Tuesday, June 26, 2007

New Episode: Into The Deep

"Into The Deep" will be the newest Backyardigans episode to be shown on Nick Jr, airing tomorrow, June 27, at 9 a.m.

Tyrone and Pablo explore the deepest parts of the ocean in a submarine, searching for mermaids. Tash and Uniqua are mermaids with a garden they want to protect from intruders. The musical genre is Bollywood.

If you miss it Wednesday, the episode is scheduled to air again this Friday at 10 a.m., along with all the new episodes from other series that Nick Jr. has aired this week. (9 a.m. - Dora the Explorer, 9:30 - Go, Diego, Go, 10:30 - The Wonderpets.)

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Knitting the Backyardigans

When it takes just as long to recover from a vacation as you actually spent on the vacation, does that mean you had a lot of fun, or just that you made a 10 hour car trip with two small children?

Not to mention, the air conditioning broke down. It's very difficult to hear audiobooks in the back seat when all the windows are wide open. It's also very hard to color, read, or play with the toys that Mommy so carefully packed for purposes of strategic distraction, when the wind is blowing everything out of your hands. Experienced parents can imagine the horrifying consequences.

It's going to take me a few more weeks to recover.

However! Here I am, back from vacation, with all sorts of Backyardigans fun stuff to talk about. And the funnest (and cutest) Backyardigans idea I've run across lately is the Backyardiknits. Do you love to knit? Do you love the Backyardigans? Then run on over and meet up with this group of knitters who are sharing ideas for knitting projects inspired by the Backyardigans. I don't even knit and I'm tempted to join up!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

More Backyardigans Questions

Where are these dolls from?

Dear Backyardigans Fan:

I found these plush figures in Walmart that had Pablo dressed up like Mickey Mouse's "Sorcerer's Apprentice" (the wizard hat) and then a Uniqua with a pink bag, and she sang about solving mysteries, or being a detective or something. On the Wikipedia site they have a few unseen episodes listed, but neither of these would fit the bill. I was wondering if you could post something out on your blog to folks to get a consensus on what we have seen out there, so we can guess about future episodes coming out. I would be interested to hear what others have seen, heard, or know.


Dear Curious:

I'm assuming this is the Wizard Pablo you saw?
I have no idea what episode this is from. So far we know 18 of the second season episodes. This might be from one the last two episodes, or it might be from season three. Thanks for letting us know about this. Now we can have fun speculating about it!

I couldn't find anything like what you describe for Uniqua. The closest I came was this Lady Pink figure, from the International Super Spy episodes (yes, the plural is deliberate - that story line will be our first two part Backyardigans story!) Does she look anything like what you saw?


Scurvy Pirate lyrics, please!

Dear Backyardigans Fan:

I would like to know if you can find out the lyrics to a song from the Pirate Treasure episode. They sing about a 'scurvy pirate'.....can you help me?

Pirate Fan

Dear Pirate Fan:

That's such a great song! I love it. Unfortunately, I don't have that song on the blog right now, but you can find the lyrics to it at the Backyardigans Guild site. It's about a quarter of the way down the page.


Questions for the Backyardigans Fan? Drop me a line at backyardigansfan at comcast dot net and I'll answer it here.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Backyardigans Birthday Party Decorations

Backyardigans, originally uploaded by Diego Cabral.

I am continually amazed at the creativity some people have in putting together birthday parties! My kids feel spoiled if they have a few helium filled balloons bouncing around the ceiling.

This Backyardigans party is something else! (Although, I'm wondering who the dog is?)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Backyardigans Questions Answered Here!

Something I didn't expect when I put my address up here, was the number of letters I've started getting asking me questions about episodes, songs and trivia. I thought it might be fun to share some of those on here, kind of an irregular "Ask the Backyardigans Fan" column.

Today we have two letters:

What's this episode?

Dear Backyardigans Fan:

I need help!!! I am looking for the name of the episode where the song is "make the world nice fill it up with ice" and I think Tasha sings it. I know there is snow in this episode and they make a bunch of ice cubes. If you can help me with this......

Trying to Remember

Dear Trying:

That episode is "Secret of Snow". Tasha plays the Ice Lady, the person responsible for making ice throughout the world. Uniqua just wants it to snow, but Tasha doesn't want to be bothered when she's so busy making ice!

The ice song is titled "Make the Ice/Fill It Up With Ice" and is sung to the tunes of both Deck the Halls and Good King Wenceslas.

Have fun watching it!


