The Australian children's musical group, 'The Wiggles', have
exploded onto the world scene in the last decade; providing great entertainment to millions of children and their parents.
Greg Page, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt, Anthony Field and the characters they have created are now part of the lives of many children.
(and adults too)
In addition, the characters they have created; Dorothy the Dinosaur, Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus
and Captain Feathersword have become as recognizable as the Wiggles themselves.
The Wiggles are more than just a children's
musical group; their dancing and storytelling, plus their ability to relate to their young audience with both entertaining
and educational songs, has entertained audiences since 1991.
The Wiggle's strong educational themes in their songs
and skits is no surprise given their background in early childhood education. While many of their songs push proper eating
habits, manners, counting, friendship and other small life lessons; the message is usually subtle and never 'in your face'.
Of course many of their songs are just plain fun to listen and dance to.
If you listen to the Wiggles from the early
1990s to present day 2004 you can see the sophistication of their music grow. The quick, short, high energy songs such as
'Hot Potato' have given away to clever themed songs like C'est Wags, C'est Bon.
Does that mean the Wiggles have gotten
away from their roots? Have the songs that make toddlers jump and dance and teach them how to make 'Fruit Salad' been replaced
with more adult friendly but less educational songs now that they are a hit in American?
You might think so while
watching 'Wiggle Bay'… a slower paced video with great songs but perhaps more enjoyable by adults then toddlers. Nary
an educational song in the bunch. No worries mate. 'Wiggle Bay' was soon followed by 'Top of the Tots'; a high energy, more
Wiggly video with many songs and skits talking about and demonstrating various professions.
So what makes The Wiggles
so special? Many children's shows these days combine music with education and are highly popular. Is there really any reason
a parent should go out and buy every Wiggle video ever produced (preferably through GetReadyToWiggle.com) instead of buying
the latest 'Barney' or 'Elmer' offerings?
Sure there is a reason. The Wiggles are multi-dimensional, they are
a five-point player, they are the complete package, they give 110%, and most importantly, they do not
So clichés aside… they really are the complete package. They are more than a musical group…
more than a children's television show. They really do offer more than the typical American children's show.
have allowed their supporting characters to become very popular. Paul Paddick can almost be called the 5th Wiggle in his role
of Captain Feathersword. His talent is obvious and it has been allowed to develop to the point that he as become a favorite
of the older viewers. Dorothy the Dinosaur is popular among the younger audience and many shows and videos are centered around
The Wiggles do not settle for just performing music. They showcase it. They use choreographed dancers…
from young children to the very professional Wiggle dancers. They allow toddlers to be present in their shows and videos even
if the toddlers seem more interested in the floor than the song being performed.
The Wiggles themselves come across
as genuine. Their love of children and performing for children is obvious. Attend a Wiggles concert and watch their interaction
with the audience… especially when Murray or Jeff come into the crowd.
The best feature of The Wiggles is that
they appeal to adults as much as they do to children. At times I think I enjoy viewing a Wiggle video more than my almost
2-year-old son Alexander does. I will be disappointed when he grows out of his Wiggles stage.
Is everything 'Peaches
and Crème' with the Wiggles? Of course not. The newer "Network Wiggles' theme of the current television show tends to be a
little to slow for younger toddlers. And while the Wiggle Dancers lend a more polished chorography to the Wiggles songs I
miss the child dancers that ranged from toddlers to young adults that was present when The Wiggles had a close association
with the Halloran dance school.
But that is nitpicking. The Wiggles will continue to grow in popularity because not
only are they very talented; their act does not seem to be an act at all. Their passion and personalities shine though on
every show, video and concert they perform. The Wiggles are a phenomenon that has yet to peak.