Wallykazam!: The Big Goblin Problem

TV review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
Wallykazam!: The Big Goblin Problem TV Poster Image
Friendly messages, superb literacy content, fun adventure.

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Educational Value

The story incorporates vocabulary, letter sounds, and reading skills in creative and positive ways. Characters speak directly to viewers, encouraging kids to sound out words on the screen, identify words that begin with a "magic" letter (S, for example), and generate synonyms. Rhyming and counting also are explored. 

Positive Messages

Kids see Wally and his friends solve problems creatively using their knowledge of words and their meanings. Practice makes perfect, and determination pays off when you're trying to master a new skill. It's important to communicate and ask for help when you need it. Bobgoblin's actions illustrate that breaking rules has consequences. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Uncle Steve mentors Wally by example and with advice, reminding kids that teamwork is the best way to solve problems. Wally and his friends work well together and always pitch in to help out when one is in need. Bobgoblin's antics cause trouble for everyone, but when he realizes his mistake, he tries to make amends. 

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

This special is part of the Wallykazam! TV series. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Wallykazam!: The Big Goblin Problem is an hour-long special from the preschool series Wallykazam!. As in the show, this story exercises kids' prereading skills by exploring letter sounds, synonyms, and word identification, as well as basic counting skills and rhyming. The characters encourage viewers' involvement by speaking directly to them and prompting questions such as, "Which word starts with the 'S' sound?" Wally and his friends also teach kids about friendship through their cooperative relationships, and Uncle Steve's presence demonstrates the value of having good role models to follow. Even Wally's nemesis, Bobgoblin, illustrates the dangers of selfish behavior and the importance of setting things right when you've done something wrong.  

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What's the story?

In WALLYKAZAM!: THE BIG GOBLIN PROBLEM, Wally (voiced by Thomas Langston) and his friends must race to undo Bobgoblin's (Aria Capria) mischief of epic proportions. It all starts when Wally's Uncle Steve (Ben Schwartz) drops in to visit his nephew and accidentally leaves a bottle of double bubbles, which magically duplicate anything they land on. The bubbles fall into the hands of none other than Bobgoblin, who uses them to make multiple copies of himself. Trouble ensues for Wally when the goblins create a huge bowl of strawberry-pickle pudding, which threatens to swamp the entire town. Can Wally's magic stick and some carefully chosen magic words solve this oversize problem before it's too late? 

Is it any good?

At an hour long, this special is a double dose of everything kids and parents have come to love about Wallykazam! There's friendship, teamwork, encouragement, forgiveness, and creative problem-solving at play, all at the hands of endearing magical characters of every shape and size. Uncle Steve represents a strong element of mentoring that adds a lot to the mix, and his interactions with Wally remind kids of the value of trying your best, practicing new skills, and following the example of a good role model.

But what really sets Wallykazam! apart from its preschool-series peers is its masterful incorporation of educational content, and The Big Goblin Problem is no exception to that rule. Preschoolers won't even realize all they're learning as they sound out words and identify synonyms with the characters or try to keep track of how many Bobgoblins the double bubbles create. If the key to early learning is making it more fun than work, then there's nobody better than Wally to get kids on board. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what makes Wally a good friend in Wallykazam!: The Big Goblin Problem. When someone has a problem he can't solve right away, how does he handle it? Kids: Why is it important to help a friend in need? How does it feel when someone helps you? 

  • Why does Bobgoblin like to cause trouble? Is there excitement in breaking the rules? Does getting away with something make it right? 

  • Parents and kids can expand on the show's literacy content by using the "magic letter sound" model at home. Choose a different letter sound each day and work together to identify objects whose names start with it. Can you think of words that rhyme with some of these? Can you identify synonyms for some of them?

  • How do the characters in Wallykazam!: The Big Goblin Problem demonstrate communication and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

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