Backyardigans Lose Backyard to Gentrification
Most famous for their song “Castaways,” the Backyardigans have found themselves living out the lyrics of their chart-topping hit: “no house, no car.” The neighborhood they once called home is the latest to fall victim to gentrification, resulting in the loss of their iconic backyard.
The group of five friends—Tyrone, Pablo, Tasha, Uniqua, and Austin—became close friends after moving onto the same block. They have spent the better part of a decade having adventures in their shared backyard, including treasure hunts, covert spy missions, and re-enactments of World War I trench warfare. Their creativity served as inspiration for children to harness the power of their imagination, particularly those prone to hallucinations.
Unfortunately, the forced displacement from their neighborhood has brought playtime to an end. Since gentrification is a complex geopolitical topic, Uniqua made a statement in the hopes of educating her young audience: “The influx of upper-class residents in our neighborhood drives up the property value, which leads to an increase in rent that working-class families can no longer afford. Kids like us are losing our green play spaces to the greedy bourgeoise who don’t understand how to play ninjas or mermaids.”
Most of the Backyardigans have moved only a few blocks away to more affordable housing but are not adjusting well to the change. Tasha spends the majority of her time in her psychologist’s office, using blocks and dolls to work through her trauma. Tyrone has reportedly developed a juice box drinking problem, downing five compostable cartons a day, and slurring his ABCs. Perhaps the most disturbing change is that Pablo no longer wears his iconic propeller beanie, forcing everyone around him to stare at his uncomfortably naked head.
A dedicated group of Backyardigans fans, affectionally dubbed “Yardvarks,” are currently picketing outside the mayor’s office in the hopes of lowering property costs so that the quintet can return to their former homes. As one Yardvark put it, “It doesn’t matter if you’re a yellow hippo or an orange moose or a pink anthropomorphic insect thingy—no one deserves to get kicked out of their home.”