Blue’s Big City Adventure is a suitable enough first movie for young kids while it’ll only mildly satiate its parent crowd watching alongside.

Blue’s Big City Adventure (2022) Review By Mark McPherson

Published on February 10, 2023

Rating 3 /5

Blue’s Clues is an early education show that has endured the test of time for being a show that encourages engagement. While other shows like Dora The Explorer stressed repetition, it always felt like this show gave the kids a chance to be problem solvers. The simple premise of one man trying to figure out the mystery of the day, supplied with clues by his cute dog Blue, was a compelling enough format to be enticing for young kids. Blue’s Clues has now jumped into movies with a winking nature and faithfulness to the heart and soul of the simple and sincere program.

Blue's Big City Adventure has a neat idea for making another mystery grander and a little more engaging for adults. Josh (Josh Dela Cruz), the current owner of Blue, has big dreams of becoming a Broadway star. He’s hoping to make those dream a reality when he’s offered a chance to audition. The audition requires him to venture out of his fantastical world where inanimate objects talk and into the real-world setting of New York City. Much like the Dora The Explorer movie, we get a decent amount of fish-out-of-water jokes with this adventure. It was cute how Josh tried to talk to every inanimate object, mistaking them for his friends back home. It’s silly to watch a grown man talk to mustard bottles like they are alive, but this is a silly movie. And as it turns out, they are alive!

Problems arise when Josh needs to remember the location of the audition. Being lost in New York City and trying to find a specific theater is a significant challenge for this aspiring singer, where even Blue’s paw-print clues might not save him this time. Thankfully, Josh and Blue are not alone. They have some help when the inanimate talking objects travel to New York as well to find Josh and send him in the right direction. This leads to the charming addition of the gumshoe Steve, played by the original Blue’s Clues protagonist Steve Burns.

What’s fascinating about this film is it's trying to connect two generations. The young Millennials watching this with their kids will probably get a kick from seeing their old TV pal back on the screen. This leads to a cute fourth-wall break, where Steve directly addresses the adult audience, commenting on how big you’ve grown and how it’s been a while since he’s seen us. Now, cards on the table, I didn’t grow up with Blue’s Clues, so there’s not exactly a heavy nostalgia factor, personally. That being said, there is something somewhat comforting about seeing an old TV actor once more approach an adult audience with kindness in a manner that Mister Rogers kept pushing for years. It also feels like Steve’s antics as the detective are more adult-oriented in humor, where his straight-faced silliness of finding clues and consuming carbs is decently amusing.

The film has plenty of musical sequences for the kids to groove on and an assortment of cameos that adults will relish (keep an eye out for Alex Winter of Bill & Ted fame as a cab driver). While there’s undoubtedly a zippy pacing to this film that runs under 90 minutes to hold kids' attention, I never found myself engaged with the picture outside of its passive playfulness. Then again, I’m not a little kid, and my child has outgrown the allure of Blue’s Clues that I’m well out of range for this target demographic.

Blue’s Big City Adventure is a suitable enough first movie for young kids while it’ll only mildly satiate its parent crowd watching alongside. It’s colorful and cheerful enough never to be entirely bored, and some subtle moments of comedy posed at the adults are fine for some gentle smiles. I will say this: I did not expect a Blue’s Clues movie to reference Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, so that’s something, at least.

Written By

Mark McPherson

Written By

Mark McPherson

Mark has been a professional film critic for over five years and a film lover all his life.

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