Interview by DOM GALEON
Images courtesy of PIXAR
In the battle of streaming services that is redefining how people consume content nowadays, the winners are always us, the viewers. We get more choices, we have more options, and the streaming giants double-up their efforts to produce quality shows.
It is in this competitive space that Disney released its own streaming service, dubbed as Disney+, which launched on Nov. 12 and has already had over 10 million subscribers just after 24 hours.
Among the exclusive content Disney has in this service are short animations from Pixar. One of these shorts is called Float and it was made by Filipino artist Bobby Rubio. Float has made history as the first short animation by Pixar to be about Filipinos, featuring a Filipino father and son as its lead characters. Curious, isn’t it? I chatted with Bobby to understand more about his story.
Bobby Rubio, photo from his IG
What inspired you to make Float?
Float was inspired by my relationship with my son. It is a “father and son” story where the son floats, which makes him different from other kids.
How much of its story is you or is taken from your personal experiences as a Pinoy in the US?
The short is taken from my own personal experience here in the US. Coming from a Pinoy family, our parents had a vision of what our lives should be: engineer, lawyer, doctor, nurse. You’re supposed to keep up the appearance of being a model citizen or a good student. Your parents have decided your future for you. Float is about a father who doesn’t see his son’s gifts. He, instead, sees his son’s difference from every other kid and so the bond between them is tested. The father has to learn to accept and celebrate his son’s unique gifts.
When Filipinos, whether those living in there in the US or those here in the Philippines, watch Float, what is it that you want them to realize?
I want for Filipinos around the world to feel empowered and know that they are seen. Our stories need to be told to the world. Float is just one story—and we have so much to tell. And I hope that there will be a shift to where artists and musicians are just as revered as engineers and lawyers. Filipino creatives can share our culture with the world.
As an animator, do you think there’s a future for the local (Philippine) animation industry?
I’m unfamiliar with the Philippine animation industry because I never worked there. I don’t know what it’s like, so I couldn’t give you an opinion about it. But I hope that there can be some original content made in the Philippines and it would be wonderful to share those stories, I’m interested in watching them.
Have you ever visited the Philippines?
I have never been to the Philippines, unfortunately. My family couldn’t afford to go visit when I was little. But I would like to visit someday. I’d like to go to Ilocos Norte where my father is from, and to Manila where my mother is from. And, of course, I would love to visit Palawan!
Disney+ is currently available only in the US and Canada.