'Float' is the first Pixar film to feature Filipino Americans

Bobby Rubio's personal animated short premieres on Disney+.

I won't lie: I stayed up late to watch The Mandalorian on Monday night, as soon as the new Disney+ streaming service went fully operational. I'm a Star Wars geek and I could wait no longer. With that out of the way -- it was great -- I want to make sure you watch the best film on the platform: the Pixar original animated short Float.

Directed by story artist Bobby Rubio, Float is the first Pixar film ever to feature Filipino American characters.

In Float, a father discovers that his is son is different from other kids in the most unusual way. To keep them both safe from judgement, Dad covers him and keeps him out of sight -- but when his son's ability becomes public, Dad must decide whether to run and hide or to accept his son as he is.

Rubio originally conceived the story as a comic... with a significant difference. The characters were white.

"Don't people want to see that?" Rubio asked himself, when confronted about the characters' ethnicity. "I don't know if people want to see a Filipino American character. That hit me. And I was like, 'Okay. I'm going to do this. They're going to be Filipino American and I'm going to tell my story.'"

This seven-minute film had me in tears. Float is dedicated to Rubio's son, who is autistic. The film was a way to tell the story of their relationship. While the film's fantastical tale was inspired by autism, Float could be the story of any child's difference... and the acceptance by his parent, wholly and fully.

"He wanted to tell a story about his journey to accepting his son's difference," producer Krissy Cababa says in "The Making of Float" featurette. "Who he is, and not who he wants him to be."

Float was created as part of Pixar's SparkShorts program, "designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows." Pixar employees are given six months and a limited budget to develop indie short films.

If you've signed up for Disney+, do yourself a favor and check out Float, as well as the behind-the-scenes feature, also available on the platform.

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