recess radio program

5/25/04
Makingfiends
    by Julie Sinn

 

Brief sound clip

The song you just heard is the opening theme to "Making Fiends," a series of flash animation films created by Amy Winfrey. The premise of Making Fiends is quite simple; in each episode, Vendetta, a little girl who is always making fiends, tries to squelch Charlotte's unbridled , little girl happiness. Unfortunately for Vendetta, Charlotte's perky ability to make friends turns every fiend into a fun playmate.

Even though Amy Winfrey's flash animation web site is one of the few created, produced and animated by a woman, Making Fiends was not her first animated project. While in graduate school at UCLA, she used flash animation to produce an MFA project titled Muffin Films that is about, well, muffins-- people who eat muffins, muffins who eat people, alien muffins-- really almost every possible muffin situation that you can imagine, and some that you can't. Winfrey also created and animated another series called Big Bunny. Here, three children wander into the woods to find their dog but instead find a giant pink bunny who likes to tell stories to crunchy, tender children. It won't come as a surprise to hear that, for a while, Winfrey was even an animator for the television show South Park.

All three of Winfrey's flash animation series mix humorous lessons with the childhood fascination of darkness, grossness, and monsters. In 2003, the Number 3 episode of Making Fiends won in the Best Web Animation category at the Chicago International Film Festival. In this particular episode, Vendetta tries to squelch Charlotte's interest in eating healthy vegetable by sending in a group of fiendish vegetables, with big, jagged mouth, who like to scream and attack children. Once again, though, Charlotte makes friends with the monstrous vegetables, and teaches them a new song about why people should eat vegetables with every meal, a truly nutritious lesson.

To learn more about Making Friends or Amy Winfrey, visit her web site at http://www.makingfiends.com.

Now, I'll leave you with the song Charlotte taught the vegetables:

Brief sound clip

Eat vegetables with every meal,
Or your lips will start to peel,
And your eyeballs will fall out,
And your feet will smell like trout.

Copyright 2004 Julie Sinn

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