DVD Preview

Dear Backyardigans Fan:

I read your blog every few days or so. My 2-year-old daughter is a die-hard Backyardigans fan. :-)

I was wondering if you knew what four episodes will be included in the upcoming dvd Movers & Shakers.

Oh...I saw a counting book --Deep Sea Countdown. Was there an episode related to this? I know most, if not all, of their books and toys are related to Backyardigans episodes, but this one isn't familiar to me.

Thanks for any info.


Dear Wondering:

I haven't been able to find anything official about the DVD, yet. Based on past experience, however, Movers and Shakers should have the episodes "Movers of Arabia", "Cops and Robots", and "Save the Day". It appears the next episode to be aired should be "Sinbad Sails Alone", which should make that the fourth episode on the disc. They probably won't air that until around the release date, though, which is May 29, 2007. The only other future episodes we know of right now are "The Best Clowns in Town" and "Into the Deep".

Deep Sea Countdown has provoked a certain amount of discussion. Right now, (going by the cover) I would guess that its episode is "Into the Deep".


Questions for the Backyardigans Fan? Drop me a line at backyardigansfan at comcast dot net and I'll answer it here.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Win a Backyardigans Goodie Bag

Something of interest for Backyardigans fans in the United Kingdom! Raising Kids is having a contest (closing date May 16) in which the winners get Backyardigans Goodie Bags. Specifically mentioned are the Backyardigan's Sing 'N Strum Guitar and thePirate Uniqua and Mountie Tyrone Sing & Explore toys.

You will need to register with the site to be eligible to participate in their contests (there are several, but this is the only one with Backyardigans prizes) and you will also need to be a United Kingdom resident.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Lyrics - Movers of Arabia

From "Movers of Arabia."

Style: Surf Rock

Uniqua: We are the movers ...
Pablo (in the background): Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Uniqua: ... of Arabia.
We move Arabian things.
Pablo: Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Uniqua: We move sultans, we move kings.
Pablo: Move-move-movers of Arabia.

Pablo: We'll pack up your magic stuff.
Uniqua: Never, ever treat it rough.
Pablo: Load the truck no time to lose.
Uniqua:Fast as a camel in running shoes.

Pablo: We are the movers ...
Uniqua (in the background): Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Pablo: ... of Arabia.
We move Arabian things.
Uniqua: Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Pablo: We move sultans, we move kings.
Uniqua: Move-move-movers of Arabia.

Both: Move-move-move,
Move Arabian things.
Move Arabian things.

Move Arabian things.
Move Arabian things.

We'll do our best and then do more,
'Cause we never had a job before.
Never had a job before.
Never had a job before.

Pablo: We are the movers ...
Uniqua (in the background): Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Pablo: ... of Arabia.
We move Arabian things.
Uniqua: Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Pablo: We move sultans, we move kings.
Uniqua: Move-move-movers of Arabia.
Both: We move sultans, we move kings.
We move sultans, we move kings.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

DVD Extras

Sometimes the people who put together the Backyardigans DVDs do a great job with the extras. Sometimes things are a little ... disappointing. What do you wish they'd include in the extras?

Some of my thoughts:

  • An interview with the show's creator
  • Some footage of the actors as they work
  • Some footage of the dancers behind the fast-stepping kids
  • Interviews with the actors
  • More information about the music genres featured in the episodes on the DVD
Share your ideas!

DVD Review - Volcano Sisters

This is the second Backyardigans DVD from the second season! As usual, the DVD has four episodes and a few extras, although the extras were disappointing this time around. There are two extras, but only one is related to the Backyardigans. The other is simply an ad for the Wonder Pets DVD coming out soon. Not bad, I guess, if you're a Wonder Pets fan, but not what I was hoping for.

  • The Legend of the Volcano Sisters - This episode has all the kids, with Uniqua and Tasha as the angry Volcano Sisters who threaten to wreak havoc if they don't get what they want. Music: Tarantella
  • The Swamp Creature - Uniqua and Pablo try to share their love of the swamp with reluctant tourists Tasha and Austin. Music: 50's/60's Guitar Instrumental
  • Horsing Around - The Tortoise and the Hare, with Pablo (the world's fastest jockey) and Uniqua (the world's best rodeo stunt rider) as the rabbits who don't take slow and steady Tyrone seriously. Music: Klezmer
  • Special Delivery - Mailman Tyrone loses his mailbag, which contains the Valentine cards the kids have sent each other. Tasha, Pablo and Uniqua are good to the bone bikers, who help Tyrone get the bag back so that the cards can be delivered. Music: Norteño
The Backyardigans extra is a dance=along lesson from Uniqua in how to do the tango from Secret Agent. (A lot of fun!) And, then, there's the aforementioned sneak preview of the Wonder Pets DVD, featuring the three heroes singing as they get ready to go rescue a baby blowfish.

