Classical Baby TV Poster Image

Classical Baby

Whimsical series blends music and the arts.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The series introduces kids to the basics of music, dance, and art. In some scenes, individual instruments are shown and accompanied by their unique sounds. Watching dance steps set to music touches on rhythm and tempo; colored figures blend to form new hues; famous artwork and poetry is incorporated into the musical segments. The target age for this series learns best through interactions with caregivers rather than through them watching a screen.

Positive messages

The show incorporates various musical, artistic, and dance styles in a unique format that exposes youngsters to the concepts of rhythm, colors, and shapes. Stories are told through movement, expression, and dance rather than words.

Positive role models

All the characters show a love of music and the arts, using these to express themselves.

Violence & scariness
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Sexy stuff
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Language
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Consumerism
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Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Classical Baby is an award-winning series that sets animated scenery, dancing, and artwork to various pieces of classical music. The show has garnered criticism for marketing TV to babies (and to the parents who would allow them to watch), but its creative integration of works of visual and audio art has appeal. Viewers are exposed to beautiful musical selections, classic paintings, and notable poetry, as well as various dance styles and unique, dialogue-free storytelling. The effect is visually engaging and whimsical, but its very simplistic format may be an acquired taste for preschoolers who are used to a little more action in their entertainment. 

Kids say

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What's the story?

CLASSICAL BABY pairs selections of classical music with images of famous artwork and original animation plays on a stage at the command of a baby conductor and in front of an audience of cartoon animals. Often the images act out or interpret through dance a story that complements the composition, and some episodes incorporate poetry as well. The likes of Bach, Puccini, and Tchaikovsky are represented in the show's score, and a variety of dance and art styles are seen onstage.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Classical Baby was the recipient of multiple programming awards for its inventive presentation of classical arts for youngsters, but its target audience is the prime reason not everyone is sold on its value. The show is geared toward babies -- precisely the group the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends not engage in screen time of any kind. So, although its overall appeal isn't in doubt, its suitability for its self-determined audience might be.

Of course, babies aren't the only ones who can watch the show, and preschoolers can start to appreciate the fine details in the segments' use of color, shapes, and rhythm that younger ones will miss. Because there's no dialogue, the show welcomes your own discussion of what you and your kids see and hear as classical sights and sounds blend. The bottom line? This is a great introduction to music and art appreciation for you and your young ones to share, provided it adheres to your family's rules about screen time.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how music makes us feel. Kids: Did any of the pieces make you feel happy? Sad? Sleepy? Excited? What are some of your favorite songs? Do they ever inspire you to sing along or to dance?

  • Kids: What rules does your family have about watching TV and movies? Are there shows that are off-limits? If so, why? Who are your favorite TV characters? Do you learn anything from them?

  • Families can discuss their favorite screen-free activities. Play active games such as charades, or, for quieter times, read a favorite book together. Because this show introduces viewers to a host of musical pieces, choose one or two to listen to in their entirety. 

TV details

Premiere date:May 14, 2005
Network:HBO
Genre:Kids Musical TV
Topics:Arts and dance, Music and sing-along
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming
Award:Emmy

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Parent Written byViannaR December 18, 2013

Musical romp and artistic fun!

Beautifully creative, abundantly diverse, wonderful fun for babies and older. I myself enjoy all of these artistic pieces! Wish there were more!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Educator and Parent Written byashlee4000 August 11, 2015

Classical music set to visual stimulation is a win for babies, toddlers, and children!

Desperate to soothe my newborn, I stumbled upon this HBO Series as I searched YouTube for classical music . My baby was enthralled by the soothing, sometimes upbeat classical music set. There are 4 shows in the series, Classical Baby Music Show; Art Show; Dance Show; and a show with narration of poetry followed by young children's interpretation of the poem. They are animated and around the 25-minute mark. An animated baby conducts an orchestra before each segment (segments consist of one song). All four episodes are on YouTube and The Poetry Show is also on HBO (HBO Go). I imagine HBO uploads different shows at different times. DVDs are also available. My child is now a toddler and still finds the program soothing and comforting. She dances along with the characters in The Dance Show, draws her version of the masterpieces from The Art Show, and mimics the other episode's focus in a similar fashion. I really cannot think of another show that she has enjoyed as much as the Classical Baby series. An added benefit-it provide beautiful background noise in comparison to other music and shows we as parents often endure.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models