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4.8 out of 5 stars69
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Many, many thanks are extended to Nelvana and Nick Jr. for bringing back the Backyardigans for another season. This DVD has four episodes from the second season (which will reportedly have twenty episodes) and although the musical genres are rather obscure (at least I've never heard of some of them), the quality of entertainment exceeds the first season.

"Mission to Mars" starts it off with Kenyan High Life music, one of the genres I've never heard of before, but which sounds like a cross between calypso and Latin music. Uniqua, Pablo and Austin are astronauts who head off to Mars to investigate a mysterious audio signal. Tyrone and Tasha remain behind to man mission control.

"Samurai Pie" is my absolute favorite episode of the whole series so far. Far East meets Western in this wonderful combination of spaghetti western music (a genre I HAVE heard of before), and kung fu / ninja action movies. The settings are very similar to those in the movie "Spirited Away", mixed with some "Karate Kid", "Kung Fu" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon". Tyrone makes the world's greatest samurai pies, and is teaching his apprentice Austin the tricks of the trade. Their task is to make the Great Pie for Empress Tasha, and get it to her royal table before the pie-stealing ninjas Uniqua and Pablo make off with it.

"Scared of You" has Tasha as a mad scientist, with Austin as her henchman. Even though it's his birthday, she sends him out on a mission to deliver secret letters to three monsters, Tyrone the mummy, Uniqua the werewolf and Pablo the vampire. The letters are actually invitations to a surprise birthday "Monster Party" with lots of singing and dancing to a `50s small band theme.

"Whodunit?" is an Agatha Christie-type mystery adventure, set in Mystery Manor, on the Misty Moors of Scotland, with detective Pablo trying to find Lady Tasha's stolen jewels. Is the thief neighbor Mr. Austin Frothingslosh, unexpected visitor Uniqua Underhood, or did Butler Tyrone do it?

Cute, but never annoying; imaginative, but still simple enough for young children to enjoy; informative without being preachy, lots of singing and dancing to new musical genres, plus now (ta-dah!!!!!) with Alicia Keyes on board as a singing mommy Martian - what more could you possibly ask for in children's entertainment?

Amanda Richards, October 26, 2006
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3...2...1...LIFT OFF! Launch into adventure with The Backyardigans as they explore outer space, master the art of making pie like samurai (pie-YA!), go on a mystery caper to find missing jewels, and visit a mad scientist's laboratory!

Mission to Mars features 4 different episodes, and is BY FAR the most engaging and fun Backyardigans DVD! My son watches his other Backyardigan DVD's intermittently, but he just got this one a few days ago and watches it over and over and over...

Here are the four episodes:

MISSION TO MARS: When the Backyardigans receive a strange signal originating from Mars, Uniqua, Pablo and Austin blast off to investigate. They're backed up by Tyrone and Tasha, who remain on Earth to assist at Mission Control. The Backyardigans leave prepared for anything, but encounter some surprises along the way. They don't give up, however, and eventually make a surprising discovery regarding the source of the signal.

This episode features two new characters: Mommy Martian (played by Alicia Keys) and Little Martian/Boinga (played by Shakyra Lipscomb).

SAMURAI PIE: Spaghetti Western music plays as Samurai Pie Maker Tyrone trains apprentice Austin to make the Great Pie for Empress Tasha...while fending off pie-stealing Ninjas Uniqua and Pablo!

SCARED OF YOU: Mad Scientist Tasha sends Austin to bring three monsters (Tyrone, Uniqua and Pablo) back to her laboratory. Tasha's Einsteinian hairdo is *hilarious*. Be on the lookout for special appearances by Mummy, Werewolf, and Vampire!

WHODUNIT?: Detective Pablo (looking much like Sherlock Holmes!) is on the case at Mystery Manor to discover who stole Tasha's jewels. Tyrone, Austin and Uniqua are all suspects! Featuring a mysterious English mansion, hedge maze, and theatrical "acting", this episode is my favorite!

Because the last two episodes are mystery-oriented, the Mission to Mars DVD would make an *excellent* Halloween experience for the little ones! As always, there are clever lyrics and diverse musical styles with the songs, so the episodes are not only entertaining, but musically educational.

