High Five Animated Flicks from Southeast Asia

by Matthew Escosia
Southeast Asia Animated Films
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By: Katrina Franco


The animation industry in Southeast Asia continues to develop as countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are producing more and more quality animated films. To support the growing animation scene in the region, here are High Five Southeast Asian animated films for you to enjoy.


Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story (The Philippines / 2020)

 Hayop Ka! (meaning “you bastard” but literally translated to “you animal”) is a Filipino animated film that tells the story about the love triangle between perfume sales cat Nimfa, her muscular mongrel boyfriend Roger, and flirty business dog Iñigo. Just by the title itself, you can tell that this latest animation movie on Netflix is not suitable for kids. The animated film depicts the real life struggle caused by the clashing of societal expectations and personal aspirations, and it does so in a fun way through witty and often vulgar dialogue, colorful visuals, and lots of puns. Find out more about Hayop Ka! In our High Five review here.


Kosong (Indonesia / 2020)

Southeast Asia Animated Films Kosong

This Indonesian animated documentary is one of the more somber entries in this list. Kosong (international title No One Inside) follows the real lives of five women from different backgrounds, generations and beliefs as they share their experiences about being discriminated against for not having children. The film employs various animation techniques to illustrate the story of these women and serve as a wakeup call to Indonesians on women’s reproductive autonomy. Watch the trailer for Kosong here.


Ejen Ali: The Movie (Malaysia / 2019)

This animated spy-fi action film is based on the animated series Ejen Ali, one of the most popular entertainment franchises in Malaysia. The story begins with Ali bin Ghazali, a 12-year-old boy, embracing his role as a secret agent for the Meta Advance Tactical Agency (MATA). Ejen Ali: The Movie revolves around the adventures of Agent Ali as he struggles to choose between loyalty for MATA or finding out about his own past. Read more about the enjoyable action-adventure film here.


Tàn Thể: Tiền Truyện (Vietnam / 2019)

Tan The Tien Truyen Southeast Asia Animated Films

Tàn Thể: Tiền Truyện (international title Broken Being: Prequel) is a Vietnamese 2D animated short film questioning the nature of life and love. The 15-minute short is set in Tranquil Haven, a small village where culture and tradition thrives. However, not all is what it seems in this peaceful place, as the protagonist embarks on a journey to resurrect his dead wife, only for the truth to stare him right in the face. Tàn Thể: Tiền Truyện won a Best 2D Film award at the KHEM Film Festival in United States and has been featured in various international film festivals. You can watch the short film in its entirety here.

BoboiBoy Movie 2 (Malaysia / 2019)

BoBoiBoy Movie 2 is the second adventure-filled computer-animated film based on a Malaysian multimedia favorite. This superhero comedy revolves around BoBoiBoy and his friends as they fight Retak’ka, an ancient villain who wants to take possession of BoBoiBoy’s powers and dominate the galaxy. BoBoiBoy Movie 2 was recently released on Netflix, and is currently one of the highest-grossing Malaysian films of all time, showing just how the power of friendship and a fun space romp can bring families together, even in these trying times. Read more about BoBoiBoy Movie 2 here.

The production of animated films in the region is slowly but surely gaining traction with mainstream audiences, and with our continuous support, Southeast Asia may be one of the leading contributors in the industry someday. Let’s contribute to the growing animated film scene in our region by watching these movies and sharing them with the world.


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