With the release of Dayo sa
Mundo ng Elementalia, Cutting Edge Productions promises another first in
Philippine cinema. It is touted as the Philippines' first all-digital,
full-length animated movie. Unlike Ibong Adarna and Urduja, the
production of Dayo is completely paperless. Animation is rendered
through a combination of traditional and 3D technologies.
Much has been said about the
sheer talent of Pinoy animators but because of the lukewarm condition of the
animation industry in the country, these animators are forced to search for
greener pastures elsewhere. Many are employed by Disney and Warner studios,
while some are subcontractors of animation houses. I can just imagine the excitement
and dedication over this animated film in its two-year span of production.
It is interesting to note that the Cinema
Evaluation Board has given the animated film a Grade "A," allowing the
filmmakers to receive a 100 percent amusement tax rebate. Dayo is
endorsed by the Department of Education and the National Council for Children's
THE PLOT. Dayo
unfolds like a typical underdog
story. The shy and timid Bubuy (voiced by Nash Aguas) is always picked on by
the bullies in school. He dreams of soaring the vast sky and flying high above
the clouds in order to escape his humdrum life. His life is turned upside down
when his grandparents are abducted by elementals. Together with a teen
manananggal named Anna (voiced by
Katrina "Hopia" Legaspi), they cross the portal separating our world and
Elementalia. With the help of Narsi (voiced by Michael V.), the narcissistic
and feeling cool tikbalang, and Nuno (voiced by Peque Galaga), the wise sage,
Bubuy braves the dangers that lurk in Elementalia to save his grandparents
before the next full moon rises to its peak. His adventures in Elementalia
transform Bubuy from zero to hero.
THE VERDICT. Dayo is brimming with authentic Filipino elements culled
from folklore, myths, pop culture, and even Pinoy slang. Mythical creatures
abound in Elementalia, but Dayo reanimates them in a manner never seen
before. Here, you'll see a diwata (fairy) that transforms itself into an evil
bruha (witch), mermen and mermaids defying the law of gravity, an evil kapre
who speaks Waray, a band of shape-shifting aswangs and tiyanaks, a
cross-breed between an alitaptap and a tutubi (aptly called alitubi), and many
more. These creatures can give Pokemons a run for their money.
The voice acting from the
star-studded cast is also commendable. The rest of the ensemble consists of
Pokwang as Vicky, Anna's yayananggal; Laurice Guillen as diwata/bruha and
kapre; Noel Trinidad as Lolo Meong; Nova Villa as Lola Nita; and Johnny Delgado
as Carpio, Anna's father and Elementalia's manananggol.
The laudable soundtrack and
musical score, likewise deserve special mention. Lea Salonga recorded the
theme song "Lipad" while Roots of Nature performed a more upbeat version of the
song. Jessie Lasaten took over production duties and records the musical score
with a full orchestra under the baton of Gerard Salonga. In order to jive with
the feel and mood of Elementalia, the orchestral score is accompanied with
ethnic Pinoy instruments, courtesy of Joey Ayala.
Dayo has its own share of
shortcomings as well especially on the technical side. There are glitches here
and there with regards to animation rendering and shading. There are scenes
where the images become flat, as if they have turned into cardboard figures and
paper dolls. Cutting Edge Productions could really use some help in this
department, especially if they plan to turn this animated film into a trilogy.
The film is intended to make the kids giggle in excitement
and jump for joy, but for adults, the simplistic story will get in the way of
sensible enjoyment. The plot is as basic as it can get. Perhaps intentionally,
in order to help the kids easily digest what the film has to offer.
See how 500 animators from Naga, Dumaguete and Baguio created the fanciful
world of Elementalia. Let your imagination soar with Bubuy and Anna as they
interact with the various characters whom they meet along the way.
Be part of history when you and your family watch the first-ever animated film to take part in the 34-year history of the Metro Manila Film
Dayo sa Mundo ng Elementalia will open in cinemas nationwide starting
Christmas Day, December 25. The official soundtrack of the movie is now
available in record bars, courtesy of Sony BMG.