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Animation / Mutya

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Chihiro, she ain't.

Mutya is an award winning 2009 animated short film made in the Philippines. The title "Mutya" could be translated as "beauty" in English.

The beginning was, when a young girl wanders off to the forest, she suddenly meets a bunch of forest spirits that seemingly, only she can see for when her mother found her, she's dancing all by herself. Nevertheless, even as she grew, she never forgot them and she visited them despite the very forest was starting to get swallowed up by urbanization.

Watch it here on YouTube.


Provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: The story this was based on is called "Enchanted Elena" which could be the girl's name.
  • Animated Adaptation: It is said in the credits to be based on a story. But not a true story.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Quite common in stories like these. Yet it happened in such a way where the urbanization got so out of hand, the forest ended up becoming bare and the solitary tree in it is standing around garbage. The largest forest spirit, wondering where the girl that visited them has gone, goes to the city to find her. After searching in many different buildings, he finds the girl (now as an old woman) in the bedroom surrounded by her family as she passes away in her sleep, holding a flower that seemed to be the last flower of the dead forest.
  • Blush Sticker
  • Call to Agriculture: Okay, that Bittersweet Ending trope is subverted thanks to this. A group of people decided to clean up the garbage surrounding the one tree and decided to make it into a grassy playground for children.
  • Advertisement:
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Despite the same colors, the background characters look distinctive to each other, one way or another.
  • Color Contrast: Predominantly, the girl protagonist around many harmonizing colored people and environment.
  • Coming of Age: An obvious presentation. First, we see her as a little girl (picture above), then as a teenager, then as a mother, and the very last as an old woman.
  • Dark Reprise: The background music uses an orchestral version of the traditional song "Bahay Kubo". It played in the beginning. As it was played again, it became quite haunting when they're showing the one last tree.
  • Friend to All Living Things
  • Gentle Giant: The largest forest spirit of course.
  • Green Aesop: Pretty much so. Though the forest wasn't fully saved, the people have managed to make it a grassy playground for the children to play on. The last tree remains.
  • Nature Spirit
  • Hope Sprouts Eternal/Surprisingly Happy Ending: The poor old woman that used to be the little girl dies in her apartment building. So sad... Who will visit the remaining forest spirits in the tree? Then in the newly built playground, we see a girl playing hide and seek with her friends. Suddenly, the tree caught her attention and she goes to it. Her colors change to the same shade of purple as the child in the beginning and dances around it as if she was playing with something or someone. It just goes to show that some friendships are so strong, they can last for more than one lifetime.
  • The Magic Comes Back
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Her ability to see forest spirits can be argued that she's just imaginative. But even as she grew, she still saw them. Let's leave her at that, now.
  • Mood Lighting
  • Mood Whiplash: It starts from where we see a cute little girl having fun with the forest spirits. Then later in the film—see the spoiler ending above. Beware though...
  • No-Dialogue Episode: There are no voices to be heard and nobody speaks, as well. Only the music score and the sound effects.
  • No Name Given: For any of the characters.
  • Silence Is Golden: The film fully runs on music to emphasize what is happening and its atmosphere.
  • Skip of Innocence
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The girl protagonist is outstandingly purple among those the people who are as colored as the atmosphere around them.
  • Super-Deformed: An inverted case in which, some of the human's heads are too small for their bodies.
    • Justified for the forest spirits, and they much more resemble the straightforward chibi style.
  • Xenofiction


Example of: