Mishie Del Rosario, Visual Development Artist for Disney (REPOST)

That's the title I've sworn myself to have someday. 

Now, I've always been a Disney fan. How couldn't I have become when from the moment I was born, it was one Disney classic after another that invaded my life. I've been alive long enough to catch Duck Tales, the Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, the Lion King, Hercules, and onwards as they all came into the silver screen and into, back then, VHS tapes. And my mother, especially made it a point that I watched all the other Disney classics before those in my lifetime. 

In one way or another---although I can't say that I was directly influenced, I have been influenced by Disney in terms of why I draw and how. Needless to say, anime finally stamped its influence on me and I've struggled to move away from it ever since--and it is a real struggle to because I just can't seem to veer away from it. 

I love looking at artwork by Disney and I remember being in awe with animation when my brother and I took a trip in the animation studios of FilCartoons. I loved looking at the light tables. When my family took a vacation and went over to Florida back in 2001, we went over to the Disney Animation Studios there are I saw the workarea of the 2D cell artists and I thought "shucks, it would be a dream to work here when I'm older."

When I was in late high school and it was time to choose our courses for college, I applied to the best Multimedia school in the country but didn't end up going there. I regreted it for some time because I wanted to learn so much about art and how to animate and have one of those light tables that I wanted to have so much. I told myself that I would one day work for Pixar--the 3D arm of Disney (Toy Story, Up, Finding Nemo, etc).

When I got to college, I veered away. I told myself that since I was taking up Communication Arts and Advertising Management, it might be wise to find a career in those fi, elds instead. As a compromise with my course and myself, I told myself that I one day wanted to work for Crew Creative which back then seemed like a good compromise as they made the trailers for movies as well as the movie posters. Advertising for films, seemed like a good compromise for me. I'd still be working in the Hollywood area--and although I wasn't going to be acting like I wanted (all those years of Harry Potter stamped in me) I still wanted to work there (and maybe I could pursue acting sometime later!). 

And since then I haven't really given it much thought. When I got more involved in Advertising, my short term goals changed. If I were to remain in the country and work here, I'd be working in an advertising agency, working as a copywriter for ads and such. But the truth is, that isn't where I felt most comfortable. It seemed to me, for the longest time, as just settling for something with minimal alternatives. That is until I watched Tangled. 

Now for those of you that aren't in the know (just in case), Tangled is Disney's 50 Animated Motion Picture (the one before it being Princess and the Frog--which I disliked actually). Aside from being the 50th, it was also Disney's first 3D rendered film. And by "Disney's", I meant that it is not co-produced by Pixar unlike the Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo franchises. This was purely Disney (though I doubt most people would see the difference). What I loved about Tangled was that they really took inspiration out of all the old, classical Disney movies. By what the head producers and directors mentioned, they wanted to go for the look of the Disney classics produced in the 1950's Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Alice in Wonderland (I think Peter Pan too actually, but anyway). And I totally agree that they were able to capture that look. 

During the entire film, I kept straining my eyes to differentiate the 3D from the traditional animation that Disney is known for. Just the view of Rapunzel's tower alone showed me classic Disney--the soundtrack of Beauty and the Beast played because it looked so much like the castle of the Beast in that shot. 

Mishie Del Rosario Visual Development Artist Tangled Tower
Mishie Del Rosario Visual Development Artist Beauty Beast castle

The ambiance if it was amazing. I felt like, with Rapunzel, I was watching a visual mashup of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. 

Mishie Visual Development Artist Ariel as Rapunzel
Mishie Visual Development Artist Ariel Dress

Going back, the visual feel of Tangled was pure nostalgia for me, someone who has been immersed in the Disney classics for just her entire life. And the animation of Tangled, for some reason felt very classic for me, not like the obviously caricatured or cartoon-like kind of animation of The Incredibles or Up or, well pretty much anything else. It was different. In some scenes I forget that I'm watching something completely animated because some times I felt that I was watching something live action. Maybe the dialogue or the--something. 

And then, something in this scene was a turning point in my life--the connection to what I was talking about way earlier in this entry:

Mishie Visual Development Artist Tangled Lanterns

Yes, we all know this one (we meaning everyone who has watched Tangled anyway). The Lantern Scene, inspired by New year in Phuket Thailand. We all love this scene surely. But in the dialogue *spoiler alert!* that Rapunzel tells Eugene that she's terrified about having her dream come true because  she doesn't know what to do after, and Eugene telling her that that's the best part: finding a new dream. Something struck me.

And something about Tangled finally solidified in me my own dream: Working in Disney. 

I want to be able to create something just as or even more visually stunning than Tangled. I want to be  able to communicate such a magical message no matter how simple the actual story may be. And it would be cyclical, almost 360 degrees in full circle if I could inspire another someone out there to have a dream (although not necessarily the same one). In short, I want to leave someone in awe, even if that sounds partly selfish. 

And so from there I sky rocketed to Google in search of just how I can get into Disney. And while I was misled by a couple of sites, I finally found the site for the Disney Animation Studios, (I didn't think of it right away although I actually toured there back in 2001 as previously mentioned). And I found that they have internships there from 3 or 6 months--paid. Though to be honest, I'm not after the paid part but certainly it was a joy to find out that I could be an assistant there. I researched on the site what it takes to get picked and my heart sank.

Apparently there is just about a gazillion things that I need to cover before I'm anywhere close to being picked for that Program. I have to learn animal drawing, anatomy, color theory, a bunch of never-heard programs and so much more.

My dream for myself--I've never exactly had one before. All these past years I've been reserving dreaming for myself in hopes that the dreams that I could have alloted for myself would go to my mom instead since she needs it more. I have faith though that God will do the best for my mom and fulfill her dream first while I develop my own here in the sidelines. I'll start to learn all of these things--which I think I could have learned had I gone to Fine Arts or through Multimedia Arts, but I think that this is okay. Something new I can occupy my time with considering all that's been "going on" in my "social life."

I have a dream! : ) That's the most wonderful part. I actually have one I can fulfill on my own. 

Well, there was the whole losing weight thing but this is bigger than that. 

Mishie Visual Development Artist - Life Creation

Originally written February 19th, 2011