DISNEY Pixar’s newest crowd-puller, Inside Out, tells the story of an 11-year-old girl named Riley, who is coping with the changes brought by moving to a new city.

Her emotions come to life quite literally as Joy, Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger, who alternately take charge of her subconscious via control consoles.

Thanks to a UST graduate, we, and the rest of the world, now enjoy young Riley's journey on screen.

Ronaldo “Ronnie” Del Carmen, a UST Fine Arts graduate, made his own name in the animation industry as part of the story team on a number of Pixar Animation Studios film, such as the Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, Up and now the Inside Out, which he co-directed.

“It’s kind of a surreal experience because I just watched movies while growing up and this is a dream come true,” Ronnie said in an interview with the Varsitarian.

In his speech during his courtesy call to the Rector for his outstanding contribution in the field of animation last Aug. 10, Ronnie urged Thomasians to continue reinventing themselves and to not be afraid to make mistakes along the way.

“Think about the better versions of yourself and please make mistakes because this is not a world wherein you should know the right answers. You only know them when you make mistakes,” Ronnie said.

“I’m a bit slow. I make the same mistake several times, but this is not the way we make movies at Pixar. We make mistakes for about three or four years trying to tell the story but only when we learn the best things about the story that we make the movie.”

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In and out life’s maze

Just like in the movies, Ronnie’s life had had its twists and turns.

Instead of enrolling in college, Ronnie had to work right after he graduated from high school because his family lost their house. Worse, they were left with very little when one of his father’s business partners ran-off with the money.

Ronnie had a brief stint as a painter at the age of 15, working on the set of Francis Ford Coppola's 1979 film "Apocalypse Now" to help with his ease his family’s financial woes.

A few years later, his father left for the United States to work, his earnings allowing Ronnie to finally enroll as a freshman at the College of Fine Arts and Design major in Advertising.

'Oldest' student

Though he was four years older than most of his classmates, Ronnie didn't see it as a disadvantage. He in fact enjoyed his time in the University by joining numerous student organizations.

“I had a great time here that by the time I got in, I was probably the happiest oldest student they had in freshman because I not only loved the classes but I understood it easier so I ended up joining every club I could join,” Ronnie said in his speech.

Graduating at the age of 25, Ronnie tried his hand at advertising by working as an art director for an agency. In 1989, another opportunity knocked, a chance to migrate to the States through his father’s petition.

It was not an overnight success for Ronnie as he had to start over in advertising. He was unemployed for a while.

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“I was lucky to dream these things that people believed in me enough to actually hire me," he said.

He first worked in animation as a storyboard artist for "Widget," "The World Watcher" in 1990, "Where’s Waldo?" in 1991 and Warner Bros’ "Batman: The Animated Series" in 1992.

Ronnie later moved to the big league as he worked for DreamWorks Animation as a story artist in "The Prince of Egypt" and story supervisor for "The Road to El Dorado" both in 1998.

It was not until 2000 that Ronnie decided to try his luck at Pixar Animations Studios.

Proud of being a Filipino animator, Ronnie joined a community at Pixar called "Pixnoys" where he bonded with fellow Filipino co-workers through charity events.

Ronnie continued to do several projects with Pixar as a storyboard artist for "Ratatouille," story and character designer for "WALL-E" and story artist for both "Brave" and "Monsters University."

The 55-year-old animator made his directorial debut in the short film “Dug’s Special Mission,” released on the “Up” DVD and Blu-Ray.

It was his work in "Up" as a storyboard artist and story supervisor where Pete Docter, director of "Inside Out," took notice of his talent and invited him to be his co-director.

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