Are you an aspiring film animator? Or someone who has big dreams of working animation jobs for the likes of Walt Disney or Pixar? Believe it or not, you can make those dreams come true even if you’re in the Philippines. One day, you can become the next Josie Trinidad or Armand Serano of the international animated film industry. To inspire your sleeping creative genius side, here are animators from the Philippines who have made their mark in the global arena.
Bobby Pontillas of Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph
“As I mentioned before, I’ve always wanted to work at Disney, so I kept applying and applying, but my work was never enough,” said Pontillas on how many times he submitted for Disney. After painful rejections, Pontillas eventually became an animator for Disney’s Frozen and Wreck-it Ralph. His other credits include Blue Sky Studios’ Rio and Ice Age 4.
Josie Trinidad of Zootopia and Tangled
“There’s lots of failure, but it’s about picking yourself back up and reworking the story until you get it right,” shared Trinidad about her struggle in making a name in the animation industry. She’s a graduate of English Literature in UCLA but continued her education at California Institute of Arts where she established her animation background. Currently, she wore her animator hat in Zootopia, Wreck-it Ralph, Tangled, and The Princess and the Frog.
Armand Serano of Big Hero 6 and Mulan
“I always give 101% in everything that I work on. But to balance my over-thinking, over-drawing, and over-rationalizing tendencies is the decision to keep it fun for both of us - the creators and the audience,” Serano emphasized about his realization of the greatest artistic piece of advice he got. He has been in the industry for two decades. For a Disney fan, it’s almost mandatory to watch Mulan, Tarzan, Brother Bear, and Lilo & Stitch. He was also part of the award-winning animated films Big Hero 6 and Zootopia.
Ronnie del Carmen of Finding Nemo and Inside Out
“For my people in the Philippines, I can tell you - dreams keep you going. Awards or no awards, let this be a point of reference that anyone can dream the impossible.” said del Carmen on his Oscar win in Best Animated Feature for Inside Out. He co-directed the award-winning 2015 film. You have also witnessed how the Filipino animator demonstrated his creative expertise in Finding Nemo, The Prince of Egypt, and Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Who would’ve thought you can win an Oscar in jobs in animation?
Cesar Velasquez of Meet the Robinsons and Tangled
“It’s a creative environment, where things are always evolving and changing.” shared Velasquez on how he deals with unexpected challenges in animating a film. He also mentioned that Filipino animators must always be ready to fix anything at any moment. Before joining Disney, he worked for Warner Digital Studios as a programmer and animator. You probably grew up watching the films under his name: Bolt, Chicken Little, Meet the Robinsons, Tangled, Wreck-it Ralph.
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