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Fil-Am Pixar artist Gini Cruz Santos returns to her love of animation in short film 'Nona'

Yong Chavez | TFC News Hollywood

Posted at Sep 27 2021 03:52 PM

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.

Gini Cruz Santos


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.

Courtesy: Pixar
Courtesy: Pixar


"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.

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