This Animated Series Will Show the World What Balkan Folklore is All About A group of young animators are bringing the Balkan legends and tales to Life. The Golden Apple is the first ever animated series based on Balkan legends and folklore. Four main characters set out on an amazing adventure through an enchanted world to find the golden apple – a magical artefact that has the power to grant a single wish to the person who finds it.
On their way they will encounter many hardships, battle countless tough enemies and will discover just how fragile the peace is between the spirits and humans. Studio Zmei are crowdfunding the creation of the series’ pilot episode. If the campaign is successful, they will create a 24-minute, fully animated episode telling the story of the beginning of the adventure for Vihra, Tina, Bran and Vlad.
The aim is to tell a contemporary, relatable story, set in a fantasy world, that shows the lessons of the classical Balkan legends in a modern way.
The series already have the support of some of the big names of the animation industry, such as Fred Seibert (Channel Frederator), Cartoon Salloon’s Tomm Moore, as well as a co-production commitment from the Bulgarian National Television.
They have also attracted a massive distribution interest, after presenting at Cartoon Forum 2016. The studio hopes that through the pilot episode, it will be able to secure a deal for a full season so you could support them over Indiegogo.
Vihra is the child of a human mother and a spirit father. Temperamental, impulsive and a little hard-headed, once she sets her mind on something, little can get in her way.
Being a half human and half Zmei – a storm spirit, Vihra finds herself in the middle of a brewing conflict between the two opposing fractions.
The young Samodiva named Tina-Pakostina is a water nymph who enjoys nothing more than causing mischief. She is always ready for fun, hugs and adventures – even when nobody else is in the mood for that.
The Kuker brothers Bran and Vlad are trained spirit warriors. They grew up in a secluded village where the spirits are wild and dangerous, so they are slow to trust anyone who is not human. This sets the stage for a very interesting dynamic between the four.
Every episode will show a separate adventure, all of which will combine to reveal a grand storyline, planned to spread over a few seasons. The trailer for the series presents the visual style, aesthetic and dynamic of The Golden Apple:
The Golden Apple series has been in development for five years. The Studio Zmei team have created and developed all the main characters, designed the spirits, locations, story-lines. They have also done a lot of research on folklore, music, architecture, national wear and design elements from the Balkans.
The project uses original music, created exclusively for the series, by the Bulgarian composer George Strezov. He combines the enchanting melodies of the Balkans with a modern approach, to add to the magical feel of the series.
Thanks to a successful crowdfunding campaign in 2015, the short film Legend of the First Kuker Warrior was created. It tells a story from the universe of The Golden Apple and presents a glimpse of the Kuker warriors and the Samodiva nymphs. We can’t wait to see where this adventure will take us!