When it comes to our local entertainment industry, animation is still a rare medium in films and television shows compared to live-action productions.
Since animated projects are known for being very expensive and time-consuming to produce, there aren't many local options to watch out there. Pinoy viewers usually watch productions from foreign studios such as Disney and DreamWorks to quench our thirst for animated films and series.
But despite the difficulty and cost, there are still local animators who have managed to deliver quality animated work over the years. These Pinoy-made productions also deserve the spotlight as they attempt to highlight the unique culture and stories from the Philippines and bring them to a wider audience.
In honor of Buwan ng Wika this August, here are a few Pinoy animated productions you can watch or revisit with your friends and family.
Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia
The Philippines is known for its rich lore featuring various mythical creatures such as aswangs, engkantos, diwatas, and many more. With such fantastical beings, it's the perfect setting for an animated film, and Cutting Edge Productions decided to make that dream a reality with 2008's Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia.
The film is notable for being the first full-length animated feature film in the Philippines. It was produced with a budget of P58 million by 500 local animators.
The fllm's story follows a young boy named Bubuy who goes on a quest to save his grandparents after they were kidnapped by a menacing force. His journey leads him to the land of Elementalia, a magical place where mythical creatures thrive and live their lives.
Along with a manananggal named Anna and a tikbalang named Narsi, he ventures into the new world and faces its many dangers.
The film stars the voices of Nash Aguas, Katrina Legaspi, John Manalo, and Michael V.
While Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia is notable for being the first Philippine animated film, RPG Metanoia takes the award for being the first animated film presented in 3D.
The 2010 film is significant for representing Filipino culture by highlighting traditional games played by children such as patintero. Its story is also commendable for trying address how children began to spend their time in dim computer shops instead of playing outside.
RPG Metanoia puts its audience in the shoes of Nico, an 11-year-old boy who can't keep up with the other children in playing sporty games. Thus, he simply hides in his room and does what he's good at: playing the popular MMORPG (Massively Multi-players Online Role Playing Game) called "Metanoia", where he becomes an expert player.
However, when the game's network is suddenly overcome by a virus that threatens the online world, Nico and his friends work together to stop it before it could take over the world they live in.
The film features the voices of Zaijan Jaranilla, Mika Dela Cruz, Vhong Navarro, Aga Muhlach, and Eugene Domingo.
If you're a fan of the Japanese anime Kuroko's Basketball, then you may want to check out this 2018 series.
Made possible through the collaborative efforts of Synergy88 in the Philippines, August Media Holdings in Singapore, Japanese television network TV Asahi, Barangay 143 now has two seasons with 26 episodes overall.
This coming-of-age story focuses on Bren Park, a Filipino-Korean man who goes to Manila to search for his father, only to join an unlikely team of misfits who are trying to win a local basketball league in Tondo: the Puzakals of Barangay 143.
The series features the voices of Migo Adecer, Julie Anne San Jose, Ruru Madrid, and John Arcilla.
While not crafted by our local animators and instead being produced by Singapore and Indonesia-based studio BASE Entertainment, this 2021 supernatural crime series deserves to be highlighted on our list for showcasing our unique culture and folklore to global audiences.
While Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia attempted to showcase the Philippines' mythical creatures in a fun and delightful way to give a new dimension to these otherwise feared beings, Trese holds nothing back in displaying their vileness and grotesqueness.
Based on the Filipino comic series created by Kajo Baldisimo and Budjette Tan, Trese follows the life of Alexandra Trese, an occult detective who is tasked of protecting humanity of evil supernatural beings that are living amongst humans in society along with her two twin bodyguards, Crispin and Basilio.
The series was released in English, Filipino, and Japanese dub. The Filipino voice cast includes Liza Soberano, Simon dela Cruz, Apollo Abraham, and Christopher Carlo.
Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story
Just because something is animated doesn't mean it's for children. Animation is a medium after all and not a genre specified for younger audiences. The 2020 romantic comedy film Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story is an example of this with its mature narrative and dirty humor.
Dubbed as the first adult animated film in the Philippines, its premise revolves around the titular character Nimfa Dimaano, a perfume cat salesperson who is suddenly thrust into a whirlwind romance when she meets a wealthy dog named Iñigo. The problem is, she is already committed to a relationship with another dog named Roger.
With a love triangle forming around her, Nimfa questions who she loves and what she really wants in life.
The film has a star-studded voice cast that includes Angelica Panganiban, Robin Padilla, Sam Milby, Empoy Marquez, Arci Muñoz, Eugene Domingo, Piolo Pascual, and Yeng Constantino.