June 29, 2013 by bck1402
Another episode of CingKus that I worked on has been released on-line, and there is something of a story behind this one.
In the original short that was created to promote the show to investors, there was mention and a brief feature of Kus’ uncle. An adventurer in the vein of Indiana Jones, complete with giant rolling boulder. Okay, it was a giant rolling stone durian that supposedly did him in. In any case, I was asked to try to flesh out the character a little, which I was more than willing to do. I love that kind of adventure stories.
It was a nice opportunity to really build the character, adding a few odd quirks to him. Being an adventurous uncle, I figured he would love to talk and tell some tall tales. So, he became somewhat overly verbose and long-winded.
Then, I wanted to play with the nature of the narrative and flashback device. I did have a lot of stuff going on in the script that didn’t make it to the screen, like showing that the flashback sequence was actually a reenactment taking place not too far from the characters. Having the ‘actors’ interacting with the narrator, and taking off their costumes and such. Weird thing was that I was supposed to present a script that could hit 11 to 13 minutes of screentime, but the final result came in under 10 minutes. I did tell them to make any changes necessary to suit the actors and animators. So I had to figure if the changes were simply because what I planned didn’t suit the animation style in the end.
It was hard, at the time, to determine just what the animators would be capable of. All I had was the one pilot to go on, and I figured some of the stuff I threw in was something the animators would fun with. Well…
There were lots of outside inspiration. The ‘kancil’ or mouse deer (see right), is really a tiny harmless animal, that has a special place in Malaysian folklore. So turning that on its head was a Monty Python thing, of course. I figured that the ears might seem like horns in silhouette form, but that didn’t come out either. Using the ruby also led to using the rambutans (see left, click image for more info). They would have been bigger than the eye of the kancil, but hey, it’s a cartoon. As to its awesome mystical power, the idea was that since the ruby was in the ground of the rambutan grove, the mystical essence of the ruby (the gift of longevity) would go into the fruits. Of course, it was up to Tik to decide what to share.
There were a few other changes, one of which was a puzzle to me. There was the intent that the setting was local, so I used the Malay word ‘parang’ but that was changed to the English version ‘machete’.
Still, feel free to compare the script I submitted to the final cartoon as it was broadcast below. The voice of Tik was definitely not what I had in my head when I was writing it.
So, what do you think? Was my original title a bit too much? Feel free to sound off in the comments section.