As we started work on Rainbow Butterfly Unicorn Kitty for Nickelodeon, more kittens appeared outside of Inspidea, out of nowhere. We figured that must be a sign and decided to adopt 4 more cats. And we named them Barley, Sunny, Money and Lucky!
WE BUILT OUR OWN TREEHOUSE
We literally built a Treehouse within our studio. With the help of apprentice carpenters within Inspidea, we bought raw materials, cut and screwed the wood into its proper place. In under 8 weeks, the new Treehouse was done. Not bad for non-professionals!
After more than 10 years, we had a facelift of our main entrance at Glomac Square. Designed by Swofinty, the new façade featured stunning triangular facets of perforated metals that boldly framed the entrance. The eye-catching façade received a runner up in the Design Excellence Award by MIID Reka Awards.
WE HAD A LAUNCHPAD
Launchpad became the latest addition to the ever growing studio space within Inspideapolis. Inside Launchpad, we added 3 more meeting and discussion rooms, named after NASA's space shuttles – Discovery, Endeavor and Atlantis.
NOM NOM BANGKOK
We flew 120 Inspideans to Bangkok to search for and enjoy the best food the city has to offer. The name of this company trip was Nom Nom Bangkok. From cow penises to spicy Tom Yum drinks, we did it to re-introduce a little weirdness to our growing family members.
Inspidea became part of the global Endeavor family, a high impact entrepreneurship movement around the world. Both CJ and Andrew were selected as Endeavor Entrepreneurs in the 65th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Bali.
THE FURRY INSPIDEANS
TD and Opel were initially adopted by Andrew as house pets. He later decided to keep them in the studio because so many Inspideans found them cute. They showered the cats with much love and care. Since then, both cats preferred the studio space and became furry Inspideans. Their purring was stress reliever too!
TRICKY TREASURE TRIP
For our company trip, we embarked on Tricky Treasure Trip – an Amazing Race-like road trip to Penang, Malaysia. We decorated trishaws, performed Chinese opera, fried noodles by the street, learned to write in Jawi, and gave back to the elderly and disabled. Watch the video to see some of the wacky things we did.
THE DIGICON AWARD FROM JAPAN
We made InnerTommy, a short film about what happens after a boy had swallowed a chewing gum. It won a Japanese DIGICON award. It was special to us because we have never done a short film before. There will always be a first.
Inspidea celebrated our 10th anniversary this year with the Tenniversary. The celebration was really all out, with an anniversary party in May and a 10-teams-for-10-cities company trip in December.
BIGGER, WIDER AND UNSTOPPABLE
Inspidea expanded to an additional five lots of office space next to and across the street from our current studio space at Glomac Square. The expanded studio had a campus feel, and we so decided to call it Inspideapolis.
WE WERE NOMINATED
Pet Squad, the animated series that we co-produced with Darrall Macqueen and March Entertainment, was nominated for a 2010/2011 BAFTA for Children's Animation! BAFTA! It would have been nice to win but to get nominated was also super-cool!
Feeling overworked, we decided to do something different and fun. We shot videos of Inspideans shaking their heads and then have the footage edited by Heng. The result was charming and hilarious. Go see for yourself!
We created an anniversary event called Camp X. The event was very special because we went “glamping” and there were more than 100 Inspideans participating. It was also our first ever team bonding activities done outside of Inspidea. We created a lot of sweet and heartfelt memories.
Inspidea has been exporting animation products since day one. That caught the attention of Matrade, Malaysia’s trade promotion agency who awarded Inspidea with a sweet Export Excellence Award in the service category. Being recognised as a top service exporter in Malaysia made us very proud.
BOO TO THE RESCUE
Boo & Me, which sounded like bumi meaning mother earth in Sanskrit and Malay, became our first co-production deal. We co-produced the animated series with KidsCo from the UK. We were very proud of this venture because it was a give-back initiative to the endangered orang utan and to educate people on how to be kinder to the environment.
WE CONQUERED MOUNT MERAPI
For our second overseas outings for our leaders, we went to Yogyakarta and visited Borobudur. Some of us actually climbed the volcanically active Mount Merapi which was 9,739 feet above the sea level. The sunrise view at the top was spectacular!
ANOTHER GROWTH SPURTS
Inspidea had gotten even bigger! Over 100 Inspideans are now busily running around the studio! In just 7 years, we had grown from 2 to over 100. Nobody would have thought this could happen.
LEADERS IN SIAM
A team of leaders was sent to Bangkok, the city of Angels. They brainstormed, they strategized and they play some games, all the sake of mapping out the future of Inspidea.
FROM EUREKA TO BRAND EXCELLENCE
Our international branding effort – Let the Kid Out – was awarded the Brand Excellence Award by Matrade, Malaysia’s trade promotion agency. We didn't set out to win a branding award but we are happy we did.
LETTING THE KID OUT
We were soul searching, looking for meaning to the studio that we built. On this year, we found the meaning of our existence. Then we decided that letting the kid out should become our mantra. And so we threw a party to celebrate this eureka moment!
BREAK TO PHUKET
We decided that the studio needs a break. So we packed our bags and head to Phuket. Snorkelling, sun bathing and eating lots of Thai food was all we did. It was definitely a good, memorable break.
That year, we decided to give to the less fortunate people around us. We found out about Kiwanis, a foundation committed to to the welfare of children with Down Syndrome and their parents. We sold T-Shirts designed by Inspideans, drew caricatures, sang for money and raised more than RM15,000 just doing that. Everyone who participated was happy at the outcome.
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
Jetix Europe and TF1 came looking for a production partner for their Combo Ninos animated series. Inspidea submitted our animation test and was chosen. We were extremely thrilled because this was the first time we got to work on a bigger budget and the animation production was for a studio in France, the animation mecca of Europe.
We grew from about 10 people to more than 30. Obviously we needed a bigger space. So, we decided to move across a major highway into a studio space that that was almost 6 times bigger at 4,500 square feet split into 3 floors. This was the genesis of Inspideapolis. From then on, everyone started to exercise more because we had to use the stairs.
To grow in the animation studio it needed to be, Inspidea needed growth capital – that means a lot of money. Netval, a venture capital company, had the money. So, we decided to marry. That's how Netval became the third shareholder of Inspidea.
THE FIRST BORN: JOHAN WAS A YOUNG SCIENTIST
Conceived in 2002 and took almost 2 years to produce, Johan the Young Scientist, Inspidea's very first animated series was finally ready to hit the streets. That same year, Inspidea also snatched our first broadcast deal with eJunior from UAE. That sale meant so much!
In October 2003, CJ and Andrew believed Malaysian animation can expand beyond her shores. So they packed their bags and went international. They headed to Cannes for their first ever MIPCOM Junior and took a leap of faith.
Started with less than 10 people, Andrew and CJ set up shop at Kelana Square. It was a 700 square foot office that was tiny but cosy. Besides drawing and animating, everyone had to do everything including janitorial duties. Ah, the good ol' days.
Inspidea was started in 2002 by two unlikely people to ever to start an animation studio. CJ the financial analyst, was an amazing right brainer while Andrew, the town planner, was an extraordinary left brainer. The impact of this explosive combination can still be seen today. They started Inspidea because both have lots of “ideas” wanting to do something “inspiring”. That’s why they called their startup Inspidea.