The Barbapapa family finally landed on South African small screens on Monday, 26 October as Nick Jr (DStv 307), bringing this colourful collection of blobs to local homes. Re-animated and sporting a new, more modern theme song, the young ones will be completely immersed in the vibrant and joyful Barbapapa world.
Based on the French children’s picture book series written by French-American couple Anette Tyson and Talus Taylor in the 1970s, the Barbapapas are no strangers to global audiences. Throughout the years, the books have been translated into 30 languages bringing wholesome family fun into millions of homes. And while some South African families may have become acquainted with the Barbapapa family through a handful of books, this will be the first time the happy family will hop their way into local living rooms.
You might be thinking that the show’s name is rather strange – about as strange as the Barbapapas themselves – but it’s definitely not gibberish. The show’s name (and titular family) is inspired by the French word (barbe à papa) which literally translates to “daddy’s beard”. But there are no beards here, with the word more commonly used by the French to refer to a timeless treat every child loves – candy floss! It’s pink, soft and sweet. And that probably the most perfect way to describe the head of the family, father Barbapapa.
Having grown out of the Earth as a squishy blob, Mr. Barbapapa is eager to blend into the human world. Fortunately, he’s able to shapeshift into any object or creature imaginable. Just a pity his bright pink appearance is a dead giveaway… Nonetheless, he’s quickly welcomed into the community as he helps whenever and wherever he can – whether it’s helping locals with daily tasks or turning someone’s frown upside down.
Luckily, Mr. Barbapapa isn’t alone. Joining him on his Earthly adventures are his loving wife, Barbamama, and their seven children. His four sons and three daughters are as diverse as the family’s colours. In the boys’ corner, we have sports fanatic Barbabravo in bright-red, blue and sometimes shy science geek Barbabright, happy-go-lucky Barbazoo the nature lover in yellow, and the sensitive artist Barbabeau in black. Representing the girls are daughters Barbalala all pretty in green with a love for music, self-obsessed purple beauty queen Barbabelle, and bookworm and all-out nerd Barbalib sporting a bright orange appearance. Together, the family morph into all kinds of shapes and objects as they hop their way through a sometimes-confusing world while solving problems for both humans and animals with a smile.
Travel along to lively forests and exciting oceans as the Barbapapas make many interesting friends while offering a helping hand. Kids will also learn some important life lessons along the way that they can understand, such as the importance of kindness, accepting individuals for who they are and embracing what makes you unique.
The Barbapapas might be half a century old, but the characters, stories and teachings are still as relevant today as they were back then.
Watch The Barbapapas S1 on Mondays on Nick Jr (DStv 307) at 12:15 or on Catch Up
How to watch The Barbapapas online
Sign up with the DStv app, a free service for all DStv subscribers. With DStv app, the same channels you watch on your decoder at home are available for you to stream online or on your mobile device wherever you are