Emirati action-adventure cartoon series 'Mansour' is going global in new avatar

Show addresses the benefits and challenges of AI, the balance between usefulness and overreliance on technology, climate change issues

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Tue 18 Apr 2023, 12:28 PM

Last updated: Tue 18 Apr 2023, 3:42 PM

The popular Emirati cartoon 'Mansour' is going global. Bidaya Media has appointed Canada-based Epic Story Media (ESM) as the content and licensing agent for the new 2D animated series, 'The Adventures of Mansour: Age of AI'.

The newest series of the popular Emirati cartoon will build on the massive success of the original Mansour series, which currently has over 2 billion views on YouTube and more than 25 million unique viewers.

As an action-adventure series developed and produced by Bidaya in English and Arabic, the series covers universal issues and themes that speak to the current generation of children globally. The show playfully addresses the benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence, the balance between the usefulness and overreliance on technology, climate change issues and the complexity of social interaction in the digital age.

Through this deal, ESM will represent the new series globally, excluding the Mena and China territories, to secure broadcast rights across multiple linear and streaming platforms as part of Bidaya's efforts to globally promote the series. The series will join ESM's growing portfolio of franchises at the ongoing MIPTV event in Cannes, France, and will be represented throughout the upcoming licensing and content distribution forums.

Nabil El Jisr, CEO of Bidaya Media, noted that Mansour had captured the imagination of children across the Mena region in a powerful way.

"We are inspired to build on this success with the production of the new season of Mansour and by partnering with Epic to achieve global reach and inspire a new generation of children worldwide. As a uniquely entertaining show that harnesses positive, universal values, Mansour addresses the major influences affecting children's lives and has the potential to create a positive impact for future generations."

Adventures of Mansour

Bidaya plans to produce four seasons of Age of AI, of which the first 26 episodes will be ready for the third quarter of 2023. The show's hero is Mansour, a 12-year-old tech-wiz, who upgrades his sister's favourite robotic gerbil plush toy, Mr Blinky, with some high-end chips and algorithms he pulls together. But to his horror, Mansour's creation goes into overdrive downloading everything the technologically advanced world of Salam City has to offer, transforming him into a crazy, mischievous digital shapeshifter, intent on sabotaging Mansour and his world. In the previous series, over 93 episodes were produced and originally targeted an under-served audience of Arabic-speaking children aged 6 to 12 years.

Ken Faier, president of ESM, is excited at the new partnership to deliver diverse and compelling stories.

"We're proud to work with Bidaya Media and to bring Mansour to our unique slate that we'll be presenting at MIPTV. As with all our projects, we love properties that have those unique elements that can deliver an expansive 360 experience. Mansour: Age of A.I. has so much to offer fans who want to delve deeper into their favourite characters and stories, and we look forward to exploring this over the coming years with Bidaya."

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