Late ‘90s and early 2000s kiddos will remember the popular and interactive children’s television show “Blue’s Clues” for its iconic use of primary colors and cut-out shapes to help preschoolers learn early childhood development concepts.
The first “Blue’s Clues” series concluded its decade-long run in 2006. In 2019, the show got a reboot titled “Blue’s Clues & You,” with Filipino American actor Josh Dela Cruz as the new host. Josh comes after the past two hosts Steve (Steve Burns) and Joe (Donovan Patton). Along with Blue, many of the same characters, including Mailbox, Sidetable Drawer, Mr. Salt, Mrs. Pepper and Slippery Soap returned to help preschoolers solve puzzles.
Last week on Nov. 18, Paramount+ released “Blue’s Big City Adventure,” a feature that follows Josh and Blue as they travel to New York City to audition for a Broadway musical. Both of the previous hosts, Steve and Joe, also make appearances in the film. Together, the three hosts run around with Blue in a candy-coated version of New York City, reminiscent of that nostalgic Nickelodeon feel.
As a Filipino American, Dela Cruz says he’s is thankful that the role initially had nothing to do with ethnicity. “It’s such a breath of fresh air,” he admitted. But the Fil-Am actor also found appreciation for the way his Filipino heritage later became integrated into the show. “I think the reason why our show is so successful [is] in being inclusive,” he said. “But [it’s] also very specific about who I am and what my culture is.”
He also noted that the opportunity to continue the iconic “Blue’s Clues” legacy is his “dream job.” As someone who grew up with a lack of Filipino representation, he is thrilled to be able to provide some much-needed Pinoy representation for children everywhere. “Growing up, the only [characters] I saw were [from] martial arts movies,” Dela Cruz said. “As a Filipino kid in New Jersey, a lot of the influences for me growing up were Chinese, Korean, Japanese [actors]. Recognizing that as a kid, I never quite related to the roles that I saw.”
For more details, watch our interview with Dela Cruz above and don’t forget to stream “Blue’s Big City Adventure” on Paramount+!