Pixar director on how inclusion in animation inspires 'interest in each other's experiences'

LOS ANGELES -- Erica Milsom, the director of Pixar's 2020 SparkShorts film "Loop," works to create more inclusive and authentic stories about people with disabilities.

"If we have stories that are more inclusive that have different kinds of people who give you that sense of 'I don't know what to do,' and then you have a character who's going to try something or you have a situation that puts them in a place where they have to cross those boundaries, we're just going to learn more about each other," Milsom said.

She continued: "Hopefully we won't look away or move away when we find each other, and we have more curiosity and interest in each other's experiences."

Milsom explained how animation has the power to take viewers away from their judgment, which opens them up to learning about new perspectives.

"Had I made this a live-action short, maybe some people would have loved it, but I think some other people might have just turned it off because it seems like it's going to be too real," she said.

"But if you put it into the form of animation, there's a disarming quality to animation. It takes you away from your judgment a little bit and lets you live in the story in a way that I feel is more directly related to your heart," Milsom said.

Milsom learned more about autism during the production of the short while working with Madison Bandy, the actress that voices Renee in "Loop."

Milsom's interaction with Bandy inspired her to depict different experiences of the world through storytelling.

"We all have different experiences of the world. We all have our unique point of view that we see through," Milsom said. "But if there's someone who has that and also has like a whole different visualization, sonic experience, that's going to be amazing on film."

"Loop" is available to stream now on Disney+.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of Pixar and this ABC station.
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