A fun DVD and worth adding to your collection.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Trivia - Home Turf

There's a lot of speculation about why Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone are seen in every Backyardigans episode and used so much in the marketing, but Austin and Tasha tend to be left out, much to the dismay of their fans. In working on this picture, showing where each Backyardigan lives, I noticed something interesting that might explain that (at least from the perspective inside the Backyardigans world - I'll leave out speculation about marketing decisions for now.)

Looking closely at the Backyardigans' houses, you can see that there are fences around Tasha's backyard and Austin's backyard. Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone, however, live next to each other, with no fences separating the backyards. This area then becomes a sort of mega-backyard, an effect heightened by the unusual depth of the yard. In fact we can see the back fence is almost at the back door of the barely seen house behind the play area.

Austin, as we saw in the "Castaways" episode, goes into the main play area from his backyard through a gate in the fence. Tasha doesn't appear to have a direct route from her backyard to the main play area. Instead, she's more than once been shown to enter the play area from the front yard ("Key to the Nile", "Viking Voyage").

Could this be one of the reasons why we have seen so many episodes with Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone, and fewer with Tasha and Austin? After all, if you can just walk into your backyard and start playing with the kid next door, you're going to be playing together a lot, if only because he's there every time you go outside. If you have to go around a high fence to get to the house of the kid next door, though, you're going to have days when you just play in your own backyard and never see them.

Interestingly, all the kids seem to feel equally comfortable playing in the common backyard, even though the play area technically belongs to Pablo, Uniqua and Tyrone. In "Cave Party", for instance, we see Austin and Tasha enter the play area with a clear lack of intent to play with the other three kids. Their decision to invite the other three to a party is an afterthought. In "High Tea", Tasha is sitting quite contentedly on Uniqua's picnic table, ignoring the other three, showing every sign of feeling as at-home as if she was in her own backyard.

It seems as if the common backyard shared by Uniqua, Pablo and Tyrone functions more as a sort of park for the five children than as a conventional private backyard. Tyrone, Pablo and Uniqua are seen there more than Austin and Tasha only because it is the only backyard easily available to them. Tasha's backyard and Austin's backyard are, because of the fences, typical backyards, where the children probably only play when invited by Tasha and Austin. It is worth noting, too, that while we see evidence of the kids playing in Austin's backyard occasionally, to which there is access through the gate ("Cave Party"), we never have seen any indication that they have been playing in Tasha's backyard, to which there is no such easy access.

So, is there any great conspiracy involved in leaving Tasha and Austin out of so many episodes? Not at all. It is simply that those two Backyardigans have two backyards available to them, while the other three only have the one common play area.

(And does this topic really deserve this much attention? Of course not! But it's fun, isn't it?)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Four New Episodes Premiering This Week

Don't forget that there are four new Backyardigans episodes playing this week on Nick Jr.! Won't be home when these air? Horsing Around can be found on the The Legend of the Volcano Sisters DVD, and the rest will be available on the upcoming Movers and Shakers DVD, scheduled to be released May 29, 2007.

Monday, March 19 - Horsing Around
Pablo, the world's fastest jockey, and Uniqua, the world's best rodeo stunt rider, race through the Kentucky countryside to determine who rides horses the best, this side of the Mississippi. If they're not careful, a determined Tyrone, his donkey, and a slow and steady approach might win the day. The music genre featured in the episode is Klezmer.

Tuesday, March 20 - Movers of Arabia
Tyrone, the new Sultan of Arabia, hires movers Uniqua and Pablo to safely transport his magical treasures from a desert cave to his new royal palace. Surf music sets the action as the gang enlists the help of a Genie played by Austin who gives them three wishes.

Wednesday, March 21 - Cops and Robots
It's a robotic chase through space, as The Bad Bots, Tasha and Pablo, travel to the Floating Robot Factory to reprogram all of the world's robots to be bad. However, cops Uniqua and Tyrone are on a mission to catch The Bad Bots and bring them to justice. The music genre featured in the episode is Jug Band.

Thursday, March 22 - Save the Day
Tasha is the world's most determined fisher-lady who is oblivious to the dangers of the sea. Although harbor patrollers Uniqua, Tyrone and Pablo have repeatedly saved Tasha from sharks and sinking boats, she insists upon going to the most dangerous places to catch fish. The music genre featured in the episode is Psychedelic Soul.

