Top of the Tots: The Wiggles as Australia's most successful (and underacknowledged) sound media export

Publisher:
SAGE Publications
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Media International Australia, 2013, 148 (1), pp. 145 - 154
Issue Date:
2013
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The Wiggles produce hugely successful CDs, DVDs and interactive entertainment for pre-school children. They are Top of the Tots, as their 2004 album of the same name proclaims. However, the artists have been largely overlooked by the popular music and media academies. I argue that this omission can be attributed to problems of categorisation, particularly existing frameworks in television studies that limit how we gauge ‘quality entertainment’ and its audience; and in popular music and sound studies traditions that are yet to formally engage with listeners who are of pre-school age. The Wiggles are artists whose target audience historically has been overlooked by sophisticated, diverse and evolving academic traditions. As a result, their pioneering cross-media and international successes have largely been ignored. In this article, I seek to explore The Wiggles in terms that go beyond the narrow parameters of ‘children’s entertainment’, offering more ‘grown-up’ ways to understand the group’s success.
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