Upin & Ipin movie nets RM25m, bags international award

Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal has been chosen as the winner of the Montreal International Animated Film Festival 2019 (Animaze) in the Feature Film category

By NUR HAZIQAH A MALEK / Pic By BERNAMA

AFTER earning the second-most in ticket sales, the cinematic adventure “Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal” was named Best Feature Film at the Montreal International Animated Film Festival 2019 in Montreal, Canada.

Producers posted on the Upin & Ipin official Instagram account (@upinipinofficial) on Tuesday: “Thank you! Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal has been chosen as the winner of the Montreal International Animated Film Festival 2019 (Animaze) in the Feature Film category.”

A total of 65 countries entered their animated film titles at the annual festival this year.

Internet Movie Database, one of the world’s most popular sources for movie, televison and celebrity content, gave Keris Siamang Tunggal a 9.6/10 rating, which took over Paskal’s 8.8/10.

The twins’ fourth feature film premiered on March 21 has since chalked up RM25 million in ticket sales within three weeks.

With a budget of RM20 million, the movie tells the story of Upin, Ipin and their friends finding a magical kris, which takes them to a fictional location filled with characters from a Malay folklore, titled the Inderaloka. There, they embark on an adventure of saving the kingdom from an evil king.

The previous animated film to hold the record in the cinemas was The Incredibles 2, which collected approximately RM21.7 million locally within three months.

Despite falling behind the BoBoiBoy Movie 2 in terms of earnings (with a collection of RM27.7 million in 26 days), Upin & Ipin received further international recognition.

According to Inc.com contributing editor Geoffrey James, the company behind the movie, Les’ Copaque Production Sdn Bhd is becoming the Disney of South-East Asia, by not imitating Disney.

“One reason behind Les’ Copaque’s success is that they fit their content into the region’s comparatively conservative culture.

“For example, they’re currently working on a princess-themed feature film where the five princesses (gasp!) aren’t half-naked. Brilliant!” he wrote in his article “Disney Dominates a US$250b Market But These Start-ups May Be the Future” on the website.

In the article published on Sept 7, 2019, he commended the Malaysian studio for not emulating the business model of big animation studios — all located in the US — who tend to farm out the actual animation to vendors around the world where the work can be done more cheaply.

“Instead, Les’ Copaque elected to create its unique intellectual property based on traditional Malaysian mythology, but told in an energetic, child-friendly way,” he said.