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It has been unabashedly claimed and promoted as the first ever Filipino animated feature–the first in the nation is actually Adarna (1997) by Gerry Garcia!

Author: Rosalyn Lim 林惠美 (hayashimegumi) from
22 February 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Urduja (2008) has decent art, music and voice actors. Some of the characters are quite beautiful and all of the characters are differently colored; noticeable as it is obvious that each characters have different levels of sun burns and skin pigment which is great. The music and performances have a hint of traditional Filipino culture with some foreign elements such as the Chinese and Japanese as well, though the whole animated feature is just a fictional depiction of the Pangasinan warrior princess, Urduja.

Then, although I do not understand Tagalog, the Filipino language; the plot seems to be average. I could tell that the main characters fall in love with each other pretty fast even though there are not much between them. I could be wrong though since I do not understand most words expressed by them but as Urduja (2008) progresses, I came to realise that it is a super fast moving animated feature. I thought less than a week has passed but in actuality, it might be a year or two seeing how fast things changes and moved on. There are also plenty of scenes which made me ask a lot of whys but overall, I guess it is okay as a family film as it can be fun sometimes although there are some frightening action and violence going on.

Another note, I do understand that English is the other official language in Philippines today but the characters especially the talking animals occasionally used some English words in some of the scenes which is not so great. I guess they used modern Tagalog but I find it quite annoying because the whole thing feels not so classic anymore after they mix some English in.

My verdict? Maybe some of you will enjoy watching this. As for me, despite it is fun being able to watch a Filipino production, Urduja (2008) is quite disappointing and frustrating to me. I started off quite excited to watch this one–I love people, culture and history stories in general–but there are just too many turn offs to me. I am also quite frustrated that I do not understand Tagalog since there are no English version of this animated feature out there but the worst turn off is probably the moment I found out that it has been unabashedly claimed and promoted as the first ever Filipino animated feature–the first in the nation is actually Adarna (1997) by Gerry Garcia...Not Urduja (2008)!

PS. Still, I am happy that pinoys are quite good at animation!

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