Metro Manila Film Festival’s Magikland Embodies the Total Pinoy Fantasy
A Christmas treat for Pinoy fantasy gamers
On Christmas Eve, chaos takes place in the lives of four lonely kids who bond over a mobile app called Magikland. Boy, Mara, Kit and Pat meet up as the top players of the game. Not long after, a magical portal opens in their midst, sucking the kids from the real world and transporting them to the mystical video game.
The kids conquer challenges as they struggle to keep the team together without personal disputes getting in the way. As the four heroes fight for their survival, they discover their respective strengths and the power that can only be achieved through teamwork, selflessness and the bond of friendship. Happiness reigns as the kids return back to reality in time for their Christmas celebration.
Magikland was created to promote former Negros Occidental Cong. Albee Benitez’s theme park. The ultimate Pinoy fantasy film by Albee Benitez, Peque Gallaga, Lore Reyes and Christian Acuña is based on the theme of Negros myths. The film took inspiration from the iconic 1996 film Magic Temple, created for Enchanted Kingdom and Star Cinema. Both films share the same thrill for adventure along with fantasy creatures and CGI.
Costume & Styling
The kids’ costumes have a nostalgic presence, applying to both their game attires and casual everyday clothing. Besides the drastic improvement in digital quality, the costume design remains true to make-believe Pinoy cinema. Much like Magic Temple starring young Anne Curtis, the characters have an Alamat ng Gubat feel with earthy color ways and layered textures. Their casual clothing before their full character transformation screams ‘90s kids: baggy clothing, checkered prints and lightning bolt tees.
In true gaming fashion, costumes are meant to be quite theatrical to stand out and distinguish the good from the evil. Magikland did not shy away from exaggerating the characters’ wardrobes, which contributed to the film’s heavy visual landscape.
Mythical creatures play a large role in the film inspired by Pokémon Go. The variety of beasts range from dragons and demon faeries to human amphibians and orc-like creatures. The actors were covered head to toe with their respected costumes, while CGI enhanced their costume design.
The film is possibly the most expensive local movie so far! Magikland took two years to complete with a budget of more than P100 million. The film was submitted as an entry to Metro Manila’s Film Festival this December for young gamers to enjoy over the holidays. Over 70 percent of the film is computer generated, which took the storyline to the next level.
Director Peque Gallaga completed Magikland before he passed away on May 8, 2020. Mrs. Gallaga shares, “Peque always believed in having our own heroes, stories and icons. Magikland was his final contribution to the Filipino fantasy.”
This Christmas, as we indulge in escapism and technology amidst the pandemic, we should acknowledge and support the craft of Filipino Cinema and how far it has progressed throughout the years.
Words Marga Sibug
Art Matthew Ian Fetalver