Cutting Edge Productions, the local studio behind the first full-length paperless animated feature “Dayo sa Mundo ng Elementalia,” brings together the finest voice actors in the Philippine entertainment industry to jazz up and add zest to the film’s animated characters.
“Dayo” is a heartwarming story of overcoming one’s fear and triumphing over adversity. It centers on the 11-year-old Bubuy (voiced by Nash Aguas) who is out to save his abducted grandparents in the land of Elementalia, a magical and mystical world that houses many of the Philippines’ mythical creatures and other enchanted elements. Along the way, Bubuy meets Anna (voiced by Katrina Legaspi), a teen manananggal (a winged creature that can separate her torso from her lower body) who befriends and helps Bubuy in his quest to rescue his beloved grandparents.
This is Nash and Katrina’s first animation voicing experience and it certainly spelled fun for them. “I really enjoyed doing the voice of Bubuy,” says Nash gleefully. “I was very happy when I learned that I got the part, because it was different from what I usually do on TV. My favorite part is when I met Anna for the first time and she brought me to Elementalia.” Nash adds that he felt as if he was just playing in the recording studio and he did not have any difficulty recording his parts.
On the other hand, Hopia, as Katrina is fondly called, loves the scene where she was introducing the beautiful underworld of Elementalia to Bubuy. “It felt like I was just welcoming Bubuy to my house,” she expresses. “I also like the flying scene because I’ve always dreamt of flying. I’m so excited to see the whole movie already.”
Even though the cast did not have any visual support during the recording, director Robert Quilao was there to visualize for them. “With the screenplay on hand, the actors are called in the studio to record their respective dialogues,” Robert describes. “This is when I briefed them on the mood and tone of the scene and directed them as to how the dialogues are to be delivered. The challenge for me as the director is to paint a vivid picture of what’s happening in the scene for the actors to act and deliver their lines accordingly.”
Robert also did not have a hard time directing the voice talents since almost all of them are seasoned actors and directors. “There was practically no need for a workshop,” he continues. “The most we were able to do was brief them about the story and the characters that they will be playing on the day that they were called to record in the studio. Even Nash and Hopia did not have a hard time internalizing their characters.”
Since schedule is a major concern for many of the voice artists, the creative team had to work around their availability. More so, it’s not really possible to gather all of them together to record the scenes that would require them to interact. In such situations, Robert would feed the lines of the other characters during the recording session to create a natural flow in the conversation. “Although later on, we just played back the good takes of the characters that we had previously recorded for the one that we are currently recording,” Robert explains. “These recordings are then edited together to create a cohesive dialogue.”
Adding more color and amusement to “Dayo” are its supporting cast.
Even before the controversial Pokwang was labeled as an aswang (ghoul or vampire) look-alike, the “Dayo” team already pegged her for the role of Vicky, the nanny manananggal of Anna, hence the character sketch is loosely based on her. “I didn’t have to do any major voice adjustments for the role,” says Pokwang. “I didn’t have to lower or make my voice higher. I think I was just being my cool ‘kalog’ self that’s why I had so much fun arguing with the role of Toti in Dayo.”
Cutting Edge originally had news anchor Mike Enriquez to do the voice of Toti, one of Anna’s bodyguards. But the team had to get someone who can mimic the famous newsman instead, and the best choice for this is veteran voice actor Pocholo Gonzales.
Anna‘s second bodyguard who has an unusual hearing impairment is named Jo and voiced by famed comedian Gabe Mercado.
Perhaps one of the most challenging character portrayals would be the role of Narsi, the narcissistic cool rocker tikbalang (the underworld creature with the head of a horse and the body of a human). There is no better versatile actor to do this than Michael V. “I prepare for every role that I play,” Michael V states. “Even if I had previously done a horse voice for Enteng Kabisote 3, my role here is totally different.”
Playing the role of Lolo Nano, the cute resident sage of Elementalia, is no other than multi-awarded actor and director Peque Gallaga.
“Dayo” also features the voices of Noel Trinidad. He plays the role of Lolo Meong, Bubuy’s grandfather who shares the kid’s penchant for flying. Nova Villa is Lola Nita, Bubuy’s caring grandmother who nags Lolo Meong a lot. Johnny Delgado joins in as Carpio, Anna‘s dad who is Elementalia‘s head guardian. And completing “Dayo‘s” dream cast is distinguished actor and director Laurice Guillen playing a dual role of the kapre (the motherly cigar-smoking giant), and the Diwata/Bruha, the enchanting fairy with an evil alter ego.
“Dayo sa Mundo ng Elementalia” is an official entry to the 2008 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), and is co-presented by Frootees, Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdog and Mister Donut. The film is also supported by Ascorbic Acid Ceelin, Crispy Fry Breading Mix, Enervon Bright Brand, Timezone, FUJI YKL, Inquirer.net, Yehey.com, ClicktheCity.com, Animation Council of the Philippines, Toon Boom, Wacom, Woodpecker Studio, iAcademy and New Media.
For more information, visit the official movie web site at www.dayomovie.com.