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Series / Out of the Box

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"We'll let imagination take us for a ride!"

"Here in The Box, it's really up to you!"

Out of the Box is a Disney Channel television series that ran from October 1998 to June 2005. It was co-created by Douglas Love and Ellen Goosenberg Kent.

The show takes place in a playhouse made entirely of cardboard boxes. Every day, a group of neighborhood children come and play in "The Box" with Tony and Vivian. The two hosts, Tony James and Vivian Bayubay McLaughlin, make crafts, sing songs, and act out plays with the children.

Out of the Box ran for eighty-two episodes in total over three seasons. For a long time after it was cancelled, the full series had never been released in either a digital or physical format. However, a majority of the series (save three Missing Episodes Playhouse Disney pulled from rotation) was released on Disney+ on November 12, 2019.

Out of the Box provides examples of:

  • Advertised Extra: As mentioned under Portal Picture, the “pictures come alive” part of the show described in theme song wasn’t a particularly common element, with only 21 of the standard 79 episodes using it.
  • Bigger on the Inside: The show takes place in a house built out of several large cardboard boxes piled together, but inside it's a large room that could never be made out of a few boxes.
  • Birthday Episode: In "Happy Birthday To Us", the children pretend it's everyone's birthday.
  • "Double, Double" Title: The episodes "Mirror, Mirror" and “Pattern Pattern”.
  • Edutainment Show: The series revolves around learning manners, facts, and how to craft.
  • Expository Theme Tune: The intro shows Tony, Vivian, and the kids building The Box, then climbing inside, while singing a "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune about different activities they perform together.
  • First-Name Basis: The kids refer to Tony and Viv by their first names instead of "Mr. James and Ms. Bayubay".
  • Gift of the Magi Plot: Tony and the kids act out the story in the Christmas Episode.
  • Halloween Episode: The Halloween episode revolves around learning how to trick-or-treat safely and how to make your own Jack o'Lantern.
  • In-Series Nickname: "Viv" for Vivian.
  • Limited Wardrobe: While he and Viv mainly avert this, Tony does wear the same set of pants throughout season 2 of the show.
  • Long Runner: Of the kids on the show, Aleisha and Nicholas were present for the entire run of the series. Aside from Dane Hammond (who appeared in the first two seasons before aging out of the series), they were actually the only ones to have more than one year on the show.
  • Mistakes Are Not the End of the World: The episode "Making Mistakes" was about this and featured the song "Turn a Mistake into Something Great."
    Turn a mistake into something great / Try and see it from a new point of view / If we make a mistake, we can try to create something different and totally new!
  • Once a Season: There’s a variant of the goodbye song in all three seasons in which Tony plays his guitar.
  • Portal Picture: Vivian and the kids would sometimes jump into pictures displayed at The Box, and interact with the people or animals depicted. Despite being mentioned in the theme song, this segment appeared in less than half of the episodes of season 1, only about a quarter of the season 2 episodes, and was revamped in the final season to simply be a moving picture the cast and audience would watch.
  • Sick Episode: Episode 32 has the kids feeling upset because Tony is out sicknote .
  • The Teaser: Every episode begins with a sketch of Tony and Vivian before the theme song discussing with the viewer the topic of the episode and what they and the kids will be doing according to it.
  • Title Theme Tune: The theme song contains a lot of Title Drops.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Tony and Vivian wear many different outfits over the course of the show.
  • Wrap-Up Song: Each episode ends with "Until We Meet Again (The Goodbye Song)". Tony and Vivian sing to the audience about how it's "goodbye for now" but they'll meet again soon.

So long, farewell, to you, my friends
Goodbye for now, until we meet again!


Video Example(s):


Into Something Great

The cast of Playhouse Disney's "Out of the Box" talk and sing about how sometimes something great can come out of a mistake. The song is one of the few "Out of the Box" songs featured on Playhouse Disney's album releases and is also notable for featuring a young Madeleine Martin (the girl in the yellow shirt.)

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Example of:

Main / MistakesAreNotTheEndOfTheWorld

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