Caillou TV Poster Image




Kids can relate to this sweet, curious explorer.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show helps teach young kids how to deal with their sometimes-strong emotions.

Positive messages

The show promotes curiosity and empathy and sometimes tackles strong emotions (fear, anger, etc.) in a way that will help kids deal with them.

Positive role models

The program is full of diverse characters who exhibit positive behavior. Caillou himself sometimes acts like a real-life 4-year-old, which turns some viewers -- particularly adults -- off, but it's relatable for kids.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Caillou is about a sweet, curious child who loves to explore the world. The program sometimes deals with intense emotions such as fear, anger, loneliness, anxiety, and empathy, but they're presented in a straightforward manner that will help kids, not frighten them. The character sometimes exhibits realistic behavior typical of a 4-year-old.

What's the story?

CAILLOU is an enjoyable cartoon about a 4-year-old boy who lives with his parents and little sister, Rosie. Each program has a theme and is divided into several short, attention-holding sections that mix animation, puppet skits, and video of kids in real-life situations. It's a colorful program, sometimes quiet and sometimes lively, and it captivates kids. In four animated stories, Caillou learns lessons about the day's theme and solves problems, often with some adult guidance. He talks and acts like a 4-year-old, which offers parents good talking points after the show.

Is it any good?


Some of Caillou's reactions to situations are quite realistic: When he breaks a friend's bucket in the sandbox, the friend tells him that she doesn't want to play with him anymore. Caillou sulks, and when his mother asks him what's wrong, he doesn't at first 'fess up to breaking his friend's toy. A narrator explains Caillou's true intentions to viewers: He's embarrassed. Caillou might also make a sour face or protest if asked to do something he doesn't want to do, but the narrator usually explains his motives. Overall, he displays realistic reactions -- which might make Caillou more companion than role model. But he always gets the life lesson -- and viewers will, too.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Caillou's various themes: welcoming a new sibling, learning how to make and keep friends, the importance of caring for pets and the environment, and so on.

  • Young kids might see similarities between their actions and Caillou's. How do kids feel about the way the character behaves? What section of the show does your child respond to the most?

  • How do the characters in Caillou demonstrate curiosity and empathy? Why are those important character strengths?

TV details

Premiere date:September 15, 1997
Cast:Annie Bovaird, Ellen David, Graeme Jokic
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters
Character strengths:Curiosity, Empathy
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

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Parent of a 2 and 4 year old Written byamandasdaddy December 3, 2009

No, No, No, No, No!!!!!

Wouldn't you know it! The one thing my daughter learned from Caillou was how to whine! While there is always a positive message at the end, it is lost in all the whining. This show is a definite no-no in our house.
Adult Written byKaren1969 July 20, 2009

How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways....

Aahgh. I agree with other reviewers who complain that their children have begun to whine and be afraid of monsters after watching this show. Mine has done the same, and she also began to say that she "hates" things, and that she "gives up". Plus, what is with Caillou's parents? They never seem to be aware of what their children are up to, and they put up with behavior that doesn't get tolerated in my house, such as tantrums and whiny backtalk! They also seem to favor Caillou's little sister-mother especially seems to spend more time with her, while palming Caillou off on his dad, and when they find themselves unexpectedly without a sitter, they leave their kids with the weird old man who lives next door, whom they don't seem to know all that well. (Maybe I shouldn't be surprised, since they gave their son a name that translates as "pebble." I grew up during the seventies and knew a lot of people like that, none of whom I would trust with a child). Caillou gives up far too easily, cries far too much, and has a voice that even my little one finds piercing and annoying (when he whines "AWWWW!" I feel like banging my head against a wall). The only things my daughter has gleaned from this program are a few annoying habits-I'm not saying that a show which is strictly entertainment is a bad thing, BUT-we won't be watching this anymore. I can't imagine that this would benefit younger kids in any way, shape, or form, and older ones will probably be turned off by Caillou's immaturity (I can't believe that this kid is supposed to be four! I initially thought he was about two.) I only chose an age above because the site says I have to-if I could have bypassed that feature, I would have.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent of a 3 year old Written bygrayson248 July 27, 2010
I think they should change the title to "CRYllou" instead of Caillou.