A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Waybuloo is a preschool series set in an imaginary land whose residents play, learn, and solve problems together. The stories are simplistic, centering on circumstances such as finding multiple uses for a box, fulfilling a quest, and working cooperatively to make a friend happy. The characters do well at expressing their emotions, modeling positive self-expression for kids. They also practice simple yoga moves to relax and achieve happiness, and they encourage viewers to imitate their poses. Though its messages are unfailingly good for this age group, parents might have concerns with the characters' regressive speech patterns (incorrect verb tense, improper pronoun use, third-person references) setting poor examples for their developing talkers.
What's the story?
The far-off land of Nara is home to four colorful beings called Piplings, whose names are Nok Nok (voiced by Oliver Dillon), De Li (Sunday Jame-Ross), Lau Lau (Georgia McPherson), and Yojojo (Finlay Christie). They spend their days exploring their forest and practicing "Yogo" poses to relax and achieve a level of happiness called "buloo," in which they float into the air. At some point each day, they're also joined by a group of children whom they call "Cheebies." Together the Piplings and Cheebies play games, fulfill quests, and enjoy another round of the day's Yogo poses.
Is it any good?
WAYBULOO's mixed-media format blends CGI with live-action characters and is very easy on the senses. Preschoolers will enjoy being transported to this whimsical, unhurried place, complemented by the focus on yoga-inspired moves that are paced slowly enough for little viewers to do them along with the characters. It's a recipe for gentle, soothing watching with an emphasis on self-expression and emotional and physical well-being.
That said, the show isn't without its faults, the most obvious being the characters' chronically infantile language. Though dialogue such as "Cheebies go find others" and "Yojojo happy!" is cute when it comes from the mouths of toddlers, it's grating from animated characters whom your developing preschools are bound to mimic. To add to the linguistic confusion, the Piplings also speak of themselves in the third person rather than in terms of "I" and "me." The bottom line? This series has plenty of positive behavioral models for kids, but the characters' dialogue won't do anything for kids' verbal development.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the Piplings and their personalities. Are all of them good at solving problems, or do some cause more than they fix? How would you describe each one in a word or two? How does their friendship bring out the best in each of them?
Kids: Do you enjoy doing yoga along with the Piplings? Why is exercise so important to your health? What other activities do you do for exercise?
Is it ever difficult to talk about your feelings? Do you ever encounter problems that you try to solve on your own rather than confiding in someone else? In what cases is it important to ask for help?
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