Wallykazam!

 
(i)

 

Exceptional preschool show with quality literacy curriculum.

What parents need to know

Educational value

The show is constructed around a literacy curriculum that reinforces letter recognition, phonics, and early reading skills. Concepts such as rhyming and synonyms are explored through the exceptional content, and the characters interact directly with the audience, encouraging kids to offer answers to their questions about how letters sound and what words say as well as to come up with synonyms or rhymes.

Positive messages

The show incorporates important lessons on social issues such as getting along with others, keeping promises, and following directions. Friendship and creative problem-solving are common themes as well, and even though magic factors heavily into how the characters act, they also rely on tactics that kids can employ in their own situations. Through one character's perpetual misbehavior, kids see that breaking rules always has consequences. 

Positive role models

Wally and his friends are curious, helpful, and always eager to solve problems. When one is in trouble, others jump to assist, usually with the power of words and literacy. Bobgoblin is meddlesome and selfish, and his interference causes all sorts of problems for the other characters, but things are always set right in the end, and occasionally he learns a lesson as well.

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

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wallykazam! craftily disguises solid lessons in basic literacy skills as delightful stories about an endearing young troll and his forest friends. Preschoolers will love the abounding silliness in Wally's adventures, but for parents, the show's best asset is its incorporation of essential reading skills into its content. Throughout each story, audience members are encouraged to read words, identify letters, make rhymes, and generate synonyms, all in ways that feel nothing to kids like the quality lessons they actually are. Beyond the bookish learning, kids will see examples of strong friendships and creative methods for solving problems. This exceptional, comical preschool series is so well designed that parents will want to tune in with their kids, which will help parents reinforce the curriculum's points.

What's the story?

WALLYKAZAM! is the story of a 6-year-old troll named Wally (voiced by Thomas Langston), who uses a magic stick to create objects from the words it projects. Wally and his trusty pet dragon, Norville (Dan Bittner), love to play in the forest with their friends, and when their adventures encounter challenges, they use their knowledge of letters and words to create solutions for themselves. But, wait -- there's a trick to the magic! Each of the words has to follow the day's rule, whether it's an identical starting letter or a rhyming sound.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Set in a colorful, whimsical forest inhabited by ogres, fairies, and giants, Wallykazam! is poised to become a favorite among both its young audience members and their parents. Wally is the kind of kid you hope yours will be; he's kind, caring, and imaginative and always looking to help his friends. Put a little magic in his hands, and he can solve problems like nobody's business, which is great news for all his woodland neighbors. Kids' imaginations will run wild in this fun land of magic and fairy-tale creatures with big personalities.

Not every preschool series can pull off casting a villain of sorts, but when it's managed well, it adds a whole new level of intrigue. Enter Bobgoblin (Aria Capria), a mischievous, egocentric troublemaker who delights in deliberately irritating Wally and his friends. His antics are always amusing (though not so much for his co-characters) and typically end in some lesson learned, so he serves a valuable purpose. Even so, little can compare to the fantastic educational quality of this clever show, and its interactive style encourages kids' involvement throughout. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the literacy topic of the day. What letter or sound was magical in the story? Look around your house and see how many objects you can name that use that letter or sound. 

  • Kids: What problem did the characters face today? Did they use magic to overcome it? How could you tackle a similar one without the use of a magic stick?

  • Bobgoblin is an irritating sort, and even though his actions never aim to harm, his persistent troublemaking is a good introduction for preschoolers to the issue of bullying. Talk to them about the difference between teasing and bullying, and remind them to speak up if they ever experience or witness this kind of behavior. 

This review of Wallykazam! was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

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

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Words come to life in delightful preschool series.
  • Spunky girl's math skills solve problems, teach lessons.
  • An artistic adventure packed into each episode.
  • Boy's queries get kids curious about the world.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 2 and 5 year old Written byFuzzy Ruckus March 2, 2014
 

Our new super-favorite

I rarely write reviews, but this new show is beloved in our house, that I felt compelled to share. The premise is that a young troll (Wally) has a magic stick that allows him to create objects that share a phonic "sound of the day." Wally and his dragon navigate their fantasy world and use the objects to solve the problem of the episode. The messages are unfailingly positive, the songs are good, and the phonics based learning is easy to digest for my 2 year old. The "bad guys" like Bobgoblin, are more like mischievous friends, than actually bad. Even my kindergartner, who knows the alphabet, enjoys this show and I appreciate the practice he gets in his sight words and letter combos. I hope they keep making more!
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 3 and 6 year old Written bydocmebd March 8, 2014
 

Great Show, but...

My household loves Wallykazam, especially my 3 year old and my 6 year old even enjoys it. While the show is great at teaching kids reading, it encourages bullying and not being nice and teaching rudeness and poor communication skills. In Castle Caper (my 3 y/o favorite), Wally creates a castle and a crown for his dragon Norville, however Bobgoblin (who they name the bad guy but who is probably the nicest character in the show) unwittingly and without menace steps to the castle door (which he found before Wally et al) and the crown lands on his head. Wally at this time state "the crown is for the king" and Bobgoblin says I have the crown and found the castle so I must be king. Wally NEVER corrects Bobgoblin then spends the majority of the show trying to break into the castle. At the very end Wally tells Bobgoblin that the castle and crown are supposed to be for Norville, which Bobgoblin basically says ok and leaves. In Dragon Hiccups Bobgoblin spends the entire episode trying to scare the hiccups out of Norville, granted using marshmallows and lettuce and other benign things that he finds scary. Bobgoblin scales the ice volcano and gets covered in snow to show Norville a marshmallow to get rid of his hiccups and he does scare the dragon because he looks like an ice monster, NEVER once does Norville or Wally thank Bobgoblin for his selflessness or braving the ice, instead they basically tell poor Bobgoblin to go away.
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent of a 3 year old Written byaprillo June 16, 2014
 

disagree

I must disagree with docmebd's review. I just rewatched both of the episodes that were mentioned and they did not play out the way this person stated. In the first episode mentioned, Castle Caper, Bobgoblin is informed that he is not the rightful owner of the castle when he is standing on the balcony. Wally tells him, "you are not the king". Bobgoblin does not listen and retreats back into the castle before more explanations can be made. He is not being bullied, he simply doesn't listen (which is a theme with him and can be a very good lesson if parents choose to discuss it with their children). As for the hiccup episode, yes Bobgoblin is trying to be helpful by scaring away Norville's hiccups but after his first attempt of scaring with dandelions he is told that those aren't scary and that they have their own cure. Once again Bobgoblin doesn't listen and continues to try his scare tactics. In the scene in question Bobgoblin does scale the mountain with a marshmallow and yes he does scare Norville BUT Wally explains that it wasn't the marshmellow that scared him it was the fact that he looked like a monster. If you pay attention you will notice it did not even work to cure the hiccups because he hiccups and thaws the flower so why in the world would Bobgoblin be owed a thank you? Do you thank people who scare you? What works is the potion. I think this show is really fun. My 3 yr old loves it and requests to watch it at least 3 times a week. I love all the characters, my sons favorite is Bobgoblin since he is so funny. He runs around with one of his drum sticks and plays WallyKazam! I make it into a learning experience by letting him pick a letter and then he has to go around the house and find things that start with thT letter. I just wish they would make new ones faster!
What other families should know
Great messages

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass