24 Apr – Is it wise to use a foreign cartoon, no matter how popular, to promote local tourism? Judging by the flak the National Art Gallery has been getting over their alleged usage of Doaremon in its promotional materials, maybe not so much.
The issue blew up when Les' Copaque Production, the team behind the major "Upin Ipin" franchise in Malaysia, brought it to light recently.
"If foreign animation can be used to promote Malaysia, why bother using Malaysia's own animation?" Les' Copaque posted on its Facebook page on Monday.
Seeing that its latest movie, "Upin & Ipin: Keris Siamang Tunggal", is not only the biggest animated movie in Malaysia (beating even Hollywood ones) but is also showing in countries like China, Indonesia and Singapore, it would make sense to use the homegrown animation to promote Malaysia instead.
Les' Copaque also posted a link to Berita Harian's coverage of the launch of the first ever Doraemon Pop-up Store at KLIA2 last month, where it was mentioned that the National Art Gallery planned to hold an exhibition featuring the popular Japanese cartoon in conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020.
The National Art Gallery today released a statement on its Facebook denying the plan, saying that they will always prioritise local art.
The statement also clarified the confusion that arose during the pop-up store launch. Instead of saying that Doraemon will be featured in an exhibition for Visit Malaysia 2020, National Art Gallery chairman Datuk Rashidi Hasbullah instead said that if Doraemon were to do an exhibition in Japan, the National Art Gallery can work together with said exhibition to promote Malaysia.
(Photo source: DoraemonMY | Gaya Travel Magazine)