“Saari” is An Awesome Preschool Series from Spain

Saari

Two shows doesn’t make a trend, but with Pocoyo and now Saari, one could make a convincing argument that the most artistic and appealing preschool animation is currently coming out of Spain. Saari was created by Finnish-artist Veronica Lassenius and directed by Spanish-animator Pablo Jordi. Thirty-nine three-minute episodes were produced out of the animation studio they own together, Barcelona’s Stor Fisk. The show has aired on Disney Channel in Italy and Spain, Cartoon Network in Japan, and various other broadcasters in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Wales, and Catalonia in Spain. Here’s an episode:

Based on the artwork of Lassenius, Saari has a beautiful sense of color and design. The animation–done in Flash–really shines too. There’s plenty of symbol use and it’s quite limited in some parts, yet it’s also fun and creative when it needs to be, and every character has an individual style of movement uniquely suited to its design. It’s refreshing to see something this well done–more often than not, studios will take good designs and animate them lifelessly and formulaically. Looking at Saari‘s credits, I’m going to assume that some of my praise for the animation belongs to the show’s animation director Txesco Montalt. Prior to working on this show, Montalt was also the animation director of Pocoyo.

Besides the episode embedded above, the filmmakers have posted a few more on Vimeo. The show also has a website and Facebook page.


  • Geneva

    Wow, that IS really nice! I hope it comes to the U.S.

  • Isaac

    Bravo, this show really is extraordinary.

  • http://www.animationinsider.net/ Aaron H. Bynum

    I’m trying to recall when I first heard of this series, about a year ago I think, but everything you’ve said is spot-on. It’s a beautiful and most importantly smart preschool show. The cartoon’s rhythm is like a liquid, and the characters have a ton of personality.

  • Patrice

    fantastic!

    But the title should have been:
    “Saari” is An Awesome Preschool/adults who like beautiful and creative animation Series from Spain

    thanks for sharing!

  • http://wallysketches.wordpress.com/ Wouter

    Waw, so fresh..
    I would be dazzled to see this as a kid.

    And when you grow up you’d say to you sister: remember that really special tv serie we used to watch, we still got it somewhere on tape i think..

    Great job Spain.

  • http://brandonjamesscott.com Brandon James Scott

    Beautiful!

    Takes guts to keep things so minimal. Even so, it still looks friendly.

  • Mr. Obvious

    I like it. Any show that doesn’t teach kids to be obnoxious is ok in my book.

    • Jay Sabicer

      Although painting with blueberries I wouldn’t consider an absolute victory over being obnoxious. It would take more than a mere sprinkling of water to clean up after that. Otherwise, very playful and an excellent use of one’s imagination.

  • Carolyn Bates

    That’s so charming and fresh!

  • http://www.flipos.cl antonia herrera

    I love it! You can tell the art director/creator/director had her way, congratulations Veronica!
    it’s also very refreshing to see a show with no dialogue, just music.

  • Cyle

    Very cool! I would have been totally mesmerized by something like this as a kid.

  • http://raboco.blogspot.com Nicole

    This is gorgeous! There’s just so much personality in these designs and their movements.

    I especially love the little flamenco bird.

  • http://cartoonatics.blogspot.com/ Tom Ruegger

    Amid wrote: “Every character has an individual style of movement uniquely suited to its design.”

    I agree, Amid. The eccentric movements of the characters are beautiful and often funny. And the red octopus Pulpo is particularly charismatic — what a star!

  • The Gee

    Yeah. I agree with the main points of what Amid wrote, too.
    Spain does have a lot going on.
    This show does have a lot a charm going on and the animation and the story in that short are both lively and creative.
    It is also inviting. There’s nothing in the design or the movements which is off-putting. She put together something really nice in that show. Let’s hope there’s not cynicism and snarky irony in other episodes.
    It is also nice that there is no narrator. Sometimes having one messes things up.

    Heck, I’d watch more of these.

  • http://hoclingduongportfolio.blogspot.com/ The graduate bandwagon

    Preschool or not. I’ll watch it!

  • Randy Koger

    Beautiful! So smooth, intriguing and delicate….such nice animation. Love that there is no narrator. Just music and beautiful art.
    I’m no kid, but I’d watch them.
    Bravo, Spain. Nice work!

  • Ridd Sorensen

    Gorgeous. Love the palette and the animation is soooo good. Thanks for posting

  • Was my face red

    A lovely piece of work and what you say is spot on. Sadly I have to agree about Mouk too. That looked promising from it’s designs but the dead animation of the promo is a world away from the life which pulses in Sarri.

  • PipEye

    A real joy to view.

  • Karen

    Very nice! And entertaining, too. Would be nice if Cartoon Network or Nickelodeon ever had something that came close to looking this nice or moved as well or could tell an entertaining story so clearly with a good soundtrack.

  • Olve

    Came over an episode on Norwegian TV earlier this year and had to google it immediately. I couldn’t find much info about it apart from on the studio’s website, which is a shame as this series really stands out with its unique style and deserves more attention. Good to see it mentioned here Amid.

  • http://www.storfisk.com Pablo Jordi

    Thank you very much for the nice and complete review and your kind comments. We are so happy you liked “Saari”. I hope we can make it come to the US some day! Please join the Facebook page to have updates about the release on new countries, new videos, etc…
    We are now developing a new series also created by Veronica Lassenius , “Fungi”. It targets a higher audience and has a different animation style, but maybe you may enjoy watching the pilot as well.
    http://vimeo.com/15317832
    Many regards from Barcelona,

  • http://zeteos.blogspot.com/ a peanut shaped ghost klan member

    lovelly

  • Mr. Critic

    I thought it was pretty and well done but ultimately boring. Obviously I’m not the audience for this show.

  • http://cookiebite.blogspot.com Tali

    superb!
    great design, characters, animation and gorgeous music!!
    I’m a fan of Txesco’s work.

  • http://twitter.com/pablojordi pablo jordi

    Hi! Saari series is now available through an iOS app: “Saari TV”, for those of you in the US, etc… hope you enjoy it! https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/saari-tv/id614477322?l=es&ls=1&mt=8