Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa (2009)

After Tutubi Patrol then BIDA, there goes Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa (Super Inggo and the Super Troop) which it airs this 2009 in ABS-CBN. Apparently, this show is the first-animated series in ABS-CBN and at the same time the station developed it's animation studio called ABS-CBN Animation Department lead by the business unit Guia Jose. But is this show can be received well to the viewers?

Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa is loosely based on 2006's live-action series Super Inggo. I admit I never seen the live-action series because I had much time watching on GMA 7 or to school studies (but I'm not a Kapuso, neither a Kapamilya) but it doesn't matter anyway. The show features a young 10-year old boy named Budong (voiced and acted by Makisig Morales) who lives with his adopted mother named Pacita in a poor yet happy home. Budong dreams that he wanted to become a superhero, until he realize that he already has superpowers and becomes Super Inggo. As he grew up in the streets, he has also a best friend and sidekick named Jomar (voiced and acted by Jairus Aquino). Together, they run in adventures, meet other allies, discover evil plans from the Prince of Darkness and his company, and the truth about themselves. But would you believe that Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa adds new characters that isn't present in the live-action series?

Well, the show's music used it's opening theme from the live-action series itself which sung by Rocksteddy. But then again, it wasn't bad although I was thinking that the staff cheapened it's music for a bit.

Animation in the Philippines rise in a smooth phase because of the improvement of computer technology and animation program tools. Many talented animators in the Philippines have worked in other countries and some of them are present for the collaborated project. Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa used 2D flash animation like what Studio 23's Barkada Trip did. Somehow, the animation style is based on the characters from the original series (in fact, the Super Inggo in the animated series made well-done from the live-action) plus the Pinoy anime-style. What's Pinoy anime? Pinoy anime is a term where the animation in the Philippines is mixed with Japanese animation techniques (e.g. puppy dog eyes and wacky expressions). Not only in the Philippines got that style but also in other countries like Korea, China and even United States in a similar way. The show made Pinoy elements friendly for young and adult viewers for enjoyment. And hey, there's even few cameo appearances from ABS-CBN like Angel Locsin, Vhong Navarro, Sam Milby, and even host in Matanglawin Kuya Kim as caricatures. Now how's that?

Super Inggo at Ang Super Tropa will be one of the important contributions in Philippine animation. As of now, the staff and ABS-CBN are planning to air the series in two seasons and every season has 13-episodes each. If the show was well-received by many viewers there's a possibility will produce another few episodes.The animation is very fine and it's really good to watch for every Pinoy kids and kids-at-heart. You can watch Super Inggo at Ang Super Tropa every Sundays 10:30 A.M in ABS-CBN.


Tadhana (1970's)

Undercover history

Filipino cartoonist Nonoy Marcelo's Tadhana (Destiny) is possibly the first-ever full-length animated feature made in the Philippines. Based on a series of volumes on Philippine history officially written by Ferdinand Marcos (unofficially written by a whole team of historians), and produced by his eldest daughter, Imee, the film was broadcast on September 21, 1978--the sixth anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law. It was supposed to be replayed and even have a commercial theater release, but for reasons never made clear that broadcast was it; it was never seen again. Today, no known print or negative is left, only a video copy recorded off that broadcast by Mr. Teddy Co, who lent his copy to Mowelfund for their French-Filipino Animation Festival.

Some sixty artists worked for three months on the project--not many and not long compared to what goes into a standard Disney feature animation (hundreds of artists working for years), but almost unheard of in the Philippines, where animation is a cottage industry--literally a one-man, part-time job. The animation is crude, though compared to what's been done previously and even recently--Geirry Garrcia's Adarna comes to mind--the film stands up surprisingly well. Garrcia's film may have smoother motion (just barely) but Tadhana has a distinct, even unique, sensibility (Adarna's is of the simpering Disney kind).

Marcelo conceived of the film as a series of vignettes, often experimental, sometimes surreal. It has to be--a consistently realist style would have been too expensive. Marcelo turns this idiosyncrasy into an advantage: this is probably the funniest, least stuffy lesson on Philippine history ever given. When Magellan's galleons sail across the Pacific they sway right and left like fat-bellied matrons (to the tune of the Star Wars theme); when Lapu-Lapu lops off Magellan's head it drops to the sands and sings (in Yoyoy Villame's voice): "Mother, mother I am sick; call da doctor very quick." Marcelo's film is less an account of history than it is a gleefully, unashamedly jaundiced interpretation of it--sixty minutes of editorial cartoons, improvising brilliantly.

Imee insists that while it's not a literally faithful adaptation of her father's books, it's faithful to their themes. I've dipped into the books enough to remember that Marcos recognizes (or rather, his historians recognize) the centuries of repression inflicted by the Catholic Church and Spain. But if Tadhana takes its cue from the books in targeting church and state, its humor is uniquely Marcelo's. His near-Swiftian wit turns microcosmos into macrocosmos (as in his comic strip Ikabod, where a mouse and friends represent Philippine society), and compels him to bite the hand that feeds him (Marcos, as skewered in Ikabod, Tisoy, and others).

