UPIN & IPIN - Malaysia’s Favourite Animated Twin Boys
Haji Burhanuddin Md Radzi was enjoying post retirement years playing golf for exercise when his wife, Hajjah Ainon Ariff suggested that he should do something more with his life. Inclined towards the arts, they wanted to produce a drama film together. However, their daughter persuaded them to invest in an animated film. She had three graduate friends from Multimedia University (MMU) who had ambitious plans to put their talents into producing animated films for Malaysians. It would cost a fair bit of money to invest in production facilities but Haji Burhanuddin agreed to put in the capital and give it a go. He said it was his last kopek in life. That last kopek paid off. (Last kopek means the last card you can take in a card game). Their company Les’ Copaque Production Sdn Bhd was formed and it has won more than 40 awards in the animation field for their Upin & Ipin series which was first aired in 2007. By 2017 their viewership for some episodes had exceeded 100 million!
Upin & Ipin were chosen as UNICEF Malaysia’s national ambassadors for children. They were chosen because they sent an important message in their own way that “real boys do not bully, hit or hurt girls.” Ipin would say his usual “betul, betul, betul” in response.
Hajjah Ainon is the creative writer and director behind the stories of Upin & Ipin which are set in an imaginary kampung where the twin orphan boys grew up with their grandmother and sister and a group of multi-ethnic friends. Ainon’s stories resonated well with Malaysians. What started as “kita buat suka-suka sahaja” has turned out to be way beyond her expectations. The Upin & Ipin series have also won a very large audience in Indonesia.
- The Jakarta Post. 14 March 2020. Ni Nyoman Wira. Malaysia’s Favorite TV Twins to visit Indonesia with “Upin & Ipin” musical. https://www.thejakartapost.com/life/2020/03/14/malaysias-favorite-tv-twins-to-visit-indonesia-with-upin-ipin-musical.html
- The Star Online. 14 November 2016. Angelin Yeoh. Upin and Ipin, tiny boys with a huge audience. https://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/entertainment/2016/11/14/upin-ipin-tiny-boys-with-a-huge-audience