Making Fiends (TV series)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Making Fiends
Mking-fnds-logo.jpg
Genre Comedy horror
Thriller
Black humor
Science fantasy
Slapstick
Created by Amy Winfrey
Written by Amy Winfrey
Matt Negrete
Madellaine Paxson
Peter Merryman
Directed by Dave Wasson (supervising)
Dave Knott
Martin Cendreda
Voices of Amy Winfrey
Aglaia Mortcheva
Peter Merryman
Dave Wasson
Opening theme "Making Fiends" by Amy Winfrey
Composer(s) Ego Plum
Amy Winfrey
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Eric Coleman
Matt Mahaffey
Producer(s) Dave Wasson
Running time 21 minutes (3 7-minute segments)
Production company(s) Nickelodeon Animation Studio
Nicktoons Original Series
Release
Original network Nicktoons Network
Audio format Dolby Digital 5.1
Original release October 4 – November 1, 2008
Chronology
Preceded by Web cartoon: Making Fiends

Making Fiends is an American comedy horror animated television series. Based upon a web series with the same name, the series ran from October 4, 2008 to November 1, 2008 on Nicktoons Network. The series follows the evil, but dim-witted Vendetta and the new happy girl, Charlotte, at school in the gloomy town of Clamburg.[1] Vendetta hates Charlotte and tries to destroy her in each and every episode.

The series is created by Amy Winfrey.[1] She voices Charlotte and her grandmother Charlene, among other characters.[2] Character designer Aglaia Mortcheva is the voice of Vendetta.[2] All of the voice actors from the web cartoon reprise their roles for the TV series, with the addition of a new castmember and crewmember, Dave Wasson, who previously created Time Squad on Cartoon Network.

The series premiered with no promotion or press release.[3] At one point, it was the highest rated original program on Nicktoons.[3] The show was abruptly cancelled after airing six episodes.

The series aired reruns regularly from 2008 to 2012, but since 2014, the show usually airs on Nicktoons around Halloween.

Plot[edit]

(l-r); Grudge, Vendetta, Marvin, Maggie, Mort, Charlotte, Marion, Malachi, and Mr. Milk.

Charlotte, a new girl at Vendetta's school, arrives determined to make a friend. An "impossibly cheery"[4] optimist, Charlotte rapidly becomes the foil[1] and tormentor of the morose and vindictive Vendetta, by insisting on befriending her.

Vendetta is a selfish little girl with the power to make fiends, "hideous things" which she has unleashed on her town to bring it under her reign of terror. The coastal town of Clamburg, once a thriving tourist destination, has become a grim, forbidding place, with stores shuttered and the populace cowed before the horror of Vendetta's watchful fiends.

Vendetta is unable to elicit anything but saccharine friendliness out of Charlotte, and so makes the first of many fiends that are specially designed to "destroy" the newcomer. After demonstrating that her oblivious joy makes her immune to the dangers and terrors of all of the fiends, Charlotte declares that she and Vendetta are "going to be best friends forever and ever."

In subsequent scenes, Charlotte displays an ability to change the nature of some fiends into helpful friends, further frustrating Vendetta's efforts to undo her. Being "oblivious to all that is bad and mean in the world",[5] Charlotte neither acknowledges the damage caused by Vendetta's fiends, nor the threat Vendetta herself poses over Clamburg. Nearly all of the residents, including Vendetta's parents, come to hate or fear Charlotte more than they do Vendetta within the first six episodes.

Charlotte never discovers or understands that Vendetta despises her, and Vendetta is never able to get rid of Charlotte. While this conflict is never resolved by the end of each episode, some minor developments appear to continue between episodes, like the introduction of Buttons 2 and an enormous statue that Vendetta has raised of herself.

