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Caillou

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Caillou
Caillou logo
Created byHélène Desputeaux
Christine L'Heureux
Based onCaillou book series by Hélène Desputeaux[1][2]
Country of originCanada
Original languages
  • French
  • English
No. of seasons5
No. of episodes92 (352 segments)
Production
Running time22 minutes (3–4 5-minute segments)
Production companies
DistributorCookie Jar Entertainment
Release
Original network
Picture formatNTSC (1997–2010)
HDTV 1080i (2010)
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original releaseSeptember 15, 1997 (1997-09-15) –
October 3, 2010 (2010-10-03)
External links
Website
Production website

Caillou (French pronunciation: ​[kaˈju]) is a Canadian educational children's television series that was first shown on Teletoon (both English and French versions), with its first episode airing on the former channel on September 15, 1997; the show later moved to Treehouse TV, with its final episode being shown on that channel on October 3, 2010. The show was animated in Canada by CINAR Corporation (later Cookie Jar Entertainment), In season 5, the show was animated by South African-based studio, Clockwork Zoo.[3] The show, based on the books by Hélène Desputeaux,[1][2] focuses on a four-year-old boy named Caillou who is fascinated by the world around him.

Plot

Caillou lives with his mother, father, and younger sister, Rosie. He has many adventures with his family and friends, and uses his imagination in every episode.

Each episode in seasons 1 through 3 has a theme and is divided into several short sections that mix animation, puppet skits, and video of live-action children in real-life situations. In seasons 4 and 5, the episodes are divided into three short sections; the puppet segment was dropped, alongside the "Real Kids" version of the segment.

During the first season, many of the stories in the animated version began with a grandmother (who is also the show's narrator) introducing the story to her grandchildren, then reading the story from a book. Since the second season, the narrator and grandmother is an unseen character.

Characters

Major characters

Caillou

Caillou (meaning pebble or stone in French), nicknamed by himself The Prince of Imagination,[4] is the title character of the show. Caillou was first voiced by Bryn McAuley from 1997 to 2000, then Jaclyn Linetsky in 2000 until 2003, and then, due to Linetsky's death, Annie Bovaird from 2003 to 2010. Caillou was first shown in the episode "Caillou Makes Cookies", which aired in 1997.

Caillou is an imaginative four-year-old[5] boy with a love for forms of transportive machinery such as rocket ships and airplanes. A dreamer, Caillou is inclined to frequent dream sequences in some episodes, visualizing his daydreams and wishes, and many episodes describe his normal daily experiences with his parents, friends, and neighbours. Caillou particularly loves his stuffed dinosaur, Rexy, and teddy bear, Teddy, along with his pet cat Gilbert, all of whom are depicted as puppets in segments featured in the earlier episodes.

Caillou's family

Caillou and his family from left to right: Rosie, Daddy, Caillou, Mommy
  • Rosie (French name: Mousseline) – Caillou's lively younger sister who is a typical toddler. She is two years old.[5] She always wants to take part in the same activities as Caillou. In later seasons of the series, she becomes more talkative and independent. She wears a blue dress, red socks and blue Mary Jane shoes. Rosie fights with Caillou for some reasons, but they still love each other. She appears to be the only family member with red hair. Rosie was first voiced by Brigid Tierney, then Jesse Vinet.
  • Doris[5]/Mommy – Caillou's mother. She is a busy homemaker most of the time but is seen to work in an office, as well. Caillou occasionally helps his mother with different chores, and she often takes time to involve Caillou and his friends in activities such as crafts and baking. She is predominantly dressed in a red blouse with yellow trim, blue headband, ankle-length blue jeans and blue shoes with green soles. Voiced by Jennifer Seguin.
  • Boris[5]/Daddy – Caillou's father. He wears a green sweater with a red trim with blue jeans. In the episode "Caillou The Chef" he says he once worked at a restaurant and made pizza.[6] He and Caillou occasionally work on projects around the house together. He is voiced by Pat Fry.
  • Gilbert – Caillou's pet cat. In the puppet segments, he is shown to be knowledgeable about things which are foreign to Rexy and Teddy.
  • Grandma – Caillou's paternal grandmother. Grandma is a very active lady who loves the arts and the outdoors. She passes that love onto Caillou. Grandma often comes up with creative ideas to solve Caillou's problems. She and Caillou paint and go bird-watching together. Voiced by Pauline Little.
  • Grandpa – Caillou's paternal[5] grandfather. He takes Caillou on adventures, often going on walks and riding the bus throughout the town where they reside. In "Caillou's Hiding Place", he showed Caillou a hidden area inside a tree in the backyard.[7] In the episode "Caillou Goes Camping", he and Caillou camp in the backyard. He is Daddy's father and loves to tell stories about when Calliou's father was a little boy. He wears a blue shirt. Voiced by George Morris.

