Entertainment

They’re Spending RM3mil To Create An Animated TV Series Inspired By Their Own Cats

For creatives, inspiration really can come from anywhere.

Karimah, Managing Director of Animatic Studios told us that their newest and first intellectual property (IP) ever, Cubic Cats, was inspired by the bizarre behaviours of their very own cats.

Cubic Cats was originally an idea for MDEC’s Intellectual Property Creator’s Challenge (IPCC) in 2017.

After it won in one of the animation series categories, the team launched social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram to kickstart the brand.

They began posting a weekly comic series and short animation clips that highlight the friendship between 4 cats called Bubu, Atati, Chey Chey, and Juju, and their owner, Kak Ti.

What the series looks like / Image Credit: Animatic Studios

These have all been well-received by their followers, and they even caught the eyes of big companies like Jaya Shopping Centre, Hai Meow magazine, Royal Canin and Powercat for collaborations.

Now, Animatic Studios is in the midst of turning Cubic Cats into a full animated series of 50 short 3-minute episodes for television.

Cats Behind The Creativity

If you’ve ever owned a cat or just lived with one, you’d know just how expressive these furry little creatures can be.

They all have such distinct personalities too, and they make it known.

You can call their names for hours and be ignored, and sometimes they’ll stare into space at nothing in particular for a while, which can be creepy when it happens at night and you’re alone with them.

There’s never a dull moment with a cat around, and these experiences are where Cubic Cats draws its inspiration from.

“We are huge cat lovers, both my brother and I have 5 cats,” Karimah shared, adding that they usually brought 3 of them to the office, and that their team members have cats of their own too.

The muses hard at work in the studio / Image Credit: Animatic Studios

“All the content we’ve created are based on our experience living with cats. We create stories from the cats’ behaviour and add a little twist to make the stories unexpected.”

She shared an example of their recent animation. In it, Bubu accidentally pulled a computer plug while running. This was taken from an actual occurrence about a month ago.

“We were busy chasing deadlines, making sure every single thing is on track, and then bam! All of the computer screens went black,” Karimah recalled.

“We lost all of our work and when we looked under the table, the cats were just meowing. We sincerely hope the meows meant ‘we’re sorry’ as we had to restart everything from scratch. Nevertheless, everything went well, but it was definitely a heart attack moment for us.”

The cats being very helpful while spending the day in the studio / Image Credit: Animatic Studios

By keeping the episodes short and the plots simple and entertaining, Animatic Studios is aiming to draw the attention of children aged 7 and older.

Being A Creative In Malaysia

The total budget allocated for the Cubic Cats animated series is RM3 million, and the team aims to launch it by the end of 2021.

The actual animators hard at work on a scene / Image Credit: Animatic Studios

As I’m of the assumption that the underappreciated creative industry in Malaysia struggles to rake in cash (aside from a few titles that make it global), I wanted to actually know if it was a profitable business.

Karimah replied positively.

We could see that the demands in the creative business are increasing year by year in Malaysia. The creative business is a promising industry and it is borderless. It could go from designing attires to creating games.

Karimah Rahman, co-founder and Managing Director of Animatic Studios

However, there are still struggles to overcome before it can fully flourish. To start, mindsets have to change.

People assume that creative work is often easy, but there are countless stages to it which require time and capital too.

“Unfortunately, most clients don’t get this part. They would go for a cheaper price which limits the creativity, as creators can’t produce high-quality video on a cheap budget,” Karimah said.

“To overcome this, we believe that the industry needs to start having price guidelines. This way, clients will know what to expect for the output and the creators’ creativity is limitless.”

Opportunities Beyond The TV Screen

One opportunity for the industry’s growth that Karimah sees lies in the fact that animations are no longer made just for TV.

They can be found on various social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Tik Tok too.

“Not only that, but we could also see the rise in animation as a marketing tool, using animation as a unique selling point,” she shared.

“For Cubic Cats, even though we aren’t on any TV platform yet, most of our sponsors approached us because of the animation. Thus, there is no doubt that this industry is a growing market filled with endless opportunities.”

The Animatic Studios team / Image Credit: Animatic Studios

While Animatic Studios usually provides motion graphics, visual effects, branding, 2D and 3D animation services, Karimah confidently shared that Cubic Cats will not be their only IP.

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of the successful creators behind IPs like Upin & Ipin, Chuck Chicken, BoBoiBoy, Didi & Friends, and Ejen Ali, Animatic Studios wants to grow Cubic Cats locally and internationally too.

  • You can learn more about Cubic Cats here.
  • You can read more animation-related articles we’ve written here.

Featured Image Credit: Animatic Studios

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