Princess Urduja – The First Filipino Animated Film

(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!)!”

Have you watched Urduja? What do you think of it?


Text and Photos by Anton Diaz. Copyright 2008.

23 thoughts on “Princess Urduja – The First Filipino Animated Film

  1. Anton, it’s “Timon”, not “Imon”. 😛
    I’m actually excited to watch this film. I kind of hope they ‘export’ it so that other countries so that they’d see what’s the Philippines like.

  2. I wonder why Tony claimed that Urduja is the First FIlipino Animated Film.
    Gerry Garcia said said “Adarna” was the first animated movie in Philippine Cinema, and that it received a Special Award from the Metro Manila Film Festival specifically for this distinction in December 27, 1997. On his trophy it said ’ADARNA Kauna-unahang animated Movie sa Philippine Cinema.’

  3. ….lol….until now ‘none’ of you got the point from what we’re all discussing all over this OAP sites….meaning filipinos are extremely talented extra ordinarily creative fun loving cultures-societies in general BUT filipinos themselves full half or quarter blooded from past centuries past decades are taught to ‘ignore’ their OWN talents creativiness
    was taught to ‘look up’ to ‘wish for’ foreign inventions discoveries talents ideas creativities just ‘downgraded’ their own excellences their own ‘superiorities’ lol!….meaning animations and all other highly intellectual knowledges inventions scientific formulas discoveries are mostly first ‘known knowledge’ to filipino gifted-geniuses but was never known EARLIER coz it was intercepted by hiring them first then take them to foreign lands
    or by learning from it and apply them by themselves since most filipinos do not believe in their own talents-abilities or the lack of capitals to make it happned for themselves also you have ‘economic espionage’ or so called intellectual property but never materialized by pinoys coz foreigner produces them but somewhere else and pretend what do you mean? lol….so many foreign countries have not seen YET what is ‘state of the art’ means to talented creative filipinos….to gifted filipinos in particular coz gifted means could be something ‘original’ could mean one of a kind of values….i heard some ignorant foreigners in youtube commenting on how show off regine sarah kyla aicelle or whatever names is coz of their clothings so i told them hey you must be really that ‘behind’ if you want to see and get blown away by fashion statements just check: philippines santacruzan flores de mayo 2008 or the philippines gay beauty
    pageant national or traditional costumes 2008 even aliwan festival or cebu’s sinulog o dinagyang coz that will ‘blow’ you away lol!….filipinos wake up ‘even more’ coz so many great-unique things or places have not been ‘introduced yet’ have not presented yet but hopefully sooner lol….

  4. I just saw it this morning and I enjoyed it. We do have quite a lot of good animators and Urduja was a testament to that. Although I don’t understand why its only showing in Glorietta 1 in Makati. Why isn’t it showing in more theaters Glorietta and Greenbelt so that more filipinos can enjoy it.

  5. gmmahoney once talked about her high schoolmates recent mini short novels stories-mini coffee table books called FIRST LOVE:A HEALTHY world PLANET PARADISE{something like that}i believe it is ‘really’ highly interesting ‘kakaiba’
    sa lahat ng mini short novels-stories books coz of focus ‘centering’ extra ordinarily human sthrenght-filipino sagas whose deep bone effects focusing mainly on ‘tensions’ between books titled: two worlds o ‘dalawang daigdig’ thought ‘provoking’ ones so is ‘pawnshop’ ‘hacienda’ ‘jacklyn lane’ etc. gmmahoney said these mini short novels-stories made coffee table books are ‘kakaiba’ sa lahat which i heard they plan to play it as ‘broadway’ fame to show those deep bone ‘actual intenseness’ of the mini books each unique adventures meaning….let’s give FIRST LOVE:A HEALTHY WORLD PLANET PARADISE benefit of the doubts on the focus ‘tensions’ inside these mini short novels-stories HS books coming soon so urduja may not be also the last new great ‘effort’ on filipinos..we’re excited could’nt wait lol

  6. filipinos should thank heavily abs cbn gma all channels like channel 5 7 9 13 etc. etc. and all other investors others in entertainment industries for ‘keeping’it alive and their continous programmings..abs cbn gma channel 5 7 9 13 etc. etc. are some of the most dedicated determined supportive companies in the philippines i also ‘firmly’ believe that everyday they’re working ‘really’ hard making extra efforts to improved developed advanced their viewings programmings showings activities to sincerely ‘pleased’ the public viewers so let’s ALL love and be supportive of philippines entertainment industries channels and programmings who gives you thousands of employments livelihoods and lifetime opportunities so please ‘improved’ the depth of your materials performances story telling styles simple but humurous colorful theatrics humane themes or in ‘good taste’dialogues etc. etc.. oh and anton rache aidan joshua of OUR AWESOME PLANET not say later that i am less supportive of you and your families coz my never ending patients [tyaga}comments and additional ideas can be also read all over here lol

  7. tandang sora dr. jose rizal’s women in his lives those ‘intriguing’ courageous individual WIVES of the katipuneros leaders are among the old ‘original’ MARIA CLARAs along with some of the country’s ‘first’ladies whose lives are ‘painfully’ not written ‘without’ unnecessary inuendos derogatories questionable remarks and even made fun HISTORICALLY by the media writings telling of their country’s first ladies as if ‘all’ these ‘etra ordinary’ beautiful sophisticated women from the past history do not have separate ’causes’ private homes independent character mother to some children daughter to some parents friends to some anywhere and with lives to write if strong courageous character of these ‘historical’ first ladies do not or never had experience personnal ‘sufferings’ or even triumps if not if one’s female’s families lives that are thrown for public malice scrutinies is a MUST ‘cross’ they must carry alone coz they married men judged as bad corrupt criminals etc.etc. in power disregarding ‘some’ non political ‘good’ beings from their seperate lives as individual while sacrificing behind political or private scenes for the men they married for whatever reasons as if ALL are for ‘nothing’..i am appalled that some of these historical ‘great’ women’s lives were not told written played objectively ‘impartial’ along with all those ‘memoirs’ they left behind..NO WONDER philippines was ignored as third world country for past decades ‘despite’ it’s richness in natural ocean sea humans forests and mineral resources..gmmahoney was right when she said .. filipinos rich abundant ‘positive’ sides of it’s culture wasnt ‘nurtured’ taken cared or handled wonder uRDUJA as an animated part of culture is a first and a wow! lol .. filipinos LIMITED themselves lol

