Bringing Life and Laughter into the Supernatural, the Malaysian Way @ Limkokwing University of Creative Technology

Bringing Life and Laughter into the Supernatural, the Malaysian Way

13 October 2023

  • Bringing Life and Laughter into the Supernatural, the Malaysian Way
  • Bringing Life and Laughter into the Supernatural, the Malaysian Way
    From Right: Ts. Mahadhir Aziz (CEO of MDEC), YB Tuan Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (Non-Executive Chairman of MDEC), YBHG Datuk Mohamad Fauzi bin Md Isa (Secretary General of KKD)
  • Bringing Life and Laughter into the Supernatural, the Malaysian Way
  • Bringing Life and Laughter into the Supernatural, the Malaysian Way

In animation, imagination reigns supreme. Emerging with a comedic spectacle grounded in local folklore is "Kisah Bawah Tanah," birthed from the creative collaboration of Spaceboys Studios and Animasia Studio. This animated comedy series, with a distinctive Malaysian flavour, aligns itself with the spirit of Cartoon Network’s Regular Show but with a cultural resonance that hits closer to home.

Amid the captivating backdrop of Southeast Asian supernatural folklore, Kisah Bawah Tanah weaves the trials and tribulations of adolescence into the humorous escapades of two teenage undead skeleton buddies, Zack and Sam. The narrative ingeniously captures the essence of growing up, drawing laughter and relatability from audiences aged 13 and beyond, a stark departure from Malaysia’s traditionally child-centric animation.

The Malaysian Digital Content Festival 2023 became the vanguard platform where Kisah Bawah Tanah unveiled its symphony of folklore and humour. The show’s premiere didn’t just engage the audiences but promised a voyage into the ancient and mystical, coupled with a contemporary comedic twist.

The inception of Kisah Bawah Tanah trails back to 2018 when it clinched victory in the Intellectual Property Creators Challenge (IPCC). The accolade didn’t just herald recognition but ushered in a coalition with the Malaysian Digital Economy Corporation. This alliance catapulted the franchise to glorious heights, including the laudable Malaysian Silver Award at the Tokyo Broadcasting Station’s DigiCON6 Asia Awards.

Arzuan Anuar (Alet) and Hendra Wardi, the masterminds behind this venture, hail from the tranquil towns of Sungai Petani and Ipoh, respectively. Their camaraderie, forged during their student days at Limkokwing University, evolved into a multimedia enterprise that now stands at the cusp of redefining Malaysian animation.

“Our journey wasn’t just from conceptualisation to realisation, but a testament to collaborative endeavour,” shares Alet, emphasising the quintessence of collaboration that extends beyond local entities to international horizons.

As Kisah Bawah Tanah unfurls its narrative, the creators harbour ambitions that transcend the virtual realm. The envisioned diversified brand encompasses TikTok micro shorts, webcomics, music, and merchandise. This endeavour is not merely a pursuit of entertainment but a significant stride towards job creation in Malaysia’s flourishing animation sector.

Drawing from their foundational knowledge in animation from Limkokwing University, Alet and Hendra transitioned their expertise into storytelling, the cornerstone of Kisah Bawah Tanah. “What we did pick up was how to tell stories, how to structure a story, how to make entertaining content,” Hendra recounts, reflecting on their academic journey that equipped them with a timeless asset of storytelling. Their narrative doesn’t just resonate with audiences but serves as a torchbearer for budding animators and storytellers in Malaysia and beyond.

Their venture boldly steps beyond the conventional, carving a niche where Southeast Asian folklore takes the spotlight. It’s a robust assertion of cultural richness, offering a vibrant blend of laughter, lessons, and lore. “We see this as an IP so we can venture into gamification, comics, merchandise,” Hendra elaborates on the holistic vision of Kisah Bawah Tanah, which envisions an ecosystem, not just a cartoon series.

The journey, as Alet and Hendra would concur, isn’t devoid of hurdles, but the vision of Kisah Bawah Tanah is robust, the resolve steadfast. With the backing of local investors and a burgeoning audience base, the show is not merely a ripple in the vast ocean of animation but a burgeoning wave of Malaysian storytelling, ready to grace the global stage.

Kisah Bawah Tanah’s narrative transcends the amusing antics of two undead teenagers, encapsulating a tale of passion, perseverance, and the indomitable spirit of Malaysian creative genius. Through layers of humour and the nostalgic allure of folklore, Kisah Bawah Tanah is not just an animated series; it’s a vibrant narrative in Malaysia’s creative saga.

Stay updated on Kisah Bawah Tanah’s journey through their official website and Instagram page.

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