A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this DVD is a sweet and funny tale suitable for young viewers, following a super spy on his mission to keep three mysterious containers out of a very mild villain's clutches. Lots of songs and even more dancing characterize the action, and even direct tension between the good and bad characters is defused with admirable politeness. For extremely ticklish kids, the scenes of the tickle chairs may be off-putting (though the only character who is actually subjected to it is, it turns out, not ticklish.)
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What's the story?
THE BACKYARDIGANS: SUPER SECRET SUPER SPY features a double-length episode of the TV show, and two bonus episodes. In the main feature, Pablo, the blue penguin (voiced by Jake Goldberg), plays Agent Secret. His assignment is handed down by Tasha (Naelee Rae) as "Miss T," head of the superspy agency: He must track down three mysterious containers before chief evildoer Uniqua (LaShawn Tináh Jefferies) as "The Lady in Pink" finds them. As Secret and the Lady in Pink race to find the containers, assisted by Austin (Jonah Bobo) and Tyrone (Jordan Coleman) in henchmen roles, they still find time to ponder the question of whether it's better to be good than bad, in dance and song.
Is it any good?
This is a gentle but crisply paced spy drama. While Pink does a commendable job of establishing the evil nature of her character by revealing that she interrupts people and doesn't like pie, viewers know that it's just a matter of time before she comes around. Fans of the TV series needn't worry that Tyrone and Uniqua have gone to the dark side; Tyrone needs to be reminded to shake his fist in frustration each time Secret grabs a container and any possible tension is averted.
The animation is top-notch, with the neon colored characters a nice counterpoint to the detailed and realistically textured background sets. Cyndi Lauper lends her voice to the soundtrack. For kids aged 3-5, this is a fun story modeling good manners, dance moves, and the inevitable triumph of good over evil. The two bonus episodes are "A Giant Problem" and "The Secret of Snow."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about which character in the film is their favorite, and why. What did you think would be inside the three containers before the answer was revealed? If you had three special containers like that, what would you place inside to protect? Which of the three international locations looked the most fun to visit?
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