The Boohbahs are a group of furry "atoms" of energy and the titular characters of the show.
After being born out of five large spoon-like pods inside of the magical, luminous Boohball at the beginning of each episode, the colourful, energetic Boohbahs are charged to life, dancing and flying away. They enjoy to do many sorts of physical activity, like jumping, bumping, shaking, spinning, rocking, bending, bouncing, and flying, and are powered by the laughter of children playing with them. They are also very hyperactive, and thus delight in making sounds like squeaking, blowing raspberries, and squeals.
A Boohbah is recognisably extremely overweight. Its body is filled with numerous fuzzy, ruffled furs, which can shimmer, sparkle, and twinkle. They have fuzzy guts around their stomach area, have cone-shaped arms and legs, and there are three-pointed hands at the tips of their arms. The back of their stomach is coloured a darker strip of the base colour (see below).
Above the stomach is an invisible, furry neck ring, as well as an arch-shaped head, which can retract into aforementioned neck. The head contains two big, shifty, brown eyes, which click while moving, and above their eyes are ten eyebrows, which the Boohbahs light up to communicate. In between their eyes is a tint of nose; they have no visible mouth, and consequently cannot speak in order to communicate - instead using their eyes and eyebrows.
List of Boohbahs Edit
Below is a list of all five canon Boohbahs. Like Anne Wood's other "alien-like" characters, the Teletubbies, they are each a different colour, which is the only way to tell each one apart. Throughout the different segments, the Boohbahs' fur colours differ between darker, brighter (normal), or lighter shades of the base colour. The Boohbahs are:
Each Boohbah is energetic and hyperactive. They are often very active, mostly doing dances, exercises, and shaping up while awake. According to Anne Wood, the Boohbahs represent children's energy and children's overall enjoyment of movement.
The Boohbahs, because they have no mouths, have only three ways to express emotion:
- Flash their eyebrows and move their eyes around (this usually happens when a Boohbah is unsure or "curious" about what the "children" voice overs want them to do).
- Move their eyes around.
- Retract their heads into their necks.
The sounds the Boohbahs make when they move, according to Anne Wood, are all part of their fun and contributes to their infectious appeal to children who are drawn irresistibly to get up and dance about with them.
The Boohbahs have the ability to fly; this is one of their often-shown traits. They are seen flying in the opening sequence of the show, and a handful of end dances show them in the air. In three portions of an episode, the Boohbahs soar up to the centre of the Boohzone and fly either downward or upward, holding hands together in a circle like skydivers. While in this position, each Boohbah emits a coloured musical note their colour and sends it toward a central point, which leads to them going into the Boohball or flying all over the Boohzone.
The Boohbahs also expel air a lot, often ending up bumping into each-other, falling down, or taking off and "breaking wind", similar to air coming out of a balloon; each time emitting flatulent "air-bellowing" noises similar to someone blowing raspberries.
The Boohbahs live inside of a large, colourful dome named the Boohzone. This wide, bubble-filled space contains a rainbow road, which spirals down to a spot where children give presents to the Storypeople and the Boohbahs play. Above this spot is a sparkly, crystalline ball christened the Boohball, where the Boohbahs travel in and subsequently live. Usually, inside the ball are their "charger" pods, where they sleep and recharge energy in while they travel the world.
- According to former revisions of the show's Wikipedia article, the Boohbahs being fat (as well as their species name) is reminiscent of the bouba/kiki effect.
- The inspiration for the Boohbahs' eyebrows was a blown-up postcard picture of a girl with two arches of dots embedded over her eyes, which itself is very similar to what the eyebrows themselves look like.
- The Boohbahs' heads look very similar to Kewpie dolls, which too have an arch-shaped head and large eyes. However, the Boohbahs do not have a nose, and their eyes are much bigger than that of a Kewpie.
- It is debatable whether or not the Boohbahs' apparent habit of releasing air and making air-bellowing noises can be considered a form of flatulence; many people watching may consider that they are farting, as the sounds they make whenever they jump, bump, fall, bend over, or take-off do indeed sound flatulent.
- However, it must be noted that these same type of noises can be heard in other (UN)-related instances; the Boohbahs lifting and lowering their legs in the "Scrunch Up Small and Stretch Out Big" and the "Lift Your Feet" dances and they wobbling their stomach fat in the "Wobbling" dance are some examples. It is very clear it sounds like they are blowing raspberries in these instances, while the other examples above make it more clear that it is flatulence.
- On the now-defunct "expert questions-and-answers" section on the PBS Parents website, Anne Wood considers the flatulence to be the sound the Boohbahs make when they begin flying, similar to air blasting out of a balloon if let go without anything to keep air from escaping.
- The Boohbahs are the only characters to consistently appear in every episode of the show.
- Although Boohbah is meant to get viewers at home to exercise, all five Boohbahs are, ironically, overweight. It is unknown why this is, but most likely to make the characters big enough to attract small viewers' attention.
- Although often compared to the Teletubbies, the Boohbahs' costumes are different in build. The exterior of their body is, unlike the former, an inflated carapace covering up an undersuit the same colour as the top layer, and is covered in thousands of ruffled material hand-painted different shades of each Boohbah's base colour. Their heads are attached to this undersuit, and are equipped with ten small lights and remote-controlled eyes (which can, apparently, also move manually). Inside the suit are 500 tiny lights and an air tank to manipulate the Boohbahs' bodies (and make them float).
- The Boohbah costumes were designed by Vin Burnham and their heads were most likely designed by Jim Sandys.