The Backyardigans

Common Sense Media says

Animal friends find melodious, kid-friendly adventures.





What parents need to know

Educational value

The show's changing settings introduce kids to different time periods and geographical locations and the cultures, animals, and vegetation indigenous to them.

Positive messages

The characters' adventures remind kids of the value of imagination and creative play. Even though the different stories sometimes cast the characters as rivals or enemies of sorts, when the role-playing is over, they're always friends again. The Backyardigans are confronted with a problem or a series of stumbling blocks, and it's through teamwork and creativity that they solve them.

Positive role models

The five friends at the center of the story work together to create their mystical backyard landscapes and find their way through musical adventures and challenges. Each character is unique in physical characteristics and emotional traits, which sometimes include less admirable (but age-appropriate) ones such as bossiness and timidity, but they're all good models of friendship at some point. Each episode's story usually illustrates positive qualities such as honesty or kindness through the characters as well.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

The Backyardigans' images are found on a range of products marketed to kids, including clothing, accessories, video games, and snack items.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Backyardigans is a popular preschool series that celebrates the value of imaginative play by way of colorful, friendly characters who take on new roles in each episode. As their adventures take them to far-flung countries and through different eras in time, kids get an age-appropriate picture of basic geological and cultural references for the various settings. Song-and-dance routines enhance the show's quality content, which is so enjoyable that it will win over parents as well as kids, so both groups of viewers can relish in these fun, roaming stories.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE BACKYARDIGANS is set in the neighborhood of its five main animal characters: Austin (voiced by Jonah Bobo), Pablo (Jake Goldberg), Uniqua (LaShawn Jeffries), Tasha (Gianna Bruzzesse), and Tyrone (Chris Grant, Jr.). Each story begins with the friends at play in one of their backyards, which evolves into an imagined setting for an epic adventure. Recent episodes have transported the Backyardigans to ancient Egypt, the underwater city of Atlantis, the Canadian frontier, and the vastness of outer space, where they must tackle some sort of problem and fend off enemies both familiar and unfamiliar. When the dust settles, it's back to real life as kids in their neighborhood.

Is it any good?


This vibrant preschool series has won over fans of all ages with its endearing stories and fantastic incorporation of music and dance. Each episode plays out like a mini-musical with a handful of unique songs interspersed throughout the day's story. Because they're acted out by the Backyardigans themselves, kids can easily make the distinction between what's real (at least for the characters) and what's make-believe, and this can translate to new inspiration for their own imaginative play.

As the stories evolve, kids also see other positive qualities demonstrated through the characters, such as conflict resolution, effective communication, and creative problem-solving. And because their settings are constantly changing and the show pays close attention to how it portrays different places and cultures, there's also an appealing educational element to the stories. The bottom line? It's not always easy to find a show you like as much as your youngsters do, but The Backyardigans definitely has the potential to fit that bill.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the characters' many adventures. What places and/or time periods did they visit? How were their surroundings different there? What problems arose for them? How did they solve them?

  • Kids: In what ways can differences between friends be a good thing? What are some traits you really admire in your friends?

  • Parents can use the premise of this show to encourage imaginative play with their kids. Pretend you're visiting another place or time, and draw pictures of what you and your surroundings might look like. What sights would you see? What kinds of food would be customary?

TV details

Cast:Jonah Bobo, Jordan Coleman, Zach Tyler
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Adventures, Friendship, Music and sing-along
TV rating:TV-Y
Available on:DVD, Streaming

This review of The Backyardigans was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 5 and 5 year old Written bytwinzdad August 9, 2010
Let me start by saying I'm not a prude, nor some high and mighty know-it-all. Just a concerned parent. Backyardigans show has some good merits regarding friends and imagination play. They reinforce teamwork and helping one another...BUT, there is so much disrespectful talk and negative behavior that we are starting to cut our kids off from watching the program anymore. I have to screen shows before letting them watch. A song called "I Quit" teaches bad attitudes and my kids use it regularly during tantrums, and the Volcano Sisters are bossy and mean - also a common theme in their playtimes. There seems to be a lot of mean type of play in the show that my kids admit is usually centered around Uniqua. Admittedly it is not present in all episodes, but enough that it concerns me as a parent of young kids. After a recent to Canada I'm reminded why good kids programming is so important to the positive development of children's young and impressionable minds. My children loved Treehouse and all the interactive shows, and how all the characters worked together to help learn and reinforce positive behavior. I would happily let my kids watch this without concern. Kids story lines (especially in American programming) has become more sophisticated than their minds can comprehend and tend to allow poor attitudes and "mean-kid" ideas be introduced because the character "sees the light" their actions in the end. Negative behavior has still been taught and reinforced by these cartoon role-models instead of introducing positive actions to reinforce working together in the first place. It seems that commercialized dribble wins out down here instead of a more conventional positive means of teaching. Maybe this is why we have all forgotten how to help and take care of each other, and why we thrive on programming like "Housewives of...", and "Jersey Shores", etc. as adults. Where have the days of Fraggal Rock, Mr. Dress Up, and the old Hercules cartoons gone? Just good old fashioned positive programming!
Parent of a 3 year old Written bymb1000 January 25, 2011

obnoxious behavior and language you don't want your child imitating.

while my 3 1/2 year old likes this show, I have to screen them and there are only a few that I let her watch, due to there is almost always a "mean" character who treats the others badly as well as obnoxious language that my kid immediately uses, which results in more parenting battles for me. Despite the mean person always seeing the error of their ways - that part is lost on my child, the bad behavior is the only thing reinforced. The different music genres are the only redeeming quality. She also finds it scary at times.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 9 years old September 1, 2009


im with kcoateston anyays who reccomended this for nine year olds? we nine yr olds arent semi three yr olds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!sheesh


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