Nick Jr. will rerun each episode Friday, March 23, in a two hour block.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Quote of the Week

"You two row. I'll supervise."
Tyrone, Viking Voyage

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Nickelodeon Theme Park

The Mall of America and Nickelodeon announced that they're going to be creating a new Nickelodeon themed park, part of a re-branding of the Mall's seven-acre amusement park. The grand opening is expected for spring, 2008.

From the press release (emphasis added):

As part of the partnership, Nickelodeon will bring an assortment of its top characters, interactivity, and its signature iconic green slime to Mall of America. The newly revamped park, and the first ever Nickelodeon theme park, will feature new rides, live shows, attractions, retail, games and entertainment, and food service establishments themed with top ranking network properties including: SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go!, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Danny Phantom, Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, The Backyardigans and many more. Costumed characters and live interactive entertainment from these Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. shows will also find a home at the Mall.

Nickelodeon will also establish its largest retail presence in the world at Mall of America, with a brand new Nick store occupying more than 4,000 square foot space, offering consumers items such as branded tee-shirts, souvenirs, novelties and more. And the network will introduce healthy dining options throughout the parks' eateries, in line with its four year old health and wellness pro-social initiative for kids and families, Let's Just Play.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Third Season News

I ran across a press release today about Guru, the studio that does the animation for the Backyardigans. They have hired two new producers, Susan Ma and Skye Bjarnason.

According to the press release, Ma will "oversee [a] production team of 30 on season three of Nickelodeon Jr.’s popular animated show 'The Backyardigans'."

Good news, huh?

Wow - we don't even know what all the episodes for the second season will be, and now we can start wondering what the third season holds!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Blogging the Backyardigans

How the Backyardigans are touching the lives of bloggers:

Preschool Consumption Academy (or My Favorite New TV Show)
A dad deploring the abundance of "mission-oriented" children's programming. "The characters in the show discover a problem, then set out on some kind of adventure to solve the problem."

My favorite line: "I get a little too excited over new episodes, simply because you can watch the "Snow Fort" only so many times before your head threatens to explode."

The Toddler and the Cell Phone
A pirate says, "Arrrrggghhh!"

Monday, February 19, 2007

Backyardigans Birthday Card

favorite birthday card, originally uploaded by Right Moon.

Interesting! I haven't seen these cards anywhere yet. If you know where to get them, let the rest of us know!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine Backyardigans

Don't forget the new Backyardigans episode, "Special Delivery" airing today!

Nick Jr. also has plenty of new Backyardigans activities and printables on their website, perfect for a Valentine's Day project for you and your child.

Tyrone's Valentine's Maze - A printable maze for your child to color.

Nick Jr. Valentine's Day Stickers - Print this on sticker paper to get several stickers based on popular Nick Jr. shows, including Dora, Diego, Miss Spider's Sunny Patch, Blue and The Backyardigans.

Backyardigans E-Card - Send an Backyardigans pirate valentine with Uniqua and Pablo!

Valentine Lollipop Toppers - Uniqua and Tasha on an orange heart.

Backyardigans Valentine Frame - This blue frame features Pablo.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Volcano Sisters DVD Releases Today

Right now, out of all the Backyardigans episodes, The Volcano Sisters is the favorite in our house. About once a week my kids will ask me to play our Tivo recording of it. Then they'll pile the sofa cushions up into a small mountain and sit next to each other on it, every so often crying out, "Koo-Koo-Pele!"

Occasionally, just for variety, they'll holler, "We are mad!"

Well, today the new Volcano Sisters DVD releases, so I'm looking forward to heading out to get our own copy today. Watch for my review!

In the meantime, I thought it might be interesting to share with all of you some sites that talk about Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess.

Pele - In Hawaiian mythology, Pele is a goddess of fire, lightning, dance, volcanoes and violence, a daughter of Haumea and Kane Milohai. She lives on Kīlauea.

Pele, Goddess of Fire - Her poetic name, Ka wahine `ai honua, the woman who devours the land, is both creator and destroyer.

Friday, February 02, 2007

New Backyardigans Books in Spanish

Checking through Amazon I realized that there is a growing number of Backyardigans books available in Spanish now. This is great news for those Spanish-speaking fans looking for Backyardigan books and DVDs!

Unfortunately, I still haven't been able to find anyplace where there are Spanish language Backyardigans DVDs (if you know of anything, put a link in the comments!) Here are the list of Spanish language books available on Amazon right now, though:

Misión a Marte

Una Tarde En El Circo

Aventuras En La Selva

Vamos a Explorar

Aventuras En El Jardin

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Tasha Balloon

Have you ever watched balloon artists put together something amazing with just a few twists? I'll admit, I'm impressed beyond measure, mostly because I don't think I could ever figure out how to do it! But this balloon sculpture of Tasha at Balloon HQ makes giraffes and weiner dogs look like nothing at all! You'll have to look closely, because she's mostly obscured by shadow, but seriously, this is very impressive.

