Oct 02
EPIC ANIMATION by Alex J. Socorro  |  Posted in Articles  |  on Wed, Oct 2, 2013

Based on the stage play written by Hungarian author Imre Madach, The Tragedy Of Man is a celebrated animation of sorts. Directed by Marcell Jankovics, the initial footage of 18 minutes was shown in the Hungarian Film Festival of Los Angeles in 1996.

The 15 scenes (or movie sequences) in the play took 30 years in translating into an animation film. The epic starts with the creation of man, Adam and Eve and Lucifer, and ends in a futuristic tone.

What made it more interesting are the cameo roles of Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and even Mickey Mouse. Also in the epic animation is the song Yellow Submarine of the Beatles and Marilyn Monroe.

The 160 minutes of running time is a showcase of genre, from action to drama. Violence is also in the menu particularly in the crufixion, mass killings and beheadings. Each of the 15 segments (or sequences) shows a different approach of presentation.

As per the director, “reading the play is exhausting” so the animation is a better alternative for the audience. With a setting in 10 different historical periods, it’s hard to imagine how to mount it on the stage.

With the fast-improving digital technology, the age of animation has finally arrived. Gone were the days of tedious drawings and sketches. Although the digital drawings are still required, setting it in motion is far easier than before the animation software.

Locally, we have the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI) headed by Benjie Marasigan of De La Salle – St. Benilde. The thrust of ACPI is the furtherance of animation in the country.

“The Animation Council of the Philippines is a non-stock and non-profit organization whose member companies specialize mainly in, but not limited to, either 2D or 3D animation.

“It is an organization recognized and supported by the Philippine government whose aim is to promote the Animation Industry globally with the intention of creating an identity for the Philippines to be considered amongst the preferred countries that service the animation industry.”

With its vision “to nurture the Filipinos’ passion for animation,” ACPI has a continuous training program. It also provides assistance in the outsourcing of animators especially for foreign postings.


Mowelfund’s Ricky Orellana is the secretary of ACPI

Animation in the internet is dominated by the gaming websites. Most popular nowadays are the online gaming sites where one can play with other users (anywhere in the world). For a minimal fee, a user can register and enjoy limited or unlimited playing hours.

To further stir the interest of the online gamers, some websites are holding competitions. As a complement, an online gamer can play like a professional athlete. These so-called professional gamers earn real money for their skills in the online games.

Level Up! Philippines is the gaming arm of PLDT. Their target market base is the 10,000 internet cafes all over the country. Players can purchase prepaid cards for their desired playing time. As of 2012, Level Up has 24 million registered users.


Jake San Diego, General Manager of Level Up! Philippines, the premiere gaming website of the country

“With a vast portfolio of hugely popular Massively Mutliplayer Online Games which includes Ragnarok Online – the game that started the online gaming craze in 2003 – Level Up! is the leading game publisher in the online gaming industry in the country.”

The success of the animation online games is the exact opposite of the sad plight of animation movies in the local scene. Not a single animation movie had earned enough to eclipse the investment.

Dayo: Sa Mundo Ng Elementalia was an entry in the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival. Even with the voice of popular child actor Nash Aguas and Lea Salonga’s rendition of the theme song Lipad, Dayo was not able to recoup its 50 million production cost.

Another animation film in 2008 was Urduja (princess of Pangasinan) which was produced by APT of Tony Tuviera, the same producers of the long running tv show Eat Bulaga.

Regine Velasquez lent her voice to the character of Urduja while Cesar Montano and Jay Manalo voiced the leading male characters. With an estimated 50 million budget, Urduja was a flop in the box office.

The animation film RPG Metanoia was solely based on the online game. Shown in 3D, the movie was about a boy who would loved online gaming. RPG Metanoia was an entry in the 2010 Metro Manila Film Festival. Like its predecessors, RPG Metanoia didn’t hit the break even point.

Ibong Adarna, an upcoming film by Jun Urbano, is a mix of animation and non-animation. From what we’ve heard, the animation of the folklore alone costs 5.5 million. Hopefully, this one would hit the jackpot.

Comments to this article can be sent to ajsocorro@yahoo.com


Your FEEDBACK can be posted at www.filmacademyphil.org/forum/