With over two billion views on YouTube, Baby Shark is a viral sensation taking over the world. But what is Baby Shark? How did a musical cartoon about a family of sharks, created for children’s entertainment, become a worldwide phenomenon? Let’s dive into all things Baby Shark related.
The Origins of Baby Shark Song
Originally, the upbeat melody came from sing-alongs sung around school playgrounds and summer campgrounds. Caroled by kids around the campfire, the first rendition of the song told the story about a swimmer who gets eaten by a shark and dies from his injuries. Later on, in 2007, a book about high school marching bands, titled American Band, was published. Author Kristen Laine explains how the Baby Shark song is used as a stretching exercise for their students by some band leaders.
In 2016, a Korean Video company by the name of PinkFong posted an updated version of song. Incorporating a cast of colorful characters and fun dance moves to the music, the video became a huge hit to many young viewers. Ever since then, this animated delight has completely enamored a toddler aged audience, and their parents.
What Even Is Baby Shark?
If you have been living under a rock, and haven’t seen the Baby Shark cartoon yet, let us break down this popular ear worm. The video opens with PinkFong’s mascot, an adorable pink fox creature swimming among the fish with a snorkel and flippers. At first, the melody is reminiscent to the Jaws theme, then quickly switches to an upbeat tune.
Featuring a vibrant shark family, the song introduces viewers to Mommy Shark, Daddy Shark, Grandma Shark, Grandpa Shark and of course, Baby Shark. Together, they hunt their prey in the deep blue sea. And their prey happens to be the little boy and girl singing and dancing to this shark inspired ditty. Making chomping motions with their hands, any tiny tot can learn this dance. Towards the end of the video, the two children run away until they are “safe at last” from the family of sharks. With the ever repetitive “doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo”, the lyrics are guaranteed to get stuck in your head.
How Baby Shark Became Popular
With adorable, animated characters and a catchy song and dance to match, children from all over the world fell in love with Baby Shark. Many toddlers demanded to play the musical animation on repeat, much to their parent’s annoyance. This caused view counts on the video to spike drastically and reach billions of views in a short amount of time.
Sometime in August of 2018, a widespread hashtag began swimming around the web. #BabySharkChallenge is a dance challenge that turned this cute cartoon into a popular dance craze. Across many social media platforms, fans young and old post recordings of themselves performing the iconic dance moves from the Baby Shark song. Some believe this challenge was inspired by another internet challenge. The “In My Feelings” challenge had fans dancing to Drake’s hit song outside of their cars. Even so, the #BabySharkChallenge only promoted Baby Shark song even further.
The K-Pop Trend
Aside from the trendy hashtag, the Baby Shark song rode the K-Pop wave to total popularity. Baby Shark is not the first viral video to rock the world with a catchy tune. In the past decade, dance videos with repetitive melodies have developed into an irresistible trend. Some are even influenced by K-Pop music, a subculture of modern music prevalent in South Korea. One example of this trend of Asian inspired music is PPAP, or the Pen Pineapple Apple Pen song. Created by Pikotaro, a fictional musician played by Japanese comedian, Daimaou Kosaka. In the video, the performer wears a flashy outfit while dancing to a techno tune.
Plus, who could forget the sensation Gangnam Style by Korean musician Psy? That K-Pop single broke records, becoming the first YouTube video to reach 1 billion views and also being the most viewed video on YouTube from 2012 to 2017. Eye catching visuals paired with a rhythmic beat seem to be the perfect formula for a K-Pop trend. Which is part of the reason Baby Shark received worldwide fame.
Want More Baby Shark?
Is your little one still obsessed with all things Baby Shark? Don’t worry, there is more under the sea fun to be had. Since it’s explosive success, the PinkFong YouTube channel has made many more Baby Shark related videos. Animations like Shark ABC, Shark Dance Party and I’m a Real Baby Shark have completely captivated a younger target audience, each video gaining millions of views. With almost 14 million subscribers, toddlers can’t get enough Baby Shark content.
Everyone Loves Sharks
The Baby Shark craze has expanded into more than just adorable animations. Now, there is a ton of Baby Shark merchandise to swim in. The Baby Shark stuffed animals, Baby Shark books and Baby Shark inspired apparel are all on every tiny tot’s wish list. And there’s even the Baby Shark Live Musical, where kids can sing and dance with PinkFong characters live and in person.
Even celebrities are joining in of the fun. In fact, host James Corden recruited actress Sophie Turner and singer Josh Groban to perform their own rendition of the song on The Late Late Show. Also, other musicians have reinterpreted the song into other musical genres. For example, in 2018, there were several heavy metal covers of the Baby Shark song. Looks like everyone is following the Baby Shark bandwagon. Some of our piano students also covered it!
It’s the End, Doo, Doo, Doo, Doo, Doo
So, there you have it. How a simple campfire sing along became a global phenom. With a cast of vibrant creatures, repetitive lyrics and entertaining dance moves, the song has captivated both parents and youngsters. Thanks to the influence of social media and the K-Pop music genre, PinkFong’s Baby Shark became a viral sensation. Today, Baby Shark and the rest of the shark family, have flooded the world with adorable animated adventures. And with even more cartoons and merchandise, it is likely Baby Shark will continue to be popular with the little ones for years to come.