‘Float,’ Pixar’s first short featuring Filipino characters, surpasses 25M views on YouTube

“Float” tells the story of a Filipino father who discovers his infant son has the ability to float.  | Photo courtesy of Pixar

PIXAR Animation Studios’ “Float,” written and directed by Filipino American storyboard artist Bobby Alcid Rubio, has surpassed 25 million views since its February release on YouTube.

First released in November 2019 on Disney+, “Float” is the first Pixar short to feature Filipino characters.

The seven-minute animated film tells the story of a father trying to keep his infant son’s special ability to fly a secret.

The animated short is based on Rubio’s relationship with his son Alex, who is on the autism spectrum. He submitted it to Pixar’s SparkShorts, an immersive storytelling program that gives studio employees six months and a budget to develop animated short films.

On Tuesday, March 9, Rubio took to Twitter to express his excitement over the short’s milestone.

“20 MILLION VIEWS. 720K Likes. Just a week has passed and the response has been overwhelmingly positive! #PixarFloat’s message to #CelebrateOurDifferences is much needed right now and I am glad that it has resonated with people all across the world!” Rubio wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, March 9.

Pixar on February 27 released “Float,” along with “Wind,” another animated film by Korean director Edwin Chang, on YouTube amid the recent spike of violent attacks against Asian and Asian American communities in the United States.

“Pixar Animation Studios and the SparkShorts filmmakers of FLOAT are in solidarity with the Asian and Asian American communities against Anti-Asian hate in all its forms,” the studio said.

“We are proud of the onscreen representation in this short and have decided to make it widely available, in celebration of what stories that feature Asian characters can do to promote inclusion everywhere,” it added.

As of this writing, “Float” has amassed 26,678,616 views and over 773,000 likes on YouTube.

“At the end of the day, [‘Float’] is about the bond between father and son. It’s about unconditional love, especially amongst family members and amongst everybody. I want that to be the end thing that people get. It’s about love and acceptance and hopefully, that will resonate,” Rubio told the Asian Journal in a 2019 interview.

Ritchel Mendiola

Ritchel Mendiola is a staff writer and reporter for the Asian Journal. You can reach her at [email protected].

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