In 2015, Indonesian creative industry is growing significantly with many creative works released domestically and some of them also gain international recognition. One of the milestone in the development of Indonesian creative industry is the release of the first Indonesian 2D animated theatrical film, Battle of Surabaya.

Battle of Surabaya is a mega-project 2D animation movie produced by MSV Pictures from Yogyakarta. The story takes place around the armed conflict in Surabaya in November 10, 1945. It follows Musa, a teenager who is tasked to be a courier for Surabayan militia.

In this film, MSV Pictures picked some of talented Indonesian voice actors and actresses to perform as the characters, which includes Ian Saybani, Novie Burhan, Jumali Jindra, Hermano, Joy, Hardi, and Kamal Nasuti. Novie Burhan was also the dubbing coordinator and director in this movie. There are also Indonesian actor and actress who participated to perform as the characters. They are Reza Rahadian and Maudi Ayunda, who played the role of Danu and Yumna, respectively. A number of foreigner from Netherlands, Japan, and other countries also performed in this movie, among them are Jason Williams, Tanaka Hidetoshi, Nuriko Okuyama, Nobuyuki Suzuki, and Alejandro Esteban.

Before it was released on theatres, Battle of Surabaya is a long long way project to be done. Between 2011 to 2012, Battle of Surabaya was still a college project by the animation team in STMIK Amikom Yogyakarta (an IT college in Yogyakarta). At first, the project was just a short animated trailer. The first trailer of Battle of Surabaya was presented as a participant in INAICTA (Indonesia ICT Award) 2012, held in Jakarta Convention Center, Senayan, Jakarta. When it was shown in INAICTA 2012, the short trailer was accompanied with a narration from the memorable speech of Bung Tomo, a pro-independence fighter from Surabaya, aside from showing some action scenes.

Since 2012, the trailer of Battle of Surabaya Project gained much attention on national scale. The team from MSV Pictures (which is a sub company of STMIK Amikom Yogyakarta) claimed that the project will be extended from being just a short trailer into the “first Indonesian full-length 2D animated movie”. Since then, another trailer from Battle of Surabaya was released with a better quality and more dialogue.


The following year, in AFAID 2013, the Battle of Surabaya’s production team presented its current progress of the project and also started to sell some merchandise of the film. Their promotional booth was even situated side by side with Aniplex’s booth in AFAID 2013. Since then, anticipation for the project rose even more. Other than  AFAID 2013, Battle of Surabaya also held their promotional booth in some other events.

One year later, the movie still had not announced its release date and another trailer came up. But even then, there have been an interest on the project from a giant player in worldwide animation industry, Walt Disney Motion Pictures. Director Aryanto Yuniawan recounted that Disney offered to assist the project in achieving international quality standard. The film is still to be produced by Indonesian production team, but MSV withhold discussing the model of cooperation with Disney until after the film is finished. The project also gained some achievements as it became a Winner in International Movie Trailer Festival. It was also registered as a nominee for Golden Trailer Award in Best Foreign Animation Trailer.

In 2015, for the very first time Battle of Surabaya announced its release date. As a gift for the 70th anniversary of Indonesia’s Independence, this animated movie was to be released in August. Before August arrived, there were plenty of media coverage for this film. Although there have been some doubts from the production team themselves whether the project can be finished or not, in the middle of August 2015, the movie was released in cinemas throughout Indonesia.

The Indonesian Anime Times

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