This DVD also has some special features:

*"Hold Tight" dance along with Pablo

*"A Message, A Message" dance along with Uniqua

*The Backyardigans Game Trial on DVD-ROM (only a 1/2 hour's worth of gameplay)

An excellent--and very affordable--addition to the Backyardigans collection!
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on January 16, 2007
What I love about the backyardigans is that the music isn't just good, it's great: interesting, challenging and funny. The story lines are great unlike some of the thomas the tank or bob the builder scenarios which are truly banal. My son loves these and we often find ourselves in our living room, playing that we are on our own personal mission to mars.
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on January 15, 2007
OK, I'm bias here, I play saxophone on the recording sessions for this show and write the occasional underscore (mission to mars is mine). So I'm quite proud of it. But the thing is, these shows are really cool; they introduce kids to many genres of music (50!), dance moves and promote a healthy imagination. There isn't any pandering, it's not preachy and the stories are fun. My niece (2yrs) loves to copy the choreography and my son (3yrs) likes the stories. The backyardigans are nice kids and they are well defined and smart.
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on February 19, 2007
We love the Backyardigans (we have almost all the dvds) for great music, dancing, stories and characters. Easy on the eyes and ears even when seen more than a few times. My 1.5 year old will pick up her own toys to watch them. She wiggles and dances to the music (and mama sits down for a 20 minute cup of tea). The stories show some great imagination, which carries over into play even after the tv is off.

Our favorites on this dvd are Mission to Mars and Samurai Pie. After Samurai Pie, we gave our 1.5 year old a mixing bowl, pie tin, some measuring cups, a whisk and a spoon. She 'makes' pies regularly and loves to help making real cookies. Mission to Mars must have had some help from NASA. While being a story written for small children, the scenery looks a lot like the footage from the real Mars rovers, and the 'astronauts' are generally saying and doing things that real astronauts might say and do -- and then there is a 'rover' that barks and likes to play fetch, and a really big underground slide and martian city, singing martians, etc. ...

As a final point, even in childrens' shows there is usually something that is too violent, scary, or inappropriate for a very small child. We have several Backyardigans dvds and I have never had to skip or mute anything. Very kiddo friendly.
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on June 2, 2014
this is in the top 3 of my son's favorite videos. i really like the backyardigans and this video is pretty good. one of the songs is pretty stupid in my opinion, but in general the content is enjoyable and appropriate for kids.
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on April 23, 2013
It took me forever to review because it slipped my mind but we have had this movie going on 2 years now and my daughter who is almost 5, still loves it. The little characters are so darn cute and your kids will run around the house singing the songs. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with younger kids, it's definitely worth the buy.
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on March 22, 2014
Okay, so the title of the DVD doesn't say a thing about ninja's or pie. That episode, 'The Great Pie', is the second one on the DVD. The Mission to Mars episode is cute, but all my kids seem to like the pie one the best. Austin is trying to make 'The Great Pie' for an empress, all the while, pie ninja's are trying to steal it. Absolutely love the way the writers of these shows create such wonderful imaginations within the characters, transforming their playtime into magical worlds. Great fun, music, and entertainment for kids and parents!
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on January 2, 2014
What I love about this series is that it is not annoying to adults. They clearly put a lot of effort in creating good music, interesting to kids, but not annoying (like music in most other kids shows). No violence, no hysteria, no cheap tricks… yet it is one of my kid’s favorite shows.
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on January 11, 2013
My Daughter is 3 & normally watches Dora or Deigo. Great shows but I wanted somthing different for her.
She saw this show with a friend of her's & LOVED them. We had bought 1 dvd, & she watched when ever I'd let her. I bought Mission to Mars before Christmas in early December or the end of Novemeber for a Christmas present. However it came so late!! It arrived after Christmas!! Not that my duaghter really missed it, but it was frustrating because I had been expecting it for a LONG time.

Pros
The movie has 3 small movies/senerio's: Mission to Mars, The Grand Pie Adventure & The Jewel Mystery.
Lots of easy, fun songs to sing-a-long too.
Very Imaginative.
My Daughter LOVES these characters.
Encourages Imagination play.

Cons
The DVD has no cons. Very happy with my purchase.

The Shipping took about 20 - 30 day get my home. I'm very dissapointed with it. I normarlly don't have this issue with Amazon, but if i could rate my shipping experience on this product i'd have to say it was poor. I wasnt updated & never saw a tracking update on this product. Very Dissatisfied with how long this took. I should have went out & purchased it on my own @ a store here in town.
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