Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

The Backyardigans

The Backyardigans "Super Secret Super Spy"

Spring 2008 DVD
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
DVD Price: $16.99
This DVD of Nick Jr.'s animated Backyardigans series has the double-length "International Super Spy," along with 24-minute episodes of "The Secret of Snow," and "A Giant Problem." In "International Super-Spy," Pablo plays a 60's James Bond-type role, down to the white dinner jacket with skinny bow tie. Like Bond, he has all kinds of nifty gadgets including a machine for "shaken" juice boxes, and a sports car that can become a boat, or plane, or can ski downhill as necessary. Uniqua plays his nemesis, the "evildoer" Lady in Pink. The Bond-esque brassy jazz puzzled my seven-year old, who wondered why Pablo was nearly whispering "I'm an international---" before belting out a fortissimo "SUPER-SPY!" "Wouldn't he want to keep that to himself?" he asked me. In "The Secret of Snow," Uniqua is unhappy because it's winter, but there's no snow. She goes to the Ice Lady's factory in the Frozen North to try to find out why. "It's like a Christmas show," our four-year old observed, hearing "I Love Snow" sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells." Other Christmas carols get appropriated as well-there's a song in the ice factory to the tune of "Deck the Halls," with some "Good King Wenceslas" thrown in besides. Because the shows are musicals without much storyline, each episode features a different musical genre and lots of dancing from the fun and familiar animated characters. Neither educational, informative nor harmful.
Reilly Reagan   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Reilly Reagan, M.L.S. is a librarian and teacher currently working as a full-time mom. She has been reviewing media since 1991, writing for Library Journal and Video Librarian magazines. Her eight-year old and five-year-old sons enjoy helping with critiques.

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