Bear in the Big Blue House was a television series that aired in 1997 for the Disney Playhouse channel created by The Jim Henson Company, which later sold the franchise to Walt Disney Company in 2001. The shows are currently being re-run and are also available in DVDs, usually with 3 episodes per DVD.
The show teaches preschoolers and kindergarten children ages 3 to 6 many social and academic lessons with titles such as Tidy Time With Bear, Dance Party, Shapes, Sounds & Colors With Bear, Early Bed, Early Rise, and A Bear For All Seasons, just to name a few.
The show’s main character is a six foot bear that introduces a word for the day then dances around the concept with a new song. Oftentimes, videos of real children respond with their views of the topic presented before returning to Bear and his friends. His friends consist of a bear cub name Ojo, otter twins Pip and Pop, mouse Tutter, and lemur Treelo. Somewhere in there is a Shadowmation segment with a short story performed by Shadow. At the end of each episode, Bear goes out into the balcony and has a reflective and pensive conversation with Luna, a full moon overlooking Bear’s home.
We tried the Bear in the Big Blue House Tidy Time with Bear series and the kids really liked the characters, but especially Bear. They love when the house appears at the beginning of each episode and they think it’s funny that Bear identifies them through smelling the screen. In this series, Bear and his friends encourage cooperation through teamwork and work in personal hygiene. The songs in the series include “Working like a Bear,” “Woodland House Wonderful” and “We Did It Our Way.”
One thing our 19 month old daughter didn't like does was shadowmation with Shadow. We had to fast forward it in order to avoid sending her to tears, but by 24 months she was over it and we had just forgotten about fast forwarding the scene. Now it's just a delightful part of the show.
And our three year old enjoys it more now as well, though he may have needed just a little more time to let the show speak to him as well. Initially, it would keep his attention right up until the first spoken scene and then they'd lose him. But eventually he began asking for the DVD and watches the episodes all the way through.