Parables Animation Studios (PAS) has been integrating authentic Ghanaian folklore in its Ananse Show for eight years to delight children and revive the fun and lessons of storytelling. The studio’s ‘By The Fire Side’ stories have also rekindled the younger generation’s enthusiasm and love for Ghanaian culture, through its cartoon animations and live-action stage performances at the Silverbird theatre in Accra, Ghana.
Kweku Ananse’s lore is one particularly famous piece of Ghanaian folklore that PAS has braided with puppetry, stage productions, and animated cartoons to help children appreciate, comprehend, and fall in love with in a new way.
The stage performances according to PAS are performed and played with such finesse and talent that “they compel even grown ups who are there to pick their children to stay and enjoy the exceptional art,” in a statement to TheAfricanDream.net.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) recently spoke with Cycil Jones Abban, the Managing Director of PAS, about his animated film ’28th Crossroads,’ which has a history theme. Abban explained that the PAS team is aware of Ghana’s need to use all contemporary forms of communication to communicate its tales as seen through the eyes of Ghanaians. He also expressed “departing from precedent” by deciding to tell the story of the Ananse folklore because he loves working with children.
Local lovers of the show have responded favourably to the project and “have not been disappointed,” because they believe “the studio is building the future for local theatre lovers and a stan base for Ghanaian stories through PAS’ attention-gripping cartoons,” said Abban to TheAfricanDream.net.
Abban seeks to change the narrative of African stories starting with folklore. He chose another of his projects, Ananse, because he believes it to be the central focus of Ghanaian folklore, which has been popularly received across the world. The stories are intended to help kids identify acceptable and non-acceptable behaviours in society.
He believes Ananse is the best option since he is an embodiment of both good and bad traits. The character has been used to help children become smart thinkers and proactive in their thinking while avoiding societal misconducts.
READ ALSO: Parables Animation Studios & France Volontaires Ghana are steering a new African narrative
The genesis of the Ananse show started with the vision of compiling all the local Ananse stories for animation. This required the rebranding of the entire Ananse family through character designers, which was well executed by its studio team led by Jeffrey and Jones. They also provided reference material for book illustrators, animators, and stage prop/costume designers for the theatrical shows.
In 2021, the animation studio also launched its online subscription-based streaming service, KOLIKO+, with a well developed culture of promoting, maintaining, and documenting rich Ghanaian traditions. KOLIKO+ has been designed to be a repository of the very best in African animation and graphic novels that represent the African narrative.
Abban mentioned in a 2020 interview with TheAfricanDream.net that “there are plans afoot for collaborative work with animators across Africa to produce more globally attractive content,”
“I would love to have a working relationship with NETFLIX and Cartoon Network, seeing how demand for genuine African content is rapidly rising in the creative sphere globally, but eventually I’d love to become a global brand and to also see Africa establish her own creative media repository behemoth,“ he added.
Climaxing 2022, PAS celebrated the 8th year anniversary of its show, ANANSE LIVE ON STAGE at the Silver Bird Cinemas, Accra, Ghana on Monday, 26th December with two sold out sessions.
“It was an unforgettable experience. As usual, Agyapa Kweku Ananse was beaten up by the kids for his mischievous actions. As a children’s show, audience engagement has always been key in the story deliveries. our storytellers have always been on point on this, making every session a great experience for the audience. Everyone gets to play some minor roles. Together, we make history, always,” said PAS.
Special guests present at the event were H.E Anne Sophie Avé (French Ambassador for Public Diplomacy in Africa and Immediate Past French Ambassador to Ghana), Adjetey Anang (Renowned Ghanaian Actor and Lecturer), and Dr. Wale Okediran (Secretary General, Pan-African Writers Association).
“We are basically for children; children programing and theatre for kids that seeks to positively change narrative, one child at a time. To all potential investors/partners/sponsors, do not hesitate to join us on this journey to do greater exploits like never before,” concluded PAS.
You can follow the animation studio on all social media platforms and also subscribe to KOLIKO+ TOON CINEMA and their YouTube channel, PARABLES STUDIOS, for exhilarating projects.
Source: Arakunrin Lekan for TheAfricanDream.net