Fil-Am director ‘proud’ to feature Filipino characters in Pixar short film

January 15, 2019 - 1:21 PM
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Float featured image
A screenshot of "Float," a Pixar short film created by Filipino-American Bobby Rubio. (YouTube/Disney Pixar)

Another Pixar employee with Filipino roots made Pinoys proud when he created a short film under the acclaimed animation studio featuring half-Filipino lead characters.

Story artist and director Bobby Rubio announced on Twitter that his film “Float” will be part of Disney’s “SparkShorts,” an experimental storytelling initiative launched by the company that aims to give voices to Pixar Animation Studio’s new talents.

Float” tells the story of a Filipino-American father who discovers that his son has the ability to levitate and attempts to hide this from the outside world.

The short film has no release date yet but it will air on YouTube sometime in February.

Rubio, who is Filipino-American, shared that it was a “wonderful opportunity” for him to tell his story and represent Filipinos through his creation. He tweeted:

“Those are #Filipino lead characters in my #Pixar #SparkShort! @Pixar’s first all #CGI Filipino characters! So technically, the first #Pixnoys! I am proud to tell our stories. I know what it means to see our culture represented on screen! #RepresentationMatters”

The Pixar creative also followed it up with a promise to create more stories representing Filipinos. Rubio added in another tweet:

“I am so grateful to tell our stories. I know what it means to be underrepresented and I hope that my #Pixar #SparkShort #FLOAT will inspire more #Filipino #American stories to come! I’m going to do my best to tell MORE!”

The artist-director was born and raised in San Diego, California, a state where Filipinos have an estimated population of about four million as of 2017.

Apart from “Float,” Rubio was also part of the team responsible for creating hit animated movies “Up,” “Tarzan” and “Treasure Planet.”

Pinoys at Pixar

Pixar Animation Studios is an esteemed computer animation film studio that houses the United States’ most talented creatives in the animation industry.

It has created several highest-grossing films in the box office such as “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Up,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Cars” and “WALL-E.”

Similar to the population of California, Filipinos also comprise a big chunk of the animation studio’s employees. In fact, they have a term for themselves—”Pixnoys,” short for Pinoy Pixar employees.

Pixar cover photo
Animated films that were created by Pixar Animation Studios. (Facebook/Disney Pixar)

Virginia “Gini” Cruz Santos is a Filipina animator who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas and the New York-based School of Visual Arts.

She was involved in the creation of “Toy Story 2,” “Toy Story 3,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Finding Nemo,” “A Bug’s Life,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “Up,” “Lifted” and “Brave.”

Ronaldo “Ronnie” del Carmen is a Filipino-American story artist and supervisor, writer and production designer who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas.

He was part of the team that produced “Finding Nemo,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL-E,” “Up” and “Inside Out,” which got an Oscars for the Best Animated Feature Film category in 2016.

Ricky Vega Nierva is a Filipino-American who graduated from the California Institute of the Arts. He is a production designer who worked in “Finding Nemo,” “Monsters, Inc,” “Monsters University” and “Up.”

Nelson “Rey” Bohol is a Filipino animator who finished his studies at the Manuel L. Quezon University. He worked in “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Inside Out,” “Cars” and “Monsters University.”

Chris Chua is another Filipino-American animator who studied in the California Institute of the Arts. He was part of the team responsible for creating “WALL-E” and “Up.”