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Series / Hi-5

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The 2009 incarnation of the cast. note 

"Five in the air, let's do it together..."

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 are harder to come across. Season 3 of Hi-5 House was produced for Netflix, but has been removed. The 2017 revival is available in full on Stan, the Nine Network’s “premium” streaming service.


  • Adaptational Nice Guy: Downplayed. In the American version of the show, there are some instances of Jup-Jup wanting to give to Kimee what he kept for himself in the original version of the show, and it's even hinted that he has a crush on her.
  • Animated Credits Opening: The opening theme features animated versions of the cast.
    • For the first three seasons, the intro was animated in traditional (abit limited) 2D animation. This version of the intros separately featured the animated depictions of the cast and the live-action ones.
      • Although the live-action parts changed every season, the animation sequence remained the same.
      • Season 3, the first season produced in widescreen, simply added custom borders to the footage.
    • Season 4-7's intro uses very interesting 3D-like digital animation. This was the first intro to have the live-action cast turn into the animated versions and was the first for the animated part to change every season.
      • The US version used similar animation but was a completely different intro in general.
    • Series 8-11's intro was animated in really cheap-looking cel-shaded CGI animation and was the first to feature the cast change into their animated counterparts more than once.
    • The UK version used even cheaper-looking animation for their intro.
    • Series 11-13 featured full CGI animation, with the live-action cast only appearing once during the "Hi!" call. This carried over to the spinoff Hi-5 House.
    • The reboot used Flash animation for everything, with no live-action in sight.
    • Although the intros for each segment have always been animated, they never featured the cast in their animated forms until Hi-5 UK, and it carried over to the eleventh Australian season.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Kellie, Kathleen and Charli in the original cast, though Charli's hair became lighter as the series went on.
  • Blue Is Calm: In one song, the singer links colours to emotions. She links blue with serenity.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Chatterbox has a vivid imagination, and sometimes she gets excited when trying to keep up with it.
  • Colour-Coded Characters: The UK version. Jenny wore pink, Emma wore yellow, Chris wore blue, Cat wore green, and Luke wore red.
  • Cultural Translation: The American version of the song "North, South, East, and West" mentions cowboy boots instead of jackaroos.
    • Different versions of the show largely follow the same script, but some changes were made to dialogue and props (a birthday card modeled after an American football instead of an Australian one, for example) for the American version of the show to account for linguistic and cultural differences.
    • 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 consist of two hosted segments (if a host makes shorter ones, 3-4 segments) and different Songs of The Week positioned at the start, middle and end.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The first few series were quite different to later seasons.
    • The stage was originally in a darker, less colorful room and had a runway.
    • It was a couple of years before the cast really started using costumes.
    • Chats and Jup Jup's puppets looked very different to the later versions. In addition, Chats spoke with Charli's normal voice. The song performance stage was also very different at first.
    • 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 its 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.
    • There's a birthday songlet that's used in a couple of the sharing stories segments.
    Today's your birthday! It's your day to play!/So three cheers for (birthday person)! Hip, hip, hooray!
    • Zig-zagged in the "Surprise!" tour, where Chats sings the song to herself. Meanwhile Tim and Lauren write their own birthday song, the song mentioned above.
  • Hunger Causes Lethargy: One sketch is about a superhero named "Super-Duper" who's oddly lethargic. They eventually find out that it's because he doesn't eat breakfast.
  • Literal Bookworm: There are two puppet bookworms named Aristotle (yellow with a bowtie) and Horace (blue with glasses). They're part of the cast of The Chatterbox segment, which aims to teach the audience the English language.
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover: Especially in recent years. While the first incarnation of the cast had members staying for close to a decade, in Nathan and Kellie's case, ten years, cast members seemed to change every three years following that.
  • Meaningful Name: The show is named for its five exuberant presenters, and the act of giving a "high five".
  • Missed Meal Aesop: This show has a skit about how you should eat your breakfast every day, with a superhero named Super-Duper who is lethargic and can't do his job because he never eats breakfast.
  • My Nayme Is: The American group had members with names like "Shaun", "Kimee", "Karla", and "Sydney"; the Australian group had "Charli" and "Kellie".
  • Mythology Gag: One segment features Nathan getting his space ready for bedtime and expressing his delight in a dreamcatcher he's setting up. He says it was a gift from "[his] friend Shaun." Shaun Taylor-Corbett was Nathan's American counterpart and a descendant of the Blackfeet tribe who had just left the American Hi-5 group by that point.
    • One Series 8 segment sees Kathleen preparing to send a letter and package to her American counterpart, Kimee.
  • No Fourth Wall; the prevailing philosophy is that the audience is joining each member of the group in their space for company, so the cast treats the audience like they're physically with them, and when other cast members are around, they alternate between looking at them and looking at the camera.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Kathleen/Kimee/Sun/Fely/Dayen/Shay's Hand Puppet friends Chatterbox (or 'Chats' for short) 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 alien... thing.
  • One, Two, Three, Four, Go!: One of the Songs of the Week is a high-energy number about the five senses. This trope was taken further for the American version of the show, where it was the first song of the week and therefore helped introduce audiences to the American Hi-5 group.
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: Many, many sketches revolve around the cast going barefoot and engaging in activities that involve feet. Charli even sung a song about it once!
    We love it with no shoes on
    We love it when we're bare
    We can wiggle our toes, and tickle our soles, it's skin we like to wear
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Though a few members of the cast "left the show to explore other options" (read: moved on for 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.
  • Spear Counterpart: "Friends Forever" is this to "Three Wishes", in the sense that the guys have all the solos in the former just as the the girls have all the solos in the latter.
  • Studio Audience: When the group performed their Songs of the Week, they performed them in front of a crowd of preschoolers in a concert-like setting.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: All of the 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 comings and goings of various band members. The original features the five original members in both their live-action and animated forms, as well as the two puppets.
  • West Coast Team: The franchise spawned overseas counterparts in the US, the UK, the Philippines, and Vietnam. The US version of the show was very popular, leading Matt Lauer to compare their popularity with that of The Beatles' after one performance on the Today show. The US version of the show was shot in the same studios as the Australian version — in Sydney, Australia.