A Mother and Son's Love for The WigglesJun 23, 2002 (Updated May 10, 2003) Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in MusicThe Bottom Line It's Wiggle Time!
MAJOR PERFORMERS IN CHILDREN'S MUSIC?, You ask?
A year or so ago I might have answered this question differently, but today, if asked, there is no contest for me.
Absolutely, 100%, and with no hesitation.
Cute name. Isn't it?
If you have a child under age 5, the chances are good that you know exactly who and what a Wiggle is. Though, just the other day at swimming class I mentioned that my son and I were going to see The Wiggles at their live show and one of the Moms knew nothing about it. I was surprised when she asked me what a Wiggle was! They are, after all, the #1 Children's entertainment from DOWN UNDER!
SO, WHO ARE THE WIGGLES?
The Wiggles are a group of 4 Australian men who have been performing song and dance numbers for 10 years aimed at children under the age of eight, but primarily the preschool set. Sort of like a boy band, but for the little kids. Unlike other boy bands, their job is not to be sex symbols for young adoring fans. Rather, it is their intention to entertain and engage young children and get them up and "Wiggling". I dare say, and confess, that I do find them to be quite attactive physically too. From talking to some other mothers, I know I'm not alone in my thinking, so their good looks I'm sure doesn't hurt either!!
Three of The Wiggles (Anthony Field, Murray Cook and Greg Page) met at the Uni where they were studying Early Childhood Education. The fourth Wiggle, Jeff Fatt, was in a band called The Cockroaches with Anthony Field. He joined the three others during a college project where they were composing some Children's music.
Each member of The Wiggles is most recognizable by their Wiggly "uniform" that they wear and the "special" attributes about them. Their uniform consists of a bright shirt (skivvy) and black pants and a great big "Wiggles" belt.
Greg :He's the lead vocalist and wears a bright yellow long sleeved T-shirt, or skivvy as they call it. Greg is very tall (6'4") with dark brown hair. (ok, yes- tall, dark and handsome) Greg is the magician of the group and can often be seen performing tricks with a magic hat and rabbit. Greg also has a solo album out called i believe in music, which was made with a grown-up audience in mind. Greg is married and has kids. All I can say is, lucky wife AND lucky kids. Greg is my favorite!
Anthony: is a smiley young man with dirty blond curly hair, and he is always in a bright blue skivvy. In addition to vocals, he also plays the drums or the guitar on occasion. If a song is about food, you'll bet that Anthony is involved. In earlier days of the group, Anthony wore a green shirt but then later changed to blue. He's known for his 3 dogs which occasionally make appearances in their videos. The dogs are named Fergus, Pasqua, Manuella, and Pepe and have their own page on the Wiggly website. According to the Wiggly website, Anthony is single and has no children. He does, however, come from quite a Wiggly Family. Anthony's brother Paul Field stood in for him on tour during some of the June 2002 shows on the North American tour because Anthony had to have some dental work!
Murray: in a red skivvy, is tall slender with lighter brown hair. He plays the guitar and does vocals. Like Greg, Murray is married and has kids. I'm pretty sure that this children can be seen in some of the Wiggles videos as Murray is seen holding an adorable little girl a couple of times that I bet is his little girl.
Jeff: wears the purple skivvy and is a slender Asian gentleman who makes some crazy faces. He sings along with the rest of the Wiggles and also plays the keyboard. Jeff makes the craziest faces and is known for falling asleep. He's also single, with no kids.
Friends of the Wiggles
Captain Feathersword: a friendly happy pirate that tickles everyone with his feather (instead of a sword). The captain is played by Paul Paddick and his favorite phrase is, "Ahoy there me hearties!". The Captain provides lots of comic relief and is really quite a ham. Of all of the Wiggly Friends, he is my favorite.
Dorothy The Dinosaur: a giant green spotted dinosaur who's favorite snack is roses. She's a great dancer, too! This comes as no surprises as Dorothy is played by Leeanne Ashley who has been dancing since the age of 6!
Henry The Octopus, is a giant purple octopus who wears red plaid pants and black patent leather shoes on all 8 of his tentacles. He leads the underwater big band.
Wags The Dog: a larger than life brown furry puppy with a happy tail, a great appetite (for doggie bones, likes to dig.. and do the Tango!. Wags is played Andrew McCourt who is totally dreamy looking under that costume. Wow!
Other Friends: Young children, boys and girls of all ages including dancers. Officer Beaples, Flora the Door, Paul the Cook, as well as guest artists (like Tim Finn, Slim Dusty, Steve Irwin and more).
The Wiggles Dancers - probably the most well known is Ben Murray, famous for "Ben Head" his blond hair that stands on end, Ben is friendly, wacky and quite the dancer! Also close to my heart is Dewayne who is from the US but toured with The Wiggles during the summer and fall tours of 2002 - he even stood in as Henry the Octopus!
