After three decades of a successful career as animation writer, story artist, story supervisor, and director for film production companies Warner Bros., Pixar, and Dreamworks, Ronnie del Carmen has moved to Netflix for bigger things.
The Filipino Del Carmen, who was co-director and screenwriter of the Oscar-winning animated feature film “Inside Out,” has signed an exclusive deal with the world’s biggest streaming platform and production company to direct films and series featuring Philippine lore and mythology. The veteran animator will also serve as consultant for other Netflix animated projects, animation news website Cartoon Brew revealed.
The Cavite-born creative has always believed Filipino stories are worthy of the international spotlight. “My story starts in a group of islands, in a region that I’ve now traveled back to many times over,” he shared in his interview with the website. “Each time I wish I could stay and relearn what I missed… 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.”
The University of Sto. Tomas Fine Arts graduate has indeed come a long way—from his first stint as a painter on the set of Francis Ford Coppola’s "Apocalypse Now," to becoming a storyboard artist and character designer on Warner Bros. "Animation’s Batman: The Animated Series," to having writing roles in DreamWorks Animation and Pixar productions "The Prince of Egypt," "Finding Nemo," "Up," and "Toy Story 4."
“This is what we are doomed to be: to have what we are going through in life show up in what we make. No matter what we’re making,” he told the website. “It can feature toys coming to life, invisible guardians in our heads, or what-have-you—but at the heart of it is the story that we are living through. Our lives are in our movies.”
Del Carmen said he’s inspired by Netflix creators and storytellers who come from all over the globe. “I’m hopeful about seeing how all these stories will help fuel change and bring us all a little closer to understanding each other,” he said. “That’s my next threshold. I’m where I need to be.”