With Malaysia’s animation industry growing at a healthy pace, the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) — a government-owned corporation established to facilitate MSC Malaysia’s information and communications technology markets — is looking at next week’s Mipcom as a vehicle for highlighting its efforts in supporting the animation and special effects industries in Malaysia.
‘This year’s Mipcom will see the largest ever Malaysian delegation, including 23 MSC Malaysia companies and more than 100 properties to the market, of which 70% are kids properties,’ says Kamil Othman, VP for the Creative Multimedia Department, MDeC. Othman attributes a skilled and multilingual talent pool, government support, state-of-the-art infrastructure and low production costs to Malaysia’s rise as a key player in the international media market.
With the goal of increasing the number of made-in-Malaysia animated projects available for sale, MDeC will be bringing to market a series of properties including Pet Squad, a co-production between Inspidea (Malaysia), Darrall Macqueen (UK) and March Entertainment (Canada) that has already been acquired by CBBC in the UK, with Sony Pictures Television handling the distribution rights worldwide (excluding the UK, Malaysia and Canada). Additional properties include Saladin, an original animated 3-D co-production between MDeC and Al Jazeera Children’s Channel (JCC), Fleabag!, a co-production between Vision Animation (Malaysia) and Moody Street Kids (Australia), Robot ARPO, a 3-D co-production between Centraline Animation (Malaysia), ToonZip Animation (Korea) and Connectoon (Italy), Balla Bowl, a co-production between Animasia Studio (Malaysia) and Cartoon Network Asia, EORI Story, a preschool property co-produced by Ed-Online (Malaysia) and NHC Media (Korea) and Kung Fu Chicken, a co-production between Animasia Studios (Malaysia) and Agogo International (Hong Kong).
In addition to sales and distribution deals, MDeC aims to secure deals for at least seven new animated co-productions at this year’s market. It has also submitted 14 animation co-productions to MIP Junior, which include Saladin: TV Series (MDeC/Al Jazeera Children’s), Chummy & Champ (BigBeak Pictures) and Naughty Dino (Cartoon4Kids).
Looking beyond Cannes, Othman notes that several Malaysian-based studios, including Les Copaque Production, Animasia Studio, Backbone Entertainment and Young Jump Animation, are also developing their own educational schemes incorporating animation training programmes to help improve productivity and the training of more local talent to master animation skills.