If Malaysia were to use our local cartoons in our Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign, who should we pick? Here are some we think would make great ambassadors!
Let us know who you would pick in the comments!
1. The Kampung Boy
If any cartoon’s a formidable contender to become our ambassador, it’s got to be The Kampung Boy. The nation’s iconic graphic novel is the brainchild of cartoonist Datuk Mohammad Nor bin Mohammad Khalid, or better known as Lat.
Through the eyes of a boy named Mat, the autobiographical comic paints a picture of 1950s rural Perak and the many adventures he was up to in the jungle and village. Occasionally they would touch on the social and political landscape of Malaysia.
His work is so successful in Southeast Asia that The Kampung Boy has been translated into 12 languages including French, German and Korean. Apparently, Lat is in discussion with a French film director to turn The Kampung Boy into a live-action film!
2. Upin & Ipin
The loveable duo has captured the hearts of Malaysians since their debut in Geng: Adventure Begins, and have since appeared in their own series. Created by Les’ Copaque Production in 2007, the series follows two 5-year-old twin boys, who has fun learning new things in the kampung, often getting into mischief. What makes Upin and Ipin so heartwarming is how it celebrates Malaysia’s multi-racial community.
The show has also made ripples on the global stage, with its Chinese subbed version, and slot in Disney Channel Asia. Its latest film, Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal released in March 2019 is Malaysia’s highest rated film. If you think that the twins should be our ambassador, let us hear you say their catchphrase – “Betul, betul, betul!”
Did you know that Malaysia has her own homegrown superhero in the animated world? BoBoiBoy is a hit in the local entertainment industry, and focuses on a boy with the power to manipulate elements. He and his friends, Ying, Yaya, Gopal, and Fang band together to protect the earth from alien threats.
BoBoiBoy is aired in around 16 countries, including Taiwan, Japan and Korea on Cartoon Network. It became the highest grossing film in the local box office in 2016.
4. Ejen Ali
Set in the fictional city of Cyberaya, Ejen Ali (or translated to Agent Ali) follows a schoolboy called Ali, who is bad in his studies, bullied in school and whose parents are too busy to spend time with him. Now doesn’t that sound like a certain Japanese cartoon? He is accidentally recruited as a secret agent and embarks on a journey to find his identity.
In 2016, it was awarded the Best Short Animated Film at the Malaysian Film Festival. Ejen Ali has also been aired in over 50 countries.
Who needs foreign cartoons as our cultural ambassadors when you can have our homegrown heroes? Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to find out what’s happening, hot and definitely homegrown in Malaysia.