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Featured DVD Review - The Backyardigans: Join the Adventurers Club

January 4th, 2010

The Backyardigans: Join the Adventurers Club - Buy from Amazon

The Backyardigans is one of the most popular TV series aimed at pre-school kids. It follows the adventures of five friends: Pablo the blue penguin, Tasha the yellow hippopotamus, Austin the purple kangaroo, Tyrone the orange moose, and Uniqua the pink something. So far there have been more than a dozen DVD releases since the show first aired in 2004, many of which I've reviewed previously, so there's little need to get into the background information about the show. Instead, let's just right into the four episodes found on this DVD.

Follow the Feather

Tyrone finds a unique feather than can only belong to one creature, the Flying Polka-Dotted Pony. After a Mysterious Lady tells him to follow the feather, he enlists the help of the rest of The Adventurers Club. This will be a perilous journey and quickly Pablo and Tasha begin to doubt his leadership skills. But it will take more than hot-air balloon crash, and collapsing temple, and other disasters to dampen Tyrone's enthusiasm for the quest. Will they be able to find the Flying Polka-Dotted Pony? What's with the Mysterious Lady? How is she able to beat them to where they need to go? Why can't they just follow her instead of the feather? And if no one has seen a Flying Polka-Dotted Pony, how do they know the feather came from one?

Dragon Express

Pablo and his dragon Maverick join the Dragon Express delivery agency. His flying skills make him the top man on the job, and makes Austin and his dragon Windy a little jealous. Will Pablo being able to teach him a few tricks? Or will his overconfidence get Pablo into trouble and require Austin to bail him out of a jam? And why do they need two dragons to deliver the packages when they are going to the same place? It seems to me that a dragon should be able to carry two small packages and still fly.

The Funnyman Boogeyman

Pablo and Uniqua are part of The Boo Crew, a couple of paranormal investigators on the look out for ghosts, werewolves, and other scary creatures. So far they've only been able to catch a butterfly, which is hardly scary, but they get their big break when they get a lock on the Bogeyman (Austin). However, he's not as scary as his reputation suggests. While they try to catch the Bogeyman, he tries to make them laugh, and neither has much luck accomplishing their goals.

Flower Power

Uniqua is a flower seller in Garden City, but despite the name, the city is a concrete wasteland without a flower in sight. But after she pricks her finger on a flower at Pablo's greenhouse, she gains super powers. Yes, she gains Flower Power and becomes Flower Girl. But every Super Hero needs a Super Villain, and Gloom Meister (Austin) is determined to get rid of her with his shadow ray.

There are no real extras on the DVD, but there are two songs for Team Umizoomi, an upcoming show that debuts on Nick, Jr. at the end of the month. Also, there are no subtitles and each episode is presented as one chapter, so you can't skip the theme song. It's a disappointing DVD releases.

The Verdict

Overall The Backyardigans is one of the best kids shows out there. It has good writing, interesting characters, fun adventures, and it isn't nearly as repetitive as most shows aimed at a similar audience. I can't stand how repetitive most kids shows are. That said, on average the DVDs don't add a lot of value to the show and Join the Adventurers Club is no exception. The price per minute is excellent, but I really wish the DVD authoring was better; if they had subtitles and proper chapter placements, I could be more enthusiastic in my recommendation. As it is, it's a solid rental, leaning toward a purchase.

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