Filipino animator Gini Santos enjoyed a very productive homecoming on November 6 and 7 as she heralded the upcoming release of Disney•Pixar’s “Coco” in the country. Santos served as Supervising Animator for the full-length feature, and holds the distinction of as the first ever woman in Pixar’s history to hold the position.
Born in Pasay City, Santos moved to Guam with her family when she was only three years old. She then returned to the country years later to study at St. Scholastica’s College for high school, and then the University of Santo Tomas (UST), where she graduated with a degree in Fine Arts with a major in Advertising.
Hired by Pixar Animation Studios in 1996, Santos worked on many critically praised Pixar films, including the Academy Award-winning “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille” and “Up.”
“The welcome has been amazing. After all the hard work we’ve done for Coco, to be recognized as a Filipino who worked on the film, which has gotten great response, has been also amazing,” said Santos who met with local media.
At the special advanced screening for Coco at Newport Cinemas in Newport Mall, Resorts World Manila, Santos was presented with a plaque of appreciation “for being an exemplary citizen of Pasay City” where she and her family lived before moving to Guam.
At the same event, Santos was also awarded by the Original Pilipino Performing Arts (OPPA) Foundation with a plaque of recognition by organization president Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. OPPA is a foundation that aims to support aspiring Filipino artists by providing them with opportunities that will improve their knowledge and craft.
“In our unwavering commitment to champion Filipino talent, the Original Pilipino Performing Arts would like to present this plaque of recognition to Ms. Gini Santos for her invaluable contribution to showcasing the creativity of the Filipino to a global audience,” said Lauchengco-Yulo. “We are proud that she shares the foundation’s vision to support, nurture, and elevate the Filipino talent. Thank you for being an inspiration.”
On Tuesday, Santos conducted an animation workshop, which was attended by more than 250 students.
“There’s a vast amount of information on the internet about animation. Look out there and learn,” she advised. “Keep pursuing and trying things.”