As we welcome back the video-game bad guy Ralph and adorable misfit Vanellope von Schweetz on the big screen on November 21 for the sequel of the animation film Wreck It Ralph, we got a chance to have a chat with one of the creators behind the film. Filipino animator Josie Trinidad shared with us her Disney journey and the things she learned which she wants the young aspiring animators to remember. From being inspired to pursue animation at the age of 8 to becoming the Head of Story of Disney animation films like Oscar-winning feature Zootopia and arcade-hopping Wreck It Ralph, Josie Trinidad was born to become one of the most talented artistsin the international landscape.
A true-blooded Filipina, Josie is a part of Disney's creative force and leading the story team which is responsible for translating the script to its visual form. But before she got into the world of animation, she shared to us how her passion all started. At a young age, Josie always loved animated movies. She was watching Robin Hood with her best friend on VHS, and when they paused it and watched it frame by frame, she saw the characters coming alive and moving on their own as individual beautiful drawings drawn by animators. "That's when I knew I wanted to work for Disney and do those drawings."
At first, her parents believed that she wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer. Even though she told them that she wanted to go to California Institute of the Arts, her parents thought that she didn't mean it and her passion for drawing was just a hobby. That's why at first she went to University of California Los Angeles and studied English Literature and Fine Arts. After her college years, she still wanted to go to CalArts. And that's when her parents finally became extremely supportive of the path that she wanted to take because they wanted her to be happy.
Before Josie joined the Disney team, she worked as an illustrator for toy company MGA Entertainment and for Klasky Csupo which produces animated commercials. It was in 2004 when she became a Disney story apprentice. Through the years, she climbed her way up to the top. She said that being a part of Disney's creative force is so fun, motivating, and truly such an honor. Josie shares, "One of the most surprising things I discovered when I started working at Disney animation was how friendly, genuine, and generous with their time everyone was. All of us just really wanted to work at Disney growing up, so us being gathered in this wonderful place where everyone wants to make great movies, and kind of be part of this legacy. It was surprising that no one's a bad person."
Even the great artists that she looked up to like Glen Keane or Mark Henn are sweethearts that you can go to their offices, and they'll spend a lot of time with you sharing information about the past of Disney animation She also got the chance to work with some of the who have worked with Walt Disney himself! Josie adds, "To kind of pass these stories on to the next generation is really incredible. I don't take it for granted that I'm there, but at the same time there's a new future with younger storytellers that's really fun and exciting to be a part of. I just sorted started out as a kid who loved Disney who wanted to work there, and now I found myself at this forefront of the creative core group."
And to all the young people out there who want to be an animator like Josie, she wants you to know that getting into animation is crazier than you expect. "Animation is 24 frames per second, so everything you will see on a frame has been crafted by a human being. There's so much thought to a single frame, and that's coming from the artist. It's a very laborious process, but it's a labor of love. You really have to love animation, very deeply."
The second thing that Josie wants to impart to us is that we should be true to ourselves. We all have a story to tell and a unique point of view. In a studio, there's nothing like your own perspective, so just work hard and always bring your A-game. Josie ends, "I just embraced myself as an artist, and everything worked out."
Wreck It Ralph is showing on Nov. 21, 2018.
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