Making Fiends TV Poster Image

Making Fiends

Edgy, wickedly funny 'toon based on Web series.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

In every episode, Vendetta seeks to "destroy" Charlotte and makes fiends that she orders to eat or otherwise injure her. Charlotte's good nature always triumphs, and she often wins the fiends over -- but then Vendetta tends to destroy them. Because Vendetta is the main character and Charlotte is genuinely annoying, the whole "root for the bad guy knowing he'll never win" thing could be confusing for little kids.

Violence & scariness

Vendetta makes fiends to destroy Charlotte. They eat other fiends and threaten to eat Charlotte. Vendetta and her pet fiend also hit other characters casually, and Vendetta has the entire town cowed by her fiend-making ability. She also keeps her parents shrunken in a cage. Fiends explode, rocketed into space,and ooze blood and gore -- but the animation is so primitive that it's hard to be frightened. The actual "people" are never more than bumped or bruised.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know although that the main character in this edgy cartoon is patently evil, speaks with an evil accent (apparently German is still a stand-in for evil), makes creatures called fiends with the intent to destroy another character, and keeps her parents in a cage, it's quite funny -- if you and your kids are up for this kind of humor. Expect some violence (though the primitive animation keeps it from being particularly scary) and iffy behavior -- as well as the potentially confusing (for kids) situation of rooting for the "bad" guy.

What's the story?

Vendetta (voiced by Aglaia Mortcheva) rules Clamburg in the way that the small boy from the old Twilight Zone episode ruled his town: fear, intimidation, and really weird powers. In Vendetta's case, she can mix up "fiends" in a pot using ingredients found around the house, a pack of Insta-Fiend, and an extrememly useful recipe book. The fiends are endowed with whatever powers she chooses -- touching them might make you bigger or smaller or cause a shock -- and most are ready to chow on other Clamburg inhabitants. Vendetta particularly wants to "destroy" Charlotte (Amy Winfrey), an annoyingly sunny, oblivious girl who can charm even the worst fiends that Vendetta cooks up.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

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.

The humor is mainly just the goofiness of watching the fiends fail -- they're too slow to catch their prey, or they accidently eat one another -- and the wobbly artwork (the show is based on a Web series created by Winfrey). 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.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why "bad guys" are sometimes more likable and sympathetic characters than "good guys." Is it wrong to hope that a "villain" will win? How often does that actually end up happening in most TV shows and movies? What about in real life? Families can also discuss the show's sheer absurdity. How do the show's art and animation make the fiends even funnier -- and the humor more universal? There aren't many shows that both a parent and a kid laugh at for the same reasons. What makes this one work?

TV details

Premiere date:October 4, 2008
Cast:Aglaia Mortcheva, Amy Winfrey, Peter Merryman
Network:Nicktoons
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
TV rating:TV-Y7
Available on:Streaming

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Teen, 13 years old Written byJohnnycade7 June 9, 2012

I agree with catsaremyfriends and Blue-Bunny completely, show is perfect as long as little ones are guided through.

The whole plot is full of deep morals and (as long as you're there to point them out) children will learn the right things; Vendetta is coldhearted, malicious, pessimistic, controlling, and ignorant. Charlotte is sweet, kind, optimistic, helpful, selfless, and innocent. Vendetta and her hamster, Grudge (who's not exactly evil but is loyal to Vendetta) use their unique talents of the creation of life to scare the townspeople into doing her bidding and making things go her way. Then along comes Charlotte with her knack for seeing things as they truly are: beautiful, and for the first time things actually don't go her way. Vendetta hates this, and also finds it a waste of time to be cheerful calling her and her ways stupid. At one point she tries to be like her so she can win; but she's just too ignorant and blinded by her pessimism to see the truth, let alone see that things would fall into place if she didn't try to control things so much and just be happy with what she has like Charlotte. Charlotte's innocence makes her invulnerable to Vendetta's terrible ways of making the world seem cold and dark by scaring her, and her optimism makes her brave in the conflicts of Vendetta's evil creations and in turn makes her creatures good. (Including Grudge himself) Vendetta hates everything about her at this point. She seeks out to destroy Charlotte at all costs! But whenever Vendetta tries to get rid of Charlotte she ends up being the one who gets hurt herself and Charlotte ends up walking away as happy as ever! This all comes together in a very nice way and is chock full of good morals such as: beauty comes from within, good always wins, jealousy is never rewarded, positivity is followed by victory, and it's better to be loved than feared. If this weren't enough, even though the animation is very colorful and includes a very diverse and original cast of characters into the show who are all completely three-dimensional. So, even though the humor is a little dark, as long as you talk the little ones through, this show is perfect in every way by being unique and balanced. You have to see it for yourself!!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old June 12, 2011

Good Show, More For Tweens and Teens

I like this show, though it is dark and strangely funny , like Invader Zim. Vendetta often says, "stupid girl", and in the web series, a boy says, "That is the cat from hell!", so once again, more aimed at tweens and teens
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Teen, 13 years old Written bycatsaremyfriends August 10, 2011

You need to think.

I think you need to be at least ten to appreciate this show. You need to be able to understand the hidden messages behind it. Take a close look: Vendetta, the "pantaganist" as l like to call her, has total control of everyone around her. They bow to her whims like slaves. Everyone, that is, except Charlotte. Of course, Charlotte doesn't realize it, but her niceness gets under Vendetta's skin. She's unafraid and immune to Vendetta's malice. It's kind of deep, actually. You have two extremes that show you : it all depends on how you look at things. To Vendetta, the world is dark and everyone and everything around her is stupid. But Charlotte's positive, happy, pretty spin on things counteracts the darkness. Charlotte's not stupid, she sees things in a brighter light.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much swearing