Thursday, December 28, 2006

More About Evan Lurie

I found another article quoting Evan Lurie about The Backyardigans, thanks to TV for Tots. He talks a little bit about the creative process involved in creating an episode, and how they match up the episode with the musical genre. For instance, he describes Tarzan, and Gilbert and Sullivan (The Heart of the Jungle episode) as being Victorian, saying that they throw things around that seem mismatched, hoping they'll "fit together in some strange, funhouse mirror way."

Make sure you read the whole article to get more from Lurie on what makes great kids music, as well as insights into how Nick Jr. regards as the role of kids music in its shows.

My favorite quote from the article was by John Langford. "Certain DVDs and CDs deliberately were broken or thrown out the window of the van. They were pandering and patronizing, some adult’s view of what kids are supposed to like, telling them how to make the world better. They don’t fire kids’ imagination."

Oh, say it again! It's astonishing how much truly bad kids music is out there, and kind of frightening, too. Thank goodness there are new and better choices.

Other interesting information gleaned from the article:

  • One of the upcoming episodes has The Backyardigans on bicycles, singing norteno.
  • Another upcoming episode has the kids in space again (could this be the Cops and Robots episode?) The music will be "an homage to legendary `70s band Parliament/Funkadelic."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Real" Backyardigans

Backyardigans, originally uploaded by Evil Bunny Returns.

No information at Flickr on where this was taken, unfortunately.

Doesn't Uniqua look worried?

Friday, December 15, 2006

The Secret Of Snow

Well, this was a very different Backyardigans!

The episode started with a picture of a book on a table, instead of the typical shot in which the camera zooms in on the backyard. This episode is also told as a story, by an unseen narrator (you might recognize the voice, but if you don't, the narrator's identity is revealed at the end.) When we finally see the backyard, it's a very different sight. It isn't summer, but winter, with leafless trees and gray skies.

Something else that has been standard about the Backyardigans has been the use of a commonly recognized tune for one of the four songs in each episode. In this episode the tunes are almost all Christmas carols, with only one original tune. Ice Lady Tasha's theme tune is Good King Wenceslaus, Uniqua's is Jingle Bells, and there is a Deck the Halls song near the end.

The writers also seized the opportunity to revisit some Backyardigans history. Uniqua, in seeking to get to the Frozen North (The Snow Fort, The Yeti) winds up also visiting the Desert (Riding the Range, Eureka, Polka Palace Party, and the Jungle (The Heart of the Jungle, The Quest for the Flying Rock.) On her way, Uniqua collects Cowboy Pablo and Tyrone of the Jungle.

In the end, Uniqua finally does get her snow, and the kids all return home, letting us see the backyard covered in white.

A pretty good episode, all in all. I enjoyed it very much.

New Backyardigans Today!

Don't forget the newest Backyardigans episode is airing today. The Secret of Snow will air at noon on Nick Jr. If you miss it today, you can see it again Dec. 22 or 29.

Should be fun!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Backyardigans Dance

doing the backyardigans dance, originally uploaded by stephne duh.

Looks like this is the Fisher-Price Backyardigans Sing 'N Spin Pablo

My children have taken to closely watching the Backyardigans and doing their best to imitate the dances as closely as they can. They're really starting to get the hang of it, too!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Evan Lurie Interview

You might not be aware that the music for The Backyardigans isn't done by just anyone. The man behind the music is Evan Lurie, a founding member of The Lounge Lizards.

Rockin' In The Wee World, an article up at, looks into how an increasing number of talented musicians, with established track records in creating music for adults, are turning to making music that also appeals to children.

Evan Lurie is one of the musicians covered by the article. Lamentably, we don't get to hear much from him, but he did talk a little about how children's music doesn't need to be as sanitized as we are used to hearing. In fact, there was only one music genre that was rejected for The Backyardigans, and that was only because the show's producers were worried about how parents would react.

The section of the article dealing with Evan Lurie is titled, "Rattling Parents' Cages" and starts half way down the page.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Lyrics - Tree to Tree

From "High Tea."

Style: Irish (Traditional)

All: Wheee! Wheee!

Tyrone: Let's go zipping guys,
Let's go through the trees of Borneo!
All: Wheee! Wheee!
Tyrone: Zip, zip, zip, from tree to tree,
All: Wheee! Wheee!
Tasha: To see if we can find that tea!

Pablo: How about these? How about these?
Think these might be the golden leaves?
Tasha: Golden leaves don't look like this,
These are kind of silverish.
Uniqua: Well, let's keep looking then,
Let's go through the trees of Borneo!

All: Wheee! Wheee!
Pablo: Zip, zip, zip, from tree to tree,
All: Wheee! Wheee!
Uniqua: To see if we can find that tea!

Tyrone: Are these golden?
Tasha: No, my good fellow.
I would call them just plain yellow.
They don't have a golden shine.
Uniqua: Oh, well, onward, grab a vine!

Pablo: Let's keep zipping guys,
Let's go through the trees of Borneo!
All: Wheee! Wheee!
Tyrone: Zip, zip, zip, from tree to tree,
All: Wheee! Wheee!
Tasha: To see if we can find that tea!

Uniqua: There's some more leaves,
What do you think?
They'd be perfect for our drink.
Tasha: I don't see a golden sheen,
They're just plain old brownish-green.

Uniqua: We're zipping fast,
But searching slow,
Pablo: Through the leaves of Borneo.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Backyardigans in Winnipeg

Winnipeg fans will get a chance to meet the Backyardigans Feb. 10 and 11, at the Winnipeg Baby and Kids Show! (Elmo and SpongeBob Square-pants will be there, too, for Meet and Greets, but come on, what's really important here?)

The Backyardigans Mini Performance, as the show's webpage calls it, will feature Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone. The company behind it is KOBA Family Entertainment. They also do theatrical performances based on the popular children's shows Caillou, The Big Comfy Couch, Franklin, and Little Bear.

This is the debut of their Backyardigans show, so hopefully the rest of us will get a chance to see it in the months to come. Looking at the upcoming performances for their current shows reveals dates around the United States and Canada, at theaters, malls and schools. I'll keep you updated about venues for the Backyardigans as I get information.

The Baby and Kids Show will be held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children, starting today at Ticketmaster.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Backyardigan Scrapbooking

If you are a scrapbooker, you might be interested in this page Nick Jr. put together for putting together a Backyardigans scrapbook page.

There are four printables available. Backgrounds and Borders and Alphabet Letters & Quotes both have three pages. Frames & Photo Corners and Journal Blocks & Hang Tags don't specify how many pages (and my printer isn't working so I can't find out for you. Sorry!)

They also have a great page with links to all sorts of scrapbooking sites. So, if you're a newcomer to scrapbooking, there's lot of information to help you get started.

If you're a fan of other Nick Jr. shows, you'll be glad to know they also have other scrapbook packages, featuring Blue's Clues, Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go.

Have fun with your scrapbooks!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Tasha and Pablo Birthday Cake

I ran across this great blog, Glad's Cakes, that has all these pictures of themed birthday cakes. They're wonderful, very creative and fun to look at. Being someone who has so far found it impossible to put together even a simple two layer birthday cake, I am in awe of this baker's talents!

The most recent post is a Backyardigans birthday cake, featuring Tasha and Pablo looking over a fence. There's a Strawberry Shortcake cake (that a certain little girl I know would just love,) and a Harry Potter fan in my family would go nuts for this wizard cake.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

New Backyardigans Episode

I got a press release today that announced a number of new episodes for various Nick Jr. shows. Among them (naturally) is a new Backyardigans episode, The Secret of Snow.

