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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

The Story of Smarty

What began as a distant dream for PETSTER, is now set to become a milestone in the pet industry. It was just about a year ago when PETSTER’s William Tan coined this wild idea he had in his project-bank. I remember talking about it at the mamak where we always hangout and at that time, it seemed like an uphill task. But knowing William as someone who doesn’t drag his feet over any ambition, I was quite sure it’s going to come sooner than later. Indeed it has. Ming Ming or The Story of Smarty is ready to hit the silverscreen. Malaysia’s 1st Pet Charity Telemovie. Proudly brought to you by PETSTER & SMARTHEART.

The poignant element at the apex of this milestone will definitely be the ‘charity’ factor.  The telemovie production aims to help two animal shelters in Malaysia which are PAWS and Homeless & Orphan Pets Exist (H.O.P.E), by providing strays a better opportunity to continue their lives. It is solely relentless effort and dedication that had been the driving factor behind this project.  The movie ultimately aims to promote a healthy bonding between pets and their owners. It is also aimed to break the stigma and educate people that cross breeds are equal to pedigrees.

During the private screening. Everyone was waiting to see the final product

I’ve recently watched the movie along with the cast, sponsors, producers and Petster magazine readers during a private screening session. Our two local stars, Leslie Chai and Danielle Dai have done really well in their roles to convey the message in this film. Not to forget, Hannah’s performance as Ming Ming. I must say the owner and filmmakers have done well to use a well trained dog in this movie. It’s never easy, but they did it. Kudos!
A story about a blind man and his loyal dog

I dare not to set too high of an expectation and hype for this movie. That will be a recipe to seed disappointment later on, especially among the hard critics. What I’d say is, do not compare this film with Hollywood box office films just because it is going to be played next to halls showing movies like Elysium, The Mortal Instrument, The Conjuring and others at TGV. The Story of Smarty is a shrewdly shot movie. It’s a low budget production and there’s definitely no CGI or visual effects. But if there’s any effects we expect to see, that will be in the form of transformation in the lives of animals in the shelters. Transformation in the mindset of people through awareness. These effects I believe, are bigger than CGI or visual effects. Having said that, if you love pets, charity and awareness, your perception on this movie will be different. Value is in the eyes of the beholder.

Different people, different perception eh?

By now, the movie promo-tour will be going full swing. Do not forget to join the stars when they visit your neighborhood and be part of the build-up to the screening.  As for the sacred date, the movie will hit the cinemas nationwide on three consecutive days this month. It will be screened on the 23rd, 24th and 25th of August. These are the days that will be decisive in our efforts to raise as much as we could for the welfare of our fur siblings. Spread the message to your family and friends, whether they are animal lovers or not. Because, despite being a pet-movie, The Story of Smarty is also a tale that revolves around human values, greed, love and embracing simplicity. It is definitely a movie for all walks of life. And although it is a Chinese language movie, it is meant for all races. Having said that, do not worry about language barriers as there will be clear subtitles provided.

Subtitles provided regardless whether you eat chips or not

For the 3 days, we expect about 5000 viewers to snap our tickets for cinema screening, with another 20000 DVDs sold when they are released. Overall, a realistic target to collect RM30 000 for each shelter or NGO will be the ultimate goal. It is hugely hoped that our aim will not look far-fetched as we believe in the charitable nature of animal lovers and the ever so caring pet public sphere in Malaysia.

To reiterate the cause behind the movie, the proceedings and revenue will go to PAWS shelter in Subang Jaya and Hope shelter in Johor Bahru. Every penny you spend for this movie, will amount to uplifting the wellbeing of a voiceless soul. We hope every one of you will come together hand in hand, lock, stock and barrel to set a benchmark and encourage more projects like this from us. Pet movies in Malay, English and Tamil in the future...Why not?? For now, Happy viewing and support our maiden journey!


  1. I think I would cry if I watched this hahah.

    The funny/ironic thing about this is that the dog being used in the movie is not a mix breed dog but a pure bred Belgian Malinios.

    1. The trainer's account shows that it is a Belgian shepherd mix. Not exactly pure. The producers tried auditioning for non-pure breed dogs, or at least those which didn't look like one. Unfortunately it didn't quite work out. Nevertheless, Petster is still on the lookout for more well trained mix breed dogs for future projects. :)