Target Age Group: Preschool (2-5 Years)
Television Station: Nick Jr.
The Backyardigans Overview
The Backyardigans, airing weekdays on Nick Jr. and weekends on CBS, is a co-production with Nick Jr. and Corus Entertainments Nelvana, and what a production it is. The Backyardigans are five adorable friends who put their imaginations together to turn their backyards into fantastical settings as they sing and dance their way through epic adventures. Created by Janice Burgess, each CGI animated show has original music composed by accomplished musician Evan Lurie. The dance steps are choreographed by Beth Bogush and performed by real dancers whose movements are then recreated in animation.
According to Nick Jr., the curriculum goals of The Backyardigans involve inspiring kids to use their imagination:
"Like a Hollywood musical just for them, The Backyardigans will inspire kids to sing and dance along and stretch their imaginations as they climb up mountains, slide down glaciers and sail across oceans," said Brown Johnson, Executive Vice President, Nick Jr. "Each adventure has its own musical style and original songs that kids and parents alike won't be able to resist."
The Backyardigans Episode Outline
The Backyardigans are: Pablo, a friendly and sometimes excitable penguin; Tyrone, a young moose; Uniqua, a bold and lively unique creature; Tasha, a sweet hippo; and Austin, a kind and shy kangaroo.
Each episode of The Backyardigans begins in the backyard, where two or more of the friends begin to imagine an adventurous story around a specific theme. The backyard transforms into the richly detailed landscape where the creative storyline plays out.
Each episode has its own musical style, anything from Big Band, Reggae, Bossa Nova, or Hip-Hop to South African Township Jive. The characters sing about the plot in the specific musical style and perform choreographed dance numbers.
The Backyardigans Review
I love this show. Whenever my children watch The Backyardigans, I have to sit down and watch it with them. I just cant help it - they are so adorable!
The stories are inventive and fun, often containing an element of mystery or intrigue, and the Backyardigans are sweet and loveable. Often, the characters speak in the vernacular of the setting for the story, which adds humor and depth to the feel of the setting. For example, in the episode Surfs Up, Pablo and his friends are led by a mysterious lifeguard dude in their search for Tiki Beach and its radical waves.
The Backyardigans treat children to clever songs rich in the musical style of the show, and the choreographed dance numbers are very cool.
The imagination that goes into creating the show is inspiring. If any TV show has the power to inspire kids imaginations, The Backyardigans does.