Almost all Malaysians are aware of the nation’s most lovable animated icons, Upin and Ipin. Aside from reexperiencing the nostalgic kampong life adventures through the twin’s daily life, the cartoon series also encourages moral values while promoting the local culture.
That being said, the creator of the pair, Haji Burhanuddin Md Radzi shares that before establishing Les Copaque Production, he was in an entirely different career path. “I was working in the Oil and Gas industry. However, my wife and I wanted to do something different to fill up our time before going into a full retirement. She then suggested that we should step into the film business. And taking inspirations from how Disney runs its business, I wanted to try it out too,” says Burhanuddin.
When asked about the origins of the catchy company name, Burhanuddin explains that Les Copaque comes from the Malay term ‘last kopek’. “When you pull the last card in a card game, you’ll be putting all your hopes onto that one final card. But in order to give it a global twist, I’ve changed its spelling to make it sound like a French Word. Thus, Les Copaque.”
Since its debut in 2007, Upin & Ipin has become a household name and managed to maintain its strong presence up until now. “We are well established and have successfully built the business to generate a sustainable stream of income. It is an expensive business to pursue, and thankfully we’ve managed to strive over the years,” says Burhanuddin. “Even though Upin & Ipin has its own distinct style and not many can emulate it, we’re still constantly improving our technical capabilities as well as conducting researches on what is expected from us by the followers,” he adds with a determined smile.
A veteran in the animation industry, Burhanuddin highlights that improvements can be done for the industry. “Apart from us, not many studios are capable of creating a product that can generate an income and that is something we should be focusing on. Most of the studios mushrooming for the last few years are due to the government grants. Unfortunately, it is no longer available and they must learn how to grow their business through other means.”