Blue’s Clues, a beloved children’s program for anyone who grew up in the 1990s, will be returning to screens across the country on Nov. 11.
The reboot, called Blue’s Clues and You, has been in the works for a couple of years, with Napanee native, Rhys Yorke, acting as the production designer/art director responsible for the new look of the show.
In anticipation of the show’s resurrection, Yorke took a few moments to speak with the Beaver about the reboot and his slightly unorthodox entry into the world of entertainment.
“The idea of a reboot is something Nickelodeon and the creators of this series have wanted to do for a long time. The original was very big in the 90s but with the advent of streaming services and high definition TV, those original shows were recorded at very low resolution,” explained Yorke. “So, they sort of needed something to bring them up to today’s standards. They wanted to do something a little different too.”
For Yorke, who has always had a passion for art, the journey to production design was long. Though he did take some part time courses, most of his skill as an artist is self taught.
“I went to the Napanee high school and certainly appreciated my art teachers there, such as Bill VanWart. I didn’t follow the route of going to art college and then landing a job,” said Yorke. “It was quite a struggle but I just kept pursuing my passion.”
Yorke explains that he started out working in comics in the late 90s and early 2000s. That early experience with comics parlayed into video games, then film and TV, and finally, animation. Now, he says, his work consists of video games, film and TV.
“The host of this new series is a Broadway performer, so his energy and overall personality is amazing. He is very awesome for this,” said Yorke, enthusiastically. “It’s very hard for him as well, because he’s sort of acting to a green screen, whereas all the characters he interacts with are all done in 3D or 2D animation. There’s a lot of great songs and a lot of the shows are sort of following the same story and format as the original series-just updated a bit.”
Yorke has also worked on the Netflix Series, