Ronnie del Carmen, the co-director of Inside Out, has left Disney in favor of Netflix, after inking an exclusive overall deal with the streaming service. This not only means that del Carmen will be making new films for Netflix, but also consult on other animated projects for the streaming giant.
Cartoon Brew broke the news on del Carmen‘s Netflix deal, which is set to start with an original animated feature del Carmen is already developing and planning to direct. This new project is said to be rooted in the lore and mythology of his native Philippines. The deal also extends to cover animated series, and will have del Carmen consult on other animated projects.
Del Carmen has worked on a variety of beloved projects from The Prince of Egypt to Batman: The Animated Series. But he’s best known for his work with Pixar, where he served as head of story on the Oscar-winner Up, before co-directing Inside Out. While working on Inside Out, del Carmen made sure the film’s human protagonist – a girl named Riley – stayed independent from her emotions, as well as centered Joy’s story on her paternal relationship to Riley, rather than one of controlling a vessel. The result was one of Pixar‘s best films yet, an emotionally complex film unlike anything the studio had made before.
It’s one thing for Disney/Pixar to lose one of the minds behind two of their best movies, but it certainly seems like del Carmen is being groomed to be more than just a director. This new position at Netflix seems to offer del Carmen a lot more freedom to pursue projects than Disney/Pixar allowed him. It’s particularly curious that del Carmen‘s first film for the streamer bears a resemblance to Disney‘s recent Raya and the Last Dragon, only with a notably more specific logline than Raya, which was set in an amalgamation of Southeast Asia rather than anywhere specific.
Netflix has been quickly building up their animation department as a strong competitor to Disney and Pixar, with Oscar-nominated films like Klaus and I Lost My Body, as well as the recent Over the Moon, which was also made by several former Disney staffers. Last year, Netflix announced it would release six animated movies a year, and getting an acclaimed animator like del Carmen is a huge win for Netflix, and for animation fans everywhere.