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Animation Abroad – Glue Studios’ Rimba Racer

by on February 7, 2017
 

It’s often easy for even the most avid fan of animation to overlook a great deal of what the world has to offer. We may live in the age of digital distribution, but most animated programs that are created never get the chance to be seen by audiences outside of their home countries. It is an unfortunate fact, as I have been genuinely impressed by a number of animated programs over these past few years and I invite you to discover them for yourself. Today, I present Rimba Racer, an animated program created by Glue Studios in Malaysia.

Rimba Racer, which premiered in early 2015, is a plot-heavy racing drama with direct continuity between episodes. Each of the first season’s thirteen episodes is approximately twenty-one minutes long and tells the story of Tag, a rookie racer who is invited to join the Rimba Grand Prix. He quickly finds himself rising in popularity and must deal with both the competition on the track as well as the egos of his fellow racers off of it. There are a number of surprising twists throughout the season and I can’t help but admire some of the bold decisions that they made when writing the episodes.

In the Rimba Grand Prix, there are nine other racers in addition to Tag. The pool of characters is varied and each of the racers has their own car that features a special ability that they can use once per race. Axle, the reigning champion, has a car that mostly focuses on top speed and he can trigger a massive speed boost to get ahead of the competition. Glue Studios put a lot of effort into building the world of Rimba Racer, and on their website, you can find character descriptions, complete with random trivia, as well as a detailed breakdown of each of their cars and what stats their vehicles have. I found the trivia to be particularly enjoyable, as it provided an additional layer of depth to the characters and explained things like Tag’s missing tail, which I don’t believe are addressed in the series itself.

While Rimba Racer is a Malaysian cartoon, they made the decision to record the show in English first. The voice actors that they used were mostly local talent, but based on everything that I’ve seen, I feel like they did a pretty good job. The voices fit the characters very well and there were only a few instances where I felt that a line was mumbled out with less emotion than I would have liked. As for the show’s animation, I feel like Glue Studios did a commendable job, especially considering the smaller budget and studio size that they were working with compared to a cartoon made in the United States.I really liked the visual style of Rimba Racer. I found it appealing and only noticed a few issues here-and-there during some of the non-racing action scenes

Glue Studios is currently working on season two of Rimba Racer, which should be ready to premiere at some point this year. A few new racers were announced to appear in the season – a male wolf named Pike and a female hyena named Vyxx – but at the moment my favorite racer is Meika the fox. Glue Studios is currently planning a crowdfunding campaign for later this year as well, and while no details have been announced at the moment, it is my hope that access to the episodes will be included in one of the reward tiers because the episodes are only currently airing in India and Malaysia.

If you’re interested in Rimba Racer, feel free to check out their YouTube channel or their facebook page. Tell them you like what you saw. Rimba Racer may not be something that everybody will enjoy, but I really liked it and it seems to be made with genuine enthusiasm. As far as I’m concerned, the world needs more genuine enthusiasm.

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