If you’re in Bangkok, Thailand on October 5-8th, 2012, you must not miss heading to a movie theater to see Yak: The Giant King on its opening weekend. A new Thai animated movie with superb artwork, lots of action, and a funny yet touching and appropriately-Buddhist story, Yak The Giant King is perfect entertainment for the whole family.
While Thai movie directors put out a fair number of ghost-horror movies and romantic comedies every year, Thai audiences don’t get to see many animated movies made by other Thais. Quite shocking really, as Thailand is world famous for its arts and crafts, so you’d think creating feature-length animated cartoons would be a natural occurrence.
In fact, it wasn’t until 2006 that audiences finally saw Thailand’s first computer-animated feature. A wonderful movie called Khan Kluay, it told the story of a baby elephant who eventually becomes King Naresuan’s esteemed elephant of war. It was so successful, the movie was followed three years later by Khan Kluay 2.
Since then, we’ve been waiting for the next beautifully-animated Thai full-length feature and, with Yak: The Giant King, it looks like it’s finally here.
At the beginning of Yak: The Giant King, we meet two robots. One is huge and green, while the other is a fraction of his size and pink. In a world dominated by machines, they find themselves joined together by a metal chain that’s impossible to break. After being told the chain is magical, the two robots set out into a dangerous and frightening world to try to stop a war while, at the same time, forging a friendship that may not be quite as new as we think.
Based on the traditional Buddhist story ‘The Ramayana’, Yak: The Giant King turns out to be the modern day version of the story of Tosakan and Hanuman the Monkey King who, in their one millionth and one reincarnation, don’t look quite the way we expect them to.
Video trailers for Yak: The Giant King show how beautiful the animation is and how touching yet funny the story. As a traditional Buddhist parable, the story is known by every Thai and you can bet they will be rushing to movie theaters this weekend to see it.
For foreigners in Thailand, Yak: The Giant King will entertainment while, at the same time, giving a little more insight into Thai culture and traditional Buddhist belief. With 21st century charm and humor, of course.
The easiest way to find movie times for Yak: The Giant King in Bangkok or elsewhere around the country is at MovieSeer, which lists the Thai soundtrack version, another with Thai sound and English subtitles, and a third with an English soundtrack and Thai subtitles (the first Thai animated movie ever to do this).
Take your pick of versions, but I’d recommend the one that ‘s Thai with English subtitles. There’s nothing better than seeing a movie like this in the language it was meant to be heard in.
Yak: The Giant King was written and directed by Prapas Cholsaranon, and stars the voices of Kietisak Udomnak, Pawanrat Naksuriya, Santisuk Promsiri and Udom Taepanitch.
** Don’t miss the video trailer (in Thai with English subtitles) located in the middle of this article – it really is wonderful.