26 episodes x 26’
    7 – 12 years
    The Animation Band, Rai Fiction
    Giuseppe Laganà

At the end of the Trojan War, the Greek hero Ulysses and his crew have only one goal: to return home to Ithaca.
But the rivalries between the gods of Olympus and the disfavor of the god of the sea, Poseidon, will transform the peaceful return journey into an epic adventure…

Freely taken from “My name is Nobody” by the famous philosopher and popularizer Luciano De Crescenzo, Ulysses revisits and updates, with new characters and a pinch of humor, one of the most ancient and famous stories of Greek mythology, unsurpassed model of the “tale of adventures”.

The Odyssey: Homer’s Tale

As everyone knows, the Odyssey is the story that follows the Iliad, which narrates the long wanderings of Ulysses at the end of the Trojan war.

Therefore, while the Iliad is a choral tale that narrates the deeds of heroes and gods, the Odyssey is essentially centered on the events of a man, Ulysses in fact, grappling with one of the main characteristics of the human being: the inextinguishable thirst of knowledge.

Characteristic that pushes him to challenge his own limits, the forces of nature, destiny and chance. Around the protagonist we find Athena, the goddess who protects him; his wife Penelope who awaits him at home in Ithaca, weaving her eternal web; his son Telemachus who, also in Ithaca, defends his father’s rights from the assault of the suitors; the strength and anger of Poseidon, god of the sea, “natural” enemy of Ulysses; and finally the men of his crew, companions in his incredible journey.

Ulysses is the first “modern” hero, whose main feature is not physicality, although present as in all heroes, but intelligence, understood as the ability to adapt to the most diverse situations in life. It is a man who, through reason, challenges the dark, instinctive and primal forces of nature driven by his own and others’ curiosity. That same curiosity that is the basis of the whole history of human evolution and progress, not just scientific.

Adaptation to Cartoons

The “Adventures of Ulysses in Cartoons” are on the one hand the faithful story, as far as possible, of what Homer has narrated, but they are also in all respects cartoons, able to excite, fascinate, involve and entertain young spectators between the ages of 7 and 12. The “historical” accuracy of the Odyssey is not betrayed, but ample space is still left for fantasy and imagination by following the tastes and most current trends of the very young.
Hence the introduction of two fictional characters not present in the Odyssey: Filò a girl of about 12 years and Leo, slightly older, the youngest of Ulysses’ crew. The serial narrates the adventures of Ulysses in a chronological way, in order to avoid difficulties in understanding by the target to whom it is addressed.
In fact, in the Homeric poem Ulysses tells his vicissitudes to the king of the Phaeacians in a very long flashback.

Our story, on the other hand, unfolds from the end of the Trojan War (the episode of the horse) to the return of Ulysses to Ithaca, also quickly clarifying the main reasons behind the war but above all about the journey of our hero. The characteristics of Ulysses, translated into the language of the cartoon, make Ulysses a pirate-Robin Hood with an overflowing, charismatic and theatrical charm, a romantic adventurer inspired by good feelings. A man full of nostalgia for his distant land, his dearest affections, deeply tied to his roots, yet pushed to wander through an unexplored and mysterious world by an inextinguishable thirst for knowledge.

An often hostile world, studded with ferocious monsters (Polyphemus but also Scylla and Charybdis), by enchanting but at the same time very insidious Sirens, by unscrupulous sorceresses (Circe) and by enemies as human as they are divine (Poseidon). A world where even those who love him can represent a danger (Calypso) but where there is also someone who cares about his fate and who therefore defends, protects and helps him (Athena).

A strong antagonist of Ulysses is missing from the Homeric text. Such cannot be considered Poseidon, because being a god he acts on the mechanisms of fate and not directly against the protagonist. Proteus embodies this role. It is a marine creature, an amphibious being with humanoid somatic characteristics that has the possibility (only out of the water) to take on perfect human form. Which can change from time to time, taking on multiple identities. Proteus becomes the armed wing of Poseidon and will oppose Ulysses throughout the perilous return to Ithaca.