Client

In support of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s plan to provide early childhood education on a national scale, we produced a series of character-based animations. The five videos focused on brain science research, education in the home and community, and the role of teachers and administrators in child development. We developed the concepts, scripts and storyboards for the animations, working in partnership with NAEYC (The National Association for the Education of Young Children) and the Saudi Ministry of Education.

Challenge

We were tasked with creating a large amount of original content within a short time span. We also wanted to ensure that every detail was appropriate for its intended Saudi audiences. We paid careful attention to contextual and cultural elements, incorporating scenes typical of home, school and peri-urban life.

The animations were delivered in English and Saudi Arabic. Each animation uses symbols, music, and character features appropriate to Saudi and Islamic culture to deliver a message about early childhood education.

  • Animation
  • Captioning and Subtitling
  • Concept Development
  • Scriptwriting
  • Sound Design and Mixing
  • Storyboarding
  • Teaching and Learning Materials
  • Community
  • Education

Aha! Moment

We decided that character-based animations would be the most engaging (and least distracting) for the specific target audiences (teachers, school admin, community members, family members and scientists/researchers). In accordance with Islamic rules, we ensured any people depicted in the animations were not specifically recognizable. To do this, we came up with a neutral-looking set of characters who appeared warm and sweet without any defined or distinctive facial features.

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Solution

We incorporated many Saudi-specific details into the videos and vetted our work and translations with Saudi professionals to appropriately situate the videos within the context of modern life in Saudi Arabia. We also kept the length of the videos short enough so that they would hold viewers’ attention, while articulating key messages and content.

The first video addresses parents and family to explain the lifelong impacts of early childhood learning experiences on social and emotional development, from language learning to success in adulthood.

The next video also addresses family along with the greater community to describe the ways children learn from and are influenced by their environment.

Another video identifies the importance of teaching moments within daily life for young children who are not yet of school age and how they can impact a child’s future. The final two videos address educators and school administrators to explain the importance of individualized learning and outlines how to implement the new Guide for Standards for Early Learning in the classroom.

All of the videos conclude by pointing back to The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s new Guide to Saudi Early Learning Standards and a call to action encouraging audiences to find out more.

Impact

The videos were used to introduce the importance of early childhood education and development to the country. The number of children enrolled in pre-elementary education across the country continues to grow each year since the release of these videos and The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to increase access to early childhood education.

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