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    First look on the suicidal squad and their new look.

Dayo is a Monumental Animation Milestone

Every year despite the bad movies shown locally, I never failed to watch at least 1 entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival (ok last year 8 entries ang pinanood ko lolz). I don't choose the movies, the movies choose me. As a movie critic I have the share of good, bad, tastefull, titillating and awfull kinds of movie experiences. All for the sake of local movie industry. But believe me, there are good movies last year but none of them And this year, the very first movie in the MMFF 2008 I choose to watch is Cutting Edge production's Dayo Sa Mundo ng Elementalia.

I first saw Dayo's trailer I think last year on an anime event here in the Philippines. At that time it is not the only local animated flick that is starting a buzz in Philippine Entertainment community. I became sceptical on Dayo's concept. They can't blame me. I think the trailer is very simple and rough. So I literally ignored Dayo.

Then a year passed the other animated flick premiered and eventually flopped. I never watched that animated flick despite they are created by a very famous animation studio in Singapore. Because of that animation's fate, I became more sceptic in local animation projects.

Then months passed, I attended this convention in Sta. Rosa where I encountered Dayo for the second time. This time I noticed the posters with the characters. The trailer is more interesting now. So I approached one of the staff of Cutting Edge. I met Ms. Jinky Salvador which is the Marketing Officer of Cuting Edge. She handed me a press kit and I asked her if I can interview her. She said it is better if I talk to the director himself. Jinky introduced me to Director Robert Quilao, Dayo's Director and Editor. We talked for a couple of minutes discussing Dayo's background. And believe it or not, I became interested with the flick. After that, Jinky said that she will notify me for an exclusive bloggers tour in Cutting Edge Productions Studio. After a week, bloggers gathered again to tour the Cutting Edge studio and became witness to the creative process of the movie.
After that studio tour my fate over Cutting Edge Productions' project moved to another level.

Last December 19, 2008. We are cordially invited by Cutting Edge Productions to watch the Premiere of Dayo sa Mundo ng Elementalia. And yes, I have the drive to write a review :P

Dayo is a story of a boy named Bubuy (Nash Aguas) who live in a town somewhere in the Philippines with her Lolo Miong (Noel Trinidad) and Lola Nita (Nova Villa). Bubuy is living a normal life including being bullied by classmates and dreaming that someday he can fly like his favorite superheroes. But his life changes when an accident caused the sudden abduction of his grandparents by lamang lupas.

After the bizarre incident, A mananangal revealed herself to Bubuy. Her name is Anna (Hopia Legaspi). She offered Bubuy a helping hand to rescue his grandparents. At first Bubuy didn't accept the deal for he is frightned by Anna's nature. But after convincing Bubuy that she is a vegetarian (yeah, one of a kind Manananggal), Bubuy accepted the deal and joined Anna on her return to her world they called Elementalia.

In terms of story. Dayo utilizes the common template of a fantasy adventure flick where a hero embarks in an adventure through a fantasy land where he is also accompanied by at least two companions, a humanoid and a beast (Anna and Narsi). But off course this is only familiar to people who play or watch Dungeons and Dragons, Final Fantasy and Lord of the Rings religously. I commend Mr. Temy Abad Jr. and Mr. Eric Cabahug who are the geniuses behind Dayo's story. They gave another face to our Local Mythology. Philippine Mythology is already adapted many times in different ways and even most of them are really good, I reached the peak that everything is becoming so boring. But in Dayo, I'm not only entertained but I'm also glad that I'm educated with new knowledge in Philippine Myth.

Animation and Art wise, Cutting Edge Productions had maximized its resources and presented us a very diverse animated film the local movie industry will ever taste. With the good combination of 2D and 3D elements, Dayo indeed achieved a quality that can be lined up to animations done by foreign counterparts. The designs are also outstanding. The digitally painted backgrounds and concept arts really amazed me. The artist gave life to something that is not really real and gave every place uniqueness and personality. Congratulations to Mr. Tito Romero, the Animation Director and Chief Character Designer for a job well done. The only flaw of the animation though is I believe the animators failed to give the characters more dynamic facial expressions. This is why there are scenes that we can't hardly know what is the emotion that scene is really implying to the audience. Most of the time, the characters looks like a puppet especially when they are not talking.

Hopia Legaspi as Anna

Nash Aguas as Bubuy

On the voices, I really don't need to elaborate on this for Cutting Edge choosed the most well respected people in the local entertainement industry to give the voices of all the characters. Dayo features the voices of Nash Aguas as the Movie's Hero Bubuy and Hopia Legaspi as Anna the Manananggirl.

Gabe Mercado as Toti

Nova Villa as Lola Nita and Noel Trinidad as Lolo Meong

Peque Gallaga as Nano

Pokwang as Vicky

Among the other voices are Pokwang (Vicky), Michael V (Narsi), Noel Trinidad (Lolo Meong), Nova Villa (Lola Nita), Johnny Delgado (Carpio), Peque Gallaga (Nano), Laurice Guillen (Diwata/Bruha), Gabe Mercado (Jo) and Pocholo Gonzales (Toti) have proven there worth as multimedia performers.

Music and Sound effects also made a good a addition to the movie. It really helps the movie to enhance every scene's emotion. The official soundtrack written by Mr. Jessie Lasaten and performed by Lea Salonga and Roots of Nature really embodies the movie's vision and beliefs. Though I haven't got my copy yet, I recommend everyone to get the soundtrack which is already available in record bars all over the metro. The sound engineer Whannie Dellosa had achieved his goal to utilize authentic sound effects to be applied on the film. The hardwork of traveling around the country just to record sound effects is worth it.

After watching the movie, everyone really got so emotional including the staff of Cutting Edge. People Love it, I Love it and the movie is a success. Now I'm excited for the sequel. Dayo sa Mundo ng Elementalia is an Official Entry in the Metro Manila Film Festival 2008 and will be officially released in cinemas this coming December 25.

Fly Dayo. Fly high.

Here is the official theatrical trailer and Music video of Dayo.

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