SO, WHAT MAKES THE WIGGLES SPECIAL?
I admit that when we first saw these guys on Playhouse Disney. At first, I wasn't quite sure what to think of them. They were so different than any other children's entertainment that I'd previously seen! Think something like a combination between Raffi, The Monkees, My son was drawn to them and seemed more interested in their short songs and silly skits than the other programming on The Disney Channel.
After doing some research and checking in with an Australian friend of mine I learned that these guys are HUGE. Their albums have gone gold and platinum down under and are headed that way in the US. The Wiggles are selling out stadiums and concert halls daily and are currently on a North American Tour. My son and I will be seeing them in the end of August. Be sure to check their website for tourdates, or if you can't catch one of their live shows tune into Playhouse Disney where a 1/2 hour TV show airs twice daily.
The success of The Wiggles stems from a variety of reasons. First of all, it is obvious that these 4 guys and their cast of friends are having fun and love what they are doing. Their positive attitude and fun-loving spirit is so evident that it literally jumps off out in the audience or off of the viewing screen. They know their audience and appeal to them. Using simple tunes and silly subjects they engage children's attention. The Wiggles use of bright and vibrant colors and exaggerated expressions help draw kids in, too! As a parent I appreciate that they are not condescending to children at all.
Throughout their songs, The Wiggles use simple and repeatable gestures and dance moves. Even the youngest children will want to get up and "wiggle along". This was evident when my son at just over a year old (when he was first introduced to The Wiggles) started to do the "Shh Shh Shh" (quiet) gesture along with Rock-a-Bye Your Bear and stomped his feet back and forth to Hot Potato. When he started quacking like a duck I was SOLD. Still, anything that gets a child up off the couch, floor, or wherever and on their feet and moving along is great. Parents will find themselves tempted to Do the move called the Wiggles Groove too!
The music itself is classic. With songs ranging from traditional children's and toddler tunes (like 5 Little Ducks) to songs of their own creation, the songs are all catchy. Both my husband and I don't find the music annoying to listen to in the car, or in the family room. We've both even caught ourselves singing it while out and about. These tunes definitely get inside of your head. Some of our favorite songs include The Numbers Rhumba, Crunchy Munchy Honey Cakes, Go Captain Feathersword, Ahoy, Snakes (you can look but don't touch), and more. Ok, crikeys! We like All of them!!! I haven't really come across a tune from The Wiggles that I don't like! The catchy lyrics are fun and easy to learn. Plus, the length of their songs is short - most are less than 2 minutes a piece so they hold a child's attention span. Their videos are simply done and an hour or less in playing time. The live shows, are fabulous and well worth getting to, if they are ever in your area.
In a nutshell, I could blather on and on about The Wiggles. They have opened up a new world of enjoyment for my son and I over the past 6 months and I look forward to enjoying them for some time to come. So far we've gotten to attend 2 Wiggles Live shows, in the Summer and Fall of 2002 and we can't wait for The Wiggles to come back to the US so we can see them again! We even had a Wiggles themed 2nd birthdy party, and it was a Wiggly blast.
Below, is a bit of a Wiggles Index that I have compiled and will keep adding to as I come across updates.
MUSIC FROM THE WIGGLES
CDs Available in the US
Yule Be Wiggling
Wiggly Wiggly Christmas
Wake Up Jeff
Wiggly Wiggly World
Hoop-Dee-Doo Its a Wiggly Party
A Magical Adventure - Wiggly Movie Soundtrack
Australia Only CDs
Its a Wiggly Wiggly World
The Wiggles Movie Soundtrack
Big Red Car
Meet The Wiggles
Wake Up Jeff
Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas
Yule Be Wiggling
Wiggly, Wiggly World
Wiggly Play Time
Hoop Dee Doo Its a Wiggly Party!
The Wiggles Magical Adventure - A Wiggly Movie
September 9, 2003 - Space Dancing: An Animated Adventure
Other Wiggles Media Items include:
CD Rom Multi-media software: A Day with The Wiggles and other educational software titles.
The Wiggles Magazine subscriptions
Colorforms - The Wiggles It's a Wiggly Party! Stick-Ons Game
ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT THE WIGGLES
Visit their Wiggly Website for Wiggles info, TOUR DATES, music samples, a message board, an online store, coloring pages, and MORE!
or Read my reviews of The Wiggles videos linked to
my profile page
Also check out reviews by these other fine epinions members who are also Wiggles Fans: Jenb123, Lisado, Cjsmommy, WorkingMomof2, Ariel10575, and Staceys1
Visit The Wiggles website:
Or Shop online at The Wiggles Online Store
Are you ready to Wiggle?
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