HBD Blue: Celebrating 25 Years

The hit children’s television series Blue’s Clues turned 25 as of September 8, 2021. In celebration of the remarkable occasion the cast came together to host live social media events for fans to participate in, and to share a trip down memory lane to see the many changes Blue’s Clues went through after the airing of 163 episodes. Many of the students in Robinson have grown up on early 2000s programs such as Blues Clues, so they and other longtime fans of the series were met for a very special guest appearance for the 25th anniversary of Blue’s Clues.

Blue’s Beginning

Although a pilot episode of Blue’s Clues was filmed in 1994 titled “Blue Prints,” it never aired on television as it was simply a test episode. However, Sept 8, 1996 was the day the first episode aired on PBS titled “Snack Time.” Hosted by Steve Burns, he and an animated dog named Blue went out on their first adventure. Blue, at the time, was drawn child-like with short & simple movements and gestures. This would change later on in the years.  The show was met with  positive reactions from kids and parents alike, saying it is a great way for kids to engage in interactive learning and it stood out among other children’s TV programs with special effects involving 3D characters interacting with 2D, and various green screen effects. 

“The effects they used were crazy when I saw them,” Robinson junior Ethan Lumbag recalls what he has seen when watching the show, “my favorite thing was seeing Steve jump into a painting and move around in it.” Soon, the show landed a spot on Nick Jr. the kids channel run by Nickelodeon.

One week after the premiere of Blue’s Clues, was the release of episode two, in which Steve and Blue, now an iconic duo explore patterns and time. Being met with the same positive results as the first episode, the show continues to build its audience with its weekly releases, innovatively teaching a broad range of subjects from colors, shapes, and everyday items.


Steve’s Departure

Four seasons into Blue’s Clues, on episode 22, the character Joe (Donavon Patton) made his first appearance as Steve’s brother and the two hosted the next few episodes together. However, on episode 24, the last episode of the season, Steve announced his departure from Blue’s Clues saying he is “leaving for college.” He stated that he is grateful for everything, and with him gone, Joe took the spot on the thinking chair as the new host of Blue’s Clues for the last two seasons.

“I was devastated seeing Steve walk away, he was the reason I would watch the show and he just got up and left.” Lumbag spoke about how he felt watching the final episode starring Steve.

Blue’s Clues without Steve

After Steve Burns split off from the cast of Blue’s Clues to pursue his college education, the show continued for two last seasons hosted by Joe, the fictional younger brother of the prior host. Seasons five and six spanned from April of 2002 to May of 2004, and throughout the show has undergone many visual changes. With the increase in production, the quality of characters was amplified and settings had more detail and variety and in some cases 2D characters were animated in different styles such as stop motion or even shifting to 3D.


The conclusion of season six was the last of Blue’s Clues to be aired on TV for a long time. More than a decade passes, fast forward to November 11, 2019, a reboot was introduced on Nick Jr. titled Blue’s Clues and You. Featuring a redesigned Blue looking more bold and resembling a real dog rather than  a cartoony one, animated in 3D. Along with the new Blue came the newest host of the series, Josh Dela Cruz, or simply Josh. Although the premiere episode did feature Steve and Joe, this was the only episode they starred in. Blues Clues and You currently has a runtime lasting two seasons, with a third in development, throughout November 2019 to September 2021.  


The Icon Returns

In 2021, the series celebrates 25 years of entertainment. The anniversary had users on various social media platforms interacting with games, puzzles and meeting the cast. But on this day, a two minute video was posted on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube of the long-awaited Steve Burns making an appearance in his striped green shirt 25 years after his departure. The video contains Steve giving a heartwarming returning message to his fans and explaining what happened in 2002.

“It was a very emotional moment seeing him come back after 20 years.” Lumbag said, speaking on his reaction to the short video.

Burns, Patton, and Dela Cruz all wore their iconic shirts to have their own bits of fun at the studios behind Blue’s Clues; They showed humorous behind the scenes footage, partaking in Q&As and recreating memorable moments during their experiences as hosts. The main event ended off with the announcement of a movie by Nickelodeon starring all three hosts, which began production this summer. Even then, dozens of giveaways, more Q&As, and skits were performed and some are still being done.


Writer’s Note

It was truly a heartwarming anniversary this one was; I for once thought that I would never see Steve again, that he was just a forgotten figure in television history. But man I tried not to get emotional when I saw that video. It made me realize just how much time has passed, he looked and sounded like a completely different person and I’m glad he gave me and other longtime fans the closure we needed. This whole event was a unique experience for everyone and I’m satisfied with the happy ending we got.


Works Cited

Press, The Associated. “Nickelodeon Celebrates ‘Blue’s Clues’ Anniversary with Movie.” AP NEWS, Associated Press, 12 July 2021, apnews.com/article/lifestyle-entertainment-music-tv-arts-and-entertainment-3f1eb734b835baa9b92bda4b42def334