Starz Goes Inside Pixar

Starz Inside, Starz Ent.’s series of original television specials, will return on April 22 with a look at the history and inner workings of one of the most famous animation studios in the world. Starz Inside: The Pixar Story will kick off a new slate of productions that will take the series into 2009, with renown film critic Richard Roeper returning as host.

The Pixar Story is a documentary from Oscar-nominated filmmaker Leslie Iwerks, granddaughter of animation legend Ub Iwerks. The film, which enjoyed a limited theatrical release in the U.S. last fall, takes viewers on a dramatic journey behind the scenes of the Northern California-based toon shop and explores how John Lasseter, Ed Catmull and Steve Jobs got together in the mid 1980s to create a studio that would revolutionize the animation industry. Leading up to the special’s 10 p.m. (ET) premiere, Starz will present a night of Pixar films starting with Cars at 6 p.m., followed by Ratatouille at 8 p.m.

Starz Inside focuses on the people and the trends that shape the culture of filmed entertainment. Among the other upcoming specials in the series is the tentatively titled Starz Inside: Fantastic Flesh’The Art of Makeup EFX. Airing on Oct. 28 at 10 p.m., the program will ride along with leading effects shop KNB EFX and examine the creation and execution of some of today’s most spectacular Hollywood special effects. With a bag of tricks that includes animatronic critters, prosthetics and character makeup, the KNB EFX group has been creating innovative effects for more than 20 years, working on 300-plus films, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, as well as its upcoming sequel, Prince Caspian.