Caillou's friends and neighbours

  • Mr. Hinkle (French name: Monsieur Lajoie) – Caillou's neighbour, introduced in the 1998 episode "Caillou's Not Afraid Anymore". He has a gold tooth. In the episode "Farmer for the Day", it is stated that his first name is Paul.
Caillou and his friends: (back) Clementine, Sarah – (front) Gilbert, Caillou, Leo, Rosie
  • Leo – A boy who started out as a bully in the 1999 episode "Caillou at Daycare", but quickly befriended Caillou in the same episode. They have been inseparable since. He is of Jewish faith and celebrates Hanukkah (stated in Caillou's Holiday Movie). Voiced by Johanne Garneau from 1997 to 2003, Vince Davies in Caillou's Holiday Movie, Jonathan Koensgen from 2006 to 2008 and Graeme Jokic in 2010.
  • Clementine – Clementine was the first to befriend Caillou in the 1999 episode "Caillou Goes to Day Care". She can get rather bossy for some reasons, but all in all she is pretty understanding. She is of African-Canadian descent. She is voiced by Brigid Tierney, and then Sophie Uretsky.
  • Sarah – Caillou's friend whom he first met in "Caillou Goes Around the Block". She is of Chinese descent and celebrates Chinese New Year. She has a cousin in an episode where she invites Caillou to celebrate Chinese New Year. In another she invites him to school for "Bring Your Younger Siblings to School Day" because she has no siblings. Sarah has a pet cat named Olly and a dog named Murphy. Sarah is voiced by Amanda Tilson.
  • André – An redheaded boy, André is introduced in the episode "Caillou's Big Friend" and usually wears red sandals. According to the song "Days of the Week" released on the Caillou music CD Caillou and Friends, Caillou plays with him every Saturday. André enjoys biking and soccer.
  • Julie – Caillou's and Rosie's teenage babysitter. She has blonde hair in a ponytail, and enjoys playing with Caillou and Rosie. Voiced by Holly Gauthier-Frankel.
  • Jason and Jeffrey – Identical twin brothers who are of Hispanic descent. They both enjoy eating pizza. Initially, they wore identical clothes. By Season 4, though, Jason began wearing a shirt with inverted colours so it's easier to tell them apart. They are both in Caillou's playschool class. The first episode they appeared in was "New House, New Neighbors".
  • Billy – Clementine's older brother. He is usually seen playing in a band with his friends or playing sports.
  • Miss Martin – Caillou's preschool teacher. She has red hair and wears red overalls with a long-sleeved white shirt. According to the episode "A Surprise for Ms. Martin" her birthday is in June. Her first name is Ann; this was stated in "Caillou Goes to Daycare". Voiced by Ellen David
  • Jonas – Boris' friend from before he met Doris. He lives on a ranch and has a horse named Lucky. Jonas appears in four episodes and in Caillou's Holiday Movie.
  • Emma – A girl in Caillou's playschool class who dislikes loud noises. wearing red. [8] It is stated in an episode that she has Type 1 Diabetes.[9]
  • Xavier – A boy in Caillou's playschool class who has brown hair and wears blue overalls.

The puppets

The puppet segments were used only on the PBS broadcasts of Caillou from 2000 to 2003 as continuity to fill time usually taken up by commercial breaks during the original Teletoon broadcasts; later episodes on PBS did not include the puppet segment continuity.

