It’s no secret that Malaysians have a special talent for art. Recently, there’s been a trend in old, abandoned places in Kuala Lumpur being renovated as artistic community spaces. Examples of these are Kwai Chai Hong and Zhongshan Building at Kampung Attap just to name a few.
Malaysians are also giving animation a shot.
Japan’s Anime & Manga, Korea’s Manhwa, and China’s Manhua
We know that in Asia, Japan is most likely leading in terms of animation. They’ve given many anime film classics, from the Studio Ghibli cult-classic Spirited Away (which is the highest-grossing anime film of all time globally), to the more contemporary anime film hit Kimi no Na wa (Your Name, 2016) from visionary Makoto Shinkai.
Recently, one of the most iconic Anime Franchises in the world, Dragon Ball, released a new movie that revitalized interest into its long-running series through Dragon Ball Super: Broly.
But Japan is not the only one. When it comes to comics, Korea and China are closing in on the creative gap.
For both South and North Korea, manhwa had roots in social criticism during Japanese occupation way back in the 1920s. But they have seen a sudden boom into the English-speaking world thanks to Webtoons.
China, on the other hand, has manhua. They are both essentially the same thing, but manhua is used as a more domestic term for Chinese comics. These comics are also stirring attention for the Chinese’s own take on their comics. They have traditional, and even Superhero manhua.
And how about Malaysia, another Asian country filled with so many multi-racial influences, culture and color?
Malaysia has Boboiboy.
Boboiboy – Malaysia’s Take on Animation
Make no mistake, Malaysia can also keep up with the demands of Asian comics and animation movies. And they do this through Boboiboy!
Boboiboy first started out as an animated series for kids, way back in 2011. It was produced by the Malaysian Animonsta Studios! Its founders, Nizam Abdul Razak, Anas Abdul Aziz, and Dzubir Mohammed Zakaria, were also the core team in charge of creating Boboiboy.
Now, it can be safely said that Boboiboy Galaxy or Boboiboy 2 is Malaysia’s #1 Animated Movie.
What’s ‘Boboiboy’ About?
This movie was made as a sequel to the 1st Boboiboy movie, a proof of hunger for more BBB material. Boboiboy: The Movie was released on 3 March 2016, and was also released in neighboring countries Singapore and Indonesia on a later date (18 March and 13 April 2016 respectively).
It takes after where the show’s Season 3 left off, with our main character Boboiboy and his friends and their newly-obtained super-elemental-powers from an alien looking for, essentially, chocolate (cocoa to be exact).
Yeah, we know. The plot is wild. But it’s fun, and it’s well-loved by Malaysians of all ages.
Boboiboy Movie 2 or Boboiboy Galaxy
In Boboiboy Movie 2 or Boboiboy Galaxy, our main character and his gang of friends go into even larger territory: Space! In the sequel movie, they have to stop an alien villain called Retak’ka from conquering the galaxy. Sound familiar, Thanos?
Boboiboy Movie 2 (Galaxy)'s Animation Triumph
On its first 5 days alone, Boboiboy 2 grossed roughly RM9.9M or $3.27m.
This is a huge feat for an animated film! It was also the first Malaysian animated movie to be released in 5 countries simultaneously: Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and Vietnam.
According to CEO of Animonsta Studios and the Director and Producer of Boboiboy Movie 2, Nizam Abdul Razak:
“This shows that audiences in Malaysia have embraced and support local animation.”
It was no easy feat to create this movie either.
Hurdles and Hitches in Creating Superb Animation
Since this was an animated film, it required using technology that was not only overly-expensive, but quite hard to obtain as well.
BBBM2’s Production Team used Redshift, an “award-winning, production-ready GPU renderer for fast 3D rendering and is the world’s first fully GPU-accelerated biased renderer”.
In 2018, a year before BBBM2’s premiere date, it was hard to get your hands on Redshift as revealed by Nizam. But because of it, the movie took only 1 year to complete, by no easy means.
Boboiboy is Proof that Malaysia Has The Chops for Animation
If this means anything, it’s that Malaysia has the capability to make amazing animation films like Japan. Boboiboy’s fans range from children to even the middle-aged (25-30 years old, according to Nizam).
And mostly, the Boboiboy Franchise is proof that Malaysian culture will go on.
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