In this episode, Uniqua is searching for the Ice Lady, Tasha. Along the way she gets help from Cowboy Pablo, Tarzan Tyrone, and Austin, the Ice Lady's assistant. (According to description on Amazon for the book, Uniqua is searching for the Ice Lady because there is no snow yet.)

The episode will air Dec. 15, at noon, and replay Dec. 22 and 29.

In case you're interested, other shows with new episodes include:

December 1
1:30 p.m. -- Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! "The Snow Shoo Shoo"
Walden is worried because he hasn't seen the Snow Shoo-Shoo lately. He, Wubbzy and Widget try tracking down the friendly creature and drive to Mt. Zubba. Walden blows his Hoopty-Horn, but no Shoo-Shoo. As they search for clues, they hear drums pounding -- and finally find the Snow Shoo-Shoo in his cave with a whole tribe of Shoo-Shoos in a swinging jam session.

December 8
12 p.m. -- Go, Diego, Go!/ "Diego Saves Christmas"
Santa's sleigh is stuck under a snow hill, and Diego must find Linda the Llama, who can pull heavy things. The pair tiptoes up the mountain singing the "jalen" song. Santa sprinkles 'Magic Christmas Sparkles' on Linda so she can fly with the reindeer and help him deliver all the Christmas presents.

12:30 p.m. -- The Wonder Pets/"Save the Reindeer"
The Wonder Pets head to the North Pole on Christmas Eve to rescue Santa's Baby Reindeer, who is stuck on cracking ice. After saving her with a net made from Ming- Ming's sweater, they learn that she ran away because she didn't know if she had what it takes to be one of Santa's squad. With the Wonder Pets' encouragement, Baby Reindeer finally takes her place among the grownups.

December 15
12:30 p.m. - LazyTown/"The LazyTown Snow Monster"
Robbie Rotten poses as a scary snow monster to frighten the LazyTown kids, but they have some tricks up their sleeve. In the end he flees, and failing to read the signs near the frozen lake, falls into the icy waters. In the spirit of the season it's up to Sportacus to rescue Rotten.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Quote of the Week

"On your right, you will see lily pads. On your left, murky water. On your right, more murky water. On your left, more lily pads."

Pablo, The Swamp Creature

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lyrics - The Customer is Always Right

From "The Swamp Creature ".

Style: 50's/60's Guitar Instrumental

Tasha: There's a problem here.
Uniqua: What do you mean?
Tasha: We came to see something we haven't seen.
Uniqua: That's not our fault. We really tried.
Tasha: Well not enough, we're not satisfied,
And I don't mean to be a jerk,
But let me tell you 'bout how these things work.

See, I am the customer,
And the customer is always right.
Austin: She's right!
Tasha: I am the customer,
And the customer is always right.

Uniqua: We've done the best that we can do.
This awesome ride is almost through.
This awesome swamp with awesome stuff,
Austin: Well, I just think it's not enough.
Tasha: And you think right my purple friend,
And I'd say this is not the end.

'Cause I am the customer,
And the customer is always right.
Austin: Oh, yeah!
Uniqua: You are the customer,
And the customer is always right.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Uniqua and Dora Pumpkins

Uniqua and Dora Pumpkins, originally uploaded by De'Nick'nise.

Uniqua and Dora, lit up so that you can see all the details.

Reese with pumpkins

Reese with pumpkins, originally uploaded by De'Nick'nise.

Uniqua and Dora, unlit and in glorious orange. They look great, don't they?

Monday, October 30, 2006

Create a Uniqua Pumpkin

The tradition in our family is to carve the pumpkin the day before Halloween. The youngest members of the family help scoop out the insides, using big spoons. Mom handles the actual cutting.

The question every year, though, is what face shall we carve into that orange globe? Usually we just use our imaginations, but there are years when we want something that shows a little more artistic ability than exists in our family. That's when the templates get printed out!

This year, Nick Jr. has several templates for carving pumpkins that look like some of the current most popular characters. From the Backyardigans, they have Uniqua. Dora, Blue and Wubbzy are also represented.

Oh, and all that goopy mess you pull out of the inside of a pumpkin? We love to eat the seeds. The way we cook them is a little more complicated than most recipes, but results in absolutely perfect seeds.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds Recipe
Separate the seeds from the strings (rinsing them in cold water is a great way to accomplish this.) Then, for every half cup of pumpkin seeds you'll need 1 cup of water and 1 tablespoon salt. Bring the water and salt to a boil and add the pumpkin seeds. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain.

Pat the seeds dry with a paper towel. Spray a thin layer of oil over a cookie sheet and spread the seeds out on the pan in a single layer. Spray lightly with oil again. Roast in your oven at 400°F until they start to turn brown. Some recipes will tell you 20 minutes, but I've found it doesn't take that long. Keep a careful eye on them; you don't want them to burn!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Quote of the Week

"Runaway horses always stop running when they hear a tuba."

Tyrone, Polka Palace Party

Friday, October 20, 2006

Backyardigans Quiz

I ran across this the other day while surfing.

The Backyardigans Quiz

Very fun, and surprisingly tricky in a couple of spots. I only got seven right, can you believe it? If you take it, feel free to come back and gloat in the comments about much better you did than me!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Giant Backyardigans Cards

One of the new items available is a series of giant greeting cards from Cards4Kids. Now, these aren't cards you can buy in your local grocery store. These are 18"x24" cards, what Cards4Kids calls "poster-size", ordered online, throught the Cards4Kids website.

As of this writing, there are six cards you can choose from: Birthday, Get Well, Thank You, Congratulations, All Occasion, and Holiday (that would be winter holidays, judging from the picture displayed.) You type in what you want printed on the card, and they ship them out using 2 day priority mail, getting to you about five days after you order it.

Right now the cost is $14.95 plus shipping and handling.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Homemade Backyardigans Costumes

I sure hope none of you have been holding your breath in anticipation of clear and concise instructions on how to make your own Backyardigans costumes. Because I haven't been able to pull anything together.

I'm sorry!!

I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't put together anything coherent. The best I can suggest is, if you want to make your own costumes, you could trying using sweatsuits, face paint and felt. For instance, Uniqua would be in a pink sweatsuit with pink felt spots attached (maybe stitched or hot glued) and then follow the instructions on the Nick Jr. website for the Uniqua face paint. (Or you can watch the video demonstration.) You could twist some pipe cleaners around a headband for her antennae.

Do the same thing for the other characters:

Tyrone - red and blue striped shirt, orange sweat pants, orange face paint

Austin - Blue sweat pants, blue and yellow striped shirt (or blue shirt with a strip of yellow felt around it), purple shoes, purple face paint

Pablo - Beanie with a propeller, blue top coat, yellow sweatsuit, blue face paint

Tasha - Dark orange dress with light orange flowers cut out of felt and stuck on, red shoes, yellow face paint

I hope you find this helpful! Personally, I'm doing it the easy way and buying my childrens' costumes.

Playing Now

Samurai Pie is on, as I type this. If you've forgotten about it though, don't worry, it will be on again this Friday. There are four new Backyardigans episodes premiering on Nick Jr. Monday through Thursday. Friday will be a Backyardigans marathon, and each of the four will be aired again.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Backyardigans Costumes for Halloween

Soooo ....

Thinking about Halloween yet? Can you believe we have less than three weeks left? Which means, if you're planning on buying a Backyardigan costume online, you need to get your order in pretty quickly.

Right now you can buy three character costumes through Amazon - Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone. (Naturally. Although we are starting see Tasha and Austin represented a little more in the new merchandise, so maybe we can look forward to costumes for them next year.) They come in sizes 2T - 4T. You can see examples below:

If you're planning on making costumes, we'll be covering that this week, too, so keep checking back!

