A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the colorfully animated Backyardigan buddies demonstrate bravery, a sense of duty, and great melodic chops as they undertake a grand adventure, backed by a rollicking rock 'n' roll operatic soundtrack. The action is gentle, the humor is sweet, and the characters are lovable, making this a perfect choice for young children. One scene involves a dragon chasing the friends, but the beast looks like a smiling, excited puppy.
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What's the story?
Exhibiting the lively imaginations and diverse musical sensibilities that characterize the Backyardigans TV series, this DVD features five animated friends acting out a gentle adventure. The action opens in the backyard, which quickly transforms into a king's castle through the imagination of Tyrone the moose (voiced by Jordan Coleman) and Uniqua (LaShawn Jefferies), who imagine themselves as mighty knights, "never rude but always polite." King Pablo (Jake Goldberg) summons them for what they hope will be a daring task, but they are disappointed to learn involves only guarding an egg. Tyrone and Uniqua soon learn that this is no ordinary egg, and that keeping it safe will require not only knightly bravery but also the help of other characters they meet along the way.
Is it any good?
Lessons about duty, bravery, and teamwork, mild action, and gentle humor make this DVD a fine choice for preschoolers. A catchy soundtrack that seems influenced by rock operas from the 1970s will make this bearable for parents fielding the inevitable request for repeat viewing.
The beautiful 3-D CGI animation is especially effective in scenes set in waterfalls and lava pits, and the accompaniment of crunchy electric guitars and wailing solos keeps the action moving along.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the disappointment that the knights feel upon learning what their mission is. Have you ever felt disappointed about something only to have it turn out to be even better than you'd hoped? Even though the Grabbing Goblin gives back his spoils if asked nicely, is it ever OK to steal? What kind of knight adventure could you and your family make up to play?
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