Hi-5 is an Australian children's television series transmitted on the Nine Network, currently airing on Channel Nine's sister digital channel 9Go!. It was created by Helena Harris (who also created Bananas in Pyjamas) after she found that her children had outgrown Bananas but still needed viable entertainment that satiated their capacity for learning. After teaming up with co-producer Posie Graeme-Evans, pre-production began in 1998 and the show debuted a year later.
The concept of the show revolved around five presenters — three females and two males with backgrounds in singing, dancing and acting. Within a thirty-minute episode, each of the presenters would have their own segments which displayed their "expertise" (for example, Kathleen from the original series dealt with the logic-based segments in the show whereas Charli would demonstrate movement and motor skills) but would ultimately band together to perform a few songs and stories. Each episode would also have some kind of theme (such as animals, friendship or music) but the songs performed did not necessarily have to demonstrate the episode's subject.
The show is very popular with the under-ten set and in its thirteen-year existence won five ARIA awards for "Best Children's Album" and three consecutive Logie Awards for "Most Outstanding Children's Preschool Program".
The first ten seasons (1999-2008) are available for free with a Hi-5 watermark on the official Hi-5 World YouTube channel, as that was its original purpose. Episodes after that (seasons 11-13, the first two Hi-5 House seasons (Season 3 was produced for Netflix and is currently removed) and the 2017 revival) are harder to come across.
- Animated Credits Opening: The opening theme features animated versions of the cast.
- Although the intros for each segment have always been animated, they never featured the cast in their animated forms until Hi-5 UK and Season 11.
- Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kellie, Kathleen and Charli in the original cast, though Charli's hair became lighter as the series went on.
- Colour Coded Characters: The UK version.
- Cultural Translation: The American version of the song "North, South, East, and West" mentions cowboy boots instead of jackaroos.
- The UK team filmed on its own local set, so the lyrics to "So Many Animals" were changed in order to better represent British fauna.
- Compilation Movie: Nearly all of their home media releases use this. They compose of at least two segments of a host (if a host makes shorter ones, 3-4 segments) and three Songs of The Week as BookEnds at the start, middle and end.
- Early Installment Weirdness: The first few series were quite different to later seasons.
- Chats and Jup Jup's puppets looked very different to the later versions. In addition, Chats spoke with Charli's normal voice.
- The sets looked a little different throughout the years, most notably Kathleen's wall.
- Also the segment intros, particularly Nathan's, Kellie's and Kathleen's.
- Edutainment Show
- Excited Kids' Show Host: All of the presenters fit this trope.
- Happy Birthday to You!: The show has it's own original birthday song, which is performed in a few episodes:Happy happy happy happy birthday,
With love from me to you, may your wishes all come true,
Happy happy happy happy birthday,
Shout hip hip hooray for your very special day...
- In a Season 5 episode, Chats suggests singing the song. Kellie decides to write her own instead.
- Zig-zagged in the Surprise! tour, where Chats sings the song to herself. Meanwhile Tim and Lauren write their own birthday song, which is the song mentioned above.
- Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Especially in recent years. While the first incarnation of the cast had members staying for close to a decade, members now seem to change every three years. Perhaps they know about the Doctor Who rule?
- Meaningful Name: The show is named for its five exuberant presenters, and the act of giving a "hi-five".
- No Fourth Wall
- Non-Human Sidekick: Kathleen/Sun/Fely/Dayen/Shay's Hand Puppet friends Chatterbox (or just 'Chats') and Jup Jup. Chats is a Totally Radical jack-in-the-box (who's been known to talk a lot), while Jup Jup is an Ugly Cute ... thing.
- Real Life Writes the Plot: Though a few members of the cast left the show to "explore other options" (read: fear of being typecast), Kathleen de Leon Jones left because of her pregnancy and Tim Harding was forced to leave due to sustaining major injuries in a motorcycle accident.
- Song of Many Emotions: One song compares the colours of the rainbow to emotions.
- Studio Audience: When the group performed their songs, they performed them in front of a crowd of preschoolers in a concert-like setting.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: All of the subsequent replacements for the original cast members seem to share their basic appearance traits. Justified since they are essentially filling the "roles" left by the previous cast members.
- The Kiddie Ride: A carousel made by Ride On! Entertainment, which featured various instruments to ride. The decals and audio on the ride changed several times throughout the years, coinciding with the members coming and going. The original features the five original members in both their live-action and animated forms, as well as the two puppets.
- These Tropes Are Made for Walking: The American team performed "Underwater Discovery" barefoot.
- West Coast Team: The franchise spawned overseas counterparts in the UK, in the US, and in the Philippines. The US version of the show was extremely popular, leading Matt Lauer to compare their popularity with that of The Beatles' after one performance on the Today show. Ironically, the US version was shot in the same studios as the Australian version — in Sydney, Australia.