Why Can't You Watch Bear In The Big Blue House on Disney Plus

Disney Plus

Bear In The Big Blue House Playhouse Disney Live On Stage

One of the first big hits of Playhouse Disney was Bear in the Big Blue House. This live-action show featuring a collection of characters created in cooperation with Disney and the Jim Henson Company became one of the network's most iconic shows, even finding its way into multiple Disney theme parks. But yet it is not available to watch on the Disney Plus streaming service.

Unfortunately, Bear In The Big Blue House lost one of its stars with the tragic death of the actress behind the character Luna, Lynne Thigpin. The series had been nearing its end prior to her passing, and her death made any continuation or revival of the series or characters years later next to impossible, although it was already planned to conclude before this unfortunate event. Gradually it faded into obscurity as other more modern shows would replace it, and eventually, its entire network would be replaced, putting the shows of Playhouse Disney even further back in public memory.

When Disney Plus was announced there was some hope that Bear would end up on the service, allowing people who grew up with it to look back on it nostalgically, and giving a new generation a chance to discover Bear, Tutter, Shadow, and all the other residents of the Big Blue House. But it is not there.

The reason most often discussed for why you can't watch this show is that Disney doesn't own it, and it is actually owned by Jim Henson, but that is not the case. This was actually the only additional show Disney bought alongside The Muppets in 2004, and they continued to produce new Bear content after they bought the show.

Rights issues plague Playhouse Disney shows, and prevent many of them from appearing on the service, with Out of the Box and Book of Pooh being among the few shows that ended up on Disney Plus.

The exact reasons for its absence have never publicly been explained but may be related to music. The reported reasons Disney can't use The Muppet Show, also bought from the Jim Henson Company, is that while Disney owns the show, they would need to pay for the rights to use the music from the show. This could also explain why it isn't on Disney Plus, as if there are problems with the rights in any way, Disney could not publicize it on the service.

Another possibility is it just wasn't popular enough for Disney to consider adding to Disney Plus. It may show up eventually, Disney has been adding more legacy content slowly over the first year of the service, but we may never get access to Bear In The Big Blue House, for reasons that still remain unclear.

A previous version of this article signified the show was canceled as a result of the death of a cast member. It has been corrected to show the actual reason for the end of the series.

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  1. To be clear.... The series was NOT CANCELED after the death of Lynn. Disney had made the decision to end the run long BEFORE her death.

    Thank you

    1. Thank you for the update and the article has been fixed with this correction. Sincere apologies for the inaccuracy on behalf of the entire team here at TPE. Thank you also for helping bring this beloved show to life!

  2. Adwawaam Banasiak

  3. The mouse is named Tutter, not Tuttle ...

  4. Bear is now on Disney plus in the UK under throwbacks May 23

  5. I just know that this show saved me as I was working nights and raising my granddaughter during the day!! When Bear smelled her one morning having her pancakes, I thought that roof was going to come off my family room!! She screamed, "Nanny!! HE, HE SMELLS ME!!", I said Of course he does, he's Blue! I don't think this child ever forget anything he ever said!!


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