It's one thing to see your favourite cartoon characters on screen and in the pages of comic books, but what about experiencing them within a real-life attraction in a theme park? Now, that’s a goal for all fanboys out there.
Fans of BoBoiBoy will soon get to tick that off their bucket list. The adolescent superhero will be getting his own “home” at the upcoming RM450mil Movie Animation Park Studios (MAPS) in Meru Jaya, Perak. The first animation theme park in South-East Asia is expected to be completed by the first quarter of next year.
The inclusion of BoBoiBoy at MAPS means that visitors will be able to immerse themselves in exciting activities based on the series. Visitors will get to see BoBoiBoy come to life in an exclusive 4D adventure film which will only be available for viewing at the theme park.
There’s also the BoBoiBoy Animation & Sound FX, a special attraction that lets kids experience what it feels like to be a superhero through the use of 3D animation technology. And, of course, one can’t possibly omit the significance of Tok Aba’s Kokotiam, which is to the animated series what Central Park was to the hit sitcom Friends.
In BoBoiBoy, the cocoa shop is owned by our young hero’s grandfather Tok Aba and is touted to have the best cocoa beverage in the world. Fans will finally be able to enjoy the famed drink once Tok Aba’s Kokotiam opens at MAPS. It will serve a range of BoBoiBoy food and beverages.
“With the inclusion of BoBoiBoy to MAPS Perak, it would be an enormous pull factor as it is an animation which most Malaysian children can relate to,” says RSG MAPS chief executive officer Ramelle Ramli. The company owns 51% of the park.
Ramelle is certainly spot-on about the excitement of young fans. Since its introduction in 2011, the series has gained much popularity among young and young-at-heart viewers.
Produced by Cyberjaya-based animation content developer Animonsta Studios, the series follows the adventures of BoBoiBoy who has the ability to separate into three elemental clones. Each episode revolves around the young boy and his friends – Ying, Yaya, Gopal and Fang – as they protect mankind from intergalactic threats aiming to conquer Earth.
BoBoiBoy’s sci-fi premise has that global appeal and the series’ inclusion at MAPS will enhance that appeal.
“BoBoiBoy will now be placed alongside internationally renowned franchise characters from one of the world’s leading animation studios, DreamWorks Animation, which is based in Los Angeles,” says Animation Theme Park chief executive officer Darren McLean. The company is the developer of the upcoming theme park.
At MAPS, BoBoiBoy will be joining other beloved characters from Mr Peabody & Sherman, Mega-mind, The Croods, Casper The Friendly Ghost and The Smurfs.
“It’s such an overwhelming experience but we are really excited,” says Nizam Razak, the creator of BoBoiBoy, referring to the partnership with the theme park.
“When we first started, we had no idea that BoBoiBoy would be this successful. Our vision was to create something that is popular around the globe. We targeted that, but we never thought it would lead to a theme park,” he adds.
Nizam, who is also Animonsta Studios chief executive officer, is also excited for the chance to develop a special storyline for the series’ attraction at the theme park.
In the 10-minute 4D adventure film, our young characters stumble on a ruin where aliens are developing technology. Nizam invites fans to find out more when the attraction opens.
He credits this significant feather in BoBoiBoy’s cap to the fans who have shown their support since day one.
“Now, they will have a physical place for them to visit their favourite local superhero character,” he says.
While fans’ involvement is crucial, there must be other factors that contributed to BoBoiBoy’s triumphant success. After all, the series has set a new high for the local animation scene by being featured alongside other internationally renowned characters at a multi-million ringgit theme park. So, what’s the secret to BoBoiBoy’s success?
“I think we have managed to create an icon that is relatable. People could relate to the series in terms of the storyline,” Nizam offers.
“Although BoBoiBoy has superpowers, he is still a normal boy with little boy problems. He still has to do his homework while fighting super villains,” he concludes.