Former Negros Occidental Cong. Albee Benitez
Peque on what Magikland the movie is all about
Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - February 12, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Magikland the Theme Park has inspired a movie…and vice-versa…produced by Albee Benitez, Peque Gallaga and Lore Reyes, with Christian Acuña as director. With a budget of almost P100M, the movie is 95 percent animation and high-tech visual/special effects perfected in a studio, with scenes of human actors shot in various locations including Tanay and Antipolo in Rizal Province.

Here’s Peque on what the movie is all about:

Peque Gallaga

What is the Magikland movie all about?

“Magikland is place of fantasy existing in a video game for iPhones — the inspiration is from Pokémon the game. The attraction to the game is for the gamers to get the highest points in order to save Magikland from an evil dictator. When the four winners meet, they are transported to Magikland which is, indeed, in mortal danger.”

How did you choose the actor in it (the young actors from Bacolod and the guest name actors)?

“This time we kept the casting in Manila for many reasons, some of them budgetary. The lead, Boy Bakunawa, is played by Miggs Cuaderno but it is ensemble acting because all of them carry the weight of the movie equally. The other leads are played by Princess Aguilar, Elijah Alejo, Josh Eugenio, Hailey Mendes and, in a special role, KenKen Nguyad.”

Which inspired which, the theme park or the movie? 

“When the originators got together, I don’t know why I was called to attend the meeting. Everybody knows I’m rotten in business. Pala, after studying the business models, we found out that they ­— from Disneyland to Enchanted Kingdom — started after they had decided on a theme. A Theme Park runs on a theme. The head at the time, two years ago, was Rey Bantug and he was very clear he wanted Magikland to be a total-Pinoy fantasy. So I worked on that angle which involved Negros myths. The rest, we created by making up characters, gods, and fantasy creatures that inhabit this world. So as you can see, the theme dictates the nature of the experience. The theme park inspired the movie and the movie, in turn, inspired the park.”

How does the Magikland movie compare with your past movie of the same theme (fantasy, full of visual/special effects) and when is it showing? 

“Oh, Magikland has the same genes of Magic Temple we created for Star Cinema, and Magic Kingdom for Viva, where we discovered Anne Curtis who was fantastic in it. This movie will be, as all the others, very high on adventure, fantastic creatures and fantastic landscapes and a serious output of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery). Lore Reyes and I are producers for the film due to the huge demands of the nature of the film. The director is Christian Acuña.”

ALBEE BENITEZ MAGIKLAND PEQUE GALLAGA
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