Heads up, Pixar fans! The well-loved animation studio has just announced its newest film project, and one of the films included in the line-up is written and directed by a Filipino-American!
Bobby Rubio, a Fil-Am working in Pixar as a story artist who worked has worked on some of the most well-known films Pixar has released including The Incredibles 2, Inside Out, Up, and Hercules, been given the opportunity to bring the short film, entitled Float, to theaters, and it will be headlined by two Filipino-American main characters!
Float makes history as the first Pixar film to feature characters of Filipino roots, something Bobby celebrates as well on his Instagram post, where he dubbed the characters as the first “Pixnoys.”
It was thanks to Pixar Animation Studios' called "SparkShorts" that gave Bobby this break. In a statement on its official website, Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris says SparkShorts is “designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows.”
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The program gives individuals working in Pixar the opportunity to create their own short films that will not only unlock their potential as artists but also allow them to tell their own stories. No matter what department or division they are part of in the company, everyone is welcome to be part of the program.
The films included in the SparkShorts are quite different from the kinds of films Pixar has produced in the past, not only in terms of scale but also with regards to the stories they depict. Morris also stated, “These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.”
Aside from Pixar’s official announcement, Bobby, who is Float's writer and director, also expressed his excitement on his personal Twitter account, writing, “I’m so proud to be part of this program and to be among these very talented people!” He also gave a shout out to the team who helped work on his film, called “Team Float.”
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This year, we launched #SparkShorts, an experimental storytelling initiative that welcomes new creative voices at Pixar to share their stories. See the first three shorts at the @ElCapitanThtre beginning 1/18, followed by an exclusive launch on @YouTube in the weeks that follow! pic.twitter.com/9ssK5Sn1bn
In another post on his Instagram account, Bobby talked more at length about his newest project. “When I was growing up, I didn’t see [many] characters that looked like me on television or movies,” he wrote. “I am thrilled that my children will have these guys and hopefully they are just the beginning and will inspire more Filipino-American stories to come!”
SparkShorts itself aims to champion diversity, as expressed by Pixar’s vice president of Development Lindsey Collins on the animation studio’s official website: “Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of SparkShorts. The program was created to provide opportunities to a wide array of artists — each with something unique to say.”
The SparkShorts project is to be launched officially on January 18, 2019, at the El Capitan Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The first three films in the line-up will be shown as a follow-up to the feature film presentation of The Little Mermaid. After a week-long run in the famed theatre, the films will also be made available on YouTube and on Disney+, Disney’s soon-to-be-launched streaming service.
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As of yet, no synopsis of Float has been released, but we’re sure everyone is already looking forward to watching it! Are you excited to watch Float (and the other SparkShorts films) with your kids?