DVD Review - Mission to Mars

Well, if you just can't wait to see next week's upcoming Backyardigan episodes premieres, you don't have to. You just need to hustle out to get this DVD. Mission to Mars has four new episodes, all of them premiering on Nick Jr. within a couple of weeks of the DVD's release.

  • Mission to Mars - The Backyardigans' first episode with a guest star, Pablo, Austin and Uniqua are astronauts searching Mars for the source of a mysterious "boinga" sound. Features Alicia Keys as Mommy Martian.
  • Samurai Pie - Master pie-making Tyrone, who makes "pie like a samurai" teaches Austin to make pie, while safeguarding Empress Tasha's Great Pie from ninjas Pablo and Uniqua.
  • Scared of You - If you look in the TV listings you'll find this episode title Monster Party, but it's just a title change, not a different episode. Poor Austin is having his worst birthday ever when mad scientist Tasha sends him to go collect a mummy, werewolf, and vampire, but it's all just to get him out of the way while she sets up a surprise birthday party.
  • Whodunit? - Pablo, the World's Greatest Detective, is summoned to Mystery Manor to solve the puzzle of Lady Tasha's missing jewels. The Backyardigans version of the classic English Manor mystery.
The Special Features section has two dance-along songs; "Hold Tight" with Pablo and "A Message, A Message" with Uniqua. Basically, these are mini-lessons in how to do the Twist and the Hop. If you have children who watch much Nick Jr. you might remember seeing these a while back, airing as ads for the Backyardigans. I'm thrilled to see them on this DVD. They make the perfect extras.

There is also a Nick Arcade Game trial, which must be played on a computer with a DVD player.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Lyrics - Almost Everything is Boinga Here

From "Mission to Mars ". Mommy Martian is voiced by Alicia Keys. Baby Boinga is voiced by Shakyra Lipscomb.

Style: Kenyan High Life

Austin: Boinga's a word we don't understand.
Mommy Martian: Well, words are different in Martian Land.
Pablo: Well, we don't know your language yet.
Austin: Maybe you could teach us?
Mommy Martian: Sure, you bet.

Baby Boinga: Boinga!

Mommy Martian: Almost everything is boinga here,
Just in case you hadn't heard.
Almost everything is boinga here,
It's the Martians' favorite word.

Uniqua: Do you call these hands?
Mommy Martian: Nope, we call them boinga!
Austin: Do you use pots and pans?
Mommy Martian: Yup, we call them boinga!

Baby Boinga: Boinga!

Pablo: We wear hats on our heads.
Mommy Martian: Really? We wear boinga!
Uniqua: Do you guys sleep in beds?
Mommy Martian: Nope, we sleep in boinga!

Pablo: Hey!
Austin: That's good.

Mommy Martian: Do your birds say boinga?
Uniqua: No, our birds say tweet!
Mommy Martian: Do your flowers smell boinga?
Pablo: No, they just smell sweet!

Mommy Martian: Do you walk on your boinga?
Austin: No, we walk on our feet!
Mommy Martian: Do you sit on your boinga?
Uniqua: No, we sit on our seat!

Baby Boinga: Boinga! Boinga!

Pablo: You certainly use that word a lot.
Mommy Martian: Well, it means a lot of things, so why not?
Austin: Is there anything boinga doesn't mean?
Mommy Martian: Well maybe there is but not that I've seen.

Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin: Almost everything is boinga here.
Mommy Martian: We boinga all boinga long.
Baby Boinga: Boinga!
Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin: Almost everything is boinga here.
Mommy Martian: So we boinga this boinga song.

Baby Boinga: Boinga!

Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin:Boinga this boinga
Mommy Martian: Boinga!
Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin:Boinga this boinga
Mommy Martian: Boinga!
Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin:This boinga song!
Mommy Martian: Boinga!
Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin:Boinga this boinga
Mommy Martian: Boinga!
Pablo, Uniqua, and Austin: Boinga this boinga

Baby Boinga: Boinga! Boinga! Boinga!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

More New Episodes Coming Up Next Week

So we just got to enjoy Mission to Mars (which will play again this Friday, Oct. 13, if you missed it) but are there other new episodes coming up soon? Yes, there are! Nick Jr. has five new episodes airing over the next couple of weeks. Make sure you've got these scheduled on your VCR or Tivo so you don't miss them!

Monday, Oct. 16
Samurai Pie - Samurai pie-maker Tyrone is making a great pie for the empress, but he must protect it from ninjas Uniqua and Pablo.

Tuesday, Oct. 17
Whodunit? - Tasha's jewels have been stolen! Can Detective Pablo sort out which suspect - Tyrone, Austin, or Uniqua - is the guilty party?

Wednesday, Oct. 18
The Legend of the Volcano Sisters - The Luau Brothers Austin, Pablo, and Tyrone must present a gift to the Volcano Sisters Uniqua and Tasha, in order to prevent the volcano from erupting.

Thursday, Oct. 19
The Swamp Creature - Austin and Tasha are tourists looking for the Swamp Creature that guides Uniqua and Pablo have promised to show them.

Monday, Oct. 23
Monster Party - Mad Scientist Tasha sends her humble assistant, Austin, on a journey to bring three monsters back to her laboratory: Mummy Tyrone, Werewolf Uniqua and Vampire Pablo. What Austin doesn't know is that a big surprise birthday party awaits him when he gets back.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mission to Mars - Today!

In case you've forgotten, or just didn't realize, the newest Backyardigans episode, Mission to Mars, is airing today. It features Alicia Keys as a Mommy Martian, and Keys' niece, Shakyra Lipscomb, as a baby martian. Judging from the music clips we've been hearing on the ads, we should be looking at another half hour of great music today.

You might also be interested in an interview by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with Janice Burgess, the creator of the Backyardigans. It turns out that she loves action films, and uses the sense of adventure found in them as inspiration for the Backyardigans. She sees the show as fun and creative for the kids watching it, not just another educational/instructive show, but one that goes back to simple imaginative play.

Go check out the whole article to find out Burgess' reaction to being called "the artist" on her contract, her childhood in Pittsburgh, and what she thinks about Alicia Keys being on The Backyardigans.

Friday, October 06, 2006

EW Interviews Backyardigans Choreographer

Fellow Fan Martha, in the comments the other day, shared that Entertainment Weekly has recently done an article about the dancing in The Backyardigans.

(Now, if you didn't already know this, let me fill you in a little. Each of the Backyardigans has two people for their voices - one actor/actress does all the speaking, another does all the singing. They also, however, each have their own dancer. Each musical number is choreographed, then the five dancers are filmed as they perform. The animators then take that film and use it as the basis to get each kid's moves just right in the final product. No wonder we love this show! You can get the details - as far as I know them - on who does what for each character on this page. Just follow the links for each character.)

Beth Bogush, former director of the First Steps Program at New York's Alvin Ailey School, is the show's choreographer. In the interview she gave EW, she shares some remarkably interesting tidbits about how The Backyardigans is created. (And a hint of yet another episode, as Martha pointed out. "The Lady in Pink" is the title, and jazz will be the featured music. Doesn't that sound fun?)

EW has another article about The Backyardigans, a review that you might want to check out just for the sheer pleasure of seeing all the nice things they say about the show. For instance, "... discovering The Backyardigans can feel like wandering into an oasis full of ice-cold fruit pops in the Gobi Desert."

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Mission to Mars extras from Nick Jr.

Nick Jr. is providing a lot of extras as part of the upcoming premiere of the new Backyardigans season. (Incidentally, just in case you've forgotten, Mission to Mars will be airing for the first time on Nick Jr. next Monday at 10:30 a.m.)

In addition to a a coloring pack, there are also name badges that you can print out on adhesive ink jet paper, a "Make Your Own Martian" printable, and Mission to Mars song sheets.

