Pixar is releasing its first-ever animated short featuring CGI Filipino characters as part of its SparkShorts program, which gives studio employees six months and budget to develop animated short films.
Called Float, the short is created, produced and directed by Filipino-American writer/producer, Bobby Rubio. It tells the heartwarming story of how a father discovers his son floats, making him different from other kids. The father must decide whether to accept his son as he is, or hide him from others.
“The short is based on my relationship with my son,” Rubio told San Diego magazine. “It started as a story I just wanted to get out of me. About a year ago, I thought, ‘I’m just going to do it.’”
Initially, Rubio characterized the father and the son as Caucasian. But his colleagues suggested that he make them Filipino to reflect his own story.
“I wasn’t even thinking of them being Filipino… this is just my unconscious bias,” Rubio told Asian Journal. “I’m not used to seeing Filipinos as lead characters and it felt very empowering to have my coworkers push this diverse person of colour to be a lead.”
“At the end of the day, [Float] is about the bond between father and son. It’s about unconditional love, especially amongst family members and amongst everybody. I want that to be the end thing that people get. It’s about love and acceptance and hopefully, that will resonate,” he told Asian Journal.
Float will be available for viewing on Disney+ on November 12.