|Also known as||Backyardigans|
|Created by||Janice Burgess|
|Directed by||Bill Giggie (Season 1)
Mike Shiell (Season 1–2)
Dave Palmer (Season 3–4)
|Voices of||LaShawn Tináh Jefferies
Christopher Grant, Jr.
|Composer(s)||Evan Lurie (score/songs: music)
Douglas Wieselman (songs: music)
Paul Smith (songs: lyrics)
|Country of origin||United States
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||80 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Janice Burgess
|Running time||21–23 minutes|
Guru Studios (S2–S4)
Pipeline Studios (S3–S4)
Treehouse TV (Canada)
|Picture format||480i (SDTV) (2004–2008)
1080i (HDTV) (2008–2010)
|Original release||October 11, 2004 – May 31, 2010|
The series follows a ritualistic pattern and centers around an assortment of neighboring playmates depicted as bipedal, anthropomorphic animals: Uniqua, Pablo, Tyrone, Austin, and Tasha. Designed to encourage imaginative play, the characters communicate with the viewers by constantly breaking the fourth-wall, albeit the series rests particular focus on the role-playing games in which the friends participate varying with each episode, and said games are visualized through dream sequences lasting for a majority of the episode and serving as the primary focus of that certain episode. Usually, the group will visualize a unique scenario, ranging from prehistoric times to adventurous fantasies, and they are often presented with multiple dilemmas along the way to accomplishing a certain goal or priority, or may be challenged with a major single obstacle to defeat or problem to solve. The program also follows a musical format, featuring multiple musical numbers sung throughout the course of an episode regarding whatever imaginary predicament in which the characters have situated themselves or perhaps a challenge that they have met, every episode opening and concluding with a particular song. When the Backyardigans have achieved their mission or defeated any disadvantages, the fantasy sequence fades, restoring actuality to the setting of the episodes as the closing song is sung, the characters scurrying to their houses for a snack. The main character or characters then opens the snack host's house door, fence, or around the corner, and shouts the main catchphrase for the final time and then closes the door. The picture then is lifeless with some background bird noises often heard as iris closes, ending the episode.
Each of the five characters on the show have two voice actors: one for speaking, and the other for singing.
The dancing on the show is first performed by live-action dancers, and their movements are later transported to animation. Choreographer, Beth Bogush, describes the process: "What we do is we film the live footage in the studio, send that off and they do a Leica, and then they send it to the animators. The animators watch, and were pretty precise. What we film for that day is pretty close to what you see in the character."
A curious, self-confident and high-spirited pink spotted character, she's also the most powerful of the bunch. The series uses the name "Uniqua" for both the character and her species. She wears pink polka-dotted overalls and has a pair of swirled antennae on top of her head. Uniqua is sweet and friendly, though her strong opinions and occasional stubbornness get in the way of her relationships. While imagining herself having the roles that require brains and fortitude (such as a scientist or pirate captain) and despite her love of books (as seen in episodes such as "The Masked Retriever"). Creator Janice Burgess describes Uniqua as the child she wishes she was like as a child.
Pablo is a yellow-beaked blue penguin who wears a blue bow tie and a blue-and-yellow propeller beanie. Pablo tends to be the most excitable of the group and is best friends with Tyrone. Due to his energy and impetuousness, he often goes into a "panic attack" when he faces an obstacle, running around in circles and telling everyone not to worry until someone interrupts him. The number of panic attacks decreased considerably after the first season, though in the episode The Flipper! his propensity for getting overexcited is a major plot point.
Pablo is absent for one episode, "Chichen-Itza Pizza."
Speaking voice: Zach Tyler Eisen (season 1) and Jake Goldberg (seasons 2–4)
Singing voice: Sean Curley (seasons 1–4) Dancer: Tasha Cooper (seasons 1–3) Jonathan Sandler (season 3) Steven Konopelski (seasons 3–4) Jacob Wimar (season 4) Paul Flanagan (season 4)
Tyrone is a good-natured, yet somewhat fearful, red-haired orange moose who wears a red-and-blue striped shirt. He is almost the complete opposite of his best friend Pablo in terms of personality, despite his laid-back and cool-headed character and being known for his sarcastic comments, one of them being "That certainly was convenient." At the end of most episodes, he remarks, "That was an excellent (type) adventure, don't you think?" (though Pablo, Austin and Tasha recite the line when he is absent). Despite not appearing to wear trousers (except on rare occasions), Tyrone somehow manages to put his hands in his pockets.
Speaking voice: Reginald Davis (seasons 1–2), Jordan Coleman (seasons 2–3) and Christopher Grant, Jr. (season 4) Singing voice: Corwin C. Tuggles (season 1), Leon G. Thomas III (seasons 2–3), Damani Roberts (season 3) and Tyrel Jackson Williams (seasons 3–4) Dancer: Greg Sinacori (seasons 1–2, 4) Bradley Shelver (season 3) Andrew Cao (season 3)
A strong-willed yellow hippopotamus, Tasha wears an orange flowered dress and red shoes. She is a sweet girl on the outside, but is more rational and likes to get her own way. She is the most serious of the major characters, although Tasha can be just as easygoing from time to time. She is more tomboyish than her friend Uniqua. From the second season onward, she has a more amiable personality, as well as a more muscular appearance than the other characters. She tends to be grumpy if not the boss. Her catchphrase is "Oh, for goodness sakes!"
Speaking voice: Naelee Rae (seasons 1–2) and Gianna Bruzzese (seasons 3–4) Singing voice: Kristin Danielle Klabunde (seasons 1–3) and Gabriella Malek (seasons 3–4) Dancer: Darlene Dirstine (seasons 1–3) Amanda Ulibarri (season 4) Nancy Renee Braun (season 4)
Austin is a shy but fun-loving purple kangaroo. Though generally soft-spoken in the first season, due to recently moving in the neighborhood, Austin starts to come out of his shell as the series progresses. He is revealed to be smart and imaginative. Austin rarely appears in the spotlight, but takes the role of the lead character in several episodes. Says Bogush: "Austin's usually the one pulling up the rear. He's kind of a get-along guy." Austin has been shown to occasionally display a more villainous side, such as in the episodes "High Tea" and "The Magic Skateboard."
Speaking voice: Jonah Bobo (seasons 1–4) Singing voice: Thomas Sharkey (seasons 1–3) and Nicholas Barasch (season 4) Dancer: Kristen Frost (seasons 1–4)