Kamarudin Ismail was hired by the UK-based MacLean and Company in 1975 to work in the art direction department on the film Paper Tiger, which was partially shot in Malaysia.
Google has unveiled yet another doodle for its Malaysian home page, this time honoring the late animator and cartoonist Kamarudin Ismail, also known as Kamn Ismail in the neighborhood.
The Google Doodle was released on the day of his 67th birthday in honor of his contributions to Malaysian animation, particularly through the use of digital media and technology in the 1990s.
The pioneer of animation was educated in his early years at the Methodist Boys School in Sentul, where he discovered his love of drawing. He was born in 1956 in Pengkalan Balak, Masjid Tanah, Melaka.
He was hired by the UK-based MacLean and Company in 1975 to work in the art direction department on the film Paper Tiger, which was partially shot in Malaysia.
It was during this time that he developed his filmmaking skills. Image of cartoonist Kamarudin Ismail, courtesy of the Ismail family Kamn was hired by Kharisma Pictures to work on Usop Sontorian from 1991 to 1997.
This cartoon series was based on characters created by Ibrahim “Ujang” Anon, a legendary Malaysian cartoonist. It took Kamn and his 94-person team nearly three years to create a total of 49 episodes for the show that became a huge hit on RTM. It was essentially the first-ever animation series produced in Malaysia.
The cartoonist then became a director at UAS Animation Studios in 1997, which led to the production of Keluang Man, his masterpiece. The series, which debuted locally that year, was the first to combine 2D animation with a 3D background.
At Google Malaysia’s offices, Google Doodles Kamn Ismail Dalila Kamarudin, Kamn Ismail’s daughter (middle), and Muhamad Firdaus Omar, Kamn’s son-in-law and CEO of Quest Animation (right).
To raise awareness of the local animation industry, Kamm co-founded the Animation Society of Malaysia (Animas) in 2001 with the assistance of two other pioneering animators, Hassan Abd Muthalib and Hisham Harun Hashim.
Hassan gained widespread recognition for his work on the revered Filem Negara Malaysia Hikayat Sang Kancil animated shorts. He and Hisham also collaborated on “Silat Legenda,” Malaysia’s first animated feature film.
Kamn founded his own company, Quest Animations, the same year. This company produces shows like Kiddo Science World, Che Nat, Kumang, Toman 1, Kumang Lagenda Sarawak, Kumang Lagenda Kinabalu, Pusaka, and Kumang Lagenda Sarawak.
The award-winning Mat Kilau was his final project before he made the decision to retire in 2016. However, up until his death in 2019, he continued to develop the next generation of Malaysian creative talents as a lecturer at the National Academy of Arts, Culture, and Heritage’s (ASWARA) Faculty of Creative Writing.