Fantasia 2021: Our Review of ‘Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story’

Fantasia 2021: Our Review of ‘Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story’

Amongst animation heads, there’s a rallying call around the idea of adult animation; specifically, this rallying call suggest that animation is a genre which should not just be aimed at children as it is here in the West. Fans will point to films such as Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon and Rene Laloux’s Fantastic Planet as examples of how rich animation for adults can actually be.

My theory on this is that people don’t necessarily want a nebulous adult animation. But rather, they want to be able to experience a multitude of emotions when watching animated cinema, from whimsical to dark. This is because adult animation is both Angel Egg and also Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story, and I can’t the latter say is all that much better than say Boss Baby 2, despite being intrinsically more “adult.” Ultimately, Hayop Ka feels like an annoying studio in-joke gone wrong.

The premise of Hayop Ka is ostensibly “what if Zootopia was actually a hyper-sexualized telenovela,” in that our heroine Nimfa Dimaano (voice of Angelica Panganiban) plays a cat who is caught in a love triangle with two dogs. One is her janitor boyfriend Roger (Robin Padilla), a unmotivated slob. The other is the rich and powerful Iñigo Villanueva (Sam Milby), a greedy capitalist who is vaguely the film’s villain as the film is vaguely socialist (at the insistence of the filmmakers, who detailed this all in a convoluted pre-show intro).

The biggest issue with Hayop Ka is that its satire isn’t particularly effective, mostly coming unglued due to the film’s juvenile insistence on bad sex puns being roughly 75% of the script. This is not good, but it’s also deeply silly, so you might get some mileage that way. Be careful what you wish for with adult animation.

This post was written by
Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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