Pixar animated short to depict Filipino-American in leading role

At Pixar Studios in Emeryville, Bobby Rubio is understandably excited. The first film he's ever written or directed is about to premier on Disney's new streaming service, called Disney + on Tuesday.

"I don't know if it resonates with people. I hope it does. I think it will. But there is that little voice in the back of your head will people like it," said Rubio.  

The film is called 'Float'. It runs seven-minutes long.

"It's about a father and son. But the son floats which makes him different," Rubio said. 

The story was inspired by his son who was born with special needs, and his own reaction to that.

"He has to learn to accept and encourage his son and eventually celebrate him for the difference he is," said Rubio.

What makes 'Float' even more unique: It's the first animated short feature where the main characters are Filipino- American.

Rubio said that while his main character may be Filipino-American, he hopes the story carries a universal message, a message about accepting those with differences.

When Rubio first conceived of the idea eight years ago he assumed the father and son would be Caucasian. But his co-workers, one in particular, said something that made him reconsider.

"She said how is your son going to feel when he looks up and sees it is not a Filipino-American. And it hit me," he said.

Rubio is a storyboard artist at Pixar who worked on such smash hits as "Up" and "Toy Story 4."

'Float' is one of four short films from Pixar's Spark Shorts program that is dropping on Disney + .

"It's great we can get grittier and explore different modes of filming and different themes. I hope for Pixar it opens the door to have people tell personal stories and meaningful stories," said producer Krissy Cababa

Rubio showed his film to his son who is now 12-years-old.

"He's like, it's alright dad."

As any parent with a pre-teen knows, indeed that is high praise.