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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: Urbanization eventually overwhelms the forest, leaving one tree standing surrounded by garbage. The large forest spirit finds the girl in the city (now an old woman) passing away in her sleep. Time passes and several good samaritans work to convert the junkyard into a playground. While playing, a little girl runs towards the last living tree, her color scheme changes to purple and plays with an invisible presence, implying that the spirits will continue to live on and the little girl possibly a descendant of the girl the spirits used to play with.
  • Blush Sticker: The main character.
  • 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: The girl towards the spirits, which in turn makes her passionate about the plant life in the forest.
  • Gentle Giant: The largest forest spirit of course.
  • Green Aesop: Slightly. It ends with the forest being destroyed—save for one tree—and being turned into a junkyard of sorts until a group of people decide to work together to turn it into a park with grass all over.
  • Hope Spot: The girl—now grown up with a family of her own—still continues to visit the spirits, occasionally planting saplings on the ground in an attempt to make up for the trees that had been chopped up to construct the village. But her alone couldn't stop the buildings from being built as the village becomes a bustling city, resulting in the forest being mostly gone.
  • Nature Spirit
  • Mood Whiplash: It starts from where we see a cute little girl having fun with the forest spirits. But as the forest is threatened by increasing urbanization, the tone of the short changes dramatically.
  • 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: The little girl does this as does another girl in the end, many years later.
  • Sliding Scale of Shiny Versus Gritty: The girl protagonist is outstandingly purple amongst the more muted colors of the people and scenery.
  • 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


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