Friendly Rating: All ages
Safety Rating: Lots of pratfalls and some silly stunts, but nothing to worry about
Quality Rating: Totally fun, especially if you just go with it
Special airs tonight at 9 p.m., on Disney XD, with encores on Aug. 17 at 4:30 p.m.; Aug. 18 at 7:30 p.m.; and Aug. 19 at 8 a.m.
I want to say up front that I really got a kick out of this special, which is part of Disney’s Magic of Healthy Living promotional campaign to make us feel good about Disney. Oops. My cynicism leaked again. Sorry about that.
The show is basically an obstacle course competition in which three young teens are teamed up with two Disney stars apiece and a professional sports coach/mentor and try their hardest at some pretty intense events.
The idea is to educate and inspire kids to get off their backsides and play. And I will say that they do an excellent job of modeling (as opposed to preaching about) getting enough water, stretching to avoid injury, snacking on fruit for energy. Those are very good things. What they missed are the tips on how to put together your own Tryathlon obstacle by perhaps using props that people actually have at home, such as real bicycles and flotation mats.
They also talked a lot about the point being to try your hardest, but in the end it was about winning. Hmm.
Competition has its place and it certainly worked for this show, which was quite amusing and a lot of fun to watch. But if the idea is to inspire kids to get off their backsides, then I think the nice folks at Disney might want to tweak things a bit – maybe feature kids who are a bit more challenged and show them overcoming their own inertia or provide tips on how to build your own obstacle course, with the emphasis on creativity and fun.
Or you could provide the prompts, maybe talking with your kids about what a real triathlon is and how do you mimic those events or spice them up. And let the games begin!