Characters[edit]

Vendetta and Charlotte attend Mu Elementary School in class room 4.[6] Mr. Milk, a soft-spoken nervous man, is their teacher.[5] Charlotte lives with her grandmother Charlene.[6] Charlotte's parents are said to be astronauts, but are likely dead.[7] Vendetta lives with her shrunk down parents, Violetta and Viktor, who live in a hamster cage.[7]

They all live in the mysterious and gloomy town of Clamburg. Vendetta closed stores she does not like, such as a model toy store.[8] Nearby cities are called Tinspit (which is mentioned by Vendetta to have miniature golf) and Molding.[9] They eat clams, beef jerky, grape punch, and lots of onions, including onion soda.[10][11] The town is coastal and was in the past famous for its clams.[9] Before Vendetta came with her fiends, Clamburg was apparently a happy place, as shown in a commercial.[9] It had beaches, happy inhabitants, a thriving clam industry, and a polka music festival.[9]

Fiends[edit]

Vendetta makes the fiends through a process similar to baking, mixing together ingredients to form them. Vendetta seems to be the only one in Clamburg who knows how to make fiends, although in one episode Charlotte was able to make a friendly fiend without help from Vendetta.[12] (Vendetta only gave her the ingredients.)

Vendetta gets her fiend recipes from a large green cookbook labeled "How to make Fiends". The base ingredient is a colorless powder, or liquid, called "Fiend Mix"and spiders. Though Vendetta has been shown in episodes such as "Puppies, Puppies, Puppies!" to be able to make simple fiends from only fiend mix, more complicated ingredients are needed to make fiends with more potential. Another interesting point is that adding any ingredient that doesn't fit can make the fiend come out entirely wrong, as shown in the promo clip "Ralph" and in the episode "Parentnapped".

There are many fiends that take prominent roles in the show (see Characters), but many fiends are only shown in one or two episodes before disappearing forever. Many fiends were taken from the online series, such as in the episode "Marvin the Middle Manager"; the "library fiends" were previously "noise-making fiends" shown in web episode 16.[13]

Charlotte can manipulate fiends very easily. It has been shown in many episodes that giving fiends sugar of any kind, or sometimes even just showing them affection, can make them turn benevolent. It is unknown whether this is a flaw present in all fiends, a mistake Vendetta repeats by accident, or some unspoken power of Charlotte's.[6]

Most fiends Vendetta creates only have one purpose, and seem only capable of doing one thing. It is unknown if it is just because a lack of intelligence, if Vendetta only surrounds them with one thing to do, or if it is in the ingredients. Grudge, however, is a more complicated fiend who does anything Vendetta asks.

Origins[edit]

Winfrey is often asked where she got the idea for Making Fiends. She is not sure, but liked to sketch "strange and fantastical" animals in college.[1] She is often inspired by "silly-looking and improbable" animals.[14] She has a parrot and a pet flounder at home, and once had a salamander.[14]

Music[edit]

Series creator Amy Winfrey wrote all of the songs featured on the show.[1] After recording the demo track for each song, they would be sent to series composer, Ego Plum, for production.[15]

Plum is noted for using unusual sounds and instruments in his music. Examples include: dripping water, toy pianos, baby rattles, plastic xylophones, and even a goat.[15] On occasion, other Making Fiends crew members would pitch in to help play the various instruments, lending the music a "home-made" feel similar to the original web series.[15]

Production[edit]

A daughter to an employee at Nickelodeon was a fan of Making Fiends. She showed the website to other Nickelodeon employees. They contacted Winfrey to see if she was interested in televising the series.[16]

In early 2004, Nick started negotiations with Winfrey to develop the series into a half-hour television program.[3] During the long negotiation and development period, Winfrey continued to create new web episodes independently, and sell related merchandise in her own online "souvenir shop".[3] In 2006, Nickelodeon began distributing many of the web cartoons as streaming video on their own TurboNick platform, and later as podcasts available on iTunes.[17]

The series was picked up for a first season of television episodes in late 2006. Production began in January 2007 and the show started airing in 2008. The show was set to premiere on Nickelodeon, but Nickelodeon decided to cancel its plans for a broadcast on their parent channel, and instead gave this new series to its sister channel Nicktoons (along with fellow Nicktoon, "Random! Cartoons").

