Kampung Boy, hillbilly lifestyle, Malaysian style.
Set in a rural "kampung" (village) in Malaysia, Kampung Boy is a two-season animated series about a young Malaysian boy, "Mat" (pronounced as "Mutt") and his two boy-buddies "Tak" (pronounced as "Tuck") and "Bo". Mat is a naive and somewhat mischievous boy, while Bo is the bright one and Tak, well, a self-proclaimed genius.
Mat lives with a younger sister, Ana and his parents Yob (dad) and Yah (mom). Opah is Mat's superwoman paternal grandmother, always at hand to offer good words of wisdom. Opah has a close friend in Pak Din, a village elder who is also grandfather to Mat's heart-throb, Normah.
Yob (Mat's dad) is a half-baked inventor, conjuring up devices which are neither necessary nor worthy of any use. Yah, his wife however, is a well-mannered, calm and motherly woman, always seeing the foolishness of her husband as something neither harmful nor tolerable! The series begins with Normah, Pak Din's orphaned granddaughter, moving to the kampung to live with him. Up till then, Normah was a city girl much used to the modernity of life only found in big cities. Moving to the rural kampung means a lot of getting used to the laid-back, unsophisticated and "hillbilly" lifestyle. She fitted in awkwardly, but with the help of Mat, Ana, Bo and Tak, she soon blended in. Pay special attention to Mrs. Hew, the children's school teacher She's hilarious! Kampung Boy showcases lots of real-life ups-and-downs of rural lifestyle in the typical kampung. Dato' Lat, the creator of Kampung Boy, is a very popular cartoonist in Malaysia. His comics appear regularly in Malaysian newspapers, always poking fun at Malaysians, the Malaysian attitude and plain everyday life in Malaysia.
Politicians are always the target of his jest, but he does it in such cheeky way that gains him admiration, love and respect instead of hatred and ill-feelings.
I had the golden opportunity of working with Dato' Lat, Michael Geisler and Frank Saperstein on this project, and I must say it was the least painful experience albeit sleepless nights and countless change of plans.
Viewers who like Kampung Boy would also like Dato' Lat's print comics, easily obtainable from any Malaysian bookstores. Kampung Boy the TV series was shown on Nickelodeon in Asia. It was also dubbed into Bahasa Malaysia (the Malaysian national language) and Cantonese (for airing over Malaysia's ASTRO).
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