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Animation to feed the soul

March 15 - March 21,2023
Gulf Weekly Animation to feed the soul
Gulf Weekly Animation to feed the soul
Gulf Weekly Animation to feed the soul

AN ANIMATED fantasy-adventure series made by Bahrain-based artists will bring inifinite joy to children while also imparting knowledge during Ramadan later this month.

Exploring the world of gemstones and minerals, the second season of the award-winning cartoon Secret of the Cave (Sirr Al Kahf) is due to be televised on Saudi Arabian kids’ channel MBC3.

Created by Bahraini director Inas Yacoub, the Arabic-language show follows an adventure-loving girl named Shahd, who stumbles upon a magical realm of gemstones while exploring a cave with her brothers Ali and Adam.

Becoming the centre of a fight of good against evil, the protagonist soon goes on a series of adventures in the world of Al Durr (Gem World) and undertakes perilous journeys.

The series aims to teach children about gems and minerals, their chemical interactions and their perceived spiritual effects.

The first season was aired in April last year and re-released as a feature film in July and dubbed into English. It was screened in movie theatres in at least 11 countries, including South Korea and India.

The Secret of the Cave’s second season explores in depth the character of the gang’s arch-enemy, the Stranger, who comes from another plane to wreak havoc on Earth.

“When I came up with the concept of Secret of the Cave, I was looking for an unusual story,” Inas told GulfWeekly.

“I wanted a cartoon that went deep into the universe of minerals and portrayed how it affected humans.”

Inas added that since the last season ended on a cliffhanger with the evil forces not completely vanquished, she wanted to make a second season where ‘good’ finally wins.

“The show aims to instil in children the importance of teamwork, along with a love for exploration and knowledge,” she said, adding that it could help develop kids’ problem-solving skills and ability to come up with theories and solutions.

While Inas came up with the concept of the cartoon and its character design, the show’s screenplay was written by Hanan Kanaan, with dramatic development by Mahdi Salman and art supervision by Hasan Kareem.

The cartoon features voice actors Hasan Mohamed, Ali Hussain, Alaa Al Banna, Joori Al Qattan, Ghada Al Musalli, Sabeeka Al Shehhi, Shouq Al Othman and more.

“Inas casts voice actors that match the looks of the characters they play,” professional voice actor Alaa, who plays the character of Sara, said.

“What I have in common with Sara is that we’re both romantics and dreamers who adore the lives of kings and princesses,” said the Bahraini who has worked with the director for the last seven years.

The cartoon was produced by Baby Clay Broadcasting and Media Production, Inas’s own Bahrain-based animation studio, with parts of the animation work done in Egypt and South Korea.

Inas has previously directed at least 10 Ramadan cartoons, including Lantern’s Tales, In Your Name, Allah, Ibn Battuta and several cartoons about Prophet Mohammed’s life and times.

The first season of Secret of the Cave won awards at the GCC and regional levels.

The 30 episodes of the second season will air on MBC3 every night during Ramadan, and will also be available on demand on MBC Group’s Shahid streaming platform.

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