(Thanks to Michelle Morelos for the Urduja photos)
Congratulations to Producer Tony Tuviera (of Eat Bulaga fame) and Director Reggie Entienza for Urduja! It is "the first-ever Philippine full-length digital and traditional animation film" that showcase Filipino talent and animation capabilities (see more info: Life is an Animation) This is history in the making. Who said that the Filipino film industry is dead?
Urduja is a fictional story of a warrior princess in the land of Taliwisi which is in Pangasinan. The story revolves around the forbidden love story of Princess Urduja(voiced by Regine Velasquez) and the Chinese Pirate, Lim Hang (voiced by Cesar Montano). It also offers a view of the tribal lives and ancient traditions in the Philippines. I love the movie's theme song "Babae Ako" sang by Regine Velasquez.
Urduja reapplies some of Hollywood animation's winning formula which uses a woman as a lead character like in Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. The musical romance scenes of Urduja and Lim Hang are reminiscent of Pocahontas. It is like watching anime-like cartoons but dubbed in Tagalog. You'll get entertained by the Eat Bulaga humor between Tasir (a tarsier voiced by Allan K) and Kutkut (a rat voiced by Michael V). They resemble the tandem of Timon (a meerkat), and Pumbaa (a warthog) from the Lion King.
What I did not like about the movie is the over use of romantic cliches,and tired Eat Bulaga jokes. The plot is also predictable.
I sincerely hope that this opens the door to animated movies featuring the enchanted tales of Filipino folklore or the lost island of Lemuria in the Philippines.
I am proud that we finally have our first Filipino-made animated film! Watch it for its historical significance and realize that "Kaya pala natin ito (We can do it!)!"
Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.