Original language(s) FrenchEnglish
No. of episodes 92 (list of episodes)
Final episode date 3 October 2010
Country of origin Canada
No. of seasons 5
First episode date 15 September 1997
Theme song Caillou Theme Song
|Based on Caillou book series by Hélène Desputeaux|
Production company(s) Elastic RightsClockwork ZooCinar (1997–2004)Cookie Jar Entertainment (2004–2012)DHX Media (2012–present)
Cast Jaclyn Linetsky, Jennifer Seguin, Annie Bovaird, Pauline Little, Brigid Tierney
Caillou ([kaˈju]) is a Canadian educational children's television series that was first shown on Télétoon and Teletoon, 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 series is based on the books by Hélène Desputeaux. It centres on a 4-year-old boy named Caillou who is fascinated by the world around him.
- Caillous family
- Caillous friends and neighbours
- The puppets
- Home video releases
Caillou lives in a blue house at 17 Pine Street (as mentioned in the episode "Where I Live") with his mother, father, and his younger sister, Rosie. He has many adventures with his family and friends and uses his imagination in every episode.
Each episode in Seasons 1–3 has a theme and is divided into several short sections that mix animation, puppet skits, and video of kids in real-life situations. In Seasons 4–5, episodes are divided in 3 short sections; the puppet segment was dropped, along with 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 about the book. Since 1997, the narrator/grandmother is an unseen character.
The following lists every character in the show. There are 23 major characters and currently 66 minor characters, making a total of 89 characters.
Caillou ("pebble" or "stone" in French), nicknamed The Prince of Imagination, is the title character of the show. Caillou was first voiced by Bryn McAuley from 1997 through 2000, then Jaclyn Linetsky in 2000 through 2003, and then, due to Linetsky's death, Annie Bovaird from 2003 through 2010. Caillou was first shown in the episode "Caillou Makes Cookies", which aired in 1997.
Caillou is an average, imaginative four-year-old boy with a love for forms of transportive machinery such as rocket ships and airplanes. A dreamer, Caillou is prone to frequent dream sequences in some episodes, visualizing his daydreams and hopes, and many episodes chronicle 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 friends and neighbours
The puppet segments were used only on the PBS telecasts 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.
Caillou consists of 5 seasons of 92 half-hour episodes, as well as the separate 90-minute children's film Caillou's Holiday Movie.
Caillou books have been made since 1989 by Chouette Publishing Inc.
The series was originally broadcast in French in Canada, and the episodes were later translated into English, and re-runs in English began on PBS and PBS Kids Sprout in the United States. The original books were also in French. Caillou was designed primarily for toddlers. It was created by child developmental psychologists.
In 1997, 65 5-minute episodes of Caillou were aired in Canada and in selected markets worldwide, including the US, as mentioned above. In 2000 there were 40 30-minute episodes of the show, containing a mixture of the 5-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, 2005, 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. While the original episodes were made by a South Korean company, the producers animated the new episodes in-house using Adobe Flash. On November 14, 2012, PBS Kids announced a 4th season of Caillou of 26 episodes to premiere March 11, 2013.
The year 2014 is celebrated as the franchise's 25th anniversary. For the 25th anniversary, a special DVD/book combo pack was released, as well as a reissue of the holiday film Caillou's Holiday Movie featuring a special 25th anniversary logo on the cover artwork.
A 2011 study conducted at the University of Virginia, published in the journal Pediatrics, tested the show's effect on preschool-aged children's attention spans and cognitive abilities. The study had three groups of four-year-olds each engaged in activities; one group watched Caillou, another watched SpongeBob SquarePants, and the third group drew pictures. After nine minutes, the children were tested on mental functions; those that watched Caillou had very similar results to the group that drew pictures, both of whom performed significantly better than the group that watched the SpongeBob episode.
As Caillou appeared as a much younger child in the original line of children's books, the character originally had no hair. When illustrators found that adding hair made the character unrecognizable, it was decided that Caillou would never have hair.
Caillou has used been as the primary character in the majority of videos that are a part of an online subculture known as "grounded videos", which are commonly made with programs such as GoAnimate and Plotagon and mainly depict the main character getting grounded by authority for breaking a rule.
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. The show later left its original channels; it joined Treehouse TV on September 7, 2009, and subsequently began airing new episodes on that channel.
Caillou made its United States debut on PBS Kids from September 4, 2000-2010 (some PBS stations air reruns). It has also aired on PBS Kids Sprout from 2005-2013, Sprout since 2013, and Cartoonito since 2007.
Home video releases
The DVDs with puppets and Jaclyn Linetsky were compilations from 2003 through 2006, and one of them is in memory of Jaclyn herself. The new DVDs from 2006 through 2010, were from Paramount Home Entertainment. There was also an album issued in 2003 titled Caillou's Favorite Songs.