Animated in Malaysia

06 Nov 2014 / 17:46 H.

A GENERATION ago, children’s entertainment on Malaysian television was almost exclusively imported, with many adults today counting American or Japanese shows among their childhood favourites.
These days, however, millions of children in Malaysia and across the region are now tuning in to a growing catalogue of locally-produced computer-animated series, including breakthrough shows such as Upin & Ipin, BoBoiBoy and Bola Kampung.
Most of these series are televised locally, but some animation studios have international distribution deals with other parts of Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
Some have also embraced the internet, using social media and YouTube to reach a wider global audience.
Recently, members of the local media were introduced to nine of these animation studios, part of a Cyberjaya-based group of creative multimedia companies under Cyberview Sdn Bhd.
The studios – Animonsta, Giggle Garage, Chain-FX, Big Tent, CreaTVtoon, Glue Studio, Wau Animation, DD Animation and SEAD Studio – showcased their various projects covering everything from pre-school edutainment to CG animation and live action mixed with visual effects.
It was an exciting and revealing look at the creative content coming out over the next year. Here are just some of the companies and projects to look out for.
The studio behind the popular BoBoiBoy series has a feature film coming out next year called BoBoiBoy the Movie: Sfera Kuasa.
CEO Nizam Razak also revealed a collaboration with major Japanese toy company Tomy to produce content as well as work on expanding the BoBoiBoy range of merchandise.
Animonsta has also started a new brand called Monsta, gathering intellectual property (IP) and animated content creators from all over the world and enabling more international collaborations.
Big Tent
Big Tent specialises in 2D and 3D personalised content, and holds the brand licence for the popular Japanese character Domo-Kun.
According to project manager William Phang, Big Tent also recently produced two ebooks.
The first is for another Japanese character, Komaneko, while the second is a collaboration with Glue Studios, focusing on the traditional Malay folktale of Bawang Putih, Bawang Merah.
Both ebooks can be downloaded as iOS apps.
After first starting out doing visual effects for local film and television series, the studio then evolved into developing its own content.
It recently produced the first season of the sci-fi series, Vektor 58, combining live action with visual effects.
According to managing director Mohd Fasya Daud, the show combines a collective love of robots with the opportunity to use motion-capture technology for fight scenes.
Giggle Garage
Aimed squarely at the pre-school market, Giggle Garage led by CEO Zeno Gabing has produced the internationally-acclaimed series Boing the Play Ranger, and is currently working on two other series, Origanimals and Chameleon.
Besides offering fun, educational content for children, the studio has also produced a range of merchandise featuring its animated characters.
Glue Studio
Glue Studios has just completed its first major project, Rimba Racer, an action-packed CG animation series.
Besides working on the actual show itself, the studio has also produced merchandise and accompanying media, including a comic book explaining the premise of the show.
According to Glue’s managing director Tariq Mohd Noh, Rimba Racer has been a long labour of love, and he expects to premiere it in January 2015.
SEAD Studio
One of the youngest studios on the panel, SEAD Studio is also the only one of the nine currently specialising in 2D animation.

Its biggest project, The Amazing Awang Khenit, can currently be seen on TV9 as well as in full episodes uploaded on YouTube.
With characters based on familiar Malay folk heroes, Awang Khenit is animation director Saiful Remy Mohd Mokhtar’s way of introducing the younger generation to Malay folklore, while also incorporating modern slapstick comedy elements.

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