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Friday, January 27, 2006

Backyardigans

I consider myself a connoisseur of children's TV. Or maybe that's "curmudgeon" ... I get those words mixed up. ;-) A lot of children's TV doesn't have much to offer adults, and so it's hard to watch because it's boring. A few shows work on multiple levels, though, and my daughter and I recently discovered one of them: The Backyardigans.

The Backyardigans is a show (produced by Nick Jr) about the imaginary adventures of Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Tasha, and Austin, who are computer-animated animal characters. All of their adventures take place in their back yards, and they're fun and engaging stories; but throughout every episode, they sing and dance, and that's what makes the show work.

The musical sensibility that this show offers is outstanding. The animators convey a real sense of style with the dance numbers, and the songs - all with original lyrics - are done in a variety of musical styles: jazz, blues, folk, rock, traditional, even polka in the Polka Palace Party episode.

My favorite episode is "The Yeti," in which Pablo pretends to be a yeti, and Uniqua, Tasha, and Tyrone track him. Tasha insists that there's no such thing as a yeti, and Uniqua says there is - in a song that reproduces the back and forth of children arguing that is pitch perfect. Tyrone tries to mediate by getting them back on task and looking for the yeti, or whatever it is.

At one point they find an igloo and go inside to check it out. While they're inside, they hear Pablo making his yeti noise outside, and the argument breaks out again:
Uniqua: I say yetis are really real.
Tasha: And I say that's just silly!
There's no yeti, not at all!
Uniqua: They're really real, yes really!
Tasha: No way.
Uniqua: Yes way!
Tasha: No way.
Uniqua: Yes way!
Tyrone: Going back and forth all day
Is no way to decide.
We should prob'ly go outside!

ACPL owns just one of the DVDs so far: It's Great to Be a Ghost is the title of the DVD, but it has two other episodes as well. Here's hoping we'll order the other two that are currently available soon! Polka Palace Party has four episodes in all, and The Snow Fort offers another three (including "The Yeti").

3 Comments:

At 2:05 PM, Anonymous Billy Marquardt said...

For having such a slew of contributors I was really hoping to find more content, but I'm glad you're here nonetheless.

I'd be curious to find out the staff's opinion on the recent announcment regarding the purchase of Aeron Chairs, see here:
http://fort-wayne.blogspot.com/2006/01/library-buying-aeron-chairs-as-part-of.html

Regards,
Billy M.

 
At 2:19 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Love, love, love the Backyardigans. So nice to have my daughters watching something that I can enjoy singing along to!

 
At 9:44 AM, Blogger Ian said...

Some other music/artists for kids that you might enjoy if you like the Backyardigans: Jim Gill, Jessica Harper, Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes. The library owns multiple copies of these artists' CDs.

 

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