Maman Fonfon : L'Histoire de Mozart

Educational program for preschoolers
Broadcast by Radio-Canada from 1955 to 1962
Running time: 01:00:00
Host: Claudine Vallerand
Producer: Hubert Blais
Guests: violinist Shea D'Arcy, pianist Roger Lesourd and singer Jean Morin
Graphic artist: Frédéric Back


On Radio-Canada's very first television series for children, educator Claudine Vallerand ("Maman Fonfon") captivated thousands of baby boomers with her stories and songs. In this episode from February 11, 1961, she recounts the life of Mozart, as Frédéric Back illustrates the story with drawings and paper cut-out characters animated by means of movable elements for the characters' heads, musical instruments, the feather in Mozart's hat, and the wheels of the coach in which the young musician is riding with his father.


After several years as a freelance graphic artist and set designer, Frédéric Back rejoined the staff of Radio-Canada and occasionally worked on the program Maman Fonfon. In addition to the lives of Mozart and Chopin, he illustrated Mother Goose with music by Maurice Ravel, The Pope's Mule by Alphonse Daudet and a few other stories. To go with Maman Fonfon's texts, he created charming and amusing illustrations that would appeal to a preschool audience.