The much anticipated Arabic version of the Cartoon Network will be launched on 10 October across the Middle East and North Africa.
As well as featuring familiar western-developed characters from Turner’s Cartoon Network repertoire, the free-to-air channel will show locally developed material, such as the highly popular ‘Freej’, a 3D animated series from the United Arab Emirates.
The channel’s launch coincides with the opening this week of Turner Broadcasting System’s (TBS) new offices in Dubai Media City, UAE.
“Cartoon Network Arabic reflects TBS’s ambition and belief in local talent,” explained Alan Musa, vice president and general manager, Middle East, Africa and Pan Region, TBS. “Our initiative has come to life through investing in different strategic partnerships with companies such as Lammtara and Rubicon. Both partnerships will result in generating new ideas and content in addition to distributing them outside the MENA region.”
Dubai’s Lammtara studio has allowed Turner to license and distribute episodes and merchandise from its hit animation ‘Freej’, as well as producing a local version of the quiz show ‘Skatoony’, which includes some characters from ‘Freej’.
Cartoon Network Arabic will also become home to the first 2D animated series in Arabic, ‘Tareq wa Shireen’, and the 3D animated comedy ‘Ben and Izzy’ - both created by Rubicon Group Holding, headquartered in Amman, Jordan. Turner will also distribute the shows more widely in Europe, Asia and North America.
“We are thrilled to work with prestigious names such as Turner Broadcasting System and Cartoon Network,” said Mohammed Saeed Harib, creator and director of Freej. “Their efforts and determination to create localised high quality content is admired and will be recognised amongst the industry. We are confident that our relationship with TBS will create new and innovative opportunities in the future."
A website dedicated to Cartoon Network Arabic will also launch on 10 October to provide further detail about the channel and its schedule.