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.