  • Gilbert – Caillou's pet cat. He is the leader of the group. He has greyish-blue fur with black stripes and loathes dogs with a passion. He especially dislikes the bulldog in the neighbourhood. In the puppet segments of the show, Gilbert often consists odes. Puppeteered by Bob Stutt.
  • Rexy – Caillou's toy dinosaur. Bluish in colour and speaks in a somewhat foreign accent, he is very playful. Rexy has the incapability to give a "good" hug. Rexy is noted for being rather pedantic. He is often teased about his speech impediment, and tends to react violently to any mention of it. Puppeteered by Pier Parquette and voiced by Rick Jones.
  • Teddy – An old teddy bear that once belonged to Caillou's father, and now belongs to Caillou, Teddy is reasonable and nice. He is somewhat pessimistic, but all in all, he just needs a hug. Puppeteered by Frank Meschkuleit.
  • Deedee – A brown squirrel, she has a bushy tail, and is often seen playing with Rexy. Deedee first appeared as a baby squirrel when Rexy found on the ground lost from her family. Deedee lives in Caillou's backyard where most of the puppet segments take place. She was never appeared in Season 3. Puppeteered by Wendy Welch.

Episodes

Caillou consists of five seasons[10] of 92 half-hour episodes,[11] as well as the half 90-minute Christmas film Caillou's Holiday Movie.[12]

Caillou series overview
Season Episodes Segments Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 13 65 September 15, 1997 July 5, 2000
2 20[13] 80 September 4, 2000 July 2, 2002
3 13[14] 52 November 15, 2002 October 7, 2003
4 20[15] 50 April 3, 2006 September 23, 2008
5 26[10] 78 September 11, 2010[16] October 3, 2010

Production

Caillou books have been published by Chouette Publishing Inc. since 1989.[17]

The series was originally broadcast in French in Canada, and the episodes were later translated into English. The original books were also in French. Caillou was designed primarily for toddlers. It was created by child developmental psychologists. In 1997, 65 five-minute episodes of Caillou were aired in Canada and in selected markets worldwide, including the US. In 2000 there were 40 30-minute episodes of the show, containing a mixture of the five-minute episodes plus new stories, songs, real kids segment and puppets. This was followed by another 16 30-minute episodes containing all-new stories in 2003. The film Caillou's Holiday Movie was released on October 7, 2003. On April 3, 2006, a new set of 20 episodes finally premiered after a three-year hiatus. Caillou started attending preschool and there were new themes and a new opening. The show was renewed for a second and third season in 2003,[18] and later a fourth season. The fifth season was animated by South Africa-based studio Clockwork Zoo.[19][failed verification]

On November 14, 2012, the fourth season of the series was pre-sold to PBS Kids in the United States[20][21]

Reception

Critical response

Caillou initially received generally positive reviews from television critics and parents of young children. The staff of Entertainment Weekly wrote, "Embellishing everything he sees with his rich imagination."[22] The New York Times wrote "Caillou looks at the world through the eyes of its 4-year-old namesake."[23] Lynne Heffley of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "Caillou grows and learns to make sense of his world."[24]

Controversy

As the years progressed, the show became more publicly criticized. In a National Post, writer Tristin Hopper identified Caillou to be "quite possibly the world's most universally reviled children's program." There were several "I hate Caillou" Facebook pages and petitions on Change.org for the show to stop airing. A common criticism towards the series is the "spoiled" behaviour of the titular character and the lack of consequences given within the parent characters.[25]

Hopper once said: "Unlike most children's programming, Caillou makes almost no attempt to educate its young audience. There are no veiled math problems, spelling lessons or morality tales; it's just calm, non-threatening, bright-coloured people navigating everyday tasks." These criticisms of the show's titular character have been echoed on online platforms.[26] Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver once described Caillou negatively.[27]

As Caillou appeared as a much younger child in the original line of children's books, he originally had no hair. When illustrators found that adding hair made him look unrecognizable, it was decided that Caillou would never have hair.[28][29] This has led to an urban legend that the protagonist has cancer or pediatric alopecia.[30]

Broadcast

Caillou first aired on Canada's French-language Télétoon channel on September 15, 1997, and was the first show aired on the English-language Teletoon when it launched on October 17, 1997.[31] The series was moved to Treehouse TV in 2010. Caillou made its US debut on PBS Kids on September 4, 2000, and ran on that network until December 27, 2020. Reruns started airing on PBS Kids Sprout (later known as simply Sprout) on its launch on September 26, 2005. While Sprout rebranded into Universal Kids on September 9, 2017, the show remained on the channel until it was taken off the line-up at the beginning of April 2019.

