It's a typical 3D animated film just like Finding Nemo, Toy Story, Despicable Me, Shrek, and all the other popular foreign 3D Animated movies created outside of the country. But this is the first "Full-length Animated film ever created in the Philippines, for the Filipinos, with almost 100% Filipino concept, but surely 100% Filipino content.
The concept was taken from a popular game type that we call MMORPG or Multi-Massively Online Role Playing Game where players get to create their own avatars according to their own preference and have their own adventures. I believe this was the chosen concept because it targeted children's values, Filipino families, and just the regular kids that go to school everyday and then afterwards you can find them at computer shops playing MMORPG's and all sorts of computer games. The main concept was also similar to the anime series of ".//hack".
A lot of kids nowadays haven't really experienced playing outside of the house along with other kids. Seldom do you find kids who know how to play pico, patintero, bato-bato pik, pitik-bulag, agawan base, habulan, saranggola, tumbang-lata or tumbang preso as we call it in our province. These are some of the kiddy games that I used to play when I was young. They are really exhausting and you would gain a lot of experience playing these type of games. You will learn to socialize and make friends with your friends' friends. Not unlike today, kids are settled at home making virtual families, friends, pets, and all the like. They never get to experience the outside world. This movie is an eyeopener for parents to let their kids out and have fun with other children physically, and also for kids to realize that playing with real friends rather than just their avatars is more exciting.
The storyline was good. I wasn't expecting that, but it was really superb. It touched the heart of the young and the old especially those who can relate to this concept of MMORPGs. It's a normal dilemma between parents and their children. It reminds me of how my mom and dad keeps on telling us before, when we started to get addicted to Ragnarok Online the first time it was released in the Philippines, the same things that were told to Nico on this movie. There are a lot of things that you will learn from this movie, from a gamers view and from a real-life perspective. In the end it all goes down to friendship and family. It was a good story. Compact na compact, walang naligaw na detalye.
Before I could even watch it, I already prepared myself that it will not be 100% as good as what PIXAR Entertainment Studios produces or any other foreign animators. When I started watching it, I immediately saw the difference. It wasn't that smooth but it was tolerable. The truth is that I was even amazed. Sad to say I was expecting less but apparently I was astounded by how it appeared before my eyes. If there will be a blue-ray copy of this movie, I'd buy it! I know that technically it wasn't smooth and it needs a little polishing, but to me it's absolutely fine! Congratulations to the animators behind this project. I salute you for a wonderful job. I hope you make great progress in the future. I know a little bit of animation so I can really relate to how hard these things can be done. And to create a full-length movie is a really big challenge. But they did not fail. It was a great break-through. Keep it up.
The production was fine. Actually, it was cool. Delivery of the words weren't quite that good but it was generally fine. More room for improvement. Dubbing is fine. Not that good but tolerable. Actually, the terms or words used, or the lines used really caught my attention. How the kids delivered it was really amusing. It was so natural, I was like sitting at a computer shop lounge area watching kids play computer games. I was also like looking over my window watching kids play outside our gates. The lines were delivered naturally and that's what made it even better. Pinoy na Pinoy! I was laughing all the time because the movie was so familiar. It's as if I know those kids and they just live in the neighborhood. The cast was amazing. I didn't think that they were the Goin' Bulilit kids. Never even imagined it was Aga Mulach, Vhong Navarro, and Eugene Domingo who dubbed the voices of the adults.
I would admit though that the dubbing of the voices were not really that good. It's one of the weaknesses of this film. They should have trained more on how to make their delivery submit to how it was being expressed by the animation and not the other way around. There are a lot of veteran anime dubbers in the Philippines and I was wondering why they were not chosen to do the job. Maybe the producers thought that they should follow how Hollywood chooses their stars to dub their 3D animated films. But these actors and actresses have trained so well to exactly match the animated expressions to make it look real. Anyway, like what I said, it was still tolerable.
The director was great. I commend him for how the film was created. Sa wakas maayos ang pagkagawa. Hindi typical cinematics ng pinoy. This time, the right angles were shown. It's not like the typical pinoy movies that I hate because director's don't know what angles to show. This film is interesting and exciting to watch. Makes me wanna watch it over and over. Watched it twice, makes me wanna go more.
Ang galing talaga! wala akong ibang masabi. Sana they make more. This one is a success. Kung di pa to nadidiscover ng ibang mga pinoy jan, eto na pagkakataon. Maganda sya. Hindi to ginawa para suportahan lang, maganda talaga sya. Maraming matututunan. Basta hindi racist ang manunuod, siguradong kikita. Basta hindi pinoy na walang pagmamahal sa sariling bayan ang manunuod, siguradong patok. Kung alam mong pinoy ka, try mo... astig! sana MMORPG naman ang pagkaabalahan nila para di na tayo nanghihiram sa ibang bansa ng mga games. Kaya naman pala natin eh. Tuloy-tuloy nyo na! ;)