Nemo was found here at the Miss Crustacean Pageant in New Jersey. (Photo: Getty Images)
By Jill Harness
For most of us, making sand castles while playing at the beach is pure fun. But for professional sand sculptors, building art from sand is real work. These delightful Pixar-themed sand sculptures show just how elaborate these creations can get.
1. Feeling Brave?
When this great animated film came out a few years ago, Disney marked the occasion by holding a Highland Games Tournament at Epcot. To denote the special area, they used a sand sculpture as the sign, showing Merida, the twins, and some of the princess’s nervous suitors.
2. Toys in the Sand
Announcing movie releases with sand sculptures is nothing new to Disney. They commissioned this great sculpture at the Cannes Film Festival for the 2010 premiere of Toy Story 3.
3. The Future of Sand
(Photo: Hans Veneman/Flickr)
Holland’s European Sand Sculptures Festival takes place in Noordwijk every year. In 2008, the theme was Disney, and this delightful WALL-E sculpture took first place in the competition.
4. Robots in Love
(Photo: Norbert Schnitzler/Flickr)
There have been many Disney-themed sand sculpture festivals, but only one is a yearly event sponsored by Disneyland Paris. The festival takes place at the Ostend beach in Belgium. At the 2012 event, WALL-E and Eve were there to watch over things.
5. Taste the Skill
Norbert Schnitzler also captured this delightful image of Ratatouille’s Remy and his brother Emile enjoying some fine Parisian cuisine.
6. The Snide Spaceman
The 2012 show also featured a few of our favorite Toy Story characters. Here’s a quite smug-looking Buzz spotted by Flickr user Rick Vink.
7. Cocky Cowboy
And here’s his partner in crime, Woody, also captured by Rick Vink.
8. The Toy Aisle
At the 2011 Blankenberge Sand Sculpture festival, the theme was Disneyland Paris—and aside from recreating some of the most famous structures in the park, the artists also did tributes to many of Disney’s most famous characters. The Pixar tent featured all kinds of sculptures from their films, including these heroes of Toy Story: Buzz, Woody, and RC.
9. Out From Under the Bed
Another excellent sand sculpture inside the Pixar tent featured Mike and Sully ready to scare up some fun.
10. The Brightest Bot
(Courtesy: Character Central and Café Mickey user Dragy)
Also spotted in the Pixar tent was this delightful WALL-E with light up eyes.
11. Speedy Sculpture
(Courtesy: Disney Parks)
The Blankenberge fest also featured sculptures on the beach—like this massive Cars sculpture.
12. The Toy Box
(Photo: Getty Images)
The 2013 Weston-super-Mare Sand Sculpture festival in England wasn’t Disney-themed, but their Hollywood theme was still broad enough to include this great Toy Story piece that featured a box filled with everyone’s favorite characters.
13. Just Keep Swimming
(Photo: Steve Loadfink/Flickr)
While many of these sand sculpture competitions occur in Europe, there are plenty in the U.S. too, including the Sand and Sawdust Festival in Ocean Shores, Washington. The sculpting contest is broken into skill sets from amateur to master. I’m willing to bet the team building this Finding Nemo creation is part of the masters group.
14. Found Him!
(Photo: Getty Images)
We’re used to sand sculptures coming in one color (sand), but sometimes their creators use a little color to accentuate their art. For example, this cute Nemo sculpture built at the 2003 Annual Miss Crustacean Pageant and Hermit Crab Races in Ocean City, New Jersey.
15. Monsters On the Beach
I don’t know exactly where this sand sculpture was created, but the photographer, Flickr user Alcyonarain, does mention that it’s somewhere in mainland China.
16. Don’t Be Such A Ham
This sculpture of Toy Story’s Ham was made by just one amateur, Flickr user wguru, who finished the design in less than an hour. It just goes to show that you don’t have to be a professional to make an adorable and totally recognizable sand sculpture inspired by a great film.
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