The first round of the ToonOlympics continues! The voting on our first 5 matches has been terrific! We need more judges, so tell your friends about the ToonOlympics, so everyone can vote. We really want to make this a worldwide event. So far, here are the numbers as of Thursday, August 9, at Noon (EDT):
Sidekick (CANADA) = 21 Votes
Chhota Bheem (INDIA) = 4 Votes
El Chavo (MEXICO) = 11 Votes
Horrid Henry (UNITED KINGDOM) = 6 Votes
Huntik: Secrets & Seekers (ITALY) = 12 Votes
Punky (IRELAND) = 6 Votes
Totally Spies! (FRANCE) = 11 Votes
Doraemon (JAPAN) = 5 Votes
Escola pra Cachorro (Doggy Day School) (BRAZIL) = 12 Votes
Mountain of Gems (RUSSIA) = 1 Votes
As a reminder, these polls will remain open until all the first round matches are done. If you haven’t voted yet, go HERE to vote for Match 1, go HERE to vote for Match 2, go HERE to vote for Match 3, go HERE to vote for Match 4, and go HERE to vote for Match 5. The ToonOlympics competition continues today with our 6th match of the first round. The matchup is between United Arab Emirates and China. The cartoon from United Arab Emirates is called Freej. Freej is going up against a Chinese cartoon series called Century Sonny.
Before we start the match, if this is your first visit to the ToonOlympics, you can go back and catch the opening ceremonies, hosted by our resident cartoon, ToonBarn Harry, at this link:
LET THE MATCH BEGIN!
Freej (Arabic: فريج) (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
Freej is an Emirati three-dimensional, computer animated television series for children and adults alike. The English tagline for the show is “The Fun Old Girls.”
The show was produced by Mohammed Saeed Harib, who also directed the fifteen standalone episodes of fifteen minutes each. It is the tale of four old Emirati women living in a secluded neighbourhood in modern day Dubai. The show’s main characters – Um Saeed, Um Saloom, Um Allawi and Um Khammas – try to live a peaceful life in the midst of the ever-expanding city around them, but the city’s boom unveils new social issues every day that they would have to tackle solve in their own simple way. For those four old women, there is no issue too hard to crack with a good cup of coffee at Um Saeed’s house.
The show’s title is a reference to “freej”, a term which means “neighbourhood” in Emirati Arabic, based on accent of the people of Dubai’s slums. Freej, originally produced in Arabic, has an English subtitled version available.
The show stars four main characters, all elderly women who wear Bedouin face masks. The women’s names refer to their sons. “Um” means “mother of”. Mohammed Saeed Harib created all of the main characters.
Um Saeed (أم سعيد)
Um Saeed is the eldest member of the group and the wisest. She loves reciting poetry and old traditional sayings. Um Saeed is the shortest member of the group. She is addicted to coffee.
She can be very sarcastic in nature. The group gathers at her house everyday.
Majid Al Falasi (ماجد الفلاسي) is the voice actor. This was Mohammed Saeed Harib’s first character. “Saeed” was the name of his father, and “Um Saeed” is Harib’s homage to his paternal grandmother.
Um Saloom (أم سلوم)
Um Saloom is the kindest member of the quartet. She suffers from temporary memory loss. Um Saloom never leads and always tags along.
Abdullah Husain (عبدالله حسين) is the voice actor.
Um Allawi (أم علاوي)
Um Allawi is the tallest member of the group and the most educated. She is addicted to all kinds of gizmos and gadgets. Um Allawi has her own mobile and laptop. She is a close follower of the stock market. Since Um Allawi is of a Persian heritage, she does not have an exact Emirati accent. She speaks multiple languages.
Ashjan (أشجان) is the voice actor.
Um Khammas (أم خمّاس)
Um Khammas is the rebellious member of the group. She is a three time widow. Um Khammas runs her own catering service and traditional music band. She has a very dictating, strong personality.
Salem Jassim (سالم جاسم) is the voice actor. Jassim says that he likes Um Khammas because “she is the classic Bedouin character and reminds me of my grandmother.”
The show’s creator, Mohammed Saeed Harib, began developing the concept while attending Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. A professor asked his class to create superheroes originating from their culture. Harib selected the Emirati Bedouin women of the previous generations of the heroes because they worked and taught in difficult climates and financial environments. While the men in his grandfathers’ generation dove for pearls, their wives accomplished the other tasks. Harib added, “On top of that she looked very unique, thanks to the mask she was wearing. Hence my first character was born.”
Created by: Mohammed Saeed Harib
No. of episodes: 45
Length of each episode: 30 min
Country of origin: United Arab Emirates
The show premiered on September 24, 2006 and is still in production. It debuted the first day of Ramadan, and was broadcast across the GCC countries on ‘Sama Dubai’ (Dubai’s Sky), one of Dubai’s many TV channels and which is majorly aimed for the broadcast of local programs and material. The series became an instant success and a major hit in the region with immense viewership in the Gulf, especially among UAE Nationals. New episodes return, traditionally, debuting every year during Ramadan.
Here is part of an episode of Freej (Book of Riddles):
Century Sonny (China)
Century Sonny: The Adventure of the Extra-Galactic Prince is the first large scale 3D-CGI Chinese animation TV series in China.
Lonma company invested 1.5 billion RMB (about US $188 million) on the 104 episode series. Each episode is approximately 18 minutes. In May 2006 Century Sonny started broadcasted on CCTV, 3 special cartoon channels and local satellite TV channels, totally more than 400 TV channels in China. Century Sonny ranked as the top 3 most popular cartoon program on the CCTV station. It is a landmark Chinese animation series due to the unprecedented scale of the rendered minutes.
The story began in the Numen Kingdom in an extra-galactic planet. Source of Life, the protector of numina and human beings, had been safeguarded in the Numen Kingdom for centuries. The Evil Numina attempted to control the planet. They invaded the Numen Kingdom and captured the King. Their ultimate conspiracy was to despoil the Stone of Life that powerful magic stone to help them control the entire universe. The little Prince Coco of the Numen Kingdom was the only one who escaped from the brutal invasion and landed in Planet Earth with the Stone of Life. Under the protection of a mysterious fairy Noah, the little Prince escaped from the monsters’ pursuit. Later he met a group of funny stationery characters and toys living in a human being’s house and serving their little master. Prince Coco’s presence made these stationery characters and toys understand that they were facing the grand responsibility to save the world. To help Coco save the world meant they ought to leave their master. That was a tough decision. Nonetheless, the Evil Numina were approaching, and were causing great dangers to the little master. The stationery and toys united together to help Coco fight the Evil Numina. In an effort to defeat the evil force and save the universe, Prince Coco, the stationery and the toys began their long adventure back to the Numen Kingdom.
No. of episodes: 104
Length of each episode: 18 min
Country of origin: China
Originally Aired: May 2006 – Present
Here is a video of Century Sonny (Century Sonny):
You can see another video of this Chinese Cartoon here: Another Century Sonny Video
The time has come to decide which you like better: United Arab Emirates’ Freej or China’s Century Sonny?
- Century Sonny (CHINA) (78%, 14 Votes)
- Freej (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES) (22%, 4 Votes)
Your ToonOlympics Match 6 Choice is:
Total Voters: 18
Match 7 of the ToonOlympics is all lined up for tomorrow. Join us again on Friday to Vote for either USA or Spain.
USA is being represented by Phineas and Ferb:
Spain is being represented by Lucky Fred:
See you Friday for more ToonOlympics… on ToonBarn.