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"Has anybody shown you the Love Lounge?" animator Andrew Gordon asks.

It's a provocative question. Could it be that hidden deep inside Pixar Animation Studios' new headquarters in Emeryville, CA, there is some secret enclave catering to illicit activities, where bootleg liquor is served, cool jazz plays and couples dance till dawn?
Well, no, uhhhh, not really.
This Love Lounge is made of smaller stuff. It cam only be reached on hands and knees through a wee door in Gordon's office. Beyond, a crawl-space beneath an air conditioning duct hosts a miniature faux night club. A gleaming, crystal disco ball chandelier (the gift of Pixar's John Lasseter) hangs not-too-high above, illuminating a dwarfish dance floor, one petite love seat, a mere scintilla of party tinsel and the pint-sized closed-circuit TV (the better to spy on outsiders petitioning for entry with the day's password and secret handshake).

To foster a fun-loving, creative atmosphere, Pixar employees can decorate their offices how-ever they desire (and most do), but Gordon has taken that idea to exotic, if diminutive, heights. Here, there's just space enough for three adults and one chubby child to stand together in this cramped club de closet — where Gordon now hosts journalist and publicist, serving up teeny-tiny wrapped chocolate liqueurs shaped like vodka bottles. The walls have been autographed by VIP visitors who have literally crawled into the Love Lounge — Lasseter, Disney CEO Michael Eisner, Pixar & Apple Computers head Steve Jobs and Billy Crystal.

Why Crystal? Because the actor voices Gordon's CGI alter-ego, Mike Wazowski. In fact, Crystal's vocal performance helped, well, crystallize the jade co-star of Monsters, Inc. for the animator. "Absolutely! We looked at Billy's movies for reference, and I got a chance to go to a recording session and see how he does things up close." Gordon says. "It was more about his whole face, and how it matches the eye. I was also dealing with a gigantic mouth and had to make that expressive and not seem boring. I had to come up with interesting mouth shapes that looked like Billy Crystal. I would not only watch my mouth when I acted out a scene, but his, too [via film reference], to see how he articulated certain sounds, where he was putting an accent on a phrase, just getting funny stuff and entertaining shapes."
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