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



Spring 2016 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Producer: Nickelodeon
Rating: TV Y

Watching Wallykazam! is sort of like wandering through the fanciful pages of a fairytale. This animated half-hour program revolves around the exploits of a six-year-old troll-like boy named Wally Trollman and his trusty sidekick, a dragon-dog named Norville.

Their Medieval neighborhood offers lots of opportunity for adventure and early literacy skills. You see, Wally has a magical stick and he uses it to highlight words and letters on screen. The visual devices to focus on phonics, and the scriptwriting celebrates language with its clever attention to rhythm and sound, incorporating rhymes, alliteration, assonance, and other stylish writing devices.

The words "mop" and "top" get the story rolling in the episode Mission for Mom, where Wally tries to grow a flower for his mom as a Mother's Day gift. When the flower doesn't grow, friend Libby Light Sprite leads him to a magical water source - and along the way, the plot incorporates key words that rhyme ... chop, pop, stop, drop. In another episode titled "Rock and Troll," Wally wants to form a band to entertain his father, a storyline that focuses on words that start with the letter R. And in "The Nice Ninjas," which is the series Season 2 opener, dragon-dog sidekick Norville takes the lead in spotlighting words that begin with the letter N.

If you limit screen time in your home, steer your kids towards Wallykazam! It's a delightful half-hour with enough whimsy to satisfy kids' entertainment sweet tooth and enough educational material to satisfy your desire for television that teaches.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2016 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

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