Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Yo Gabba Gabba

Yo Gabba Gabba

Spring 2012 Television
Ages: 2 - 5 yrs.
Rating: TV Y

If you had the ability to record a preschooler's favorite dream, the result might look a lot like an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba: Friendly monsters, goofy skits, candy-colorful costumes, fanciful animated sequences, and a DJ with a magical boom box that plays really great tunes at any given moment.

Aimed at kids aged 2 to 5, Yo Gabba Gabba airs in the U.S. on Nick Jr. Each half-hour episode sticks to a particular theme, e.g. Nature, Adventure, etc., and it's explored in a world that appears to be controlled by DJ Lance Rock and his boom box.

Yo Gabba Gabba includes a string of brief, energetic sequences, most of them driven by music. The skits are performed by a cast of costumed characters-sort of monster/alien/robot hybrids-on sets made up of bold cut-out backdrops and funky props. In addition to skits, the program offers clever animated sequences, celebrity guest appearances, and green-screen gimmicks to help with transitions. Most scenes feature dancing preschoolers. With so many rotating features and a variety of guest artists, each episode manages to feel fresh rather than formulaic-but sometimes it all flies by so fast that it strays toward feeling frenetic.

The celebrity guest appearances add a unique dimension to Yo Gabba Gabba. One segment, featuring a simple art project, is hosted by Mark Mothersbaugh, co-founder of the New Wave band Devo. In the adventure-themed show, the American rock band The Killers sings "Spaceship Adventure." The impressive list of guest artists ranges from professional skateboarder Tony Hawk to beatboxer Rahzel, and they all appear without introduction or fanfare. They're simply cool, fun people showing up to do cool, fun things.

Yo Gabba Gabba almost feels like a funhouse ride. It's bright, it's bouncy, it's odd, it flies by with a lot of unexpected twists and turns-and even though parts of it might give you a headache, you still get off laughing and feeling like you had a really good time.

Gina Catanzarite   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Gina Catanzarite is an award-winning television producer, writer, teacher, mom and media consultant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She began her career in 1987 and counts 9 Emmy awards, 26 Emmy nominations, a Matrix award, two Pennsylvania Broadcaster's Association Awards, 8 Telly Awards, and a screenwriting grant from the Theatre Association of Pennsylvania, among her professional honors.

Look for this product at:
Nickelodeon/MTV Networks

Share This