If your printer isn't working, you can still send an e-card to a friend. There is also an online Mission to Mars game your child can play. It's a very simple game, well-suited to the Backyardigans preschool audience, with lots of guidance as they play and plenty of tolerance for mistakes. Your child might still need a little help from you, however, on how to use the keyboard and mouse according to the game's requirements. You'll find a link to the game at the Mission to Mars index page.

Monday, September 25, 2006

"Not bad", huh?

Ska and the Backyardigans, originally uploaded by TedsBlog.

This photographer was surprised to see ska on a child's toy, commenting "...the music wasn't bad, actually." The ska, of course, was from the Pirate Treasure episode. ("What do you do with a scurvy pirate? Load the cannon up and fire it! What do you do with a scurvy pirate? Make them walk the plank!")

You can get this toy (Fisher-Price Backyardigans Sing-Along Music Maker) from Walmart. It plays 10 songs (I assume two for each episode pictured) and a microphone so your children can not only sing along but hear their voice coming from the speakers along with the music. Pretty neat, huh?

I've been noticing a lot of Backyardigans stuff on display at Walmart when I make a trip out there. It's great to see the show getting so popular!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

More Info On New Episodes

Backyardigans Fan Martha shared this with us in comments:

The two episodes playing on Treehouse on Sept 29 are:

"Whodunit?": Pablo travels to Mystery Manor to find out who stole Tasha's jewels.

"Legend of Volcano Sisters": The Luau Brothers must appease the Volcano Sisters with a special gift to prevent them from erupting their volcano
Two more confirmed shows to anticipate! Whee!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tasha and Austin - Finally!

Tasha and Austin fans, rejoice! Fellow Fan "Joe is Invisible" shared with us in the comments recently that Ty now has beanie babies for all five of our favorite kids. Which bodes well for an end to the stranglehold Pablo, Tyrone and Uniqua have held on the merchandising of the Backyardigans.

As you can see above, Tasha is in stock at Amazon. As of this date, Austin is still unavailable through them, although you can get him from many other places on the internet. (Not the Nick Jr. store, though. They don't have Tasha yet, either.)

What's next? Austin and Tasha costumes? We can only hope.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

So, what exactly does "regular season" mean to Nick Jr.?

In a widely distributed article about the upcoming season of children's programming, several newspapers have printed the following paragraph about The Backyardigans:

"The Backyardigans," 10:30 a.m. Monday-Thursday, new season kicks off with a special, "Mission to Mars," Oct. 9. Regular season begins Oct. 16.

Interesting. I can't help but wonder what exactly a "regular season" might be. After all, this isn't like network tv, where a new season means a large number of new shows. Except with brand new series, Nick Jr. releases new episodes very sparingly it seems.

Nick Jr. spread the first 20 Backyardigans episodes over a two year period. It seems likely they'll do the same thing this time, but that doesn't preclude getting to have, say, three or four new episodes released over a month or two. Which would be nice!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Another Great Backyardigans Birthday Cake

There are lots of creative people out there, making Backyardigans birthday parties happen! I'm very impressed at some of the photos I found on Flickr. Me? Not nearly clever enough to do any of these things! My poor child had to put up with a cake that merely had sprinkles on it to make it fancy.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

New Episode Speculation

Up to now, we've always had that list of the complete Backyardigans episodes. I've had it up here, TV. com has it up at their Backyardigans section, and Wikipedia has what I think is the best overall picture of each of the first 20 episodes. But, so far, nothing comprehensive on the next 20 episodes has been released.

So, what can we figure out? We know that the first of the new episodes, Mission to Mars, will be airing in October (incidentally, I saw an ad for that this morning featuring Uniqua, Pablo and Austin in the shuttle, with Tasha and Tyrone supporting them on the ground).

Backyardigans fan Robert G. shared with us in a comment that he's seen an episode titled Samurai Pie on Treehouse TV already (he says it's great, very funny, with a spaghetti western soundtrack). That episode and Mission to Mars will be available on a DVD, titled Mission to Mars, due to be released Oct. 10 (according to the Nick Jr. shop.)

Dropping in on the message boards at Treehouse TV, it seems that there was a second new episode aired recently, Monster Party. Evidently it was a surprise birthday party for Austin. Everyone was a type of monster, vampires and werewolves being specifically mentioned.

According to the DVD description at Amazon, there will be four Backyardigans episodes on there. There is nothing about what the other two episodes will be. The same description says the following about the Mission to Mars episode: "... takes the Backyardigans to outer space and an underground Martian city. This DVD release also features the voice of Grammy award winning singer Alicia Keys as Mommy Martian. Alicia Keys also sings one song titled "Boinga" on the main episode."

What else can we figure out? Well, they just showed another ad, this one a montage of clips from upcoming Nick Jr. shows. The Backyardigans clips included: Tasha and Uniqua in some sort of headdresses, in what looks like a cave, lit by torches; Austin and Tyrone dancing in Karate-type outfits (red belt - Tyrone, white belt - Austin) (probably Samurai Pie); Tasha as an empress in a silk robe (Samurai Pie again?); Tyrone again in the Karate-type outfit, hitting a frying pan like a gong.

Books and other products out right now can give us some more clues (most of these are not yet available except through pre-order):

  • Mystery of the Jeweled Eggs - Cover shows Pablo in a Sherlock Holmes type detective outfit with the other kids dressed up in a stereotypically upperclass English fashion. (Austin has a monocle, etc.)
  • Cops and Robots - Pablo and Tasha are evil robots, Uniqua and Tyrone are space police trying to keep them from reprogamming all the galaxy's robots to be bad.
  • Trouble on the Train - Cover shows Pablo and Tasha, mounted on horses, wearing black masks and black hats. Tasha is whirling a lasso over her head and there is a train in the background. I'm guessing traditional western with two of the other three kids as the sheriff and deputy trying to keep Pablo and Tasha from robbing the train.
  • Legend Hunters - No picture available yet, and no description. However, since it's new, there's a good chance it's based on an upcoming episode, not one of the previously aired episodes.
  • Mud Monster - Cover shows Pablo and Uniqua, dressed in white overalls, wearing backpacks, running from an extremely muddy Tyrone.
  • We Love a Luau - Another one with no picture of description available yet. Luau's are Hawaiian, however ...
  • A is for Adventure - Judging from the title, I would guess this is an alphabet book. However, the cover does show Tyrone, Pablo and Uniqa in an airplane, wearing leather helmets and goggles. Maybe a scene from an upcoming flying episode?

So. That gives us three definites (Monster Party, Samurai Pie and Mission to Mars) and six possibilities. I'm inclined to look at the Jeweled Eggs, Cops and Robots, and Train stories as strong possibilities. The others, well, who knows? We'll have to wait and see.

There are supposed to be another two episodes premiering Sep. 29 on Treehouse TV, from 6 - 7 pm. If you get a chance to see them, let the rest of us know what they are, OK?

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Back To Work

Well, summer's over, school has started, and I guess it's time to get back to paying attention to things other than swimming pools and flowers!

Although, can I just say how quickly the weather has changed? Just this morning, my daughter pointed out to me a tree with red-tinged leaves. ALREADY?

Backyardigans products have simply exploded into availability over the last few weeks. You can see some of the latest products at the new Amazon Backyardigans Store. Check out the Uniqua and Pablo costumes available now for this Halloween! (Are you ready to think about Halloween yet?)

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Backyardigans Birthday Party Supplies

I got a copy of the latest Birthday Express catalog in the mail today. Yes! They have Backyardigans birthday party supplies finally!

You can see what they have offered on their website on the Backyardigans Deluxe Pack page.

