MANILA — One of the animators who worked on “Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story,” which will be the first Pinoy-made animated film to stream on Netflix, is appealing for people not to boycott their film over Robin Padilla’s involvement.
Padilla, who has in the past provoked backlash over his comments, mostly in support of the government’s controversial decisions, is one of the movie’s lead voice actors, alongside Angelica Panganiban and Sam Milby. He plays the boyfriend of Panganiban’s title character.
On Twitter this week, Kevin Eric Raymundo, an animation director who said that he is part of the “Hayop Ka!” team, appealed to those leading calls to boycott their work: “Please don’t judge it by its [voice actor]. He doesn’t represent the movie as a whole.”
He said that if he could he would have had Padilla replaced with a different voice actor. “But alas, ako’y isang hamak na animator lamang. Support the artists who have worked hard on this project. Sila naman ang totoong bida dito,” Raymundo urged.
He also reposted a funny suggestion that people view Padilla’s character as the bad guy of the movie. “Isipin na lang na hayop talaga ‘yung isang voice actor diyan. Very fitting,” the joke read.
The criticisms over Padilla’s casting in “Hayop Ka!” began this week, following Netflix’s announcement that it has acquired rights to stream the premiere of the movie and included Padilla’s character in the promotional poster it sent out.
These were met with appeals against a boycott, arguing that it’s the local animation industry that will stand to lose the most when the movie flops, while Padilla will likely remain unaffected.
“Hayop Ka!” will come out on Netflix next month. It’s the first-ever Pinoy-made animated film to stream on the service.
It tells the story Nimfa Dimaano (Panganiban), a pretty cat who works as a perfume sales kitty at a department store. Her relationship with Roger (Padilla), a mutt, turns complicated after meeting and falling for Iñigo (Milby), a businessman dog.
On Instagram, its director, Avid Liongoren, described it as a “light & comical film,” and that one of their goals for it was to hopefully spotlight Filipino animation.
“In the global animation industry, the Philippines is a go-to nation for outsource animation services,” Liongoren said. “We are home to thousands of talented animators but sadly, we are not known for ideating and producing our own work.”
“There has been less than 10 animated feature films in the entire 100 year history of Philippine cinema, and we want to continue adding to that, while also hoping that little by little, someday Filipino animators can be known as not just service providers, but creators as well.”
It was made by Rocketsheep Studios, which was also behind the live-action animated cult hit, “Saving Sally.” The movie was an official entry to the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival.