By Stephanie Ciccarelli
November 6, 2006
Are you a fan of singer Alicia Keys? Do you have kids who love the BackYardigans? If you said 'yes' to either of those questions, you'll want to watch a special episode of The BackYardigans featuring Alicia Keys as the characters entertain you in a new outer space musical adventure called, "Mission to Mars".
For those of you who have preschoolers at home, Pablo, Tyrone, Uniqua, Tasha, and Austin are familiar names and The BackYardigans television program is likely a part of your children's television viewing schedule.
If you're also a fan of popular singer Alicia Keys, this post will be of even more interest to you.
The Grammy Award-Winning Keys guest stars as the animated "Mommy Martian" along with her niece Shakyra Lipscomb, who plays baby "Martian Boinga", on an episode titled "Mission to Mars".
After speaking with kids who said they loved The BackYardigans, I knew this would be a great project for me to get involved in,â€ said Alicia Keys via a press release. Working alongside my niece was so much fun and the people at Nick Jr. helped to make it a great experience. I can't wait to see it all put together to make one great episode.â€
In addition to voicing the bright green extraterrestrial, Keys sings an original song entitled, "Almost Everything is Boinga Here."
Here's a synopsis of the episode, Mission to Mars:
"Tyrone and Tasha are Mission Control specialists who send their brave astronauts Uniqua, Pablo and Austin on a mission to find life on Mars after hearing a strange sound -- "boinga, boinga!" -- coming from outer space. A Kenyan High Life soundtrack moves the gang along as they blast off into space. Upon arrival, they hop on board their Mars Rover, an unusual contraption made of part-car, part-robot and part-dog to explore the red planet and find out what's making that "boinga!" sound. The astronauts soon discover an underground Martian city and meet an adorable little Martian named Boinga and her mommy who explains through song that "Almost Everything is Boinga Here" on Mars.
"In this episode, the Backyardigans experience the wonders of space travel -- mission control, space suits with built-in walkie-talkies, weightlessness and the amazing topography of Mars, 'the red planet.' The show's creators researched the smallest details of actual NASA flights to create a very special atmosphere," said Brown Johnson, Executive Creative Director, Nickelodeon Preschool Television. "As counterpoint, the Backyardigans sing and dance to 'African Highlife' music, with its gentle, funky beat. We are thrilled to have had the opportunity to work with the very talented Alicia Keys."
I did some researching and discovered this little known fact about the series:
All of the voice actors in this series are children, a very rare occurrence in the world of animation.
Each character is performed by two children, one for the voice-over and the other for the singing component.