  8. an animated historical documentary of human economic enviromental tragedies that happened after ‘storm’ frank hit the philippines just the other day must be worth seeing-learning from families flooding or sunken ship victims that costed so many lives

  9. I salute the effort to bring Urduja to the screen by our Filipino writers. But I must warn about a VERY BIG HISTORICAL DISTORTION. Its very unfortunate that they portrayed Sumakwel, who was the Filipino warrior who even carried the kampilan, or the same sword as Lapulapu, as a villain. And they portrayed the Chinese pirate patterned after Limahong, as the hero. Having fought the Chinese as many historical accounts of Urduja and Tawalisi show, its very unlikely that Urduja would hate her own race and rather marry a Chinese pirate. But the worse part is portraying Sumakwel, the Filipino warrior, as a traitor and one who would even kill children. Is this part of CHINESE PROPAGANDA, or an exercise of Chinese soft power now that China is rising as an empire and taking over the whole economy of the Philippines?

  10. Ms. Noemi… MR. TONY TUVIERA DOESN’T claiming that Urduja is the first Filipino digital-animated film… but instead the FIRST FILIPINO FULL-LENGTH DIGITAL ANIMATED FILM… There’s a difference.
    Adarna used animation but only 70% of the whole film.
    I’m just informing. But Thanks for your info…

  11. ….president gloria macapagal arroyo’s life epic saga biography as philippines lady president past asean lady host in charge united nations international world leaders summit general assembly guest speaker united nations security council ‘ROUND TABLE’ head of states guest european state visits speaker white house visits world economic forums hosts & as guest united states{new york}meetings with the world’s largest american conglomerates CEO’s this century
    have seen have heard will be one of world history’s MONUMENTAL EVENTS for a lady in charge of her country gloria arroyo’s life events are truly ‘extra ordinary’ i must admit she has an incredible world wide political biography so huge so wide so diverse so international so worldly publicly appreciated acknowledge counted admired and sometimes ‘despised’by many coz of her brave courageous ‘bluntness’ but capable precision analysis ‘decision’ makings that makes her truly EXTRA ORDINARY lady in charge of a such a highly complex highly diverse highly multi lingual societies of people highly international ethnic groups of citizens of a country which is the only majority christians in ASIA CONTINENT makes mrs. arroyo’s hitorical personnal books ENTIRELY UNIQUE lol! meaning HER BEING SO-TOO INTERNATIONAL so world wide in affairs engagements makes her way much more unique than any URDUJA OR LAPU LAPU or tandang sora or anyone i can think of..meaning reasons why she has no reason to personally ‘corrupt’ SHE has NO needs to make more money coz she is HERSELF alone is the money lol..meaning the lady president of the philippines herself is a GOLDMINE just in books memorabilias animated films museum pieces personnal historical artifacts photographs ‘authentic’ signatures etc. etc. lucky filipinos lucky south east asia lucky asia continent to have a not so tall in height lady in power but so tall in values and accomplishments she is herself WORTH MULTI MILLIONS IN U.S. dollars alone no doubt on that one so lucky grandchildren so lucky husband and children with a lady in their lives with a never ending historical tough jobs leaderships to DELIVER…. a nice fine lady indeed does she ever sleeps? does she has time to eat? lol!

  12. i had watched it with my friend. it’s not disney, it’s not pixar, but hey, it entertained. if only i could bottle the laughters of the kids who watched it, i’d have laughter for years. hehehe. i’m glad i’ve watched it. kudos to our animators! 🙂

  13. I believe, having watched THE MAKING of this animated movie, that since Urduja was not yet proven to be as somebody who really lived (meaning she, or her story, is more myth/legend and therefore fictitious)… the makers of th film really took a lot of liberties with the plot…
    so I guess, even if there was a Sumakwel who lived all those years ago… they felt it was ok to conveniently make him into something he was not…
    anyway, I do hope to see the movie… 🙂

  14. ….’almost’ all world histories facts datas descriptions historical accounts like urduja or any world conflicts are FALSE….everything are mostly secrets prevented concealed destroyed re arranged etc. to PROTECT those powerful ‘interests’….that is how alarming ‘dangerous’ ‘hypocrite’ justices or historical events we have in this world everything was almost distorted twisted tainted to fit the views visions lifestyles of the PAST few priviledge in highest world powers reasons why true accounts-justices are almost impossible….coz it is convenient they shown to us only to see half ‘truth’ in lives legal issues crimes fictions myths thanks mostly to PAST powerful americans for that ‘outcome’ lol!….unless americans can learned to be truthful….world TRUTH on ‘initial’first hand not decades centuries later coz that would be too late from all the cover ups but for animated movies like URDUJA long as it’s not titled ‘documentary’ then that’s fine we welcome and like prefer FICTIONS anyway lol….

  15. Just want to congratulate the people behind Urduja!
    We enjoyed the film and definitely a good start!!!

  16. JOWK……..
    add meeeeeeeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

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