Paramount // 2005 // 98 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 10th, 2006
Keep NASA away from Uniqua!
The Backyardigans are suiting up for some more awesomeness in imagination-land, with these adventure-themed episodes. Comprised of five young animals -- Pablo the penguin, Tasha the hippo, Austin the kangaroo, Tyrone the moose, and Uniqua the freakish mutant reptile -- The Backyardigans traverse their backyard in each episode and let their imaginations go ape-dirt. Each show is packed with singing and dancing and usually incorporates a specific music genre as a theme throughout.
This set brings four episodes in total, including the titular "Snow Fort" episode. Shows run at 24 minutes or so and are animated through straightforward, but pleasant, computer animation. The high point of the animation is the way the Backyardigans are rendered during their frequent dance sequences.
Let's look at the episodes:
* "The Snow Fort"
Pablo and Tyrone trudge through the frozen wasteland, pretending to be Mounties. Their duty: to protect the Snow Fort, that houses a giant snowball. Meanwhile, Uniqua and Tasha march through the snow drifts as ski patrollers, looking for people to help. Eventually the four will meet, and, oh yes, there will be singing and dancing.
Song Style: Western Swing
* "The Yeti"
It's back to the snow when Uniqua, Tasha, and Tyrone head into the Arctic blast to track what they think is a Yeti. As they follow tracks and what they think are Yeti droppings, they are unaware that the creature is actually Pablo, dicking around with his friends.
Song Style: R & B
* "Knights are Brave and Strong"
Taking a break from the wind chill, The Backyardigans head to a magical land where Tasha is Queen and her minions tremble in fear. Uniqua the Pink is tasked with delivering a message to King Austin, and must traverse the worlds, where she meets the Moose of the Mist and the Guardian of the Gate. P.S. -- There's lots of singing and dancing.
Song Style: Swing
* "Secret Mission"
Finally, Pablo, the secret agent and some of his pals set out on a mission to retrieve some Egyptian treasure in the museum. Along the way, Pablo, Tyrone, and Uniqua must negotiate the super-sturdy security measure of the museum, while singing a hodge-podge of tango and limbo flavored song routines.
Song Style: see "Hodge-podge"
I have to say, The Backyardigans have really grown on me. Yes, some of the animated movements are a bit eerie, but that takes nothing from the delightful effect of the music and animation. There's a lot for little kids to enjoy here (it is a regular on Nick Jr.), boasting as much sensory stimulation as something like the Teletubbies, but nearly as weird. And can I just say, once again, that the theme song to this show is ludicrously infectious?!?
Typical technical merits for these Nick Jr. releases: a full screen format, which is solid and plenty colorful and a Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo mix. Two music videos -- "Ski Patrol to the Rescue" and "The Yeti Stomp" -- comprise the extras.
Review content copyright © 2006 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 98 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Music Videos
* Nick Jr. Web site