MANILA, Philippines — The Filipino-American co-director of the box-office hit “Inside Out” says it’s a dream come true for him to be sharing with Filipinos the animated film he helped create.
“It’s kind of a surreal experience because I just watched movies here growing up,” said Ronnie del Carmen, a former advertising art director who migrated to the U.S. in 1989 at age 29. He said he loved movies but never expected to be doing films.
He joined Pixar in 2000, and before that worked as story board artist for “Batman: The Animated Series” and for DreamWorks as a story supervisor.
“It’s an amazing experience because I’m not just coming home, there’s a movie I helped make that’s opening here,” he said. “It’s a dream come true.”
He and director Peter Docter spoke to journalists Friday in Manila, the last leg of their Asian tour to promote “Inside Out.” The movie that opens in the Philippines on Aug. 19 has earned $630 million at the box office so far.
The two directors, who also collaborated on “Up” with Del Carmen as story supervisor, said they drew from some of their childhood experiences as well as their children’s for the movie they also co-wrote.
Docter said it was a challenge to create characters to illustrate the emotions and gaggle of voices in the mind of 11-year-old Riley, who moves with her family from the Minnesota of her childhood to a run-down town house in San Francisco.
Sadness begins creeping in Riley’s core memories, where bubbly Joy earlier reigned supreme. Anger, Fear and Disgust complete the five emotions in the “headquarters” of her mind.
Docter said they had to consult psychologists and had to pare to five what some experts claim to be as many as 27 emotions. They also had to find the right look for each emotion to remind filmgoers that the characters are the personification of feelings and are not little people.
“I think it’s simultaneously the most sort of realistic film we’ve ever done and completely fantasy at the same time,” Docter said. They used San Francisco and Minnesota as settings aside from Riley’s mind.
He said it was a real challenge “because we decided to set it not in the brain but in the mind, so it’s not blood vessels… its consciousness, personality, so we talk about these very abstract things.” They also used moving as a metaphor for growing up, he added.
Del Carmen said in the end it’s a movie about family, not just Riley and her emotions.