ComingSoon Senior Editor Spencer Legacy spoke with Blue’s Big City Adventure stars BD Wong and Brianna Bryan about the impact of Blue’s Clues over the years. Blue’s Big City adventure will be available for streaming through Paramount+ on November 18.
“Blue’s Big City Adventure follows Josh, who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to audition for Rainbow Puppy’s Broadway musical, and Blue as they skidoo to New York City where they meet new friends and discover the magic of music, dance, and following one’s dreams,” reads the film’s synopsis. “The entire Blue’s Clues crew is reunited for this special movie event, with the beloved animated friends and all three hosts — Josh, Steve, and Joe — together for the first time in the Big Apple.”
Spencer Legacy: BD, what was it that drew you to Blue’s Big City Adventure?
BD Wong: So many things. One was Blue’s Clues itself, the brand of it and the longstanding tradition of it and the consciousness that I had, that it was super responsible and that it was guiding kids at a super early age in a way that other programs weren’t, or haven’t, or didn’t. I always thought that was just great. I loved the fact that it was also beloved and it had this affection that was very unlike lots of other things. There was a fan passion for it. And that fan passion has now — because it’s been on so long — grown into intergenerational fandom, which is really exponential, right? When you have the parents and the kids who are both into it equally. That is really incredible. And also, it was a New York musical that is giving you a New York musical or musical set in New York or shot in New York in a way that I was really surprised at actually, the way they pulled it off and the way they did it in such incredible style and with such confidence and such joy. I just loved that. So all of those things and many, many more reasons. There was no downside to it to me. I was really into it.
Brianna, what does it mean to be a big part of such a long-running and beloved kids’ franchise?
Brianna Bryan: Yeah, it’s a heavy responsibility and weight, but in the best of ways. Being able to give back to children, you said like at such a young age, but also it’s, it’s a full circle for me because I was one of those kids once. So being able to watch a show, grow up through it, and now play this role, and now I’m looking back — after today, especially — at how much Blue’s Clues actually affected me positively as a person, because I am very decisive. I’m pretty confrontational, in a good, healthy way, I would say [laughs]. I know how to speak up for myself in a good way, I would say. But all those things, like being a little bit of a detective and figuring things out, putting pieces together, I’m like, “Whoa, okay. Something happened here. Maybe we should do research on it.” But it’s been pretty amazing.
BD, you have an extensive history with musicals. What does it mean to get to do this movie and bring that passion for music to this younger audience?
BD Wong: It means a lot. I really was into it. I really was comfortable playing this character that … I know what that world is. I know what’s funny and what’s also very painful about being an actor in an audition context. I love what’s amusing to me about it, but I also love what’s very vulnerable to an actor about that. One of the scenes that we had together, where we have to tell Philipa Soo that she’s not good enough for the show … I mean, it’s not that she’s not good enough, but as it turns out — and it’s very well-written — Rainbow Puppy just doesn’t see her as the person. And that’s a thing that happens to actors all the time. It’s not always that you’re not good enough, actually. It’s that there’s a whole other part of it that is nothing about you personally at all. Even showing kids that is really a great thing. It’s a nuanced thing about rejection.
Brianna Bryan: And the reaction to it too, because the reaction was so positive. I think you have to learn to react positively because it’s not really always about you.
BD Wong: Yes. It’s very seldom about you, actually. So yeah, I don’t know that that just …I really relate to that. We haven’t talked about that all.
Brianna, why do you think Rainbow Puppy can talk while Blue can’t?
Brianna Bryan: Yes. I love this question! I think it has to do a lot with the voice and the aspect of what the voice means. So I think Rainbow Puppy speaks/sings a lot for what Blue’s already saying or feeling. So it gives a voice to Blue and sometimes even Magenta, but it also kind of inspires the kids to speak up or whoever’s watching it — we all know it’s adults too! But I think it gives everyone the aspect to say, “Oh, okay, this is probably what Blue was saying,” or thinking, “maybe this is where this is going.” And it’s just like another, like you said, agent for allowing for that conversation. So I think the voice of Rainbow Puppy means a lot more than just her singing and dancing, which is crazy important in all of this because you can express so much from just singing and dancing. But it’s also the way of communicating that gives people confidence,
BD Wong: Over the history of Blue’s Clues, this is part of the evolution. Rainbow Puppy comes at this part in time of our history. Blue started out as the OG Blue’s character who didn’t speak and now, intergenerationally, I even feel younger people have more of a voice than I did when I was younger. And that’s part of what’s authentic about the show. Introducing a character who has or encourages kids to have their own voice in a way that wasn’t on our plate when Blue’s Clues was first conceived. I think it’s super important, actually — for young women especially — just to have this agency and being able to express themselves without editing themselves or feeling like they have to worry about what the response might be.
Brianna Bryan: Yeah. I think it leads to also how she carries herself with not only being able to sing and dance. She is so confident in everything. For someone like me, it actually inspires me as well. Like we were, talking about people of color and diversity and inclusion. You’re able to see that visually and then hear it and then just experience it in a new way for this generation.