The Backyardigans intro gets a new look and sound for the hour-long rock opera episode "The Tale of the Mighty Knights", which has intrepid knights Uniqua and Tyrone performing egg-sitting duties for King Pablo. Although this isn't egg-zactly the hardest assignment, the mighty knights approach the job with great professionalism, and all goes well until the egg goes on a roll.
Scrambling off in pursuit, the knights face hard-boiled characters like Austin the Grabbin' Goblin and Tasha the Flighty Fairy, until the grande finale unfolds on Dragon Mountain, where it's out of the frying pan and into the fire. There's also a guest appearance by Broadway performer Adam Pascal.
The second episode is "Blazing Paddles", where Pablo the Ping Pong Bandit puts the wind up Sheriff Uniqua and the citizens of Ping Pong Mesa, until a masked stranger wielding a cactus paddle blows into town and proves that being selfish ain't worth a hill of beans. This one is set to Arabic pop music.
The third episode is "Garbage Trek", and you don't need Vulcan logic to determine that it has a Star Trek theme. Set to Jazz-funk music, Captain Tasha and her crew mates Uniqua and Austin boldly set off to gather the garbage of the Universe where no man has gone before, only to be stymied by evil Moosians Tyrone and Pablo, who are on a garbage-napping mission.
Although the episodes are as clever as always, this one is slightly slower in tempo, and may not be as appealing to younger children as the previous DVDs. A must-have for Backyardigans fans, but maybe not the best one to start off your collection.
Rated: 4.5 stars
Amanda Richards, March 13, 2008