Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Disney Florida Had Pinoy Animators

I read an article in Philstar from a link in CaT’s blog about a talented Filipina animator in Pixar (the creator of Finding Nemo and Incredibles). It is indeed good to laud her achievements and more so being a woman and a Filipino in a premier Hollywood movie outfit. This made me remember probably equally talented Filipino animators in Disney Florida whom I was privileged to meet when me and my family went there a few years ago. You see my younger sister is married to one.

Mikey Ilagan, my brother-in-law, and a few Filipinos were ably showing their talents in the animation hallways of Disney. Unfortunately Michael Eisner’s faction decided to hack off the whole of the traditional (as opposed to digital) animation department based in Disneyworld in Florida just this last March. And when I mean the whole dept. I mean the whole lot – from admin people to the head honchos including all the furnitures! What a shame.

The Filipino group there was headed by Ruben Aquino who was a Senior Supervising Animator. He was the key person who did characters like Shang in Mulan, Nani in Lilo and Stitch, etc. As far as I know he was born in Manila and moved to the US at a very young age. Others like Mikey was an Key Asst. Animator, Armand was a Layout Artist, and Gerry an Animator. All very talented Pinoys. They were involved in the creation of Disney movies like Mulan, Lilo & Stitch, Brother Bear, John Henry, etc. They are also very good artists in their own right, creating artworks in a number of mediums including illustrations for comics and children’s books, sculpting, painting in watercolor, oil, charcoal, or mixed media, photography, even digital/computer graphics.

Here's one of Mikey's artworks:

That one above is a children’s book illustrated and written by him. Click on the link - Baba and Friends to see more info on this.

Below is another sample of his artwork in the comics genre:

You can see his portfolio at Animatrix Studio.
I wish I could put Armand's, Gerry's, and Ruben's work here so you could see that we have a lot of unsung talented Pinoys in the animation world.


ting-aling said...

Hmm, rubbing elbows ka pala with the almighties ha. No wonder, Mulan was appealing to me. Eh Shrek, me Pilipino ba doon? Galing kasi ng, now, disney ba ang Shrek BTW?

Meron akong joke tungkol diyan (ay sa Kuya ko pala). Sa hirap daw maghanap ng trabaho ngayon, pinapasukan na lahat ng Pinoy kahit ano, kaya naman nang nag-apply yung isa sa Animal Kingdom ng Disney tanggap na daw siya. Ang role daw niya is ipapakain sa leon(although di naman daw siya kakainin ng Leon). Eh nung akmang kakainin na siya ng leon, bigla siyang napa sign of the cross at sinabing "naku po, tulungan niyo ako". Tumigil daw yung leon at sinabing, "Pilipino ka rin?" hehe (magugulat yung nag-email sa akin..akala daw niya seryoso ako as in Ms. Tapia..di daw niya akalain na kenkoy ako dahil sa nabasa niya sa blog mo tungkol sa promdi tales).

celia kusinera said...

Sira ka talaga Ting, umagang-umaga pinatatawa mo ako. Hahaha!! Lokong leon yun ah marunong magsalita. Hehehe!

About Shrek, it was done by Dreamworks and my BIL said there are Pinoys there as well. Bayaan mo ire-research ko. Usually magkakakilala naman sila within the animation industry lalo na ang mga Pinoys.

ladycharlie said...

Makes you feel proud reading articles or stories like this. Did you notice the 'bahay kubo' in "Finding Nemo"?

celia kusinera said...

Hi Lady C, merong bahay kubo?? Saan? Teka let me watch it again. Btw, I like your article in Pinoy Expat Ezine. Talented writer ka pala.

Cerridwen said...

very talented indeed... they've been cut off from work but I am sure with the Disney background behind them, it will not be very hard to find another good outfit to work for...wish them all well...

Ate Sienna said...

nakakatuwa naman na may mga pinoy animators ng sikat na mga pelikula! pero i'm not surprised by our talents. Belib na belib ako sa galing nila. I'm sure marami ang sasalo sa kanila na mga ibang animation companies. Parang ang sarap na trabaho ng animation. aliw na aliw kasi ako sa cartoons kahit na ngayon.

ladycharlie said...

maraming salamt po for reading PinoyExpats!

as for the bahay kubo...nandun sa fish tank at the dentist's office. dun nagtatago si nemo. watch it again.

celia kusinera said...

Cerridwen: Hi there, yes pls wish them well 'coz not all of the laid off staff have found jobs up to now.

Sienna: I really liked your blog skins. Maybe later I'll contact you re:changing my blog skins.

Lady C: Yeah I saw it already! I didn't realise it was a bahay kubo.

Cheers ladies, sorry I wasn't able to answer right away. Blogger and tagboard really sucked in the past few days. Actually I'm gonna move to a different msg board soon.

Anonymous said...

hi celia! reading from ur blog on pinoy animators..i got so intrigued i wonder you think u can ask them a few questions for me? like things they needed in order to survive in the animation-making world, the tasks involved , career trends in the field, and the negative scenarios to watch out for.. i am a 21 year old college student..who wants to be a part of the world of animation.. am looking forward to ur reply..thanks alot! very good blog:)