Cindi and Friends is a Kuboian animated television series created by Fyp Housin and produced by Scopescreen Media.

The show ran on KT for five series airing from 1999 to 2003. After the show came to an end, reruns continued to air on the channel until its closure in November 2008. Reruns were also shown on Nick Jr. Kuboia until 2005 and during Vision One's unbranded children's programming block from 2009 to 2011.

During its initial run, Cindi and Friends received positive reception from critics and audiences alike, which praise going towards its writing, animation and music, though the show did receive some criticism over some of its characters and their personality traits.

Premise

Cindi Sophia Roberts is a nine year-old girl who does not attend school. Instead, she spends her life attending a daycare group which is located in an indoor entertainment centre called Rainbow Dome. Although Cindi prefers to spend time alone and typically dislikes the company of others, she learns to spend time with and appreciate the other children who attend the same group as her. Since she is good at helping others with their problems, Cindi is popular amongst her friends and acquaintances, though she does has a rivalry with Todd, the snobby father of her friend Tanya.

Show format

The first series of Cindi and Friends was originally broadcast with a runtime of nineteen minutes. However, the main story only lasted fourteen minutes - the remaining runtime was used for brief interstitials and "music videos", which were actually just songs from the show's soundtrack with random clips of episodes of the first series playing in the background and lyrics appearing at the bottom of the screen. Starting from the second series, this format was scrapped, with each episode focusing entirely on the main story, thus the runtime was cut by approximately five minutes.

Cast and characters

Voice cast

Main characters

There are a total of eight main characters in Cindi and Friends, which include Cindi herself, the two staff members who run the social group she attends (Victoria and Fly), and the other five children who attend it. All eight appear in every episode, though only Cindi has a speaking role in every episode.

  • Cindi Sophia Roberts is the titular character and main protagonist of the show; a nine year-old girl who has brown hair and usually wears two pigtails. She is often seen as a heroine amongst her friends and family due to frequently being the one who helps others with their problems. Despite having never attended school in her life, Cindi is shown to be very intelligent, however, she can also be very grumpy, pessimistic and cynical, and is prone to making selfish decisions. Regardless, she is very loyal to her parents and caretakers and cares about her friends, especially Hyh, a lot.
  • Fly is the owner of the group Cindi and her friends attend. Although he is not seen interacting with the children a lot, he is very committed to keeping the place a safe and fun environment for the children.
  • Victoria is Fyp's only employee, who is often incompetent and clumsy. She usually has difficulty trying to entertain the children or keep them safe from danger. Cindi in particular tends to find her annoying.
  • Hyh is Cindi's best friend, who is typically the one who stays by her side when the other four children are playing together. He typically acts as the voice of reason if Cindi is being selfish or if one of the other children are misbehaving.
  • Tanya is the third child who attends the social group in Rainbow Dome. She has the tendency to get up to mischief and cause trouble for the others, although this appears to be because her father has high and strict expectations of her when she is at home. Cindi appears to somewhat dislike Tanya at first, but eventually learns to be good friends with her.
  • Aourine is Hyh's sister, who is often very loud and energetic. She enjoys to act as the "leader" when playing with her friends and can be very bossy with them, though she has good intentions and does try to make everybody happy. Though she and Hyh look around the same age, it is never made clear if they are twins or not.
  • Florence is the fifth attendee of the group. She seems to be spoilt, and can be very full of herself, especially if she is given compliments. Despite this, Florence enjoys the company of others, and usually likes to give her friends special names. She appears to be Tanya's best friend, and enjoys teasing her in a playful manner.
  • Quu is the youngest and quietist of the children. He is shown to be very talented and creative but is very shy and inconfident. Although he is often negative and sarcastic, he is also capable of being very determined and passionate.

Other characters

Cindi's parents, Kimberly and Styl, are seen from time to time. They are depicted as be socially awkward but very supportive of their daughter. Cindi also has a two year-old brother, Zephyr, who makes a few minor appearances.

The families of the other children are seen occasionally. Quu's friendly and assertive teenage sister, Titrit, makes several major appearances in later series. Tanya's snobby and arrogant father, Todd, also has regular speaking appearances - he appears to have a petty rivalry with Cindi, and is regularly seen competing with her over something. Because of this, he is generally considered the main antagonist of the show.

