The Golden Apple is a fantasy animated series based on the vastly unknown Balkan legends and folklore. In a magical world, people and spirits are at the edge of war. The peace lays in the hands of four main characters who set out on an epic adventure to find the golden apple – a mythical artifact that has the power to fulfill wishes. Help us fund the first 24-minute episode of the series, which presents the ancient and exotic world of Balkan legends and folklore in a modern and relatable way! Find out more and support us by backing or sharing our Indiegogo campaign!
Dear friends, we are proud to present the “Legend of the First Kuker Warrior” short film! This film, as well as Studio Zmei, exist only thanks to your support and contributions to the project. Once again, thank you!
In a magical world, people and spirits are at the edge of war. The peace lays in the hands of four children, who set out on an epic adventure to find the Golden Apple – a mythical artifact, which has the power to fulfill wishes.
Meet Vihra – the daughter of a Zmei (storm spirit); Tina – a young samodiva (water nymph); Vlad and Bran – two young Kuker worriors, sworn to protect the humans from agressive spirits and evil.
Watch our trailer on the left!
In a vast mountain world, where the ancient spirits walk the forests and the Kuker warriors protect the humans from evil, we meet Vihra. She is a 14-year-old headstrong girl, whose hair is a cloud and changes with her mood. She is the daughter of a Zmei – a spirit of storms, and a human – the mayor of the industrious city of Khan.
When war is about to break out in her hometown between humans and spirits, Vihra sneaks out to find the golden apple and use its’ magical powers to restore the peace and save her family.
She is joined by Vlad and Bran – two brothers who dream of becoming Kuker warriors and need the magical apple to restore the lost Kuker guide (a book holding the secrets of all Kuker magic), and Tina – a little samodiva nymph, with angelic voice and mischievous personality, who wants to escape the small world of the forest, she has never before left.
They are not the only ones looking for the apple though. Will they find it before it is too late?. Read More »
The Golden Apple is a fantasy animated series, inspired by Balkan mythology and folklore. Although based in an exotic fantasy setting, the narrative will deal with contemporary issues, with which the modern viewer can easily associate.
Each episode will follow our main characters’ journey through the mystical land and will have a stand-alone narrative, under the general storyline of looking for the golden apple. It is a coming of age story with relatable characters, which will address serious topics in a lighthearted manner.
The story will feature a lot of humour, adventures, action, mystery and even a touch of romance.
Vihra is an energetic and curious girl, who prefers action and adventures to beautiful dresses. She has inherited some of her Zmei father’s abilities but she still hasn’t learned to control them.
Her hair is a cloud, which changes with her mood – it’s fluffy and clear blue when she’s calm, and darker, with little lightnings in it when she’s angry.
She has grown up in Khan where humans and spirits co-exist peacefully. As the daughter of the two leading town figures, she’s used to attending social events and tries to be as classy and knowledgeable as her mother but is better at being outdoors, where her father teaches her to throw lightnings and tells her funny stories about spirits.
Vihra is curious, headstrong and very determined, which sometimes gets her in trouble. In the beginning of the series, she is also pompous and slightly naive, because of the way she was treated in Khan. Still, she is very kind hearted and believes that both spirits and people should co-exist peacefully next to each other.
Bran is a 16-year-old boy from the mountain town of Kukerovo. It is a place where the forest spirits are aggressive, so all his life he has believed all spirits are evil.
Even though he is the older of two brothers, Bran is small for his age. To compensate, he is overenergetic, very loud and impulsive – a real hurricane. He often gets in trouble and his younger brother Vlad has to help him.
Bran dreams of being a great warrior. Together with his brother Vlad he’s studying and training to become a Kuker warrior, so that he can fight the evil spirits using magic steps and bells (Chans).
Vlad is the younger of the two Kuker brothers. He is big and very strong, which has made him a bit slow, lumbering and very careful not to break anything. Vlad is very calm, gentle and very polite. He speaks little and with a hint of good-natured sarcasm. For him knowledge is the greatest power and books are sacred, so he is constantly reading, even when walking.
Although timid and shy, when Vlad puts on his Kuker costume and enters a battle – he becomes a confident and skilled warrior. He knows the Kuker guide by heart and often cites it to his impulsive brother Bran.
Tina-Pakostina is Vihra’s best friend. She is a 15-year-old Samodiva nymph, who is mischievous, very talkative and likes playing jokes. Tina belongs to a conservative Samodiva tribe from the forest near the town of Khan, but she is curious about the world outside her forest so every chance she gets, she sneaks out in search of adventures with Vihra.
As a samodiva nymph, she can influence nature around herself through her song and dance. Tina is also a healer. She knows all the plants and their properties and can mix all sorts of potions.
Tina is quite feminine and cares greatly about her appearance. When she moves about, she floats above the ground – although she occasionally experiments with walking and complains about it.