One highlight is the Blood Pact, traditionally depicted by Filipino artists as a solemn, historically momentous ment. In Tadhana the pact is signed during the opening cocktails of the Sandugo (One Blood) Art Exhibit; boiling blood is served as punch while a manananggal (a woman's severed upper half, flapping about on a pair of batwings) and a tikbalang (a half-man, half-horse--drawn, I think, by cartoonist Edd Aragon) get down to some funky disco music. Rajah Soliman, riding a water buffalo that roars like a Harley Davidson, crashes the party and demands to know why he wasn't invited; when he peers at the exhibited paintings--examples of Western abstract and postmodern art--his brain reels and undergoes a hallucinogenic head trip.

Probably the best part of the film--my favorite, anyway--is the relationship sketched between parish priest and native, animated to the tune of Freddie Aguilar's mournful Anak (Child). The choice is hilariously ironic; Aguilar sings of an ungrateful child and his sacrificing parents while onscreen it's the priest--the native child's spiritual and biological father--who is boorish, abusive, greedy, ungrateful. The child confronts his mother, a veiled babaylan (sorceress) and the priest's mistress; she has wept so much from grief that she has to wring her veil dry. Cut to a close-up of the child's face--now that of a young man--as tears stream down his own cheeks. Aguilar's melody wails on, but suddenly satire is transmuted into something potent and unsaid, something not so very different from genuine tragedy...

The final twenty minutes chronicles an epic war between native and conquistador, an overambitious, overextended sequence stuffed to brimming with all kinds of animation techniques, to the tune of Procol Harum's violent Conquistador. Panoramic drawings of native warriors and Spanish soldiers poised to attack; godlike overhead shots of armies surging like tides; images scratched into the film print itself, depicting elemental chaos...

Marcelo tempers his anti-Western stance with a remarkably clear-eyed view of the pre-Hispanic Filipino; he knows not all blame can be laid at the feet of foreign devils. The datu (chieftain) is an incoherent drunk who considers everything useless and shares his counsel with a jar of rice liquor; his manservant is a craven backbiter constantly aware of the fact that if the datu dies, he will be buried with him. Both are hardly the heroic warriors of Filipino history books; rather, they're the same funny characters that spill out the margins of Marcelo's newspaper strips: as flawed, vainglorious, deluded--as recognizably human, in short--as you or me.

As mentioned before, Tadhana was broadcast once, then apparently never shown again. Why? Did the Church, on seeing the anti-clerical bias, move to have all prints and video copies destroyed? Did Marcos, watching as the natives cried Makialam!" (roughly, "Join us!") against their oppressors, feel uncomfortable enough to want to suppress it? We may never know...

Another intriguing question: if the series had continued, how would Marcelo have handled recent history--particularly the Marcos years, up to his declaration of martial law? Would he have tried smuggling anti-Marcos criticism under the censors' noses, as in his later cartoons? Again we may never know, and perhaps Marcelo himself intended it that way, stopping far enough in the past while it's still safe.

Anyway--what we have, here and now, is a video copy of the remote past, brought to glorious, comic life by one of our greatest satirist. Is the film still relevant? More then ever, I think, what with parish priests still molesting parishioners, wealthy patriarchs still abusing laborers, and the all-mighty West still oppressing us all ("War on Terrorism" anyone?). The film ends with the glowing circular logo of Marcos' Bagong Lipunan (New Society)--symbol of Marcelo's patron without whom the film would never have been made, the same time it's a symbol of the twenty-year dictatorship he would end up fighting through his comics. The irony, I hope, isn't lost on us.

from: http://criticafterdark.blogspot.com/2009/08/nonoy-marcelo-for-national-artist.html

excerpt from: http://www.bigozine2.com/theshop/books/NVcritic.html


Two Reasons Why I'm Checking Out

Ever since we encounter few previous typhoons, I become busy in college work and almost have no time to do any blog posts here (in fact, I still never finish my Ranma 1/2 post). I apologize. But there are few things why I'm looking out these days:

1.) Combatron Lost Scans
That's right, one of the most popular Funny Komik's character Combatron returns thanks to this website at http://projectcombatron.blogspot.com/ . Whoever made that blog site must be really cool trying old fans and even new generations like me to remember Combatron. Right now, they're still trying to find and collect other missing issues. Not to worry, the staff posts comic scans weekly so you can still be updated.

2.) Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa
I've already seen the "Coming Soon" trailer of Super Inggo at ang Super Tropa. In fact the staff of this cartoon prepared many years for this exciting show. They might be air this month or December on weekday mornings. Check out more in http://superinggo-animation.blogspot.com/

I still finding fresh news about Philippine comics and animations while I keep busy with other personal things. :)