Education & Community

“Connect with your inner self. This comes from a lot of reading, understanding the philosophy behind great films, conversing with highly intelligent people and traveling. This will open your eyes. Once you find that inner self, it will be reflected in your work.”
- Hassan Abdul Muthalib - 

Meet the Father of Malaysian Animation
Hassan Abdul Muthalib, fondly known as Pak Hassan, boasts a versatile career spanning 53 years. The wearer of many hats has left a mark on Malaysia’s film industry as a self-taught artist, graphic designer, photographer, writer, director, actor, and, most notably, an animator. He is renowned for his creation of the "Sang Kancil" and "Silat Lagenda" animation series, which have had a profound influence on the nation's animation industry. As a result of his long-standing contributions, he has been dubbed "Father of Malaysian Animation."

With involvement in four feature films, two TV dramas, a music video, a documentary, and various short films, Hassan is not only a prolific creator but also an advisor and mentor to film and animation professionals and students.
How It All Began
In 1964, the Kedahan arrived in KL and managed to secure his first job as an assistant artist and window display man at Robinsons, Malaysia’s first department store.
It was there that his love for visual arts began, creating commercial art, in-store decorations and the display of goods. He then joined Filem Negara as a Graphic Artist in 1968, utilising his signage experience for documentary film titles and Bakat TV graphics.
In 1972, Pak Hassan delved into the realm of animation, crafting scripts and animating festival trailers for television. The success of his witty public service advertisements became a pivotal moment in his career. In the studio's Kelab Sukan, he helmed Malaysia's inaugural short film, titled "Harimau Putih Lawan Harimau Gelap."

 Animating at Filem Negara, 1970
Senior Designer at Filem Negara, 1980

A Storyteller Who Believes in Telling Tales of Values
Transitioning to animation and design in 1978, Hassan contributed to commercials and projects like the Bank Bumiputera savings coinbox. By 1981, he won the Best Idea Award for his live-action public service advertisement, sparking his interest in directing.
Subsequently, in 1983, he created the popular "Sang Kancil” animation series which influenced generations of film-makers and artists. The funny and educational animation series running from four to six minutes, was well known for its moral lessons on honesty, diligence, tolerance and other values for young children.

Working on Sang Kancil storyboard, 1987
Directed Malaysia’s Very First Animation Film
Eventually, Pak Hassan went on to direct Malaysia’s first animation film, “Silat Lagenda” which greatly impacted the animation industry in the county.  His remarkable contributions were acknowledged with a Special Award for the First Animated Feature Film in Malaysia at the 1998 Malaysia Film Festival.
“I am most proud of this film as it encapsulates my thoughts and feelings about storytelling through entertainment, to convey something about our people, country and culture. It is important to know our history, traditions and moral values, while at the same time encouraging a sense of adventure, showing concern for the environment and strengthening our spiritual values. These ‘old ways’ remain pertinent until today,” he said.
For his pioneering achievement, Pak Hassan was honoured with an Honorary Masters in Creative Technology by UiTM and was acknowledged as an Animation Pioneer by Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. Pak Hassan was officially recognised as the Father of Malaysian Animation,a title conferred to him in 2012.

Documentary Workshop Sudan, 2003

Hassan-Abdul-Muthalib_8.JPGLecture at Volda University, Norway, 2009
The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile.
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