The series premiered on October 4, 2008 and ended on November 1, 2008. The show aired on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:30am and 9:30pm. It received generally favorable reviews by critics. Making Fiends carries a rating of TV-Y7 (FV (fantasy violence for some episodes.).[18] The series aired in the US, Australia and New Zealand, and in the Netherlands.[19]

The writing team of Making Fiends consist of only four people; Winfrey, Peter Merryman, Madellaine Paxson, and Matt Negrete.[20] In the show's studio, there is a special "thinking couch" to come up with new ideas.[20]

Charlotte's house in the web series (top) and in the TV series (bottom).

Animation[edit]

Cyber Chicken Animation Studio and DQ Entertainment Limited animate the series in traditional 2-D. The character designs are kept from the web series, with some changed details; such as cleaner lines and brighter eyes.[21] Despite the fact that both versions use Adobe Flash to create animation, the television episodes are cleaner-looking. This is probably because the characters and backgrounds in the web episodes were made of overlapping JPEG files, and that the television series has an actual budget.[22] Also, the colors still go outside the outlines, but it seems more like a second outline than messy drawing.[23] Every building was changed; in the web cartoon most buildings were grey, but was changed to different colors for the TV version.[24][25] Vendetta's house is now dark green and Charlotte's blue.[24]

Cast[edit]

Creator Amy Winfrey voices Charlotte, Grandma Charlene, Giant Kitty, Marion, Maggie, Buttons, and Mrs. Millet.[2] Character designer Aglaia Mortcheva, who also was in the crew for the web series, voices Vendetta and her mother, Violeta.[2] Winfrey's husband, Peter Merryman, voices Mr. Milk, Marvin, Malachi, Grudge, Mort, Ms. Minty, Onion Man, and most fiends on the show. The series' supervising producer and director, Dave Wasson, voices Vendetta's father, Viktor, and Mr. Gumpit. Madellaine Paxson voiced Maggie in the episode "No Singing". Winfrey, however, voices Maggie in all other appearances.

Episodes[edit]

No. Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
code
1a "Charlotte's First Day" Dave Knott Amy Winfrey October 4, 2008 (2008-10-04) MF101

A happy girl from Vermont named Charlotte comes to the town of Clamburg with her cheerful grandmother, Charlene. Charlotte starts at Mu Elementary School right away. Mr. Milk welcomes Charlotte and tells her to take a seat. Then, Vendetta enters the classroom and Charlotte starts talking to her. Already now, Charlotte annoys Vendetta, even though she is only nice. Vendetta decides to bring a fiend to Show and Tell the next day. Charlotte brought her hamster, Buttons, her "favorite hamster in the whole world", and a rock, that Vendetta "gave" to her. In real, she threw it. Vendetta brought a tentacle fiend that was supposed to eat Charlotte, but the Giant Kitty saved her.

Remake of: Web episodes one and two.

Fiends featured: Giant Kitty, tentacle fiend
1b "A Fiendish Friend" Martin Cendreda Peter Merryman
Amy Winfrey
October 4, 2008 (2008-10-04) MF102

Charlotte loves to pretend to be different kind of things. Vendetta suggests to "pretend to be dead". Charlotte starts "haunting" her at Le Mayonnaise, the fancy restaurant, from "beyond the grave". Vendetta decides to go home. Then she hears ghostly sounds from her attic and walks up and sees Charlotte holding and rattling chains like a ghost. Vendetta decides to make a scissor fiend to her, which Charlotte befriends.

Remake of: Web episode four.

Fiends featured: Scissor fiend (Buttons 2)
1c "Super Evil" Dave Knott Peter Merryman October 4, 2008 (2008-10-04) MF106

Charlotte scores "super evil" in a magazine quiz, while Vendetta scores "mostly evil". After this, Vendetta wants to see Charlotte's evil ways, so she starts following her. She gives her the chance to make her own fiend in her kitchen. Charlotte made Mr. Huggles, a pink bear-like fiend that loves and hugs everyone and everything. In the end, it turned out that Charlotte did not look at the questions for the quiz, she only draw a pretty picture of a flower.

