How I Got Through Pixar Security

Would you jump at the chance to take a tour of Pixar Studios? I did.

But leave your fancy electronics at home, kids. I didn’t and got in trouble.

THQ held a media event yesterday for their upcoming “Wall-E” game at the filmmaker’s headquarters in Emeryville, California. Getting into the studio was no problem, but that changed as a group of reporters I was with neared a tiny theater tucked away at the end of the lobby.

The presentation theater (of which Pixar has several in-house) was to house a gaggle of mostly foreign gaming press to check out four short clips from the near-finished movie and a first look at THQ’s “Wall-E” game.

It took an hour to enter the theater and I wasn’t even at the end of the line. So I asked the security guard patting me down why Pixar was so paranoid about some game journalists.

As I stood in line, a THQ representative handed out plastic bags to place digital cameras and phones in. There goes my iPhone! I still had a wallet, notepad and pen on me — but something I’d forgotten about would set off some alarms later.

The line moved at a snail’s pace, and it wasn’t until I reached the front that it made sense. Pixar security guards were checking everything and anything on patrons entering the theater. That included — believe it or not — my pen. The security guard clicked it several times before finally handing it over. I was clean.

It turns out Pixar security has seen all sorts of trickery from people in recent weeks, including pen cameras, cigarette cameras and even tiny, tiny cameras hidden in-between dollar bills.

Yikes. The investigation didn’t stop there, either. Pen, paper and wallet firmly in hand, another member of Pixar’s security force waved a wand over me to detect any other hidden items. It started barking at my shirt pocket — thanks, headphones! Those had to be ditched, too, before I could enter.

Why? Your guess is as good as mine, but I wasn’t about to argue with Pixar.

Next: I head to THQ’s annual Gamers’ Day event to check out their 2008/2009 lineup and came away in a Wii state of mind…