Witnessing a Filipino Digital Animation Breakthrough: Dayo


Katrina “hopia” Legaspi as the voice of “Anna” the vegetarian manananggal  

We were one of the first people who was able to watch Dayo at the big screen. The premier night was held at SM Megamall’s Cinema 10 and was attended also by some members of the cast who rendered their voices to the film such as Peque Gallaga, Nash Aguas and Hopia.

I have been curious about this film ever since we were invited to the studios of Cutting Edge Productions to witness how the animation was being done a few months ago. I appreciated the film more while I was watching the finish product though the studio tour already burst my bubble 🙂 .

This animation film indeed is a Filipino digital animation breakthrough because this is the first time digital technology was used in all aspects of the film. In addition, all animation was done here in the Philippines and by Filipinos. According to some animators that I was able to talk to during the studio tour, the Filipino animation films before were actually outsourced internationally because of budget constraints. The whole film itself actually costed Php 1.7 Million.

The story of Dayo actually is based on a Disney formula. Probably the story writers thought that this would need to be commercially successful. I would understand that since due to market forces, they would have to since the movie is expensive and would need to at least break even from the expenses incurred. The movie of couse has sponsors and there were product placements all over. Bubuy even brought one of the sponsors’ product in Elementalia. Haha. This is how the massive film industry works with capitalism, they have to work with capitalism to achieve something. In their case, they wanted to break free from the ‘old school’ animation. Rationalization my dear 🙂 and I won’t dig in deeper into that.

The movie is not a “thinking” movie, it’s actually a “moral lesson” type of movie. It’s actually a movie that would amaze your aesthetic pleasures. What would you expect? Kids are the target audience here. For me, it’s not really bad to have a ‘non-thinking’ movie. Well, we need it sometimes to get away from all the pressures in the adult world. Movies are really meant to transport your mind into a ‘make believe’ place and Dayo, I believe was successful in that aspect. You would be able to see the difference when the lead character Buboy, goes to Elementalia. I was not able to appreciate the fact that the landscapes or backgrounds are just static when the characters are the only ones in 3d. It was ok, probably it was due to budget and time constraints.

As a whole, the movie was great. Adults will also appreciate it and that’s also important since kids will be dragging their parents or guardians to the movie. Another good thing about the movie is that it’s distinctly Filipino because it shows common Filipino culture. From the icons, objects, the jokes, the locations, mythology, etc. everything was common to us. This is probably the reason MTRCB gave them a rated A. So watch this movie starting December 25 (Metro Manila Film Festival entry) and I assure you kids will surely like this movie 🙂

Congratulations to all the people involved in this movie!

* Special thanks to poyt for the invite 🙂

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