[Only IN Hollywood] Fil-Am host works on 2 Disney films nominated for Golden Globes
LOS ANGELES, USA – Mikee Sevilla first worked on a Disney animated film with Raya and the last dragon. For his second Disney film, the Filipino-American participated in the animation Encanto.
And now both films are nominated for the 2022 Golden Globe for Best Animated Feature.
In the recent announcement of Golden Globe nominations by Snoop Dogg and Helen Hoehne, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), which votes and presents the awards, the other three lively nominees were Luca, also by Disney, Neon / Participant’s To flee, and Totem Films’ My Sunny Maad.
It’s an honor for a newbie animator like Mikee to have collaborated so early on two high-profile Disney films.
Mikee, who we featured last March for his contribution to Raya and the last dragon, added his character animation artistry to Encanto.
Located in Colombia, Encanto depicts how a young girl, Mirabel, copes with her frustration at being the only member of the Madrigal family who does not have magical powers.
The fantasy musical, powered by original songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is directed by Jared Bush and Byron Howard and co-directed by Charise Castro Smith.
A sweet and colorful hymn to family dynamics, Encanto is voiced by Stephanie Beatriz (Mirabel), John Leguizamo (Bruno), Maria Cecilia Botero (Abuela), Mauro Castillo (Felix), Wilmer Valderrama (Agustin), Maluma (Mariano), and more.
As one of the EncantoCharacter animators, Mikee was able to add his creative touch to the film’s main family in one scene.
During our video call, I interviewed Mikee about this scene. âOh, my God,â Mikee enthused.
âI animated the whole family by running out of the dining room, and each character has their own unique personality. So specificity was very important, making sure that each character felt authentic and himself. “
Mikee, who started his animator journey by saving money to enroll in online animation classes, revealed that one of the EncantoThe main characters in him reminded of his Filipino mother.
He said: âI was also able to animate Abuela, who makes me feel like I am seeing my mother. I always take inspiration from my family and my mother in particular. I am very happy that I was able to breathe a part from my mother to Abuela.
The soft-spoken artist added, “I love seeing people I identify with. My mom especially, she has these very precise quirks and gestures.
âSo as a host it’s so much fun for me. I really like being able to host these kinds of opportunities.
Mikee also sympathized with the film’s main protagonist, Mirabel, who is different from the rest of the family. Lin-Manuel’s songs reflect the emotions of Mirabel.
âOh man, I feel her pain every time she sings,â Mikee admitted. “I just want to give her a big hug when I hear her sing about the pain and her desire to be a family.” I am really deeply connected with this.
Mikee explained how to identify with Mirabel. âFor Mirabel, it is above all about trying to fit in and be included. Her family has excluded her.
“And I relate to Mirabel who aspires to belong to the family and have a clear role and ask someone to tell me what to do and how to fit into this family?” So that’s definitely how I relate to her.
Beaming, Mikee said that animating the characters to Lin-Manuel’s songs and Germaine Franco’s sheet music made her hum the melodies even in the shower.
âThe songs are really amazing,â he shared. “I sang all the songs in the shower over the past year or so, so I feel like I’m so addicted to listening to the songs.”
âThey’re very catchy and you just want to learn all the lyrics and dance to them. They are so much fun to animate.
He quoted two songs: â’We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ is my number one song. And of course, “Waiting for a miracle”, because I asked to be on that streak. “
âI identify so much with this song. So I’m so grateful that I was able to be a part of this.
During the Golden Globe nominations announcement at the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hilton, where the winners will also be announced on January 9. Dos Oruguitas, Lin-Manuel’s first complete Spanish song composition, was the film that was nominated.
Collaborating with not one but three filmmakers, Mikee replied, âI feel like they complement each other really well. They feel like they are of the same opinion.
âThey all have this clear vision of what the movie should be like, which was so much fun. It’s so much fun working with Byron, Jared and Charise.
I asked Mikee how much her experience working on Encanto, compared to its passage on Raya and the last dragon, which starred Southeast Asia’s first Disney Princess (voiced by Kelly Marie Tran) and is the first Disney animated film set in this region.
Mikee replied: “I have the impression Raya was more action packed. And I can certainly see a lot of similarities with [my Asian roots]. There were things in Raya and the last dragon where I knew exactly how it was supposed to be.
“While I feel like I’m in Encanto, I had to consult the Colombian cultural consultants a lot more because we always try to pay attention to the authenticity and to certain gestures specific to Colombia.
Still, he appreciated the similarities between Colombians and Filipinos. Like the gesture of pointing at objects or places by puckering the lips and moving the mouth in a certain direction.
âYes, there are definitely similarities too,â Mikee said. âI know in the Philippines, we would point with our lips, like, over there (point with his lips). In Colombia they do it too, which was such a pleasant surprise.
âIt’s amazing how we are in different countries, but we share a lot of things in common. And I thought it was really cool to see that in a Disney animated movie, which is really exciting.
As he did with Raya and the last dragon, Mikee worked on Encanto in his kitchen counter because of the pandemic. “Yes, we are still working from home,” he confirmed.
I asked Fil-Am, who worked in animation for several years before landing the Plum job at Disney, if he had dreams of making an animated film one day.
âI’m still learning animation,â he replied. “And Disney is such an amazing school.”
âI am learning so much from the business. I feel like it would be a dream come true if I ever led a project, but yeah, I hope so.
In the meantime, does he plan to try other areas of animation work?
âI deeply love character animation, so I think I want to specialize in that area and that profession,â Mikee replied. “But maybe [I will do] story one day. I would like to try my hand at creating story pitches and yes, working more with the directors on that.
On his advice to talents around the world who aspire to work at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Mikee said, “Artists who want to work at Disney – they should definitely be working on the things they are passionate about.”
“If this is a personal story, if it is specific to the Philippines, I strongly encourage them to continue down this path and submit their work to Disney.”
âFilipino stories should be told on a global scale. I think it’s really important to bring this to the world and international stage.
As our discussion of Zoom drew to a close, I asked Mikee if he could reveal what his next Disney movie project would be.
“I can’t,” he said with a big smile that lit up his face. âWell, I hope they will announce something soon, but we’ll see. “
In a hurry if he’s already busy on this new movie, Mikee, still smiling, only said, “Yes, I’m working on the next movie right now.” – Rappler.com