Wednesday, 16 April 2014 | MYT 10:20 AM

Big on fun: Kids' TV shows a hit among adults

In the wild: The cast of Hi-5 braves through the perilous Amazon rainforest with some song and dance in Hi-5 Holiday.

In the wild: The cast of Hi-5 braves through the perilous Amazon rainforest with some song and dance in Hi-5 Holiday.

Who said that only young ‘uns get to enjoy all the jolly kid-friendly television shows?

If you find yourself knowing all the words to the Sesame Street theme song and are able to notice the subtle differences between B1 and B2 of Bananas In Pyjamas, don’t be embarrassed.

Well, perhaps you shouldn’t admit to it in public but nevertheless, there is no need to be ashamed of it because you are not alone – there are many people who do exactly what you do in secret.

Somewhere right now, in front of a television, is an adult who is thoroughly enjoying a kids programme. Not only do they know the theme song by heart, they are also emotionally invested in the fictional characters featured in the shows, developed to bring happiness to children around the world.

But hey, who are we to judge?

To add more happiness to the many lives of Malaysian adults – as well as, like it was originally intended, kids – is the Bahasa Malaysia version of the popular international children’s television show Hi-5.

Plans are under way for KRU Studios to co-produce the second Asian adaptation of Hi-5 in Bahasa Malaysia and the production is slated to start in July. There are 25 episodes in the first season, which is set to air later this year.

Hi-5 features five dynamic performers entertaining children aged two to seven with music, dance, skits and plays. The Hi-5 (Malaysia) will begin with a nationwide search to find the five new Hi-5 stars, and with the localised show and cast, the producers hope to reach out to a much bigger fan base to include the Bahasa Malaysia speaking households in Malaysia.

“We are really excited to embark on the Malaysian format with KRU. We hope to bring all the fun and energy of Hi-5 to the broader audience showcasing an exciting new line-up of young Malaysian talent as the new Hi-5 cast. We can’t wait to add this new show to the Hi-5 family,” said Australian Hi-5 executive creative director and producer Julie Greene.

KRU Studios executive president Norman Abdul Halim said, “We are very excited and honoured to be given the opportunity to be part of the Hi-5 team in Malaysia. Hi-5 is an established brand and with the adaptation into Bahasa Malaysia, the TV series and brand will reach an even wider audience in Malaysia. We are confident that we can play a strong role for Hi-5 in the areas of production, marketing and distribution in Malaysia”.

Jared Lim, charmain of Hi-5 World, added: “Hi-5 has universal themes such as exploration, friendship, creativity and learning. These qualities make the show accessible to almost any culture. Through Bahasa Malaysia, I believe many children will continue to love and enjoy the Hi-5 brand and its offerings. This also gives rise to many more opportunities for growth and expansion in Malaysia, which we are really excited about.”

We don’t know about the children but parents, and other adults who love to dance and sing along to Hi-5, must be jumping up and down with that tidbit. Now, do you know what would make that piece of news even more exciting? If there were hints that some of the other kid-friendly, adult-loved television shows were also given a Malaysian treatment.

Here are some of the much loved children-based television series that not only kids would enjoy, but grown up secretly adore and wouldn’t mind watching now and again ... or, let’s be honest, all the time.

Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

Well, the man who plays the titular character – Paul Reubens – may look a little creepy and may have been arrested for indecent exposure in 1991 but that doesn’t change the fact that he did have one of the biggest TV shows in the 1980s. 

Reubens played Pee-Wee Herman who had an epic time at the “playhouse” in the fantastic Puppetland which was filled with toys and gadgets, and hung around a number of interesting characters.

Sesame Street

Come on, who doesn’t know how to get to Sesame Street where it’s always a sunny day and the air is sweet? It is where Elmo, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and many other lovable characters live. 

The American show premiered in 1969 and is still a staple series among children and adults who want to learn new words everyday, brush up on their arithmetic and pick up basic good manners. Although there is no Malaysian version of this show, numerous episodes have been dubbed into Bahasa Malaysia.


Okay, they are not exactly the most good looking ... “things” on television. One look at them from a wrong angle could give you a nightmare for days but still, what is not to love about these weird creatures? Laa-Laa, Po, Dipsy and Tinky Winky are the characters on the show, which some argue has no educational value. 

However, Teletubbies did win the Best Pre-School Live Action Series award at the 2002 Children’s BAFTA Awards and the characters have captured the hearts of millions of people around the world.

Bananas In Pyjamas

Ever looked at bananas and wished for a good time? (No pun intended, folks.) Well, with Bananas In Pyjamas, you could. The bananas, named B1 and B2 (if we could only name our children in that manner), are two fun loving bananas – yes, we acknowledge just how weird that sounds – who live by sea as beach patrols. 

Together with their teddy bear friends Amy, Lulu, Morgan and rat buddy Rat in a Hat, the bananas are always up for an adventure, which must be easy to plan since they always know what the other one wants and their catchphrase “Are you thinking what I’m thinking, B1?”, “I think I am, B2!” is testament to that.

Yo Gabba Gabba!

What is better than one brightly coloured, loud, dance freak? Five of them. Yo Gabba Gabba is an American children’s television series which features five animated toys and their buddy DJ Lance Rock who dance and sing their way through life. 

Before you say the show seems a tad too kiddie for you, just know that it is well-known for its slew of celebrity guest stars including Snoop Lion... er, Snoop Dogg or whatever he is known as now, Jack Black, Sarah Silverman and more.

Tags / Keywords: Entertainment , entertainment , Hi 5 , KRU productions , Pokemon , Barney , Sesame Street , Yo Gabba Gabba , Pee Wee s Playhouse


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