When we saw that video of school kids playing badminton against Rashid Sidek and Foo Kok Keong this year, we knew it was gonna be a good one
Five kids vs badminton legends in a typical outdoor badminton court - so adorable, so Malaysian!
The kids pretty much stole the show: Joseph, Hakim, Ah Keong, Anang, and Arathi just wanted to play badminton, but two arrogant uncles were hogging the court.
It's cute when they strike a deal with each other - the first to win three points gets to play in the taman and wins the coveted title of "Piala Taman Thomas" champs... and losers will have to do 100 reps of "ketuk ketampi".
The kids give it their best not without knowing who they were up against.
"Siapa awak...?" They were totally oblivious. "Ish budak kecik, ni!", scoff the 'uncles'. The kids lose in the first set, but the veterans had no idea their opponents were gonna fight all the way...
That video was released in August for Merdeka but it actually wasn’t the first time the five kids made an appearance together
You may or may not have noticed, but given the many hours of videos we watch in a day, you could’ve missed the fact that these five friends were already together in January 2017 before the badminton showdown.
Rewind to CNY, February 2017
This was the first time the inseparable Hakim, Ah Keong, Anang, Arathi, and Joseph were introduced in a webfilm by Petronas.
The video was called “It Came from a Tin Mine”. It was CNY, and the kids just had to catch this “King of the River” monster fish that Ah Keong's grandfather told him about.
This was probably the first time any of them picked up a fishing rod or went to a mine, what more catch a fabled ‘robot’ fish that had scales of tin that was basically like an armour.
"Biar benar, ada armour?"
They attempted to catch it anyways. You really gotta give these kids A++ for their effort.
Fast-forward to Hari Gawai in May
The 'famous five' are now at Anang's kampung where her big family is celebrating Hari Gawai. They’re about to go for a dip in the river when her grandfather tells her to bring “Jojo” to the paddy field first.
“Siapa Jojo?" Joseph asks.
This is when the city kids (and probably Jojo too) get a culture shock. Jojo is Anang's family’s sweet young buffalo.
As you can probably tell, the kids can't seem to lead Jojo to the sawah padi. Ah Keong even turned into a matador at one point but the buffalo didn't care.
They pretty much give up until Anang's wise grandfather teaches them a lesson about food wastage, and when gratitude is shown, he then becomes... the Jojo whisperer!
That scene at the end when the grandfather is walking ahead and Jojo is following behind with the kids is priceless. <3
One month later in June, the kids face some serious food fantasy problems in a video we believe is the funniest of the lot
This was our favourite because it has to do with donuts, karipaps, and a very hungry Hakim.
It's Hakim's first time puasa-ing for the whole month of Ramadan and boyyyy, does his stomach rumble!
You can already guess how simple the plot is, but Hakim's struggles and facial expressions are so real you just want to hug him.
His friends chip in to share the pain by doing what they do best - experience stuff together by fasting with him.
Our favourite scene is of Hakim running to a karipap stall across the road and the group screams “Nooooo!” with classical music playing the background. Oh man, 'lawak' like crazy and that's seriously meme material!
Also, that scene of Hakim walking to the fridge in darkness and smiling at the donut really takes the cake! :)
And then there was the video for Deepavali. Love is in the air but things also fall apart…
Arathi has a crush on a new guy, Ivan.
It's "Arathi's First Love" and she's really shy about it. When the boys find out, she's hurt and embarrassed that they would tease her in front of her classmates. The friendship between them turns rocky and it’s heartbreaking seeing Arathi cry. :'(
Watching the video will give you a throwback to your school days: how did we use to fix things when we ‘broke up’ with our friends back then? Some of us never did patch things up, while others were relieved to have found forgiveness.
By the time Deepavali arrives at the end of the video, you find yourself cheering for these kids for coming this far together.
There's a heartwarming throwback in this fifth video when Arathi has a flashback of all their best moments: from CNY fishing and badminton battles, to befriending Jojo the buffalo and fasting with Hakim, all five of them were finally together again in the spirit of friendship and forgiveness for Deepavali.
They've made it this far!
The stories of these five kids so far have gotten almost 15 million views
Connected by the series of videos throughout the year, the journey of these five friends wasn't just all feel-good and endearing, but a throwback to what our world was like back in school with our own band of friends: how we laughed together, cried together, did silly things together; fought, fell-out of friendship, squabbled here, squabbled there, and then patched things up together again.
Sometimes it takes child-likeness like this to remind us about the simplicity of friendship and unity.
Many of us still have vivid memories of what those days were like. We know we'll treasure them for a long, long time.
As a little teaser for Christmas and the year-end holidays, Petronas released one more video in December to end 2017 with
One last time before the year ends, the kids make plans to meet each other in KLCC to buy Christmas presents when Anang and Hakim coincidentally bump into F1 racers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
You'll notice that there's a sixth friend in the group chat. ;) Watch the video here:
We couldn't have asked for a better bunch of friends to walk us through the year. Thank you for the memories, kids!
And here's to a new year of great story-telling. Looking forward to seeing what Petronas has in store for 2018!
Watch more Petronas videos on their YouTube channel here