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Film / Kids for Character

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''Learning right from wrong
There's more to growing up than growing very tall
Growing strong is very good, but that isn't all!
It's what's inside your head, I'm happy to announce,
That makes you good to be with. It's your character that counts!
— "It's Your Character That Counts," intro song

Kids for Character is a Direct to Video Public Service Announcement released by Lyrick Studios in 1996, in partnership with the Josephson Institute of Ethics and their Character Counts! Coalition program. Hosted by Tom Selleck, the video teaches the virtues of having good character with the help of favorite children's characters ranging from Barney and Binyah Binyah to Lamb Chop and Ms. Frizzle.

A sequel was released in 1997 entitled "Choices Count," focusing instead on making good choices, consequences, and listening to one's conscience. This time, Wishbone, The Big Comfy Couch, and Bananas in Pyjamas are the featured shows, along with singers Joe Scruggs and Eddie Coker.

Both videos were filmed at Universal Studios Florida.


The Kids For Character videos contain examples of:

  • Clip Show: Both titles are partially this, using previous episodes of the featured shows mixed with new segments.
  • Crowd Song: The namesake song "Kids for Character" is sung by massive groups of children and many children's characters, all parading down the streets of Universal Studios Florida.
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  • In Memoriam: The original 1996 release features a dedication at the very beginning for Barbara Jordan, leader of the Civil Rights Movement and the first African-American elected as Texas Senator; she had died in January of that year.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The first video alone features segments and characters from The Puzzle Place, Barney & Friends, The Magic School Bus, Lamb Chop's Play-Along, Gullah Gullah Island, and Babar. In addition, many other characters make cameos in skits and in the video's finale.
    • Downplayed in the sequel with only three shows represented.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: The Lamb Chop's Play-Along segment. Shari buys a bag of jellybeans for Lamb Chop and Charlie Horse, divides the jellybeans so the two of them get the exact same number, then (at Lamb Chop's request) makes sure they also have the same number of red jellybeans. Near the end of the song, Lamb Chop and Charlie admit to Shari that they don't even like eating jellybeans.
  • The Golden Rule: In the original video, Barney's segment is focused on this. Barney and his friends help teach Baby Bop about respect through song and pretend play.
  • To the Tune of...: In Choices Count, "Choices, Choices" is sung to the tune of "Iko Iko," while "Choices Count" is a takeoff of "Shout."

The future is ours, we are Kids for Character