On January 5, 2021, PBS Kids announced on Twitter that they would no longer broadcast reruns of Caillou.[32] On August 16, 2021, it was announced that Cartoon Network had acquired the US-broadcast rights to the show after PBS' rights expired, with reruns of the series joining Cartoonito’s lineup on September 13, 2021 in its HD remastered form.[33][34] In Canada, Family Jr. continues to broadcast reruns since February 5, 2018. PBS Kids currently retains the physical media and streaming rights.

Home video releases

In the United States, Caillou videocassettes and DVDs have been released by PBS Distribution (Originally distributed through Warner Home Video until 2004, and then Paramount Home Entertainment from 2006 to 2010, and now self-distributed). From 2003 to 2006, The DVDs with puppets and Jaclyn Linetsky were compilations from 2003 through 2006, and one of them is in memory of Linetsky herself.

For the franchise's 25th anniversary, a DVD/book combo pack reissue of Caillou's Family Favorites was released on October 14, 2014, by PBS Distribution,[35] while a DVD reissue of Caillou's Holiday Movie was released on November 11, 2014 by NCircle Entertainment.[36]

In Canada, Sony Wonder originally released Caillou on VHS and DVD, and after the closure of the division by Sony, were moved to Vivendi Entertainment Canada. Since 2012, Caillou DVDs are distributed by Entertainment One and after their purchase of Phase 4 Films in 2015, are released through the KaBoom Entertainment label.

Music from the series

In 2003, an album titled Caillou's Favorite Songs was released by Kid Rhino under the Cinar Music imprint.[37]

Possible revival

YouTube series

Beginning in late 2016, a new Caillou web series for YouTube premiered on the official Caillou channel and was later released onto Amazon Prime.[38] These shorts are mainly remakes of older episodes and are produced by WildBrain Spark Studios, a subsidiary of WildBrain that produces original content for their WildBrain Spark network. However, the videos were not made available to YouTube users in the United States until 2021.[39]

In 2021, it was announced that Cartoon Network licensed the series for broadcast on US television.[40]

CGI Specials

On September 1, 2021, WildBrain Television announced that the studio would produce five original 45-minute CGI specials for Family Jr. beginning in the summer of 2022.[41][42]

