Like all kids, I spent hours and hours of my childhood watching animated cartoons. For as long as I can remember, I used to watch these cartoons slightly differently from my peers; I used to look closely at how the characters moved, reacted, talked. Classic animated cartoons – such as Looney Tunes, Disney, and Tom&Jerry – made a huge impact on my style of drawing.
Now, let’s talk about the Arabic experience in animated cartoons. Over the years, there have been numerous attempts at creating animations – some where successful, other were … well, not so much.
In this post, I will talk about specific animated cartoons produced in the Arabian Gulf region; I will be stating my humble opinion. I repeat – OPINION.
Let’s start with “Bo Qutada & Bo Nabeel” (بو قتادة و بو نبيل).
This show started showing several years ago, and is till playing on Watan TV (Kuwait). It was adapted from the famous comic strip by Mr Mohammed Thallab, published daily on Al-Watan Newspaper. The animation focuses mainly on political issues in Kuwait, as well as some mentions of social problems that arise in the country. This year, the show has gone to extremes, directly targeting parliament members and nearby countries, as well as throwing around some inappropriate and offensive hints. Bo Qutada & Bo Nabil proved to be inappropriate for kid!
As for the quality of the animation itself, it is of very poor quality. It shows that the budget designated for this show wasn’t enough to produce a high quality animated cartoon. Each episode I watch, I find at least 4 or 5 mistakes; either Bo Qutada is missing his legs, or Bu Mish3al is missing his hair! The characters themselves don’t seem to have much character, except for the voices behind them (I love the voices). You can’t see any facial expressions, proper gestures, or flexible figure action. Also, you see lots of extra characters that are repeatedly used for different episodes, instead of actually creating new characters. I believe the show would’ve been better off if it was done in 2D. Not to mention, the script this year got quite boring, with the main purpose being to simply hurt targeted people.
Verdict: 2 out of 5 (just because I love the intro and ending)
Moving on to the next case, which is by far my favorite animated cartoon in the region. The cartoon is called “Sha3biyat El Carton” (شعبية الكرتون), which is shown on Sama Dubai channel.
I absolutely love everything about this cartoon! The script, the variety of characters, the voices behind them, the way they move – it’s simply amazing! I love the close attention to details – the tiniest details in the characters and backdrops clearly shows that the people behind this animation really want to present their audience with nothing but high quality. Each episode has a well-polished story with a positive message behind it. I can’t help but laugh my head off each time I see “Shambeh” losing his temper, or “3atooga” singing and dancing while driving her car. The directing also deserves a praise, where each scene transitions smoothly into the next. Take a look at the video and judge for yourself.
Verdict: 5 out of 5
Let me talk about an animated cartoon that many of you may not know about. It’s called “Kharareef” (خراريف), which shows on Abu Dhabi channel.
It’s a pretty well animated 3D cartoon that talks about general issues in the UAE. I like how the characters are created. As far as I see it, it’s a better 3D animation than Bo Qutada & Bo Nabil. I love the attention to small details, as well as that it’s nicely directed. Take a look at the video:
Verdict: 4 out of 5
The final case that I’m talking about in this post is “Qe63a 13” (قطعة ١٣). Lol. No, I’m not really going to talk about it. Frankly, I’m surprised the creators weren’t sued by the creators of South Park! (Although it made us laugh quite a bit back then!)
So, there you have it! What do you guys think about Arabic animated cartoons?