Upin & Ipin, Popular Cultural Ambassadors from Malaysia
Upin & Ipin – an animated series which revolves around five-year-old twins who live with their grandmother Opah and sister, Kak Ros, in a kampung, is a well-loved series that’s now part of Malaysian pop culture.
The twins’ catchphrase; “Betul, betul, betul!” has now made the series as an established Malaysian animated brand that reaches some 300 million people.
This is remarkable, considering that the award-winning animated series is produced by a small, independent animation company that was set up in December 2005.
The success of the show lies in the simplicity of its concept, which managed to strike a chord with Malaysian parents who find the show to be relatable and informative.
Over the years, the series expanded to more than 200 episode with new characters, different adventures, plenty of music videos and even a musical.
Mandarin and English-dubbed versions of Upin & Ipin were made for the international market and the series subsequently became a Disney Channel Asia staple.
In 2009, Upin and Ipin ventured to the big screen with Geng: Pengembaraan Bermula, a RM4 million animated film produced by Les’ Copaque Production. The film made RM6 million at the local box office, as reported by The Jakarta Post.
In 2016, the cheeky boys appear in another film titled Upin & Ipin Jeng Jeng Jeng – a live-action feature, co-directed by Ainon Ariff (Les’ Copaque creative content director) and Erma Fatima, a famous female Malaysian director who shot the live action sequences.
In short, following are information that elaborates the success of this popular characters:
1. The 2016 family film is a collaborative project between two of the Malaysia's studio giants, Les’ Copaque and KRU Studios. The two studios have distributed the film to 32 countries in the Middle East.
2. After Les’ Copaque Production launched the short five-minute Upin & Ipin clips featuring Upin and Ipin in 2007, the series has gone on to become television series screened in 17 countries.
3. According to The Star Online, it was the first fully produced Malaysian animated series that was picked up by Disney Channel Asia and Televisi Pendidikan Indonesia.
4. Upin & Ipin's YouTube presence has made it accessible to fans in countries as far as Uzbekistan.
5. The brand’s popularity was leveraged by setting up LC Merchandising Sdn Bhd, in 2009, producing licensed goods bearing the imprint of Upin & Ipin This includes stationery, comics, toys, DVDs, books, household goods, tumblers, and chocolate and candies.
6. The company also opened Geng’s Corner, a themed fast food restaurant chain, which now has 15 branches.
7. Les’Copaque is also working on plans for a Upin & Ipin theme park, expected to cost some RM700 million, if it the plans work out, as stated in The Star Online reports dated Dec 24, 2014.
8. UNICEF Malaysia had officially named Upin and Ipin as National Ambassadors for children in 2013. The twins first initiative for UNICEF was meant for a public service announcement (PSA) on violence against girls, calling on boys to respect, love and care for the girls and women in their lives."
Not surprisingly, Upin & Ipin appealed to children the most, don't you think?
Source : The Jakarta Post, The Star Online