Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal, the Malaysian film helmed by Ahmad Razuri Roseli, Adam Amiruddin and Syed Nurfaiz Khalid was released in cinemas this past March to tremendous widespread reception in the country. The film grossed over RM 26 million at the Malaysian box office, making it the highest-grossing film of 2019 so far. To put things into perspective, it raked in more money than Misteri Dilaila (RM 9.4 million), Bikers Kental 2 (RM 7.6 million) and Sangkar (final numbers not out yet, but it reportedly made RM 12 million in 3 weeks). The film garnered decent reviews from critics as well, most of whom praised the film’s interesting premise and pretty good animation but criticized the voice acting.
What I think nobody saw coming, though, is that Malaysia has submitted Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal to be considered for a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category at the 2020 Oscars. Interestingly enough, the Best Animated Feature category reached a record high this year with a whopping 32 films submitted from all around the world. Among these 32 submissions, only five films will receive Oscar nominations. Hot favourites are Frozen II, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Toy Story 4, the critically acclaimed Chinese film, Ne Zha and Japanese film Weathering With You.
The submitted features are listed below in alphabetical order (via Oscars.org):
- The Addams Family
- The Angry Birds Movie 2
- Another Day of Life
- Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
- Children of the Sea
- Dilili in Paris
- Frozen II
- Genndy Tartakovsky’s ‘Primal’ – Tales of Savagery
- How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
- I Lost My Body
- The Last Fiction
- The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
- Marona’s Fantastic Tale
- Missing Link
- Ne Zha
- Okko’s Inn
- The Secret Life of Pets 2
- Spies in Disguise
- The Swallows of Kabul
- This Magnificent Cake!
- The Tower
- Toy Story 4
- Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris (Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal)
- Weathering with You
- White Snake
Several of the films, including Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal, have yet to fulfil the required Los Angeles seven-day qualifying run — films must be released in certain LA theatres for at least seven days before it can be considered for nomination.
This has turned out to be a pretty big year for Malaysian cinema, as its the first time in history that we have submitted not one, but two films to be considered for the Oscars. Last week, we reported that Malaysia has also submitted M For Malaysia to be considered for a nomination in the Best International Film category. This marks only the sixth film Malaysia has ever submitted to the Oscars for nomination consideration.