Look through the other pictures on this site, for more wonderful sculptures. The creativity shown is absolutely wonderful!

Monday, January 22, 2007

New Backyardigans Episode - "Special Delivery"

We are finally going to see the new norteno Backyardigans episode! This Valentine's Day, Nick Jr. will be airing new holiday-themed episodes for three of their children's shows, The Backyardigans, Go, Diego, Go!, and Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!

The new Backyardigans episode, "Special Delivery", features Tyrone as a mailman who loses his mailbag, which contains the Valentine cards the kids have sent each other. Tasha, Pablo and Uniqua are good to the bone bikers, who help Tyrone get the bag back so that the cards can be delivered. It will air Feb. 14 at 10:30 a.m. ET/PT.

Here's the information on the new Diego and Wubbzy episodes:

Wednesday, February 14, 9:30 a.m. - Go, Diego, Go! "Sammy's Valentine"

It's Valentine's Day and all the animals are celebrating by giving Valentine flowers and fruit to their loved ones. Little Sammy the Sloth wants to deliver a special V-day present to his friend Lulu the Sloth, but he must get to her before the sun sets. Diego and Sammy hang glide from the tall cliff, swim quickly past the caimans to finally reach Lulu at the Trumpet Tree. While Diego sings the "mas arriba" song, Sammy uses his three-toed feet to climb up to the top of the tree and give his friend a beautiful bouquet of leaves.

1:30 p.m. - Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! "Mr. Valentine"

It's Valentine's Day but no cards have been delivered because the mailman is sick and Wubbzy, Widget and Walden offer to help. Widget tries to build an efficient mail-delivery machine, and Walden attempts to devise the perfect scientific delivery route. While his friends work on their inventions, Wubbzy decides to take the mailbag and deliver the Valentine cards himself. But Wubbzy is crushed when there is no mail for him! Suddenly, all of his friends arrive with cards, candy, and flowers for the little guy who saved Valentine's Day.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Backyardigans in Blogland

Some interesting blog entries talking about the Backyardigans:

They Need To Pretend That The Backyard Is A Pharmacy And Prescribe Pablo Some Lithium
A very funny take on Pablo as bipolar.

Finally, Dora's Not the Only Child of Color In Her Classroom Anymore
This mother looks at black characters in modern animated children's television.

A smart little girl notices something very interesting about "The Secret of Snow".

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

European Backyardigans

Backyardigan fans in Europe will now have a chance to enjoy Backyardigans-themed attractions when a new Nickelodeon area opens at a German theme park this summer!

Nickelodeon and Movie Park Germany have gotten together to create a Nickland at Movie Park Bottrop-Kirchhellen in April, 2007. Besides The Backyardigans, Nickland will feature SpongeBob SquarePants, Jimmy Neutron, Dora The Explorer, My Life As A Teenage Robot, and Danny Phantom. It will be the first Nickelodeon themed park in Europe.

It doesn't look like the Backyardigans themselves will be there, unfortunately. The only on-site Nickelodeon costumed-characters will SpongeBob, Patrick, Dora the Explorer and Jimmy Neutron, according to the press release.

Fans will also have to wait to actually go on a Backyardigans ride. The first two attractions to premiere will be Jimmy Neutron's 'Atomic Flyer,' a suspended coaster and 'Splash Bash,' a romp through the undersea world of SpongeBob SquarePants. The rest of the rides and areas will be introduced later. No word yet on just how long from now is "later."

(By the way: the press release used the phrase "The Backyard Dwarves" at one point. Does anyone know what that is? Is that a show, or is that an English translation of the German title for The Backyardigans? "Many new formats such as the educationally valuable pre-school series, Dora the Explorer and Backyardigans -- The Backyard Dwarves, superhero cartoon Danny Phantom, the science magazine Research Express as well as comedy series' such as Drake & Josh, and Zoey 101 will be available exclusively on NICK.")

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Uniqua - Not So Unique

In one form or another, there seems to be a lot of controversy around Uniqua, which is pretty odd considering she's a cartoon character. Aside from the constant debate over just what she is, there's also now a charge that her name is taken from the Cherokee word for the Great Spirit.

Personally, the name isn't that uncommon, as I've written about before. I doubt Uniqua's creators had even heard of the Cherokee use of the word. I think they were just trying to reflect her unique nature in her name.