A sampling of what's available includes Uniqua and Pablo costumes, plastic Backyardigans tumblers (11 fl. oz.), and a Backyardigans inflatable chair. Not to mention paper plates, paper cups, invitations, napkins, tablecovers and balloons. Lots of stuff!

So, all of you who have been waiting impatiently can finally have the Backyardigans party of your dreams!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hangin' out with the Backyardigans

Just a quick picture to keep you entertained during the warm weather. Very big dolls, and such a little guy!

These don't look like the plush dolls from Amazon. Does anyone know where to buy these particular Backyardigans dolls?

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Summer Vacation

Since it's just so crazy with everyone home and everyone wanting to use the computer, I've decided to really cut back on posting this summer. I'll update every so often as I get a chance and as I find out interesting things, but don't be surprised if several weeks go by without an update. I'm too busy playing outside!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

UK Nick Jr. "Jump Up" Day

If any of you happen to live in or near Glasgow, Scotland, you might be interested to hear of this 2 day Nick Jr. event, taking place July 22 and 23. There'll be things like a Dora and Diego Explorer Maze, a Thomas the Tank Engine inflatable, and for The Backyardigans, a Pirate Adventure.

This isn't the only place for the event. There will be another such event in London, July 15 and 16.

The Daily Record is giving away 500 tickets to the Glasgow event. You can get the details here. If you don't live in Glasglow, though, don't despair. It looks like you don't have to pay for any of the tickets, they just have limited availability. So call now (the phone number to call can be found on this page at the UK Nick Jr. site) to reserve your tickets.

Go to the UK Nick Jr. site to get more information about both events.

It all sounds like so much fun it makes me wish I could go!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Backyardigans Jigsaw

Oh, well, vacation time is over. I hope the rest of you have been having a fun summer, so far!

Nick Jr. released a photo today with a press release. I thought all of you might enjoy having a Backyardigans puzzle to play with! I put it up here, at Jigzone.

Friday, June 02, 2006

TV Guide Summer Preview

TV Guide is giving out a DVD with the current magazine (the June 5 issue, available June 1) that previews the summer shows. The Summer Preview DVD will include sneak peaks and behind-the-scenes footage of several shows, including the Backyardigans!!

(Having to work very hard here to exercise restraint and not type those last three word in supersize, with a special font, and a different color for each letter. Maybe blinking, too.)

Sneak peaks? Behind the scenes footage? I'm heading to the store!

You can read more about the DVD in this press release.

Theme Parks and The Backyardigans

Want to see a photo you took posted on the Backyardigans Fan blog? If you're going to be hitting any of the Paramount Parks theme parks this summer, head over to the Nickelodeon section and get a picture of something Backyardigans related (decorations, rides, overworked teen dressed up as Tasha, etc.) When you get home, put it on Flickr, then post a comment on the most recent blog post, letting me know. I'll put it up here!

(Naturally, I reserve the right to display only those photos that fit the standards of this blog. In other words, it must be appropriate for small children. Which shouldn't be a problem, since we're just taking pictures of amusement park rides and characters.)

Here's more information about the rides! Paramount has teamed up with Nickelodeon to create a Nick-themed section in five of their seven parks. Some of them don't seem to have much, judging by the webpages, but some of really gone all out, with parades and everything. It sounds great and makes me wish I was heading to heading to Paramount this summer!

King's Dominion - Actually, judging by their webpage and the Nick Jr. page about their rides, there doesn't seem to be anything Backyardigans there, although there is other great Nick Jr. stuff.

King's Island - According to the press release, the "most elaborate collection of Nickelodeon-inspired rides and attractions in the world". The Nick Jr. page mentions The Backyardigans, but it isn't clear if there's a Backyardigans ride, or only characters.

Carowinds - This park has a Backyardigans Swing-A-Long. The Nick Jr. page doesn't mention The Backyardigans.

Great America
- No idea if there are any Backyardigans rides here. The closest thing to a clue is the mention of a Nick Jr. house, on the Nick Jr. page.

Canada's Wonderland - According to the press release, there will be Backyardigans characters there to meet and greet your children, all season long.

And if you run across anything else Backyardigans as you meander through the summer, let me know! We'll put it up here.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Backyardigans Birthday Cake

Backyardigans Cake, originally uploaded by highway 47 blues.

I found this photo on Flickr and thought everyone might be interested in seeing an example of a Backyardigans birthday party cake. (I love Flickr's "blog this" capability. I might have to start using that more, now that I know about it!)

Happy Birthday, Henry. I hope you enjoyed your cake!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Surf's Up and the DVD is out!

Just a quick reminder that the Surf's Up! DVD is being released tomorrow, May 30. I'm waiting for it from, and I'll have a review up as soon as possible.

I hear that the extras on the DVD this time include two of the how-to-do-this-dance ads they play on Nick Jr. sometimes, so I'm excited to see them! I love those ads, and I'd probably be willing to buy a DVD of just those ads. They're so fun. My kids get up and start dancing all over the place every time one of those comes on.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Lyrics - Laser Limbo

From "Secret Mission." Sung to the tune of "Limbo Rock."

Uniqua, Pablo and Tyrone: (sung) Secret Agent limbo team
Is gonna beat the laser beam.
We will line up single file
And show off our limbo style.

Pablo: It's Uniqua's turn to go
She will limbo good and low.
Will she make it? Yes, she will.
She's got laser limbo skill!

Uniqua: (spoken) Limbo lower now.
Limbo lower now.
How low can you go?


Pablo: Excellent limboing, Agent Uniqua!

Tyrone: Yeah!

Uniqua: Thanks!
C'mon, Tyrone. You know what to do!

Tyrone: Here I come.

Uniqua and Pablo: (sung) Now Tyrone is going to try.
He's a limbo kind of guy.
Keep those antlers by the floor
As you limbo through the door.

Bend down low and keep it loose,
Secret Agent limbo moose.
He will beat the laser light.
He can do the limbo right.

Tyrone: (spoken) Limbo lower now.
Limbo lower now.
How low can you go?

All right!

Uniqua: Excellent limboing, Agent Tyrone!

Tyrone: It was tricky.

Pablo: Now it's my turn. Here I come.

Uniqua and Tyrone: (sung) Agent Pablo's going now
Come on Pablo show us how.
Bend your knees, extend your arms,
And don't set off those alarms.

Limbo low and limbo fast,
Save the limbo best for last.
Now we all have passed the test.
We're the laser limbo best.

Pablo: (spoken) Limbo lower now.
Limbo lower now.
How low can you go?

Uniqua and Tyrone: All right! Yeah! (whistle)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

High Tea Finally Airing

Great news! High Tea is finally going to be airing on Nick Jr.!

The episode, which is currently available only on the Polka Palace Party DVD, features Tasha taking the lead when Tyrone, Pablo and Uniqua can't decide what to play. She suggests a tea party, which they think sounds boring. Tasha, however, shows them just how exciting searching for the perfect cup of tea can be!

High Tea will premiere June 19, on both Nick Jr. and Noggin. If you miss the premiere, don't despair - it airs again June 21. Check your local listings for the exact time. (I'm hearing 11:30 a.m. for Nick Jr. and 4:30 p.m. for Noggin.)

In other Nick Jr. news, they'll be switching to their summer schedule May 30. The new schedule will be from 6-7 a.m. and 9 a.m.-noon, weekdays. They'll also be kicking off a Let's Just Play campaign, June 4, following four real children who are working to make their lives healthier.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Nick Jr. Sale

Nick Jr. is having an outdoor merchandise sale right now, 20% off until May 29. So, if you've been drooling over that Backyardigans patio set, now's the time to get it! Also, if you order $50 worth of merchandise, you get a free 1 year subscription to Nick Magazine, now through June 30.

