Carlos López Estrada

Director, Raya and the Last Dragon, Walt Disney Animation Studios

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In addition to directing stories that celebrate diversity both implicitly and explicitly, Carlos is part of Disney’s Creative Inclusion Council, where he helps pave the way for others.

So I think in telling other people's stories, I’ve found some clarity on my own, in my own story. And the more work that I do, I feel like I continue to find my voice and I continue to be more comfortable in my skin. And I continue to think that it's okay to be me with all of my insecurities and all of my inconsistencies and all of the things that maybe a few years ago I would have been terrified to share and terrified to openly talk about.

Carlos as a child eating icecream with an older gentleman.

I discovered animation when I was a kid, as I think most people do. It expanded my mind, and it certainly gave my imagination a chance to grow in ways that I think I benefited from at an early age.

Carlos on set holding a clapperboard and looking at the camera.

My role models. I grew up in an environment where Mexican storytellers were getting recognition, world recognition for their work. Before me, kids didn't have that to look up to. But growing up, I remember seeing them, seeing their stories, seeing their success ... and it almost like shattered that barrier of just not thinking that was a possibility for me.

Carlos and three other people in front of a window.

The work I do is creative, and has really allowed me to be introspective. The work I do involves a lot of questioning and involves a lot of interaction with other people. It involves a lot of articulation of ideas and emotions, and I feel like the stories that I've been drawn to are ones that, like myself, exist in a place that isn't very clear or hard to put into a box.

Carlos as a child eating icecream with an older gentleman.

I discovered animation when I was a kid, as I think most people do. It expanded my mind, and it certainly gave my imagination a chance to grow in ways that I think I benefited from at an early age.

Carlos on set holding a clapperboard and looking at the camera.

My role models. I grew up in an environment where Mexican storytellers were getting recognition, world recognition for their work. Before me, kids didn't have that to look up to. But growing up, I remember seeing them, seeing their stories, seeing their success ... and it almost like shattered that barrier of just not thinking that was a possibility for me.

A reimagined tomorrow is a place that generates empathy, that allows people to experience stories that they wouldn’t experience otherwise. And therefore creates a connection to a person, to a community, to a culture that is different from their own, and allows them to see life through a different lens.