:

·       How combinatorics are used to create crowds, like the swarm of robots in WALLŸE.

·       How parabolas are used to model environments, like the forest in Brave.

·       How weighted averages are used to create characters, like Buzz Lightyear and Woody.

·       How linear and cubic interpolation are used to animate characters.

·       How trigonometry is used to create the worlds in which Pixar stories take place.

·       How simultaneous equations are used to paint all of Pixar’s images.

“These lessons are the first phase of the project,” said Cruise. “While the first year focuses on math, future Pixar in a Box lessons will explore science, computer science, arts, and humanities.”

Ready to get started? Go ahead and click here!

All Pixar in a Box resources are available free of charge at The site will be updated as additional lessons become available.

The magic of Disney is finally connecting to reality. Even I might go back to school for this…well, at least to Khan Academy!


  1. Kate says:

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is a great idea! My kids already use Khan Academy for maths and science and they love making scratch games too, so I know they’d really like this. Thanks!

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