Iskra is Vihra’s mother. She is a human and many years ago arrived in the city of Khan as a teacher. She is now the mayor and the leading figure in the city’s social and public life.
Iskra is the type of person, who looks at you and you realise she already knows everything, so it’s better if you just admit anything there is to admit. :)
Iskra is strict, confident and likes rules, quick to take a decision before a new problem arises. She is trying to bring up Vihra as a lady and is always teaching her etiquette and social manners.
Iskra and Vulkan Zmei (Vihra’s dad) are a loving family and even during the conflict and the open divide between humans and spirits (season 1), both of them work as a team to find a solution and stop an open war from happening.
Vulkan is Vihra’s father. He is a Zmei (spirit of the storms), so his hair and beard are made of clouds. Vulkan is the leader of the spirits in the city of Khan and one of the few spirits married to a human. Respected and loved by both spirits and humans, he is good- natured and loves telling stories and jokes, winning time to think about a problem for a while and consider all sides, before taking a decision.
Some spirits and people consider him soft because of this…but when Vulkan gets angry or his family is in danger, he becomes a personified force of nature! His spirit form is a giant serpent-like creature, which can control lightning storms, clouds and fog. Like Vihra, Vulkan Zmei prefers spending his time in the outdoors, rather than the city life.
The sheep from Kuber Mountain are born with wool of unique and colourful patterns. This only happens in Kuber Mountain, and the shepherds there take great pride in their colourful herds.
The Sheep (Harry) is the comic relief character of the series. Throughout the season, we will see him at random moments somewhere near our characters – always munching away on something, always completely casual and uninterested in the events taking place around him. He often overcomes obstacles faced earlier by our characters with unparalleled cool and ease.
The spirits are a variety of species, each personifying a different force of nature, dream, fear, disease, season, etc. Some of the more common ones are:
The Kara-kondjuls are small, mischievous spirits. In small numbers they are mostly harmless, but when a lot of them gather – they can be deadly.
The Strashnik is a large forest spirit, whose main purpose is to protect the forest from intruders and scare them off. It rarely leaves its forest unless something provokes him to do so.
The Greycloaks are a union of various tribes and people searching for a new place to settle after they have used up all the natural resources of their previous home, and turned it into a wasteland. They believe this was because of the spirits living there, and so they hate spirits with a passion and hunt them down wherever they go.
The goal of their horde is to find a new place to settle down, and they are slowly moving towards Kuber Mountain, where the golden apple is. On their way, they aggressively try to push out the native inhabitants off the lands they live on, and enslave all spirits they encounter. The Greycloaks are the main antagonists of season one.
It is widely known that after a prolonged conflict in a place called Eagle Mountain, the Greycloaks set ablaze the entire mountain and all the forests, out of frustration from the resistance of the people and spirits there. The blaze turned Eagle Mountain into scorched earth and nothing lives there now. They are called “Greycloaks” because the smoke and dust of all the places they have burned has stuck to their clothes and turned them grey.
Kukerovo is one of the oldest towns and home of the Kuker brothers Vlad and Bran. It is located in the Kuker mountain and the forests surrounding it are full of aggressive spirits.
Legend has it that hundreds of years ago, a blacksmith, enchanted by a Samodiva spirit, created a type of magic bells, called Chans. Their sound can drive off evil spirits and the blacksmiths in Kukerovo are known to be the best in the land to make these Chans.
Each town in the Kuker mountains has its own Kuker warrior clan, which uses a combination of special moves and the magic bells to fight the aggressive spirits.
The Kuker Guide is a huge, very old book, containing hundreds of recipes, designs and detailed information on how to create the special Kuker bells, which the Kuker use to fight spirits.
Each spell of the Kuker is cast by making a selection of steps and sounds with the Kuker bells, unique to that spell. The different “spells” of the Kuker have various effects on the spirits, most of which are aimed at scaring or intimidating them. However, the more powerful spirits are not affected by these moves, so the Kuker are also trained to fight them using more complex dances and various specialised weapons.
Each class of Kuker is aimed at a different class of spirit, as different spirits have immunity to different bells. Only the oldest and most experienced Kuker elders – the Babuger, can battle with any type of spirit. The different types of Kuker in Kukerovo and the surrounding cities and villages protect all the residents in the cities and the field workers, and also escort convoys in and out of the area. They very rarely leave their valley, and never trust spirits.
We are currently finalising pre-production and have launched our first official trailer, while looking for partners. We have established a core team of designers, animators, scriptwriters and above-the-line administration. The visual style of the show has been developed and we are in the process of finalising the designs of the main characters. If you would like to support us in creating the project, you can do so through our PayPal button, donating a sum you choose.
We would like to thank all the generous people that have made a donation so far:
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