Pixar continually champions the work of Filipino animators by putting them at the forefront of the production process. Among those in this roster of luminaries are Nelson Bohol, Virginia Cruz-Santos, and Paul Abadilla, who have worked on Inside Out, The Incredibles, and, more recently, the Oscar-winning Soul, respectively.
Now, in what feels to be a long time coming, Filipino characters are the protagonists of a Pixar production. Directed by Filipino-American Bobby Rubio, Float is a seven-minute short film about a father who discovers his son’s ability to float — an ability he keeps hidden away from others, until he realizes its unique quality. According to Rubio, Float was inspired by his personal relationship with his son, Alex, calling it, in an interview with GMA News, a short story about “a parent’s acceptance, encouragement, and celebration of their child’s unique gifts.”
Rubio is a story artist, having created storyboards for Up, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. Float is his directorial debut and the fourth installment of Pixar’s SparkShorts programme, giving Pixar employees six months and a limited budget to develop animated shorts for Pixar’s YouTube channel and Disney+.
As of writing, the video has garnered 61 million views on YouTube. It is now also available on Disney+.