Memos from Asia

The Rise of Malaysia’s Animation Industry

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Malaysia’s entertainment industry, especially in animation has long been under-appreciated. People who work tirelessly in animating jobs are underpaid, despite long hours of impressive work.

However, Malaysia is finally entering an era where animations made locally are being praised more and more. This could be owed to more creative ideas being injected into the industry, along with more funding from governmental bodies like Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC).

People are now starting to notice brilliant animation productions from Malaysians, such as Supa Strikas from Animasia Studios which streamed on Disney XD. Supa Strikas is a show based on the South African comic of the same name, centered around talented football players which aim to become the champions of football. To do so, they travel all around the world, learning the origins of football and unique techniques to improve their skills.

The episodes are easily accessible on Youtube:

and on Amazon Prime:

Now, several hit animation movies are entering the global market, making a name for the Malaysian animation industry. We have listed these three Malaysian animations you should consider watching!

Ejen Ali: The Movie (2019)

Ejen Ali: The Movie, produced by WAU Productions, became the highest-grossing animated film in Malaysia due to its action-packed, emotional and interesting plot line that takes you into the future.

The story tells us about a 12-year-old boy, Ali, who becomes an agent for a top secret agency called MATA after he accidentally activates a highly intelligent device called IRIS (Infinity Retinal Intelligent System). The device can predict movements, hack into systems, and has special x-ray vision which he uses to protect the citizens of Cyberaya.

He is then approached by a mysterious person who claims to know secrets about his late mother, which makes him doubt his position in MATA.

The movie is the most advanced animated film in Malaysia and uses creative, modern concepts that no other action-film has. With interesting takes on showing Malaysia’s diverse culture, you will definitely enjoy this film if you love a good, light action film to watch with the kids!

Interested to watch? A contract has recently been signed between the production company and Amazon Prime, so don’t forget to look out for it! (Source)

Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal (2019)

Upin and Ipin are Malaysia’s favorite twins produced by Les Copaque Production. Upin & Ipin tells us about the adventures of two young orphans who live with their grandmother in a countryside village. There, they make an eccentric and diverse set of friends where they spend the rest of their days together.

Upin & Ipin is a show close to all Malaysians’ hearts because it explores old Malaysian cultures that are long forgotten such as traditional games like Kelereng Guli and Tarik Upih.

Now you can watch the series on Netflix!

The movie, Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal (The Lone Gibbon Kris), is a film loved by all Malaysians. The twins and their group of friends discover a mystical Malay dagger which opens a portal into the mystical kingdom of Inderaloka. Navigating their way home, they meet heroes from classical legend from Malaysian folklore.

It has won the award for Best Feature Film at the 2019 Montreal International Animation Film Festival.

It is the perfect movie with magnificent CGI for those interested in learning about Malaysian culture through the eyes of young, courageous children.

Watch the trailer here:

BoBoiBoy: The Movie (2016) & BoBoiBoy: The Movie 2 (2019)

Yet another interesting action animation from Animonsta Studios, BoBoiBoy is also considered Malaysia’s sweetheart.

In the series, BoBoiBoy obtains a Power Sphere called Ochobot which grants him and his friend’s superpowers such as elemental powers, super speed, and super strength. Unbeknownst to him, the Ochobot belongs to an alien, Adu Du who seeks out a new energy resource that lays simply on planet Earth, cocoa beans! The series tells us about all the hilarious mishaps that happen between BoBoiBoy, his friends, and Adu Du.

Watch the series in English on Amazon!

The Movie, on the other hand, is a continuation of the animated series.

The first movie is about the discovery of an ancient Power Sphere which will grant even more powers. Together with his friends, BoBoiBoy tries to stop a devious force called the Tengkotak from using it for evil purposes.

The full movie with English subtitles is also available on Amazon:

The second movie is about BoBoiBoy facing a villain named Retak’ka who aims to steal BoBoiBoy’s elemental powers. In order to fight Retak’ka who is a big threat to him, BoBoiBoy seeks out the help of a guru, Hang Kasa who helps him unlock more elemental powers to fend off the villain.

Watch the trailer here:

So what are you waiting for? Immerse yourself in the rich animation world crafted by Malaysia’s local animators!

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