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    Cindi and Friends (known informally as simply Cindi) is a Kuboian traditionally animated children's slice-of-life series directed by Fyp Housin and produced by Scopescreen Media.

Cindi and Friends focuses on Cindi Sophia Roberts, a nine year-old grumpy and pessimistic girl who goes to a social group run in Rainbow Dome Fun Centre, where she unintentionally helps the other children, as well as the adults, solve any problem that stands in their way. The show has significant educational value.

The show premiered on Nick Jr. Kuboia in 2001, with episodes releasing sporadically over the next two years until the show came to an end in 2003. The show was reran on the channel until October 2005. Reruns were later shown on KT from 2002 to 2008, Playhouse Disney from 2009 to 2013, and Tooncast and Kantasia since 2018.

The show is considered a cult classic in Kuboia, and has spawned several other media, including a straight-to-VHS educational series, a theatrical film and a series of merchandise.

Premise

Cindi Sophia Roberts is a nine year-old girl who attends a social group inside Rainbow Dome Fun Centre. The social group is specifically for nine year-old children who do not attend school.

Due to the staff being carefree, and not very responsible, the children are generally free to get up to mischief, and explore Rainbow Dome whilst it is empty. Although Cindi is not interested in what the other children get up to, she is often the one who helps the others when they are in trouble. Because of this, Cindi is often referred to as a heroine, something she doesn’t like being called.

Certain parts of each episode are narrated by Cindi herself. Each episode generally ends with her reflecting over the events that occurred throughout the episode. Each episode also features a musical note, most of which are performed by some of the additional cast. Although a few of the songs are performed by the characters themselves.

Themes

Many of the show's episodes focus on socialising and friendship. Generally, each episode has a "moral" to it, which is indirectly learned by the characters by the end of each episode.

Cast and characters

Main article: List of Cindi and Friends characters

Development

The pilot episode, "Cindi and the Map", was produced in late 1998, whilst the following two episodes, "Cindi Plays Hide and Seek" and "Cindi Wins Big", were produced in 1999. The remaining thirty-seven episodes were produced throughout 2000, 2001 and 2002. Whilst the pilot episode uses traditional ink, all following episodes use digital ink. Compared to other Kuboian cartoons of the time, the show's animation was outsourced to only three overseas studios throughout its run: Bazooka Studios in the United Arab Emirates, Magic Team in South Korea, and Cartoon Conundrum Productions in Taiwan.

According to Fyp Housin, each episode has twenty pictures per second. Each of the main characters on the show has approximately four different regular outfits, which change from episode to episode.

Censorship

Like most Kuboian cartoons, the show was censored in most international markets in order to make the show preschool-friendly, as the original version contains alcohol. The international dubs remove the references to alcohol and replace them with water or beverages such as cola, fruit juice and milk.

Music

The overtures and songs featured in early episodes of the show, including the theme tune, "Come On! (Let's Have Some Fun)", incorporate elements of folk and traditional pop. Later episodes feature songs that contain elements of bubblegum pop and UK garage.

Episodes

Main article: List of Cindi and Friends episodes

Reception

Critical reception

Cindi and Friends received positive reviews from critics during its initial run, with praise towards its mixture of education and humour.

On internet database website IMDb, the show holds an average rating of 9.3 out of 10.

Legacy

Cindi and Friends has been called one of the greatest Kuboian television series of all time, as well as one of the best animations of all time.

In 2018, Canadian organisation WatchMojo.com listed the show at the top of their Top Ten Kuboian Cartoons list.

Cartoon or Kantasy?

In certain third-party sources, mostly from the United States and Japan, refer to Cindi and Friends as a Kantasy series. However, the creator of Kantasy, Ashley Maverick, states that for a show to be considered a Kantasy series, it must be fantasy-orientated, something that Cindi and Friends is not, despite using the same animation and design style of Kantasy shows.

Fyp Housin spoke about the controversy in 2008, stating that "[he doesn't] consider Cindi [and Friends] a Kantasy series", but mentioned that he does not mind people referring to it as such.

International broadcasts

Kuboia

Africa

  • Boing (2016-present)

Alexonia

Arabia

  • Spacetoon (2001-2005)
  • MBC3 (2004-present)

Argentina

  • Magic Kids (2002-2006)

Australia

  • Nick Jr. (2001-2004)

Canada

  • BBC Kids (2001-2005)

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Minimax (2001-2006)
  • KidsCo (2007-2012)

China

  • CCTV-14 (2003-2011, 2018-present

Croeya

  • Canal+ Kids (2003-present)

El Kadsre

Italy

  • K2 (2003-2011)

Jetania

  • Nick Jr. (2001-2005)

Latin America

  • Nick Jr. (2001-2007)
  • Tooncast (2010-2011, 2018-present)

Middle East

  • MBC 3 (2004-present)
  • Al Jazeera Children's Channel (2005-2013)

Netherlands

  • Kindernet (2001-2003)
  • Nick Jr. (2003-2005)

Poland

  • Minimax (2001-2004)
  • Playhouse Disney (2010-2011)

Portugal

  • Canal Panda (2002-2009)

Russia

  • Playhouse Disney (2010-2013)

Scandinavia

  • Playhouse Disney (2009-2011)

United Kingdom

  • CBBC (2001-2007)
  • Nick Jr. (2002-2005)
  • Tiny Pop (2008-2011, 2014-2016)

United States

  • Nick Jr. (2001-2003)
  • PBS Kids (2002-2005)

YinYangia

Film series

Cindi and Friends: The Best Forever (2004)

Main article: Cindi and Friends: The Best Forever

A theatrical film based on the series, titled Cindi and Friends: The Best Forever was released on 2nd November, 2004, distributed by United International Pictures. The film serves as the finale of the series. It grossed €55 million worldwide on a €12 million budget.

Cindi and Friends: All Together Now (2019)

On 2nd November, 2014, Fyp Housin confirmed that a second Cindi theatrical film was in production, with an original release date of 14th December, 2018. However, it was later announced on 27th February, 2018 that the film's release date had been delayed in order to allow more production time.

According to Fyp Housin, Cindi and Friends: All Together Now will take places seven years after the events of the series, with Cindi now being sixteen years old, and having difficulty fitting in with recent times.

Other ventures

A series of educational VHS tapes titled Learn with Cindi and Friends was released throughout the early 2000s. They were significantly used in Kuboian and British schools throughout the decace.

Several Cindi-themed children’s entertainment centres were opened throughout the early 2000s.

Cindi, Aourine, Hyh and Quu were featured in artwork for karaoke machines produced by Singathon Ltd. in 2009.

Merchandise

Merchandise based on the show was produced by Block Tree throughout the early and mid-2000s.

See also