Disney and Pixar veteran Ronnie Del Carmen, who co-directed Inside Out, is developing a new animated film rooted on Philippine mythology for Netflix.
In an interview with industry news website Cartoon Brew, the Filipino animator revealed that he left Disney to produce and become a consultant for animated projects on Netflix. The feature, which del Carmen plans to direct, will be rooted in the lore and mythology of the Philippines, his home country.
Del Carmen co-directed and was one of the story writers for the 2015 Pixar film Inside Out, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He also served as story supervisor on Pixar's full-length computer-animated film, Up and directed its accompanying short film, Dug's Special Mission.
As part of Dreamworks, then Pixar, del Carmen worked on a variety of story and writing roles on features including Prince of Egypt, Batman: The Animated Series, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, Finding Nemo, Coco, and Toy Story 4.
“I grew up somewhere else,” the animator told Cartoon Brew in the feature interview about the milestones in his career and lessons he learned along the way. “My story starts in a group of islands, in a region that I’ve now traveled back to many times over. Each time I wish I could stay and relearn what I missed. Now I feel the pull of figuring out the beginning. The parts that I use to make movies began there. So on this new journey, I go where these stories will thrive. I carried these tales to Netflix, and when they heard my story they asked me to tell it here. So this is where I’m growing and nurturing these stories that have never been told, in an arena they deserve to belong to.”
“At Netflix I’m inspired by all the creators and storytellers who come from all over the globe, telling tales that are windows into their own worlds which I’m so thrilled to discover. I’m hopeful about seeing how all these stories will help fuel change and bring us all a little closer to understanding each other. That’s my next threshold. I’m where I need to be,” he added.
Specific details have yet to be revealed on Del Carmen’s latest animated film project, but the concept of Filipino mythology and lore as told by a Pinohy animator behind well-known animated films and series sounds very promising.
In terms of Asian representation, Netflix has been amping up their original animated titles from around the globe, including the highly anticipated upcoming anime adaptation for Trese, a Filipino graphic novel series that also centers on Philippine folklore and myths.
Meanwhile, Disney recently released Raya and the Last Dragon, a film that featured Southeast Asian characters and cultures and a couple of SparkShorts films including Float, which featured a Filipino father and son.
Read the entire interview of Ronnie Del Carmen with Cartoon Brew here.
(Images via Cartoon Brew/Ronnie Del Carmen on IG)