Other staff who work at Rainbow Dome sometimes cross path with Cindi and company. These include Rob, the reluctant janitor who frequently complains about his low wages, and Skit, an employee who works at a junk food stall and sneakily gives the children food and drinks for free.

Development

The character of Cindi Sophia Roberts was based on Cynthia Frewsburg, a close friend of Fyp Housin when he was a child - Cynthia died in 1995 at the age of 12 due to an illness she had suffered from her entire life. Fyp stated that the character of Cindi "honoured" her.

Production

Production on Cindi and Friends began in 1996. Originally, the show was going to be aimed towards older children, and Cindi was going to be far more aggressive than she eventually turned out to be. Fyp originally drew her wearing a bumbag which had cigarettes and a gun in it. However, he was encouraged to make the show for younger children, so this idea was scrapped. Fyp also feared that making Cindi too aggressive would make his deceased friend be seen in a bad light.

Fyp said in a 2004 interview that he had many ideas for episodes that got shelved due to the target audience being changed, including an episode where Cindi would save Rainbow Dome by deactivating a bomb and attacking the man responsible by throwing a knife at him. According to Fyp, Evan Ridley nearly fell off his chair with shock when he heard about the episode idea.

Cancellation

Cindi and Friends ran for five series, with the final series running during the spring of 2003. Fyp Housin had plans for a sixth series and "had no real plans on stopping". However, Fyp started to have a bad reputation due to the illegal activity his father, Xiam Housin, was causing at the time, thus he decided to cancel the show.

Episodes

Series overview

Series Series premiere Series finale Ep.
1 1st September, 1999 22nd December, 1999 17
2 8th March, 2000 14th June, 2000 12
3 10th October, 2001 5th December, 2001 9
4 9th October, 2002 4th December, 2002 9
5 19th February, 2003 9th April, 2003 8

Reception

Cindi and Friends received high ratings during its initial run, with most episodes receiving 1.5 million viewing figures on KT.

The show received very positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, with praise going towards its premise, writing, music and development, as well as educational and entertainment value for both older and younger children.

Controversy and criticism

Despite its positive reception, Cindi and Friends has been the centre of controversy.

Some audiences have pointed out that the character of Cindi Sophia Roberts appears to be a dated Karoul stereotype. [TBA] commented that Cindi "has every expected trait of a Kuboian preteen girl imaginable , except for traits that are too inappropriate to be displayed on preschool television". The LGBT community has also criticised the show as generalising bisexual people with Florence, a girl who is seen being attracted to both boys and girls.

After Fyp Housin, the show's creator's father, Xiam Housin, was arrested for [TBA] in February 2004, Cindi and Friends was removed from the lineup of several children's channels worldwide - CBeebies pulled it from its programming selection entirely, though it returned to the channel in 2006. Noggin temporarily pulled the show from its schedule, although it slowly began to return back to being a regular programming over the next few months.

International broadcast

Kuboia

Andere

Australia

  • ABC Kids (2000-2011)

Canada

  • TVOKids (1999-2010)
  • AnimatTV (2005-2009)

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Minimax (2000-2004)
  • KidsCo (2007-2013)

Conlandia

El Kadsre

The El Kadsreian dub was produced by Power Network in El Kadsre City.

Floweria

France

  • France 5 (1999-2010)

Germany

  • Super RTL (part of Toggolino) (2000-2010)

Indosa

Israel

  • Hop! (2000-2008)

Japan

The Japanese dub of the show was called Shindi to Tomodachi (シンディと友達). The character voices were dubbed with new Japanese voice actors, but the original songs were left intact and remain in English.

  • TV Tokyo (2002-2004)
  • Kids Station (2004-2010)

Latin America

  • ZAZ (2000-2004)
  • Pogo (2004-2008)
  • Tooncast (2008-2011)

Middle East

  • MBC3 (2004-2013)

Netherlands

  • Kindernet (1999-2003)
  • Nederland 3 (2000-2011)

Saudi Arabia

  • KSA 1 (2000-2013)

United Kingdom

  • BBC One/BBC Two (1999-2007)
    • CBBC (1999-2001)
    • CBeebies (2002-2004, 2006-2007)
  • Nick Jr. (2000-2004)
  • Tiny Pop (2007-2013)

United States

  • Nick Jr. (2000-2003)
  • Noggin (2004-2007)
  • AnimatTV (2001-2009)

YinYangia

  • Nick Jr. (????-????)

See also

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