BoBoiBoy Movie 2 opens next month in five countries simultaneously. Animonsta Studios

AFTER the release of BoBoiBoy The Movie in 2016, the production team at Animonsta Studios was back at the drawing board to prepare for its sequel. While the team had two and a half years to complete the first movie, now they only had 12 months to complete its prequel; this project began in 2017.

The first movie, which was produced at the cost of RM5 million, raked in RM18 million at the box office, with RM16 million coming from Malaysia alone. “Feeling motivated, we were back at the drawing board for the second movie in 2017 but we had to cut the production time to just one year,” the studios’ chief executive officer Nizam Abd Razak, who is also the director and writer of the film, explains.

He is speaking at the showing of the official trailer to the Press at Jaya Shopping Centre in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Imagine the pressure felt by everyone responsible for the film, not only was the working time halved, but there was also this expectation of an animation film which surpasses, or is at least on par, with the previous movie.

With a budget of RM7 million (an additional RM2 million in comparison with BoBoiBoy The Movie), the sequel promises its audiences more exciting visuals and animation quality to keep audiences engaged throughout its 110 minutes of adventure, science-fiction and comedy.

Through the upcoming film, Animonsta Studios may set a new benchmark for animation production in the country as it has employed techniques and technology most recently available in animation. Among these, the “red shift” technology.

Nizam adds that with the application of these new techniques, audiences will be able to enjoy animation with more detailed effects.

QUALITY ANIMATION

“The use of ‘red shift’ will allow a faster ‘rendering’ process, more than five to six times faster. While we used to do the ‘rendering’ via computer processing unit, this time we used graphic processing unit, which will have better colours too.

“We previously used this technique but only in the beta version. For this film, we’ve used this technique in full force,” says Nizam, who adds: “The added simulation helps create effects which are more realistic.”

Such effects can be seen on images such as in moving water, hair and leaves being blown by the wind.

“Sure, with the 12-month deadline, we had to pull out all the stops. While challenging, everyone in the team was ready to take this on, which was fun all the same,” says the film’s co-director Dzubir Mohammed Zakaria.

When the team began working on this film, everyone at the company stopped production on its TV series, BoBoiBoy Galaxy. (BoBoiboy Galaxy first aired in November 2016, after the original series BoBoiBoy, which premiered in 2011, ended after its third season in June 2016.)

Having tasted the sweet success of the first movie, he says everyone knows of the satisfaction that may be waiting for them at the end of the project, when the till box keeps ringing at the cinemas.

“We may have minimum resources and and a shorter time to work, but it was all left for us to manage so everyone was on the same page and work could be carried out within the time frame,” Dzubir’s colleague, animation director Yap Ee Jean, discloses.

Both Yap and Dzubir shared the responsibility in training and sharing the knowledge with the lead animators, who in turn disseminated the information amongst the team. They both agreed that the latest technology applied in the production of this film has also helped them cope with the shorter deadline.

While it had been challenging, Yap and Dzubir say that the journey the team went through in producing this new film was also a fun ride which they hope transpires in the final result when the film hits the big screen in August.

“It’s our blood, sweat and tears, you bet we’ll be proud to see it on screen when it finally opens next month,” shares Yap.

ROLE MODEL HERO

While this is a sequel, Nizam says he had been careful to create a story that can stand on its own, without new audiences having to watch the previous movie or the TV series.

“Besides, we also want to make the film one which can be enjoyed by everyone in the family, not just children,” Nizam adds.

In this film, BoBoiBoy and friends — Yaya, Ying, Gopal, Fang and Ochobot — are attacked by Retak’ka, a new villain in this franchise.

Apparently, Retak’ka is the original user of the Elemental Powers, the powers which allow BoBoiBoy to seperate into nine different “BoBoiBoys” with different powers. Retak’ka wants to take back his Elemental Powers from BoBoiBoy to conquer the galaxy. Naturally, our superhero BoBoiBoy and his friends must figure out a way to defeat Retak’ka and thus save the galaxy.

While this is entertainment, Nizam believes that it is his responsibility to inject values into the storyline.

“As the producer of BoBoiBoy Movie 2, instilling good values through the movie is what we hope to continue to achieve, with the inspirational superhero, BoBoiBoy, continuing to be a great role model for the young fans.”

As its soundtrack, this film features renowned singer Faizal Tahir singing Fire & Water. Nizam believes that the versatile entertainer, who is also known for his involvement in humanitarian missions, complements BoBoiBoy’s character.

The song, which Faizal co-wrote with Mike Chan, is filled with positive messages that emphasise confidence and encourage listeners to never give up.

“I feel honoured and humbled to be part of this film, one of the biggest phenomena in the local film industry,” says Faizal, who is 40 years old. “Who doesn’t know BoBoiBoy? My kids love to watch the show. Of course I’m proud to be singing its theme song.

He feels that the opportunity to sing the theme song for this popular animation character is a platform for him to approach the younger set of music listeners. “I honestly didn’t expect to be chosen by the production, seeing that I’m not that young anymore. At a time when younger singers seemed to be more marketable, I am still being given the opportunity to share my creativity with the younger generation.”

BOBOIBOY BEYOND BORDERS

When the film opens on Aug 8, it will be screened simultaneously in five countries — Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Vietnam.

Shares Nizam: “Having the greenlight to release this animation film in five countries simultaneously, ...of course we’re thrilled waiting for the opening day! The regional support we have received for the previous movie motivated us to continue to push for an even wider release of BoBoiBoy Movie 2.”

The first film, adds Nizam, had also been screened in 100 cinemas in South Korea. It also won Best Animated Feature Film award at the 28th Malaysian Film Festival. This time, Animonsta Studios have struck a deal with Astro Shaw as its distributor.

“We’re also excited as this is our first collaboration with Astro Shaw and it has always been been our aspiration to work with them, looking at its successes in the local film industry. We hope this collaboration will bring this film to greater success compared to its predecessor,” he says.

In relation to the inaugural partnership, Raja Jastina Arshad, the head of Astro Shaw & Nusantara says they are excited to strategically market this film, arguably one of the most highly-anticipated animations in cinema this year.

“We’re honoured that Animonsta Studios placed its confidence in us to market and distribute BoBoiBoy Movie 2. We have strategically carried out promotions using suitable assets and relevant platforms to reach as many in our target audience as possible.

“Additionally, we’re planning a nationwide tour to bring BoBoiBoy and friends to meet young fans who’re looking forward to BoBoiBoy Movie 2. We previously collaborated with Animonsta Studios through Astro Go Shop to offer promotions for BoBoiBoy Galaxy merchandise,” she elaborates.

Meanwhile, the film’s full teaser which was released end of last month has already garnered more than three million views. It even seemed to impress South Korean YouTubers SG Wannabe, whose video has been viewed close to 50,000 times since uploaded on July 4.

Boboiboy Movie 2 opens in cinemas on Aug 8.