Western Animation: The Storykeepers aka: The Story Keepers
It's A.D. 64, and the infamous fire of July 18 has separated four children from their families. The kids, Anna, Cyrus, Justin and Marcus, find shelter with Ben and Helena, a Jewish baker and his wife. They also discover that Ben is the leader of one of Rome's underground churches, and is known as a storykeeper; that is, someone who passes on the stories of Jesus' life and ministry. Together with teenage Zealot Zakkai, the kids and their guardians go through many adventures during their search for the kids' missingparents, all the while spreading the stories of Jesus and trying to avoid Nero's ever-tightening noose on Christianity in Rome.Storykeepers was a children's cartoon produced by Zondervan and Focus on the Family from 1995 to 1997. It comprised 13 episodes and two holiday compilation specials. Three of the last four episodes make up The Easter Storykeepers, a project for which more famous voice talent was brought in.
Storykeepers contains examples of:
Action Mom – Helena becomes this after Ben is arrested.
Aesop – The entire premise of the series. Often several Aesops are present in a single episode.
Alliterative Name – Ben the Baker, though by all technicalities his “legal” name would be Benjamin bar Simeon.
Antonius the Miller counts to an extent. When we first meet him he's a random attendee at Nero's birthday party, where it's implied he's a tailor (he gives Nero a ball of string). By the next episode he's been promoted to anti-hero and given a name and official occupation.
Art Evolution – In the earliest episodes, the animation can be crude at times, and there’s little continuity in character body features, such as the number of fingers on the hands of some characters. In the later episodes, the animation and designs of the characters remains consistent, and Helena even gets a makeover. Oh, and Justin gets a new wardrobe.
Collapsing Lair – Zak organizes a cutoff escape route in the catacombs in case the church is discovered. Used literally in an earlier episode when Anna removes a beam intended to hold up the unstable tunnel roof.
Concealing Canvas – A plaque denoting Ben’s position as Nero’s official baker hides an escape route for Christians.
Conflicting Loyalty – Capella begins to experience this about halfway through the Easter story arc.
Easy Evangelism – Tacticus. Subverted and almost averted with Capella. In fact, for Capella it requires Ben's willingness to die for the opportunity to tell Capella about Jesus' resurrection to initiate a Heel Face Turn.
History Marches On – It was never proven that Nero ordered his own city to be burned down, and recent historical evidence strongly suggests that the great fire of July 18, AD 64 was in fact an accident, and Nero was not involved in its start in any way. But this series uses the assumption that Nero ordered the fire as a driving force behind the series’ plot. Regardless of how or why the fire started, the fact remains that Nero used the Christians as a scapegoat, thus beginning the Roman persecution.
Limited Wardrobe – All the characters, though Justin does gain long sleeves and a vest in the fourth episode.
Meaningful Name – Several characters, most notably Nihilus, Stoutacus and Snivelus.
Could arguably include Milo, the old trail guide. Milo is a German name, but in this case it could refer to the Latin word “mil,” meaning "thousand", in reference to the number of miles Milo has traveled.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain - Tacticus' conversion was sealed when Nihilus abandoned him to die in the catacombs, giving Justin and Anna the chance to demonstrate Jesus' command to love their enemies by rescuing Tacticus.
Orphan's Ordeal – The underlying plot of the series, and the driving plot of at least one episode. The kids do eventually find their parents (except Anna, who is instead adopted by Tacticus and Miriam).
The Other Darrin – Jesus’ original voice actor is never heard from after the first episode.
Paper-Thin Disguise – Ben. Played straight with Nero, but averted with Zak. Lampshaded by Cyrus.