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ASU alum's special connection to Disney's Encanto

Angel Ruvalcaba
Posted at 9:54 AM, Mar 28, 2022

TEMPE, AZ — He went to Skyline High School, Mesa Community College, and then Arizona State University - now, he's traded in the Valley for Hollywood and can say he worked on an Oscar-winning movie!

Angel Ruvalcaba worked as a production assistant on the Disney smash hit Encanto, which won for Best Animated Feature at Sunday's Academy Awards.

"The first time I watched it, I knew what it was and I knew how groundbreaking it was," explained Ruvalcaba.

He says his experience at ASU really came in handy, working on a professional movie set.

"It was very much coordinating a team and managing time. I feel like I'm doing the same thing now, a lot of the stuff I did at ASU connects to this."

As a second-generation Mexican-American, Ruvalcaba says he is hoping he will soon see more people who look like him in his field. In the meantime, he's hoping he can inspire others who feel like they don't see very much representation of themselves; he also wants to prove that we can overcome any obstacle.

Raised by a single mother, Ruvalcaba says his mom always motivated him to shoot for the stars and told him he would be working on movies, even directing them, one day!

He also had some sage advice for the younger version of himself.

"Whatever it is, he can do it. I have had those obstacles in my life. I've been told you are this and you are that. But I didn't let those define me. I just let what I was capable of define me. I kept going. I want him to know that you can do it. You just have to keep believing." he added.

Ruvalcaba was recently promoted to production coordinator at Walt Disney Animation Studios. We wish him lots of luck as he continues to make Arizona proud!