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Paramount Studios presents
Blue's Clues: Get To Know Joe! (2002)

"Will you take good care of my brother Joe while I'm in college? Great. Because sometimes he needs a little help. Kind of like me."
- Steve (Steve Burns)

Review By: Jon Danziger   
Published: December 16, 2002

Stars: Steven Burns, Donovan Patton
Other Stars: Traci Paige Johnson, LaNaé Allen, Seth O'Hickory
Director: Bruce Cains, Koyalee Chanda

MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 01h:38m:43s
Release Date: November 05, 2002
UPC: 097368756441
Genre: television


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- A-BB B-

DVD Review

Not since Dick Sargent replaced Dick York as Samantha's hopelessly mortal and befuddled husband Darrin on Bewitched has there been fanfare of this sort about a lead actor departing a series, replaced by another. Faithful fans of Blue's Clues have counted for years on Steve being their guide, their Virgil through the Blue inferno; but now it's time for Steve to pack it off to college. Never fear, though, for waiting in the wings to lead us through future episodes of Blue's Clues is Steve's little brother, Joe.

Yeah, it's easy to make fun, and no doubt the little ones will have questions: where did Steve go? (Somehow, "pursuing other career opportunities" doesn't seem like a satisfactory answer for nursery schoolers.) And so ardent Blue's Clues fans and their parents will be grateful for the care taken in easing this transition. We'll miss Steve, sure, but I bet he'll be back to pay us a visit, and I'm happy to report that Joe seems like a very nice guy.

These four episodes are designed to ease children into the idea of Joe taking the reins, and it's a sensitively done enterprise—I vividly remember, as a child, the new babysitter telling me that, my opinion notwithstanding, she was my new best friend, this total stranger, and wasn't that terrific!?!?!?! (No, it was terrifying.) In the first installment, Joe's First Day, Steve's little brother comes on by for a visit, and he's just as sweet as Steve. In the second, Joe Gets A Clue, Joe gets off the schneid and plays his first game of Blue's Clues—he's a quick study, but of course turns both to big brother and to us for help. If you've watched episodes of Blue's Clues before, it's a little peculiar to see the clues being tracked down in stereo, but again, it seems like a smart way to pass the baton to Joe.

You'll never guess what happens in the third episode, Steve Goes to College. Joe sends off his brother in style, with a phone he can use to call home, and a surprise farewell party—Steve's goodbye seems heartfelt, and the whole enterprise serves as a model on how to deal with little ones and separation issues. Joe flies solo on the fourth and final installment, The Big Book About Us, in which everybody in the house contributes a page loaded up with their favorite things—it's the little bro's first time on his own in the house, but Steve's many fans should be pretty happy hanging out with Joe in this and future episodes.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicno


Image Transfer Review: Colors are bright and chirpy, and resolution is more than satisfactory. The palette looks fuller and more saturated than when these episodes were broadcast on cable—such is the magic of DVD, I suppose.

Image Transfer Grade: B

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0Englishno


Audio Transfer Review: Sonically, the whole thing is pitched at a very high register, meaning that you'll hear a lot more treble than bass; even for little kids, this can sometimes sound a bit over the top. But this is a good, clean audio track, easily comprehensible.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 4 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Blue's Clues 100th episode celebration
  2. parents guide
Extras Review: The best extra here is the celebration for the 100th episode of Blue's Clues. (24m:07s), featuring Joe in a natty bow tie, highlights of many previous installments, and a special guest appearance by Steve—it's a relief to know that college hasn't made him too cool to hang out with us. The parents guide is a pretty straightforward description of the goals of the show, and some ways in which you can continue the fun at home—it's probably not anything you wouldn't have come up with on a rainy day with little kids in the house, but hey, every little bit helps.

Extras Grade: B-

 

Final Comments

The tried and true Blue's Clues formula works just as well with a new leading man—if you or little people you know are fans of the show, you've probably seen these episodes already, but even on re-viewing, this disc provides some sweet, smart kid-friendly fun.

 


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