Bear in the Big Blue House
The Bear in the Big Blue House logo, featuring a simplistic depiction of Bear's head in a dark blue house above dark blue text giving the series's title.
GenreChildren's television series
Created byMitchell Kriegman
Developed byThe Jim Henson Company
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
  • 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)
Executive producers
ProducerRichard A. Fernandes
Running time25 minutes
Production companies
Original release
NetworkPlayhouse Disney
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, 2007.

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 subsidiary of Disney that also owns, and is named after, The Muppets characters and copyrights.


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

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.


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

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast aired
126October 20, 1997 (1997-10-20)January 5, 1998 (1998-01-05)
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)




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.



Bear in the Big Blue House was initially produced from 1997 to 2003. 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.[citation needed]

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]


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 2007 (December 2010 in the UK). Thigpen was posthumously nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for voicing Luna.


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, on RTÉ Two in Ireland and on Playhouse Disney and TV Globo in Brazil.


2000Outstanding Sound Mixing – Peter Hefter and John Alberts (won)[3] (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)[3]
2003Outstanding Directing in a Children's Series – Mitchell Kriegman and Dean Gordon (won)[4]


  1. ^ Kimball, Trevor (8 January 2007). "Bear in the Big Blue House: Disney Has Big Plans". TV Series Finale. Archived from the original on 1 July 2014. 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 Grego, Melissa (15 May 2000). "Emmy time for 'Rosie' & 'Bill Nye'". Variety. Penske Business Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 31 August 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ "2000 Parents' Choice Award-Winning Television". Parents' Choice Award. 2000. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. ^ "2002 Parents' Choice Award-Winning Television". Parents' Choice Award. 2002. Archived from the original on 3 September 2018. Retrieved 19 December 2014.