Adrian Molina has always had an interest and passion in arts, expressing gratitude to his family for the “tremendous support and love and guidance” to pursue that passion.
Molina – co-director and writer of Pixar’s film ‘Coco’ – was honored by California Latino Legislative Caucus with the 2017 Latino Spirit Award in arts and entertainment at the state Capitol on May 1.
“A little surprise but also very honored,” said the 31-year-old Molina. “It’s great to be recognized, especially to be working for a film that is very personal to me and is specific to Mexican Culture.”
Molina was recently tapped to serve as the co-director and writer on the studio’s upcoming original film, ‘Coco,’ which is set for release in November.
As a story artist, Molina worked with a story team to sketch sequences of a film. This process often involves working through alternative options until the best story is developed.
“‘Coco’ is a film about a young Mexican boy name Miguel who has this passion for music,” Molina said. “And on Día de los Muertos, he has the opportunity to pursue his passion with the help of his ancestors.”
“I think it’s been very important to me to portrait a family that has their struggles but also comes together to help each other,” Molina said of working on ‘Coco.’ “And I can draw from my own personal experience to kind of infuse this film with that.”
It’s great to be recognized, especially to be working for a film that is very personal to me and is specific to Mexican Culture.
Adrian Molina, co-director and writer of Pixar’s film ‘Coco’
Molina, who was born and raised in Grass Valley just outside Sacramento, began at Pixar Animation Studios as a story intern in the summer of 2006 and joined the studio full-time later that fall.
Since then, Molina has worked on the Academy Award-winning feature films ‘Ratatouille’ and ‘Toy Story 3,’ and was a story artist for Disney Pixar’s ‘Monsters University.’
Molina attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) and received a bachelor of Fine Arts in Character Animation.
Molina found inspiration in making home movies with his three siblings when he was growing up. He continues to credit his parents for encouraging him to embrace his artistic and creative instincts, and his high school literature program for teaching him how to be critical and aware of storytelling and structure.
Molina provided some words of encouragement to Latino children and young adults on pursuing their dreams.
“I would say think about what you love to do, think about that thing that fills you with passion, that fills you with the desire to work hard and something that you want to pursue and know that if your heart is in it, if you have the work ethic to do it, it’s going to be something that will be valuable,” said Molina, who currently lives in Oakland. “And if no one ever told you before, you are capable, and you can achieve something great.”
“Let me tell you I did that in the arts and I did have a lot of support, but you have to believe in yourself, and you have to apply yourself one hundred percent, show the world you can do it and keep at it,” Molina said, adding “And don’t let anyone tell you, you are incapable – just keep on going. I think that is what everyone needs to hear to have that confidence to pursue that (dream).”
“It’s a great honor to be approached and to received this honor,” Molina said.
María G. Ortiz-Briones: 559-441-6782