Monday, May 22, 2006

New Voice for Tyrone

Amonymous maximus alerted me that Tyrone has a new singing voice for the upcoming new episodes. Jordan Coleman will be taking over from Reginald Davis, Jr. as Tyrone's speaking voice. (Incidentally, the Internet Movie Database lists Nathalie Haneveld as Tyrone's voice in the Dutch dub.)

Our thanks to Reginald Davis for the pleasure he's given us as one of the voices of our beloved Backyardigans! We wish him good luck in his future career.

We also welcome Jordan Coleman - and look forward to getting to know you as Tyrone!

Now in translation

Since so many of my readers are coming from other countries, I was excited to run across this: Bring translation capability to your site

If you look over to the left, under the Links section, you'll see a button from AltaVista that you can use to translate this blog with just one click. I hope my international readers will find it useful!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Lyrics - Key to the World

From Race to the Tower of Power. Sung to the tune of "Three Blind Mice".

Pablo and Tyrone: Key to the World
The Key to the World
In the Tower of Power
In the Tower of Power

Tyrone: If we get the Key we'll win,
Our evil empire will begin,
We won't let the superheroes in-

Both: -to the Tower of Power
The Tower of Power

Pablo: The Tower of Power is very tall,
And up in the top is the Key.

Tyrone: (The Key!)
We'll find it, and grab it,
And keep it, and have it,
And rule the world you and me.

Pablo: Key to the World
The Key to the World
In the Tower of Power
In the Tower of Power

Tyrone: Let's hurry now and grab it quick,
So we can fill the world with ick.
The superheroes they make me sick!

Both: To the Tower of Power
The Tower of Power

Monday, May 15, 2006

Backyardigans Trends

I ran across Google Trends recently and have had a lot of fun playing around with it. I thought all of you might be interested to see how interest (as measured by searches) in the Backyardigans has grown over the last couple of years. Just click the links below to get a graph approximating the growth in searches Google has had on these particular search strings.

I find it very interesting to see how many Spanish speaking fans of the Backyardigans there are. I knew a lot of my readers were coming from South American countries, but I didn't realize there was this much interest!


The Backyardigans


Backyardigans vs. Go, Diego, Go

Backyardigans vs Nick Jr.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Mother's Day Picture Frame

I just got an email from Nick Jr. (just sign up as a member if you want to get their newsletter) saying, among other things, that there is a Backyardigans Mother's Day picture frame available for printing out. It features Uniqua and Austin, as well as some generic spring flowers. You're supposed to print it out, fold it half, cut out the area inside the frame, and tape in a picture. The only problem is that cutting out the white space in the center might be a bit fussy. They've got Austin and Uniqua overlapping the border of the frame in a very artistic way that is going to make cutting it a difficult task.

I can't explain it well. Go look at it - it'll make more sense then.

Of course, it would have been nice to have gotten an email about this a few days earlier. Umm, Nick Jr.? Mother's Day is tomorrow. Some of us like to prepare sooner than the last minute.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Backyardigans Calendar

If you're the kind of person who likes to plan ahead - really far ahead - you might be interested in the Backyardigans calendar available for preorder at Amazon. (You probably won't have to wait too long to get it, though. The release date is June 30.)

It's a wall calendar, for 2007, in English. There's no picture available, yet. Hopefully it will show up soon!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A Kids' Show Even Adults Love

In an article in the Arizona Republic, columnist Bill Goodykroontz has a list of lists. Among others, he has: late, great shows that haven't worn out their welcome in reruns, 3 people we can do without ever hearing from again, When disaster strikes, the 4 TV news people I want to be watching, and (dunt-da-daa!) 5 kids shows adults can enjoy without having to pretend.

Naturally, The Backyardigans is on that last list. "We've got the whole wide world/in our yard to explore. . . .," Goodykroontz said. "Sorry, but the songs are incredibly catchy."

Tell me about it. Every time I get the lyrics to one of the songs written down, I spend the next several days with that song going through my head constantly. Luckily, they are such great songs that it doesn't make me crazy to have one stuck in my head like that!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Lyrics - Racing Day

From Race Around the World.

Austin: Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not nervous pacing day.
Today's the day we race.

I'm ready to race a long, long race.
This race goes almost every place.
It's fast, it's long,
It's vast, it's far,
It starts out right here where we are.

But when the finish line's unfurled,
We will have raced around the world.
When we finish this long, long race
I hope, I hope I'll take first place.

Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not sausage casing day,
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.

All: Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not picture-tracing day,
Today's the day we race!

Tyrone: We'll run somewhere that's not right here,
And while we do the crowd will cheer.
Uniqua: Through the forest over the snows,
Across the ocean and then who knows?

Pablo: Whoever is the first around,
will get to make that victory sound,
Austin: Dunt-da-daa! is what they'll say
at the end of racing day.

All: Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not puppy chasing day,
Today's the day we race!

All: Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not doily lacing day,
Today's the day we race!

Uniqua: A long, long, long, long way we've come,
Tyrone: To get back where we started from.
Pablo: We raced real hard but now it's time,
Austin: To break that tape and cross that line.

All: Racing day, it's racing day,
Racing day, it's racing day!
It's not self-effacing day,
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.
Today's the day we race.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Backyardigans books = new episodes?

Interesting things showing up over at Amazon! I think we can take these new books as good bets for being part of the upcoming 20 new episodes. I can't wait!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Austin the Movie Star

I rented Zathura from Netflix a while ago, and finally had the time to watch it tonight. One of the lead characters, a little boy named Danny, is played by an actor named Jonah Bobo. Which name kept nagging at me, with me thinking, "Wow, that's familiar ..."

Yeah, yeah, it hit me just now. He's the voice of Austin! (In Canada and America, that is.)

So, if you want to see what the boy behind Austin looks like, get a copy of Zathura. Jonah's a cutiepie. If you're a parent, you'll want to just pick him up and cuddle him, he's so sweet. There's a section in the Zathura extras about the cast members, where you'll learn a lot about Jonah, too, if you're interested. Evidently they did quite a search to find just the right kids for the show, and very nice things were said about Jonah's acting ability. But then, we knew that already, didn't we?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Nick Jr. on Sprint PCS

Nickelodeon announced the launch of Nick Mobile on Sprint PCS phones, April 17. Sprint PCS customers will be able to download a "full range of video clips from Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. programming" according to the press release.

There will be short video clips, vignettes and music videos. The Nick Jr. music videos will be about two minutes long. The Nick Jr. clips will be from Dora, Blue's Clues, LazyTown, The Wonder Pets, and yes, The Backyardigans.

Some aspects of this are already available online at the Nick Mobile website. You can check out top downloads, buy wallpaper, ringtones and other items, or do a search to find your favorite character or show.Among the ringtones, the Backyardigans theme is one of the top downloads. The Tasha wallpaper is one of the overall top downloads.

(Interestingly, there are only three Backyardigan wallpapers. One of them is a generic logo, but the other two feature Tasha and Austin. Maybe they're finally figuring out that Tasha and Austin are loved just as much as Pablo, Tyrone and Uniqua?)

You don't have to be a Sprint PCS customer to download the wallpaper and ringtones from Nick Mobile. Be warned, though, that your phone might not be compatible with their system. You can check when you go to buy by scrolling down to the Phone Compatability section of the purchase page.

I am interested in how the Sprint downloads are. Do any of our readers have this? Can you share with the rest of us how it is?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Which Backyardigan are you?

I ran across this quiz and thought it was pretty cute.

What Backyardigan are You?
I am Pablo! Which Backyardigan are you? Click here to find out.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Backyardigan Party Ideas

People are always asking where they can find Backyardigans party supplies. Sadly, they're still not available. There are people out there, however, who are amazingly talented and have been generous enough to share their good ideas. The links below will take you to various posts about staging a creative Backyardigans party, even without any official supplies.

