This year’s Merdeka is extra special with the return of the Merdeka Parade after two years. While some of us may be excited to watch the parade and wave the Jalur Gemilang in person at Dataran Merdeka, there are also the couch potatoes would like to take the opportunity to stay in and take a mid-week break instead.
In lieu of our national day, we’re shining the spotlight on several talented Anak Malaysia who have created an impact in the global and local animation industry. From award-winning series to tear-jerking movies, these Malaysians fly our flag high on the global stage. Here are some titles to add to your Merdeka watchlist:
1. Muhammad Usamah Zaid Yasin, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wau Animation
Malaysia’s pride, Ejen Ali has become a household name and a fan favourite, especially for the WAUriors. Usamah Zaid is the main visionary and creator behind the multiple award-winning animated franchise. The show’s third season premiered exclusively on Disney+ Hotstar in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand and continues to be a highly-popular series in Malaysia.
Catch up on “Ejen Ali” Seasons 1, 2, and 3 (Part One), “Ejen Ali The Movie”, “Ejen Ali: Misi Juang”, and be ready for more excitement as “Ejen Ali” Season 3 (Part Two) continues after Rizwan’s surprise appearance during the chaos at the Cyberjaya Science Centre. Part Two is set to premiere on Disney+ Hotstar this December.
2. Lyon Liew, Simulation Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios
Born in Melaka, Lyon Liew has worked on multiple animations including the much-loved “Turning Red”. With a keen eye for detail, Lyon led his team in bringing Mei’s character to life by making her clothes, hair, props, and giant red panda fur move realistically. His passion for visual storytelling truly puts Asian aesthetics and culture on the screen and the global stage. Feast your eyes on his incredible work in “Luca”, “Incredibles 2”, and “Coco”.
3. Kiki Poh Mei Kee, Technical Director at Pixar Animation Studios
As the first Malaysian Pixar animator to specialise in shading and grooming, Kiki Poh is an inspiration to young Malaysians who aspire to become great animators. Kiki meticulously works her shading artistry on surface textures and colours of characters. With over ten years of experience, she has worked on some of the most ambitious and award-winning animated features, such as “Luca”, “Onward”, “Cars 3”, “Finding Dory”, and “Inside Out”.
4. Andrea Goh Siau Wei, Layout (Camera & Staging) Lead at Pixar Animation Studios
Andrea Goh is a layout artist at Pixar Animation Studios. One of her biggest accomplishments is taking on the production of Disney-Pixar’s “Toy Story 4”. Andrea is also a skilled filmmaker and technical director who is multifaceted as she dabbles in other animation mediums such as modelling, sculpting, and more. With her diverse talents, her versatility is displayed in animation stories such as “Incredibles 2”, “Coco”, and “Cars 3”.
5. Alvin Wee, Music Mixer, Recording Engineer and Music Producer
Sarawakian Alvin Wee is the first Malaysian to win the Outstanding Achievement Award in Sound Mixing, having worked on “Encanto’s” chart-topping soundtrack. His work on “Encanto” also gave him the opportunity to win the prestigious Career Achievement Award for sound mixing by the Cinema Audio Society. The soundtrack’s beautiful composition has moved global audiences, earning the film three Academy Award nominations.
Read more about him here.
6. Adele Lim, Screenwriter
Adele Lim has a successful career in American TV and is well-known for her representation of Asian culture in her screenwriting. The animated film “Raya and The Last Dragon“, which features Disney’s first ever Southeast-Asian princess, demonstrates Adele’s capabilities in presenting Asian culture authentically.
Celebrate Merdeka week with our Anak Malaysia who contributed to these amazing shows on Disney+ Hotstar.
7. “Cinta Buat Dara”
Starring Syafiq Kyle and Riena Diana, “Cinta Buat Dara” illustrates the heartwarming budding romance between an aspiring musician Hariz and city girl Dara. Hariz’s father Harun runs a grocery shop in Kuala Selangor. He falls ill one day, forcing Hariz to take over. During Harun’s absence, Hariz hires Dara who was sent to her hometown to learn how to be more ladylike from her famous aunt Kak Ros – a former Ms. Kebaya Champion. Hariz and Dara slowly get to know each other through work and secretly fall for each other. However, tension arises when Hariz’s old friend Atirah gets in the way.
8. “Berita Latah”
Ever wondered how chaotic newscasts will be if it’s hosted by anchors with ‘melatah’ personalities? Join in the mayhem and laugh your head off as PS Mansur, Ieda Moin, Din Latah, Wanie Ooi, Pok Jak and Nadya Syahira present to you Berita Latah. Each celebrity plays the newscaster for different segments of the Berita Latah news. Disclaimer – every episode features fictional news stories created purely for your entertainment!
These funtabulous titles are available to watch on the iQIYI.