Fiends featured: Mr. Huggles; a fiend made by Charlotte
2a "Vegetables" Martin Cendreda Madellaine Paxson
Amy Winfrey
October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05) MF103

Charlotte notices that the lunch lady, Mrs. Millet, only serves Vendetta's favorite food; beef jerky, grape punch, and clams. Charlotte wants to have more vegetables on the menu, but when she tries to change it, Vendetta makes some vegetables fiends, which Charlotte later teaches how to sing vegetable song.

Remake of: Web episode three.

Fiends featured: Red frog fiend, vegetable fiends

Guest starring: Chris Fria as carrot, Ego Plum as tomato and broccoli
2b "Toupee" Martin Cendreda Amy Winfrey October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05) MF112

Mr. Milk has a crush on Ms. Minty, but he does not know how to talk to her. Charlotte gives him an apple because he is the "best teacher in the whole world". Vendetta decides to give him an evil toupee that makes all of his dreams come true, but only if he destroys Charlotte. Mr. Milk tries to destroy her several times, but he fails every time because he is too kind to destroy the only student that gave him an apple.

Fiends featured: Toupee fiend

Guest starring: Fred Tatasciore as the Toupee
2c "Mama Vendetta" Dave Knott Matt Negrete October 5, 2008 (2008-10-05) MF105

To remind everyone how powerful she is, Vendetta erects a giant statue of herself. Charlotte likes to swing on the statue's "pretty elbow". To keep Charlotte away from her statue, she creates some exploding pigeon fiends. But they think Vendetta is their mother because, as Charlotte said, "she hatched them with her love". Charlotte takes the role as their father. In the end, Vendetta's statue brakes but she later re-built it again.

Fiends featured: Exploding pigeon fiends
3a "Shrinking Charlotte" Martin Cendreda Amy Winfrey October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11) MF104

Vendetta makes a fiend to shrink Charlotte, but accidentally shrinks herself and Grudge, too. Charlotte is thrilled of being just as small as Buttons. Vendetta makes some "gianting squids" to make her as big as a giant to destroy Charlotte.

Remake of: Web episode seven.

Fiends featured: Shrinking slug fiend, gianting squid fiends
3b "Parents" Martin Cendreda Madellaine Paxson October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11) MF111

Charlotte misses her parents, they are "in a better place. Up there," supposedly a reference to their jobs as astronauts. Vendetta decides to make fiend look-a-likes for her. Charlotte thinks they are her real parents, but the fiends are willing to eat her. But like usual, Charlotte befriends the fiends and now they are having fun together. In the end, they are eaten by whales, but Grudge accidentally fires a cannon, which makes Charlotte think that they have returned to the space station.

Fiends featured: Mom fiend, dad fiend
3c "No Singing" Dave Knott Amy Winfrey October 11, 2008 (2008-10-11) MF110

Vendetta is extremely tired of Charlotte's happy songs, so she makes a fiend to destroy singers. However, Maggie reads a sad poem about a lost kitten, and suddenly Charlotte doesn't feel like singing. Vendetta does everything she can to make her sing again. However, when Vendetta starts singing in an attempt to make Charlotte sing, she triggers the fiend, who starts chasing Vendetta instead of Charlotte.

Fiends featured: Crushing fiend
4a "Puppies! Puppies! Puppies!" Martin Cendreda Matt Negrete October 18, 2008 (2008-10-18) MF107

Vendetta wants to protect all her favorite places from Charlotte, so she uses her "fiend multiplier" to multiply her guard dog fiends. However, since Vendetta left the "fiend multiplier" in the same room as Charlotte, Charlotte finds a way to take care of all the fiends – multiply herself.

Fiends featured: Guard dog fiends
4b "Shorts 1 (Dear Pretty Diary, Dear Stupid Journal)" Dave Knott Peter Merryman
Amy Winfrey
October 18, 2008 (2008-10-18) MF108

An advertisement for Clamburg's onion stand; Charlotte and Vendetta share their versions of the day with their journals or diaries; Charlotte sings about why she loves Clamburg; a tourism advertisement for Clamburg, sabotaged by Vendetta.

