Friday March 18, 2011
BoBoiBoy: New 3D animation series
By SZETO YAN WENG
Everyone needs a superhero, but some come in the most unlikeliest of guises, like the bunch in the new 3D animation series BoBoiBoy.
FOLLOWING the runaway success of Upin & Ipin, director Mohd Nizam Abdul Razak (better known as Nizam), has exhibited that the best is yet to come. BoBoiBoy, which made its debut on TV3 last week, is a new 3D animation series from part of the team behind Upin & Ipin as well as Geng: The Adventure Begins.
“We realised that Malaysians still do not have a child superhero icon. That’s when we got the idea to introduce BoBoiBoy,” said the director, when asked why he picked a superhero kid concept for his animation. He added that he felt “the concept itself would easily be accepted as long as the storyline is good.”
Nizam explained that each episode would be different, with the heroes – four in total – exploring their individual powers.
BoBoiBoy revolves around the life and adventures of four individuals: BoBoiBoy, Yaya, Gopal and Ying. BoBoiBoy, a regular 10-year-old, has the ability to control the elements – earth, wind and lightning – for a limited time.
Despite his superhero status, he remains down to earth and enjoys life’s simple pleasures such as football and watching cartoons, and helps out at his grandpa Tok Abah’s coffee shop. Like every other 10-year-old boy, BoBoiBoy has a strong mischievous streak and likes to play pranks on his friends.
However, he barely bats an eyelid when the time comes for him to protect his friends and family from harm. Yaya, a fellow 10-year-old, has powers similar to Superman, except for that lil ol’ green Kryptonite weakness of his. Instead, her character amplifies Superman’s other weakness – kindness.
She reserves her superhuman strength and flight, only using them in times of need.
Gopal, who is the eldest of the group (only physically), is BoBoiBoy’s best friend. His role in the TV show is like that of Jar Jar Binks in the Star Wars prequels – comic relief. His powers are somewhat unique in the sense that, though he has the power of molecular manipulation, he is only able to change things into his undying love – food. Although Gopal is the biggest in the group, he’s nowhere near the size of Giant in Doraemon. Even though he’s slightly sheepish and timid, he has no qualms standing his ground when his friends are in danger.
Ying is the youngest of the group and has the ability to achieve superspeed. Although she is extremely shy, she becomes quite the opposite when she switches into her superhero outfit. Her power, strangely activates (and deactivates) when she sneezes. Also, she doesn’t wear glasses when she dons her superhero outfit, posing a slight problem.
Ultimately, they defend Earth’s cocoa supply from the evil Adudu and his many henchmen, with often hilarious results.
The opening theme of BoBoiBoy, sung by Yuri Wong is mind-blowing (Think Biker Mice From Mars and SWAT Kats). The brand of humour in BoBoiBoy has a very local feel and it brings back memories of Keluang Man and Tiong Man. (The funniest things about the Keluang Man and Tiong Man series were the characters’ local accents.)
Television stations from overseas (not just South-East Asia) have shown interest in broadcasting this series because of its potential. Nizam revealed that the series would not contain violence.
“It will be more slapstick action, like crashing into things,” he informed, adding that the action scenes will be unlike those of other famous cartoons (Ben 10, Dragonball). The English version of the programme is slated to make its debut on Disney Channel in June.
Production on BoBoiBoy began last year, with Nizam overseeing a creative team of 27. Nizam revealed that the current amount of money used to produce the series was RM2.6mil for a total of 13 episodes.
If you enjoyed the entertainment content of Upin & Ipin, prepare to be blown away by the fascinating story of BoBoiBoy. In fact, a movie has already been considered. Even for the sceptics, this series will be quick to change your mind.
Catch BoBoiBoy every Sunday at 7pm on TV3.