|Created by:||Janice Burgess|
|Country of origin:|| United States|
|# of seasons:||4|
|# of episodes:||80 (List of episodes)|
|Running time:||25 minutes|
|Original release:||October 11, 2004 - May 31, 2010|
The Backyardigans is a American–Canadian children's TV series, created by Janice Burgess.
It was official counted as a co-production of the Canadian animation studio Nelvana after the third season. Debuting on October 11, 2004, it was originally directed by Robert Scull. Dave Palmer began directing the show in the middle of season one, and directed the rest of the show's episodes. It aired on CBS from October 2004 until September 2006. On April 30, 2006, Nelvana and Nickelodeon jointly announced that twenty new episodes were ordered for the upcoming fall schedule.
The series ended with four seasons in 2010. Reruns continue to air, on the Nick Jr. channel.
The Backyardigans would not become a regular series until 2004, but has roots in a declined pilot from 1998 titled "Me and My Friends." This video was significantly different from the first official Backyardigans episode, as it was not animated (it starred actors in costumes rather than 3D CGI-animation) and did not feature Austin (who would not be introduced for six more years). After Nickelodeon confirmed that it would not order "Me and My Friends" for a first season, the creators reworked the concept into a more-developed idea titled "Backyardigans" (at this point, "The" was not part of the show name). In 2002, an animated pilot starring the same four characters was sent to Nickelodeon and was accepted.
On October 11, 2004, Nickelodeon aired the first official episode of The Backyardigans in the US: "Knights Are Brave And Strong." The series was successful and would continue to air new episodes over the course of six years (four seasons). Reruns of the series continued to air on the Nickelodeon base channel until mid-2013, when The Backyardigans vanished from the air without explanation.
The series follows a ritualistic pattern and centers around an assortment of neighboring playmates depicted as bipedal, anthropomorphic animals; Uniqua, Pablo, Tyrone, Austin, and Tasha. Designed to encourage imaginative play, the characters communicate with the viewers through breaking the fourth-wall, albeit the series rests particular focus on the role-playing games in which the friends participate varying with each episode, and said games are visualized through dream sequences lasting for a majority of the episode and serving as the primary focus of that certain episode.
Uniqua is the central protagonist of the show. She does not belong to a known species; her name, Uniqua, refers to the fact that she is a unique creature. Uniqua enjoys telling jokes and spending time with her four friends. Uniqua is shown to be somewhat of a tomboy in several episodes.
Pablo is the series' deuteragonist, a frenetic blue penguin. He often jumps to conclusions and has been known to overreact whenever things seem to be going wrong. His outfit consists of a blue bowtie and a beanie propeller hat.
Tyrone is the tritagonist of the series, a laid-back easygoing moose. He is the tallest of the five central characters due to his antlers. Tyrone and his best friend Pablo make a "great team" because of their differences: Pablo often does things without thinking while Tyrone uses his head whenever a problem arises.
Tasha is a somewhat bossy yellow hippopotamus who often tags along when Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone are heading off on an imaginary adventure. She is shown to be slightly disagreeable at points, yet never continues a verbal fight for long.
Austin is a timid purple kangaroo who has trouble whenever it comes to taking the lead. He is shown to be sensitive in several episodes in which he appears.
- Main article: List of The Backyardigans episodes
- In America, Pan-Asia, United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Italy, Netherlands, South Africa, Japan (the first season only), Belgium, Poland (the first two seasons only), Scandinavia (excluding Norway): Nick Jr.
- The Hispanic Latin American regions, and Brazil: Discovery Kids
- Albania: Bang Bang
- Colombia: Señal Colombia
- Israel: HOP!
- Indonesia: GlobalTV
- Spain: Boomerang, later on Cartoonito Spain
- Portugal: Canal Panda and RTP
- Japan: Disney Junior
- Poland: TVP, later TVP ABC
- South Korea: EBS
- Serbia: Ultra Mini
- Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka Rupavahini
- New Zealand: TE REO
- Lithuania: TV24
- Norway: TV2
- Québec region of Canada: Télé-Québec
- Saudi Arabia: Baraem TV
- Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan: direct-to-DVD
- Scandinavia (excluding Finland), the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Austalia, and New Zealand: Netflix
A complete list of channels and titles can be found on The Backyardigans Wiki.
The series was given a 4-star rating by Common Sense Media.