References

  1. ^ a b "At last, the 2005 Caillou agreement is made public" Archived March 27, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Regroupement des artistes en arts visuels du Québec. Retrieved on November 2, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Baillargeon, Stéphane (October 8, 2015). "L'entente secrète de 2005 dévoilée". Le Devoir. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  3. ^ "Clockwork Zoo begins key animation on Caillou | Animation SA". January 22, 2010. Archived from the original on January 22, 2010. Retrieved July 18, 2021.
  4. ^ "Caillou & Stars Red Trick-Or-Treat Bag". PBSkids.org. Archived from the original on May 6, 2017. Caillou is surrounded by stars on a personalized swag bag that's ready for Halloween treats. The Prince of Imagination is here to make it a Happy Halloween!
  5. ^ a b c d e "About". Caillou.com. Archived from the original on March 31, 2016. Meet Caillou, the lovable four-year old
    Meet Caillou's little sister, Rosie! At 2 years old, Rosie is a giggly little girl who loves to play tricks on her big brother.
    Meet Caillou's Mom, Doris! Although some know her in the workplace as Doris, she's known as Mommy in Caillou's household.
    Meet Caillou's Dad, Boris!
    Meet Caillou's Grandpa! Grandpa always takes Caillou on fun adventures – like fishing, riding the bus through town and camping! He is Caillou's Daddy's father
  6. ^ Caillou Episode – "Caillou the Chef" (Season 4)
  7. ^ Caillou Episode – "Caillou's Hiding Place"
  8. ^ Caillou Episode – "Caillou's Marching Band"
  9. ^ webmaster. "Caillou – Caillou's Discoveries". KET. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved March 29, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Animation Portfolio: CAILLOU • Sea Monster". Seamonster.co.za. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  11. ^ "DHX Media – Distribution – Caillou – Catalogue – Pre-School". Distribution.dhxmedia.com. Archived from the original on January 17, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "DHX Media – Distribution – Caillou's Holiday Movie – Catalogue – Pre-School". Distribution.dhxmedia.com. Archived from the original on March 24, 2014. Retrieved March 25, 2014.
  13. ^ "Come Learn With Caillou! – Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  14. ^ "Caillou . Parents & Teachers . Episodes Descriptions . Season 3". Caillou.com. Archived from the original on October 10, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
  15. ^ "New Caillou" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 14, 2007. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  16. ^ "For the Kid Inside!". The Cookie Jar Company. September 8, 2010. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  17. ^ "Caillou - Creation". Chouette Publishing. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  18. ^ Ball, Ryan (February 10, 2003). "Caillou Back for Season Two". Animation Magazine. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  19. ^ "Leading the Animation Revolution in South Africa with Toon Boom". Toon Boom Animation. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  20. ^ "DHX Media sells fourth season of Caillou to PBS Kids". KidScreen.
  21. ^ "KET". Archived from the original on November 5, 2013. Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  22. ^ EW Staff (August 1, 2012). "Caillou". EW.com. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  23. ^ "FOR YOUNG VIEWERS; Sharing the Small Stuff". The New York Times. October 7, 2001. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 17, 2020.
  24. ^ Heffley, Lynne (September 4, 2000). "Kids' Series Give Gentle Life Lessons Television Review". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  25. ^ Hopper, Tristin (May 1, 2017). "Caillou is an aggressively bad show ruining the world's children … and it's all Canada's fault". National Post. Postmedia Network. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  26. ^ "This Is How Much People Hate 'Caillou'". HuffPost. April 3, 2017. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  27. ^ "John Oliver Presents The Only Interesting Story On Net Neutrality, Ever (Video)". Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  28. ^ Public Broadcasting Service. "FAQ". Caillou.
  29. ^ Chouette. "Why is Caillou bald?". Chouette. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  30. ^ "Why Is Caillou Bald?". HuffPost Canada. December 8, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
  31. ^ "CORPORATION CINAR CÉLÈBRE LE 5e ANNIVERSAIRE DE CAILLOU À LA TÉLÉVISION" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 14, 2003. Retrieved December 22, 2013.
  32. ^ Madden Toby, Mekeisha (January 5, 2021). "Caillou Cancelled at PBS Kids (as Parents Everywhere Rejoice)". TV Line. Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
  33. ^ Stalcup, Jamie (August 16, 2021). "WarnerMedia Sets Cartoonito Launch Date & Slate". TVKIDS. Retrieved August 16, 2021.
  34. ^ "WarnerMedia Kids & Family Sets Sept. 13 for Cartoonito Preschool Block on HBO Max and Cartoon Network" (Press release). WarnerMedia. August 16, 2021. Retrieved September 10, 2021.
  35. ^ Zahn, James (September 4, 2014). "25th Anniversary of Caillou: CAILLOU's FAMILY FAVORITES DVD/Book Combo Pack due in October..." Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  36. ^ "Caillou's Holiday Movie - NCircle Entertainment". Amazon. Retrieved October 25, 2014.
  37. ^ "Caillou's Favorite Songs - Caillou - Songs, Reviews, Credits - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved September 26, 2016.
  38. ^ "Watch Caillou's New Adventures | Prime Video". amazon.com. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  39. ^ "New Caillou Webisodes | Animated Cartoons for Kids". YouTube. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  40. ^ "WildBrain Reports Q4 and Full Year 2021 Results". Investors - WildBrain. Retrieved September 16, 2021.
  41. ^ Ltd, WildBrain. "WildBrain Television Celebrates Canadian Creativity with New Greenlights Across Animation and Live-Action, Offering Programming tor the Entire Family to Enjoy". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  42. ^ "WILDBRAIN TELEVISION CELEBRATES CANADIAN CREATIVITY WITH NEW GREENLIGHTS ACROSS ANIMATION AND LIVE-ACTION, OFFERING PROGRAMMING FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY TO ENJOY". WildBrain. Retrieved September 16, 2021.

External links