Filipino-American Pixar artist Gini Cruz Santos, once again, lent her talents to tell stories through animation. Her latest work is "Nona," --a short film about a Latina grandmother whose solo plans to watch her favorite wrestling TV show was interrupted by her energetic granddaughter.
Santos says that the grandmother's character is similar to the traits of a Filipino lola.
"That's exactly how I thought about it, it's like the lola who loves to be with the kids, but it's like, ‘Oh, right now? I'm about to watch my favorite show.’ And I love that she's like this very tough lola," Santos adds.
The short film is directed by Louis Gonzales, who also took the opportunity to tell a story that reflects his Latino background.
"The opportunity to animate on “Nona” came up, I just loved it. And I love Louis’ work, I love his style of storytelling, and I love his characters," Santos says.
Santos was the supervising animator for the 2017 film “Coco." Her other high-profile projects include “Finding Nemo,” “Soul,” “Up,” and many other Pixar hits.
Santos says “Nona” is a return to her first love, which is giving drawings of character and personality through animation.
"It’s the first project that I finally got to animate again, and then it was done during this COVID season where we were all at home. I love animating. In the projects I've been in, our characters have been so interesting that I always find myself going, ‘Oh my God, I wish I were just an animator again.’ To just animate these characters because they're just so fun to bring to life, and those are the moments that I'm like, I wish I could just animate again," Santos shares.
“Nona” and another short film called “Twenty Something” are the latest from the “SparkShorts” series, a Pixar program that tells diverse stories and streams on Disney Plus.