Tinkermonkey at BackyardiganFans - "suggestion if anyone wants it -- we did a Backyardigans party in March ..."

sduverger68 at Nick Jr. - "Good Luck, I have looked HIGH & low for them so what I am doing for my sons second b-day ..."

Birthday Party Ideas at Nick Jr. - This whole thread is full of great ideas.

My Wife is Great (Duh!) - Skip down to the sixth paragraph for a description of a Backyardigans birthday party.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Nick Jr. Bookclub

This register coupon was handed to me with my receipt when I was at the grocery store the other day. It says:

Special offer on exclusive Nick Jr. storybooks
CALL 1-877-266-5745 NOW

Call now to get your 7 free books and
free backpack and 1 more book for only $3.99
plus free shipping and handling!

It seems to be the same offer as here. There is one Backyardigans book among the seven free books (Exploring We Go). It's being done through Scholastic Books, not through Nick Jr.

There was some discussion about this club on the Nick Jr. forum a while back if you want to get an opinion on it.

I find it interesting that they're advertising this through register coupons, though.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Backyardigan Band-Aids Pictures

Well, I finally found some Backyardigans Band-Aids for my children! Here are the pictures, since I know some people have complained that they can't find them, because they don't know what the packaging looks like. (Yes, that is my carpet.)

As the packaging states, there are 20 bandages, in two sizes. There are 10 larger size bandages and 10 smaller ones just right for wrapping around little fingers.

The Band-Aids do have pictures of all five Backyardigans. Unfortunately, I can't give you a detailed description of the bandages, because then I'd have to open them and they wouldn't be sterile any more.

My children are loving them, especially my youngest who has decided they belong to her and only her and tries to carry them around with her all the time. Which is why I'm keeping them out of reach!

Friday, April 07, 2006

DVD Review - Cave Party

I find it interesting that, with only two episodes having the word Party in their title, Nick Jr. wound up choosing both of those episodes to title DVDs. It must be some sort of marketing thing.

Cave Party follows the Backyardigans DVD pattern. Four episodes, one of them previously unaired on Nick Jr. The episodes on this DVD are:

  • Cave Party - Tasha and Austin invite Uniqua, Pablo and Tyrone to come howl at the moon with them, and in the process, invent the party.
  • Race Around the World - Austin is hoping to win his first gold medal, but he keeps coming in dead last against Tyrone, Uniqua and Pablo.
  • Eureka! - Dinosaur bone hunting scientists, Uniqua and Tasha run into dusty prospectors Pablo and Tyrone.
  • Castaways - Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone think they're all alone on a desert island, but Austin is just too shy to let them know he's there.
Race Around the World was first aired on Nick Jr. three days after this DVD was released. It is a great episode. Set to zydeco music, it had me off my chair and dancing with my girls in no time! I loved it. It is my favorite Backyardigans episode ever.

The Special Features section again had just one feature, the music video "Go, Go, Go," from Race Around the World. I loved this video! Not only was the music fun to listen to, with a catchy tune that's still running around in my head, they did a great job of putting the video together. It's based on the episode, but short clips from other episodes are included (Castaways, Surfs Up, Viking Voyage, Eureka! and Quest for the Flying Rock.) I felt this video, with the additional clips, really captured the spirit of the Backyardigans and what I love about it so much. There's a real zest for life there, an excitement and enthusiasm that's simply irresistable.

The Previews section had the same ads as last time. The Great Dinosaur Rescue from Go, Diego, Go; Dora the Explorer's Pirate Adventure, Fairytale Adventure and Dance to the Rescue; Blue's Clues/Blue's Room Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, It's Hug Day and Alphabet Power.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

New air date for Backyardigans fall season

Well, it seems they're not going to be airing the first of the new episodes in September, after all. A new press release from Nick Jr. gives October as the kick off date.

Very disappointing. Don't they know we're all waiting with bated breath? Come on, guys, I'm turning blue here!

The same press release has other interesting information, though. In talking about the music genres showcased by The Backyardigans, Brown Johnson, the Executive Creative Director of Nickelodeon Preschool Television listed Kenyan Highlife and Jug Band Music. Those must be genres used in two of the upcoming episodes, as they don't correspond to any of the 20 episodes aired so far.

I haven't heard of either of those types of music, so I'm looking forward to hearing them. Do any of you know anything about these genres? If so, enlighten the rest of us!

I'm back, I'm back!

So, we moved, and in the move the monitor got broken.

Hard to get online when you can't see what you're doing. You'd think, with all the time I've spent on this blog, that I could do it blindfolded, but no. It turns out I can't.

But here I am, with no plans to move at any time in the future. Ever.

I really hate moving.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A Diversity of Opinions

A review of the Backyardigans from someone who has absolutely nothing good to say about it. This woman really hates the Backyardigans.

The Backyardigans- I Think There are Some Subliminal Messages Involved

This woman sees it entirely differently.

Travel the World with The Backyardigans!

Personally, I've always found that The Backyardigans inspires my children to try all sorts of new imaginative play.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

New Shoes For Your Little Backyardigan

If you have been anxiously looking for Backyardigans shoes for your child, you've probably been told to try Kohl's. If you're willing to wait until July, however, you'll be able to find a bigger selection!

Nickelodeon and Brown Shoes have teamed up to put out four new lines of shoes, two of which are based on Nick Jr. shows, specifically Go Diego Go and The Backyardigans. (The other two shows are Unfabulous and Zoey 101, Nickelodeon shows.)

According to the press release the lines "include a full assortment of casual shoes, boots, sport fusion athletic shoes and slippers." The Diego shoes will be for boys; the Backyardigans shoes will be made for boys and girls both. They will be available for ages 2-6.

I couldn't find any pictures unfortunately, nor could I find anything about where the shoes might be carried. But I'll get you more information as it comes in!

Monday, March 13, 2006

New Look

This should be easier to read than the old layout. I hope you like it! Let me know how it works for you.

Friday, March 10, 2006

More Backyardigans Coloring Pages

Nick Jr. is offering a new Backyardigans printable coloring page as a member exclusive. It is Austin in the Race Around the World. Signing up as a Nick Jr. member is free.

I also finally found some more Backyardigans coloring pages! These are from the UK Nick Jr. site, which I should have thought to check earlier. I don't think any of these are repeats of what is found on the Nick Jr. site I posted before, but if you find any, let me know.

These are from Treehouse TV, the Canadian home of the Backyardigans.
Connect the Dots Backyardigan
Lyrics and Coloring Pages

Have fun coloring!

Lyrics - Mystery Lifeguard

From Surf's Up. Sung by Austin.

No one can surf Tiki Beach waves
'Til they've got rad moves a-plenty.
One or two moves just won't make it.
I'm talking five, ten or twenty.
When you are rad you will get there,
And you'll get stylishly wet there

Mystery lifeguard,
They call me mystery lifeguard
Of Tiki Beach, yo,
That's me, the mystery lifeguard.

Mystery lifeguard,
They call me mystery lifeguard
Of Tiki Beach, yo,
That's me, the mystery lifeguard.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

My child, the Backyardigans author

Remember last November, when I posted about finding a Backyardigans Make Your Own Little Golden Book? Well, I've finally found out more and it's not at all what I thought it might be.

According to the Random House website, "Children will love making their very own book Little Golden Book with colorful crayons, markers, and Backyardigans stencils and stickers!"

Sooo. I still can't say I really understand what they're doing here, but it sounds very interesting! We'll find out more, I'm sure, as it comes closer to July (when this book is being released.)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Holding Tight

Well, I'm just kind of sitting around this week, waiting for Netflix to send me a copy of Cave Party. Which I am wishing would get here today, because I have two very sick little people here, who are exceedingly grumpy and cranky. It would be nice to have something new, for the purposes of distraction.

