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Caillou is an animated series based on the books by author Christine L'Heureux and illustrator Hélène Desputeaux. The series originally premiered as a set of 65 five-minute shorts in which the premise is that the Caillou stories are actually a story from books a grandma was reading to her grandchildren. In 2000, the series was picked up by PBS, and was revamped into half-hour episodes with three or four shorts strung together with puppet segments, a song and a "real kids" segment. Along the line, the grandma-reading-to-kids Framing Device was dropped. However, when the fourth season rolled around, PBS made the decision to can the puppet segments. The show ended in October 2010. Supposedly a fifth season was to follow in 2011, but apparently the plan has been shelved.

The show displays examples of the following tropes:

  • Adored by the Network: PBS Kids Sprout has taken to airing Caillou's Holiday Movie multiple times throughout non-holiday weekends, even though it is very much a Christmas-themed movie. This is done along with mini-marathon airings of regular Caillou episodes.
    • Also adored by Yumurcak TV in Turkey. Four air slots (with the first one being a double-bill one hour back to back) seven days a week. Also, commercials for Caillou merchandise can run up to 5 minutes long.
    • As if the half a dozen episodes a day weren't enough, Sprout "celebrated" their airing of the newest season with a four hour marathon, which basically made the entire day nothing but Caillou after it's regular hour's worth at noon and the evening showings.
  • Animated Adaptation: Based on the books by Christine L'Heureux and Hélène Desputeaux.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Averted or played straight as the plot demands it. Rosie sometimes plays nice with Caillou; other times she irritates him to no end. Noticeably, she was more annoying in the earlier episodes but slowly mellowed out, probably due to parents complaining. Or it could be that she's growing up and learning right from wrong as the show progressed each season...
  • Art Shift: The show switches between Gilbert, Rexy and Teddy in the animated segments and puppets in the other segments.
  • Art Evolution: Caillou and Rosie in the original books look very little like their animated series counterparts.
    • The show had an art de-evolution once it changed to Flash.
  • Award Bait Song: Everyday from the credits of Caillou's Holiday Movie. It was performed by a Canadian-French artist known as Marilou. While it has every single quality of an Award Bait Song, it didn't even get nominated.
  • The Bully: Leo started out as one, but was quickly forced through a Heel Face Turn by Clementine literally within minutes.
  • The Big Guy: Andre, literally, due to his large size and the fact that he's one year older than Caillou.
  • Charlie Brown Baldness: Taken to the next level — Caillou is actually totally bald.
  • Cheerful Child: Averted. Caillou has actually shown a full range of emotions. But in general, he is cheerful.
  • Christmas Special: A direct-to-DVD movie - Caillou's Holiday Movie. Which also mentions Hanukkah and Kwanzaa in passing.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: The puppets.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Caillou's voice is always played by a female. Cookie Jar loves this trope.
  • Crossover: Did a tie-in with the Montreal Biodome in the early 2000s.
  • Depending on the Writer: Caillou can be a tantrum-throwing brat or gentle boy due to this. Also determines whether Rosie is an angel or Bratty Half-Pint to Caillou.
  • Edited for Syndication: You can either get the show with the shorts strung together with extras and puppets in one long 30-minute episode, or as five-minute (later 10-minute) shorts. In Canadian markets where both are available, the 30-minute episodes are marketed as Caillou and Friends while the five/ten-minute episodes are marketed as just Caillou.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!:
  • Kids Prefer Boxes: One episode has Cailou's parents buy him a computer he can play on; he ends up liking the box it came in better.
  • Licensed Games / Edutainment Games / IOS Games: About a dozen or so edutainment titles for the PC/Mac. There's also an iPhone audiobook app.
  • Meaningful Name: Caillou actually means "pebble" in French. Or rather, the word is a Québécois slang term for bald-head.
    • There's also Andre, who is really big compared to the others.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Like many Animated Adaptations, it was originally created to sell the books but quickly spun out of control. Yeah, among tons of merchandise, there is even Caillou branded shampoo out there. For those who don't get it, Caillou is bald.
  • Mr. Imagination: Caillou developed into one in later seasons.
  • No Antagonist: Well, Leo was an antagonist in the episode that introduced him... for two whole minutes. He's all friendly with Caillou after and for the rest of the series.
  • The Other Darrin: The Caillou CD-ROMs reused clips from the show but redubbed with new audio. For the puppet segment redubs, however, they were unable to secure Pier Kohl to record new lines for Teddy. A soundalike was used instead, and it's rather noticeable if you get straight to the game right after watching the TV series.
  • Recursive Adaptation: Naturally, considering that the series started with books.
  • Screwed by the Network: Caillou is one of NTV7 Malaysia's victims, and it was only the first 65 shorts. After about 20 episodes were aired, the 40 episodes in the middle were dropped and then once the final five episodes had aired, it was quickly replaced by Rocky and Bullwinkle. NTV7 had not bothered with the subsequent seasons.
  • Slice of Life: Yes, it's one of these shows.
  • Spoiled Brat: Caillou himself in the earlier seasons.
  • Suddenly Voiced: Gilbert, Teddy and Rexy in the puppet segments.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: There's a song segment once in every episode since PBS Kids picked the show up.
  • Third Person Person: Rosie, because she's only around 2-3 years old. Noticeably, this habit was dropped in later seasons.
  • Title Theme Tune: Caillou mentions his name six times in the theme tune.
  • Wedding Day: "Cailou's First Wedding".
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