Masameer (مسامير) is, in fact, the first Saudi Arabian animation film that is screened worldwide. The comic movie features Dana.

The Netflix animation film Masameer

Dana is a girl from Saudi-Arabia who is passionate about the use of artificial intelligence. Together with Saad, Saltooh and Trad, three crime-fighting superheroes, she is embarking on a journey of making the world a better place.

screenshot trailer

What you need to know about Masameer

The meaning of the title

The Arabic word مَساميرُ (a diptote!) is the plural of مِسْمارٌ which means nail. However, according to several sources, the title does not refer to nails at all. It is rather simple. مَساميرُ is a Saudi-Arabian neighborhood about 300 km (186 miles) west of the Saudi capital Riyadh.

What are the topics of Masameer?

The series Masameer pokes fun at the conservative kingdom and the current situation of the country. Thus, it addresses issues such as women’s rights, corruption, drug use and religious tension.

It talks sarcastically about these issues through short stories represented by quirky and funny-looking characters.

Most Arab countries are suffering from similar issues – which is also the reason why it became so popular.

Who is behind Masameer?

Masaameer is a 2011 Saudi web and TV series produced by the animation studio Myrkott. One of its founders is the cartoonist Malik Nejer (مالك نجر).

In 2009, Malik was drawing animations for an advertising company when Jeddah was hit by severe floods. Over a hundred people died. Nejer posted an animated video for his little-known YouTube channel mocking the corrupt management of the devastating floods. The video went viral in just a couple of hours.

It is a tough business in Saudi-Arabia and every step could lead you directly into prison. In 2018, Saudi Arabia announced that anyone poking fun online at the government would face five years in jail. The Saudi public prosecutor launched a crackdown on mockery and satire which he said “disrupts public order”.

When did Masameer start?

The first episodes were aired in November 2011. The series Masameer is highly popular and aired on Youtube. Most episodes were viewed by several million people! All in all, almost a billion people have watched the over 100 episodes on youtube.

Which Arabic is used in Masameer?

It is a mixture of Modern Standard Arabic/Fosha and Gulf Arabic. Here comes the good news. On Netflix as well as on youtube, you have English subtitles!

Where can I watch Masameer?

The movie – on Netflix

Watch it on netflix

The entire seasons – on youtube

Watch it on youtube

Remark: The animation movie is not the only film that hits Netflix. Six Windows in the Desert is a series of six short films produced in Saudi Arabia.

screenshot netflix
Watch it on netflix
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