Although this has been a big week for new programming on Nick Jr. Has anyone seen Wonderpets yet? My kids love it, but I can't say I'm so thrilled. I've tried before this to learn to enjoy opera, and just haven't been able to. Wonderpets seems to incorporate all the things that irritate me about opera. I'm tempted to start wearing earplugs to keep from hearing one more repetition of, "This is sewious!"

Only 2 more days until Race Around the World airs!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Lyrics - Who's There?

In honor of this week's release of Cave Party, here's a song from Castaways (one of the episodes on that DVD.)

Sung by Uniqua, Pablo and Tyrone.

All: Who's there? Who's there?
Who's over there?
Who, who, who?
Who's there? Who's there?
Who's over there?
Who, who, who?

Uniqua: If we follow this string we'll find out who's been
helping us out with everything!
Tyrone: The vines and the leaves,
the rocks and the wood;
Pablo: Someone's been hanging in our neighborhood!

All: Who's there? Who's there?
Who's over there?
Who, who, who?
Who's there? Who's there?
Who's over there?
Who, who, who?

Uniqua: I see some footprints
Pablo: Going over the sand,
Tyrone: Soon we'll find out
All: Who's here on our land.
Tyrone: The coconuts and rocks,
Pablo: The big ball of string,
Uniqua: We'll finally find out who did everything!

All: Who's there? Who's there?
Who's over there?
Who, who, who?
Who's there? Who's there?
Who's over there?
Who, who, who?

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Remaining DVDs

Since curious people have been looking for this information, I thought I'd put it up where everyone can find it.

There are two Backyardigans DVDs left to be released. Between them, they have the final eight of the first 20 episodes. Both are available for preorder through Amazon and, I'm sure, several other places.

Release Date: March 7, 2006
Episodes: Cave Party, Race Around The World, Eureka, Castaways

Release Date: May 30, 2006
Episodes: Surf's Up, The Quest For the Flying Rock, Riding The Range, Race To The Tower Of Power

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Healthy Food Messages

As a parent, I appreciate that the creators of the Backyardigans make a point of having the kids going for healthy snacks at the end of almost every show. (There has been the occasional cookie or brownie.) It seems like every time I take my kids into the store I have to drag them past display after display of junk food, all of it right at their eye level. They're always begging for juice, candy, cookies, "rabbit milk" (Quik), sugary cereal, you name it.

I offer better alternatives - yogurt, cheese cubes, peanut butter and celery, raisins, etc., but all too often I find myself in the position of having to play Mean Mommy with a simple, firm "No." And then, of course, cope with the resulting temper tantrums and weeping fits. It helps that I can suggest a "Backyardigans snack" to my kids every now and then.

Which is why I find it interesting that Viacom, the corporation that owns Nick Jr., is getting sued by a group concerned by the amount of advertising that is thrown at young children, such as the target audience of the Backyardigans.

The lawsuit is aimed primarily at the "junk food" ads and Kellogg has been named as a defendant as well as Viacom. The plaintiffs are the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood, and parents Andrew Leong and Sherri Carlson.

According to a FAQ on the Commercial-Free Childhood website, in 28 hours of watching Nickelodeon there were 168 food commercials, of which 148 (88%) were for foods that had little (or no) nutritional value. and are also attacked for the amount of junk food advertising they carry.

(I swear I've only ever bought one box of Backyardigan fruit snacks for the kids. Honest!)

I remember reading last fall about the Backyardigans being used on supermarket bags of carrots. I can't say I've seen any. Neither have I seen them on any containers of hummus, despite Tyrone's fondness for the stuff. In fact, I think I can confidently predict that as more Backyardigans merchandise comes out we will see lots of sugary treats, but little or no healthy stuff.

And that's too bad. Because I can guarantee they'd have at least one mom ready to buy bags of apples and boxes of raisins that feature our favorite characters. Come on, Viacom. There's got to be some money for you in making it easier for parents to coax their kids into healthy snacks.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Mix 'n' Match-igan Game/Screensaver

Nick Jr. has a screensaver that is also a match the cards game, available for download from their site. This is a members exclusive, so you'll have to sign up with their website to get it.

This download is free and is available for both Windows and Macintosh users. Windows users will need Windows 95/98/2000/NT.

Backyardigans Screensaver & Game

I downloaded this and tried it out. I was only moderately impressed. There are plenty of pictures of the Backyardigans, which is great, but combining a screensaver with a game was an idea that, in my opinion, didn't work out too well.

The problem is, I couldn't find a way to pull up the game from my desktop. I had to go into my Start menu, open the control panel, go to display and then to screensaver and click preview to start the screensaver/game. Not something I'd care to do with a small child breathing down my neck, wanting to play now, Now, NOW!

Once you've got it open, though, it's not a bad game at all. There are two buttons at the bottom, one that says Play and the other says Done. Play, obviously, is if you want to play the game. Done is for when you are finished and want to close the screensaver. Being a game, it isn't going to go away just by moving the mouse.

If it pops up as your screensaver and you don't start to play, the game will start to play automatically, revealing the pictures below as it goes. The Play button will disappear when it does this, but it's easy enough to start playing - just start clicking and matching.

Each of the cards have a Backyardigans icon on the reverse (matching) side. There are a wide variety, ranging from props such as the slide in their common backyard, to several versions of each of the characters in costumes from various episodes.

The pictures that are revealed as the matching cards are removed are pretty good. The only quibble I had with them was that as I played I frequently got the same picture two or even three times. The pictures only stay up for a few seconds, too, which was a little disappointing. I would have liked to have gotten a better look at them.

I found eight pictures over the time I played. They were:

  • A picture of Pablo in a strongman's outfit, with the words "Pablo the Strong".
  • Uniqua in her jungle gear from the Tarzan episode, labeled "Uniqua the Brilliant Scientist".
  • Tasha, surrounded by flowers, labeled "Tasha".
  • All five of the Backyardigans, in their backyard, waving. This was animated.
  • Tyrone kicking a soccer ball and the word "Goal!"
  • All five of the kids in Ski Patrol and Mountie gear, with the words "Greeting from the frozen North". Also animated, with falling snow.
  • Another picture with all five in the backyard, with animated butterflies swooping around.
  • All five Backyardigans, each framed by a giant flower shape, with animated twinkling stars.
If anyone else downloads this and find another picture, let me know! I was disappointed not to find a solo picture of Austin. I don't know if that was because there isn't one, or if I just didn't find it.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Lyrics - Got To Love The Clarinet

Here's a song for all you clarinet players out there!

From Polka Palace Party. Sung by Uniqua and Tyrone.

Uniqua: The clarinet, the clarinet,
what do I like about the clarinet?
The clarinet, the clarinet,
got to love the clarinet!

One good thing about the clarinet
is all those tasty tones I get.
If anyone's found a better sound
I haven't heard it yet.

Both: The clarinet, the clarinet,
Uniqua: What do I like about the clarinet?
Both: The clarinet, the clarinet,
got to love the clarinet!

Tyrone: Tell me something else about the clarinet.
Uniqua: It's very portable.
Tyrone: Yeah, I bet!
Uniqua: Small and light, so it fits just right.
Play it on the porch or in the kitchenette.

I play it when I'm dry or when I'm wet.
Both: Got to love the clarinet!

The clarinet, the clarinet,
that's what I like about the clarinet!
The clarinet, the clarinet,
got to love the clarinet!

Tyrone: Tuba too!
Both: Got to love the clarinet!
Uniqua: Darn tootin'!
Both: Got to love the clarinet!