Pixar’s “Inside Out,” the growing-up story starring five personified emotions who live inside an 11-year-old girl, won Best Animated Feature in the 88th Academy Awards and was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay. It was co-directed and co-written by Ronnie del Carmen, a Filipino who immigrated to the United States when he was 30 years old. The achievements of the film has been a dream come true for Del Carmen.
In the Instagram post below, he can be seen at the Oscars nominees luncheon together with the rest of the “Inside Out” team. He is the first from the left.
A photo posted by Disney•Pixar’s #InsideOut (@pixarinsideout) on
His parents’ important role
He credits his parents for developing his interest and ability in story telling. “My father read a lot. I just naturally emulated him. I often daydreamed when I was alone. I spun tales of adventures and created sci-fi worlds,” he shared. “My mom loves to tell stories. She’s the natural storyteller in the family. She can hold court in any gathering for hours on end.”
Drawing was also an important part of his childhood. He shared, “I was the class illustrator in school. I got requests from classmates to draw TV cartoon characters on their notebooks. My dad told me to focus on my math and handwriting subjects instead of drawing on all my notebooks. ‘Drawing is just a hobby, son,’ he said. He was worried for me.”
Del Carmen dedicated the Oscar win to his parents saying, “This is for my parents who worked so hard to save us.” His family did not have an easy life; before the 1986 EDSA Revolution, his father was forced to work in the United States because of the poor economy in the Philippines.
He also had to postpone going to university. Eventually though he was able to graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Santo Tomas where he majored in advertising. “My mother had to keep my fine arts course a secret from my dad because I didn’t want to disappoint him. Years later, he found out and wrote, in his amazing handwriting, a long, nice letter telling me that I should follow where my heart leads.”
It is an important reminder of how parents’ interests and attitude can impact their children’s dreams.
The power of dreams
He also had a message for Filipinos: “For my people in the Philippines, I can tell you — dreams keep you going. Awards or no awards, let this be a point of reference that anyone can dream the impossible. Do the work, be as good as you can be, fail and learn as you go and you’ll get to a grand place where you’ve become the dream.”
It is easy to feel discouraged when our goals seem unattainable. When your children feel like giving up, tell them about people like Ronnie del Carmen who kept working hard until he succeeded.
READ: Developing creativity through quantity, not quality
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