Bear in the Big Blue House
Bear in the Big Blue House.png
GenreChildren's television series
Created byMitchell Kriegman
Developed byThe Jim Henson Company
Directed by
Starring
Voices of
Opening theme
  • "Welcome to the Blue House" 1997-1999 (replaced by Christmas Opening Song in "A Berry Merry Christmas" parts 1 & 2)
    "Welcome to Woodland Valley" 2002–2006
  • Bill Obrecht
  • Peter Lurye
Ending theme
  • "Welcome to the Blue House" (Instrumental) 1997–1999 (replaced by "Your Grandma and Grandpa" Instrumental in "And to All a Goodnight")
    "Welcome to Woodland Valley" (Instrumental) 2002–2006
  • Bill Obrecht
  • Peter Lurye
Composers
  • Underscore:
  • Peter Lurye (seasons 1–3)
  • Julian Harris (all seasons)
  • Songs:
  • Mitchell Kriegman
  • Peter Lurye
  • Brian Woodbury
  • Steve Charney
  • David Yazbek
  • Julian Harris
  • Andrew Wyatt
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes118 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producers
ProducerRichard A. Fernandes
Running time25 minutes
Production companiesShadow Projects
Jim Henson Television
DistributorThe Jim Henson Company
Buena Vista Television
Release
Original networkPlayhouse Disney
Picture formatNTSC
Audio formatDolby Surround
Original releaseOctober 20, 1997 (1997-10-20) –
April 28, 2006 (2006-04-28)

Bear in the Big Blue House is an American children's television series created by Mitchell Kriegman and produced by Jim Henson Television for Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney preschool television block. Debuting on October 20, 1997,[1][2] it aired its last episode on April 28, 2006. Reruns of the program continued to air on Playhouse Disney until May 6, 2010.

In 2004, The Jim Henson Company sold the rights to the show, including characters, content library and copyrights, to The Walt Disney Company; it is now owned by The Muppets Studio, a subsidary of Disney that also owns, and is named after, The Muppets characters and copyrights.

Plot

Bear lives in the Big Blue House where he is caregiver for his friends Ojo, a bear cub; Tutter, a mouse; Treelo, a lemur; otters Pip and Pop; and narrator Shadow. He and his friends have many adventures together. Those normally include solving problems, sharing, cooperating with each other, and developing social/life skills.[3]

Each episode opens with the welcome song, Bear detecting a scent in the viewers (which he likens to a pleasant smell) and appearance of the characters. Each show focuses on a theme (ex; "sleep", "doctors", "Thanksgiving") which folds into a lesson at the end. Songs and jokes accompany the episode. The character "Shadow" narrates a segment with shadow puppets in each episode. Most of the segments are in song, while some are simply a short story relating to the episode's theme. At the end of the program, Bear sings the goodbye song with Luna, the moon.[3]

Episodes

Main article: List of Bear in the Big Blue House episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
126October 20, 1997 (1997-10-20)November 24, 1997 (1997-11-24)
239June 8, 1998 (1998-06-08)February 28, 1999 (1999-02-28)
326July 19, 1999 (1999-07-19)December 6, 1999 (1999-12-06)
Surprise PartySeptember 3, 2002 (2002-09-03)
426September 9, 2002 (2002-09-09)April 28, 2006 (2006-04-28)

Characters

Main

Supporting

Several of these characters appeared in a music video for the We Are Family Foundation. Bear also appeared as a celebrity in the 2002 revival of The Hollywood Squares; he notably appeared in Whoopi Goldberg's final episode.

Locations

Cancellation

Bear in the Big Blue House was initially produced from 1997 to 2003.[3] The sudden death of Lynne Thigpen, who voiced 'Luna' the Moon, led to production being put on hiatus for three years, along with a planned film.[3]

In 2005, two years after Thigpen's death, Tara Mooney, who voiced Shadow, told Irish radio station Today FM that "the crew's hearts just weren't in it anymore".[citation needed]

Spin-off

After the hiatus and the spin-off Breakfast with Bear, a final run of new episodes aired on the Disney Channel in April 2006, with the last episode airing on April 28, 2006. Repeats of the show ceased altogether in May 2010 (December 2010 in the UK).[3] Thigpen was posthumously nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for voicing Luna.

Streaming

Bear in the Big Blue House will be available for streaming on Disney+ beginning October 19, 2022.[4]

Songs

International airings

The show was shown throughout the world including in the United Kingdom on Playhouse Disney UK and Channel 5, on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Australia and on RTÉ Two in Ireland.

Awards

2000Outstanding Sound Mixing – Peter Hefter and John Alberts (won)[5] (Tied with Bill Nye the Science Guy and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show)
2000Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series – Mitchell Kriegman, Richard A. Fernandes and Dean Gordon (won)[5]
2003Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series – Mitchell Kriegman and Dean Gordon (won)[6]

References

  1. ^ Kimball, Trevor (8 January 2007). "Bear in the Big Blue House: Disney Has Big Plans". TV Series Finale. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  2. ^ Heffley, Lynne (20 October 1997). "Preschoolers Will Grin and 'Bear' New Henson Series". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 December 2014.[dead link]
  3. ^ a b c d e DefunctTV: The History of Bear in the Big Blue House (YouTube). Defunctland. June 12, 2018. Archived from the original on 2021-12-15.
  4. ^ Johnson, Zach (September 15, 2022). "Everything New You Can Stream on Disney+ in October 2022". D23. Retrieved September 15, 2022.
  5. ^ a b Grego, Melissa (15 May 2000). "Emmy time for 'Rosie' & 'Bill Nye'". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. ^ Genes, Lori; Eggart, Harry; Sanner, Stacey; Nedler, Barrie (10 May 2003). "THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION OF ARTS AND SCIENCES PRESENTS THE 30TH ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY AWARDS IN 42 CATEGORIES" (PDF). National Television Academy. New York: Emmy Online. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 June 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  7. ^ "2000 Parents' Choice Award-Winning Television". Parents' Choice Award. 2000. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  8. ^ "2002 Parents' Choice Award-Winning Television". Parents' Choice Award. 2002. Retrieved 19 December 2014.