Pixar Chief Creative Officer and “Up” Director Pete Docter Surprises Cast Members at Disney’s Animal Kingdom

On a recent trip to Walt Disney World, Pixar Animation Studios’ Chief Creative Officer Pete Docter stopped by Disney’s Animal Kingdom to check out the Wilderness Explorers Program and surprise some Cast Members.

What’s Happening:

  • Chief Creative Officer of Pixar Animation Studios, and Director of the Academy Award winning Up, Pete Docter, stopped by Disney’s Animal Kingdom and surprised Cast Members at the Up-inspired Wilderness Explorers Program at the park.
  • Walt Disney Imagineers and cast members in the Animals, Science and Environment program at Disney’s Animal Kingdom saw an opportunity to educate guests on the park’s conservation mission by immersing them into Russell’s, one of the film characters, Wilderness Explorers program, which has quickly become a guest favorite attraction. Through this interactive program, guests can earn badges and become a senior Wilderness Explorer, as Russell would.

  • Here are a few fun facts about the Wilderness Explorers program:
    • The program in the film and in Disney’s Animal Kingdom was inspired by The Wilderness Explorers, a “real” organization in the film that was founded in 1912.
    • Wilderness Explorers have the motto to be a friend to all – “A Wilderness Explorer is a friend to all, be it plants or fish or tiny mole.”
    • Walt Disney Imagineers partnered closely with Pixar and Pixar artists to bring the film’s Wilderness Explorers organization to life through badges, artwork and overall look-and-feel of the program.
    • Cast members within Disney’s Animals, Science and Environment use the program to further the mission of Disney’s Animal Kingdom to bring awareness to conservation and protecting the planet.
    • The current Chief of the Wilderness Explorers at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Pete Docter, an honor bestowed to him as the director of Up.

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