Fiends featured: Book fiend, fuzzy ball fiends, unfinished fiend
4c "Marvin the Middle Manager" Dave Knott Amy Winfrey October 18, 2008 (2008-10-18) MF114

Vendetta decides she's too powerful to sit in school all day. She hires Marvin to run things in her absence and Charlotte decides to help him. They do everything on the list; scare the student, feed the fiends, etc. But Marvin may not be up to the task of destroying Charlotte, while Charlotte thinks it will be fun, because she is going to be a butterfly that gets hit by a piano.

Fiends featured: Fiend by slide (Rick), purple fiend, library fiends, bat fiends, tentacle fiend
5a "Parentnapped" Martin Cendreda Peter Merryman October 25, 2008 (2008-10-25) MF113

Vendetta is angry at her parents for going on a picnic with Charlotte. She sends a fiend to bring them home, but he comes back with Charlotte's cheerful grandma, Charlene. Vendetta writes a note to Charlotte about "trading parents". Charlotte is playing with Vendetta's parents all day, and Charlene is making sure that Vendetta has everything she needs at school, cleans her house, and knits scarves for Vendetta and Grudge. Vendetta gets tired of Charlene and decides to take her parents back.

Fiends featured: Burly fiend, Sugar fiend
5b "Smash" Martin Cendreda Madellaine Paxson October 25, 2008 (2008-10-25) MF109

To celebrate the Pancake Festival, Charlotte forms a band to perform at the parade. Marvin played the tuba, Marion played the triangle, Maggie played the kazoo, and Mort played the drum. Vendetta makes a fiend to flatten Charlotte, but ends up being smashed together with her.

Fiends featured: Smash fiend
5c "New Best Friend" Dave Knott Matt Negrete October 25, 2008 (2008-10-25) MF115

Vendetta's house gets invaded by termite fiends she made to destroy Charlotte, so her house will be tented for three days. Vendetta decides to move in with Marion, just as she is about to leave Clamburg forever. She is terrified of Vendetta, but she also thinks it's nice to have a powerful friend.

Fiends featured: Termite fiends, Crab-like fiend; a fiend made by Marion.
6a "Tornado" Dave Knott Peter Merryman November 1, 2008 (2008-11-01) MF116

Vendetta makes a tornado fiend to destroy Charlotte's house, but unintentionally attaches it to her own house. Charlotte's antics eventually drive Vendetta insane. Meanwhile, Grudge gets blown away by the tornado and ventures through harsh environments to get back home.

Fiends featured: Tornado fiend, lamp fiend, servant fiends
6b "Shorts 2 (The Land of Cheese)" Dave Knott Peter Merryman
Amy Winfrey
November 1, 2008 (2008-11-01) MF117

A commercial for giant pet supplies runs; Charlotte dreams about a world made out of cheese with her "best friend" Vendetta, which destroys later; Charlotte sings a song about living on the moon, while Vendetta sings about its downside.

Fiends featured: Dragon fiend
6c "Pony" Martin Cendreda Amy Winfrey November 1, 2008 (2008-11-01) MF118

Charlotte wants Vendetta to make a pony for her, so she makes a giant pony fiend. It rampages through Clamburg and terrorizes the citizens. Vendetta is happy until everyone hides in her house for safety, so she must get rid of "John" the female pony if she wants to get back in her own house.

Fiends featured: Giant pony fiend, giant eagle fiend

Guest starring: Dee Bradley Baker as John the Pony

Note: This is the last episode to air before Making Fiends' cancellation

Reception[edit]

Reviews[edit]

"It's not gross or political or even gory, and although it's dark -- and looks dark -- it's a beginner's sort of dark. Because no matter how cynical Vendetta's outlook or how random the results of her machinations seem, she'll never ever actually win."

