After the worldwide success of the Nordic and Irish mythologies in the latest years, the ancient Balkan legends are still an unexplored territory for the animation industry. Bulgaria-based Studio Zmei is bravely lifting the curtain with The Golden Apple– the first animated series based on the Balkan legends.
Studio Zmei had already released a short animation in the same universe – The Legend of the First Kuker Warrior – and are crowdfunding for a pilot episode. With the support of the Bulgarian National Television who are a co-producer for the episode and the help of the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign which is currently active, work on the project continues. The team’s new goal is to decrease expenditure without compromising on quality.
The story follows the adventures of four teenagers – the daughter of a storm spirit (who is a human woman) accompanied by a water nymph and two human brothers trained to fight evil with their magic bells called “chans”. The children venture across a mysterious world filled with magical creatures in search of “the golden apple” – a legendary artefact which appears once in a hundred years and has the power to fulfill wishes.
“Each episode will contain a separate adventure and the main story is planned to spread across a couple of seasons but since we are creating a whole universe of fantastic creatures and we are using thousands of years worth of legends as source material – the sky is the limit when it comes to how big this project can become” says Dimitar Petrov, who initially came up with the idea for the series a few years back.
In order to fit within a smaller budget, the screenplay for the first episode of the animated series will be rewritten. This will shorten the length of the pilot from 24 to 12 minutes. Over $32000 have already been raised through Indiegogo where the campaign has been extended until 6 July. The resulting pilot episode will be fully animated and a full soundtrack for it will be produced. It will show viewers the beginning of the epic adventure that awaits the characters and will open the door for negotiations with investors for the funding of an entire season.