Malaysian Cartoons: Lat’s Kampung Boy Or Upin & Ipin And Geng Is Better?

These days when Malaysians mention Malaysian cartoons and cartoon animation, do they mainly refer to Datuk Lat’s work or Les’Copaque’s Upin & Ipin and Geng?
Malaysian cartoons Lat Upin & Ipin
Lat or Mohammad Nor Khalid is more notably known for his graphic novel “The Kampung Boy“. Personally I think that is his best work so far. According to Lat, the first printing of 60,000 to 70,000 copies were sold out within four months of the book’s release.

His earlier work “Scenes of Malaysian Life” published in New Straits Times were impressive too. But his later and current cartoons, for instance the very present work commissioned by Tenaga Nasional Berhad on saving electricity campaign, lacks wit. The cartoons are merely illustrations.I find that Datuk Lat’s work resonates readily with the baby-boomers, but not so with the current younger Malaysians of all races, who are more into Upin & Ipin stuff. Even many non-Malay kids and teenagers know and love the lovable cartoon characters Upin & Ipin and friends.

Lat kampung Boy cartoon

Upin & Ipin started off an a TV series of animated shorts in 2007. And Upin & Ipin Dan Kawan TV series has gone leaps and bounds; even has gone international via Disney Chanel Asia in 2009.

The season two was on air on Ramadan since on 1 September 2008, it was reportedly watched by 1.5 million on TV9 making it the second most-watched animated series on all of Malaysian television, after Doraemon. Betul tak? Betul…betul…betul…!!!

Remember¬† Lat’s 26-episode animated “Kampung Boy” which was aired over Astro in 1997? It won an Annecy Award in France and the series was distributed to 60 other countries such as Canada and Germany.

It was said that this animated “Kampung Boy” was popular with the young and received positive reviews for technical details and content.

Then why nobody is interested in continuing this award-winning animation project by an award-winning Malaysia cartoonist Datuk Lat?¬† Why stop at 26 episodes? Is it because no one is interested in financing, or is it there is no demand for Lat’s work in today’s market?

The blockbuster “Geng: The Adventure Begins” collected RM6.31 million during its seven-week run in Malaysian cinemas.

Upin & Ipin Geng: The Adventure Begins

What if we make a full-length 3-D animated feature based on Lat’s “Kampung Boy”? Can it out-gross Upin & Ipin’s “Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula“?

After all Lat’s work and his name alone is more established than the twin botak head (bald headed) brothers, Upin and Ipin. Betul tak? …Mmm…..???!!!

If nobody is interested in turning Datuk Lat’s cartoons into a blockbuster animated movie at the moment, never mind. I heard that stand-up comedian Harith Iskandar is in the midst of transforming Lat Kampung Boy Musical into a movie. Let’s hope he can do much better than Farid Kamil’s action-comedy “Kongsi”¬† (I heard Kongsi collected RM7 million in just 7 days!)

Comments are closed.