KJ Dell Antonia[26]

KJ Dell Antonia at Common Sense Media gave the show 4 out of 5 saying "the dialogue is simple, the animation is intentionally scribbly and dark, and the color palette is limited. The whole thing looks like a kid's flip book. And yet it's funny -- funny for the kind of parents who think Dexter's Laboratory is funny, and funny for any kid old enough to handle the weirdness of rooting for a patently bad girl who will never win and with nothing but a secret, lingering fear of monsters under the bed."[26]

Dan Heching at Tilzy said "clever and irreverent, Making Fiends is a fairly classic series of short episodes. [...] Nothing is left untouched; torture, animal attacks, musical numbers and April fools' jokes. [...] Character development is kept largely to a minimum, in keeping with the classic simplicity of the cartoon, [that is] Vendetta vs. Charlotte."[4]

Marketing and merchandise[edit]

Before the series was picked up by Nicktoons, Winfrey sold Making Fiends T-shirts and DVDs with the web episodes at her "souvenir shop".[27] Official t-shirts by Nicktoons were later released.[28]

A 2-disc complete series DVD set was released on June 9, 2009 with the first season including all six episodes. Although it is shown in the gift shop at the Making Fiends official website, it is only available for purchase at Amazon.com in DVD-R format.[29]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Gendy Alimurung (August 6, 2008). "Making Fiends: Amy Winfrey's Animated Vendetta". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Making Fiends Cast and Crew". TV.com. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Ego Plum Radio - Making Fiends". Ebola Music Records. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  4. ^ a b Dan Heching (January 8, 2008). "Making Fiends". Tilzy. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  5. ^ a b "Making Fiends: Characters". Nickelodeon. 2008. Archived from the original on February 10, 2009. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  6. ^ a b c Written by Amy Winfrey. Directed by Dave Knott (October 4, 2008). "Charlotte's First Day". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 1a. Nicktoons Network. 
  7. ^ a b Written by Madellaine Paxson. Directed by Martin Cendreda (October 11, 2008). "Parents". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 3b. Nicktoons Network. 
  8. ^ Written by Amy Winfrey. Directed by Dave Knott (October 11, 2008). "No Singing". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 3c. 
  9. ^ a b c d Written by Amy Winfrey and Peter Merryman. Directed by Dave Knott (October 18, 2008). "Shorts 1". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 4b. Nicktons Network. 
  10. ^ Written by Madellaine Paxson. Story by Amy Winfrey. Directed by Martin Cendreda (October 5, 2008). "Vegetables". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 2a. Nicktoons Network. 
  11. ^ Written by Peter Merryman. Directed by Dave Knott (November 1, 2008). "Tornado". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 6a. Nicktoons Network. 
  12. ^ Written by Peter Merryman. Directed by Dave Knott (October 4, 2008). "Super Evil". Making Fiends. Season 1. Episode 1c. Nicktoons Network. 
  13. ^ "Making Fiends - Web Episode 16". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  14. ^ a b "Where do fiends come from?". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-15. 
  15. ^ a b c "Songs!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  16. ^ Aaron Simpson (February 6, 2007). "Winfrey Making Fiends for Nick TV". Cold Hard Flash. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  17. ^ "Fiendy History". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  18. ^ "Making Fiends". Nickelodeon. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  19. ^ "It's the Making Fiends TV Schedule!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  20. ^ a b "Writing Fiends!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  21. ^ "Fiendmaking". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  22. ^ "Fiendy Textures!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  23. ^ "Fiendy TV!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  24. ^ a b "Visit Clamburg!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  25. ^ "Inside Clamburg!". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  26. ^ a b KJ Dell Antonia. "Making Fiends - TV Show Rating For Kids and Families". Commonsense Media. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  27. ^ "Making Fiends Gift shop". Making Fiends. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 
  28. ^ "Making Fiends". Making Fiends.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 
  29. ^ "Making Fiends Season 1 (2 Disc Set)". Making Fiends.com. Retrieved 2009-04-30. 

External links[edit]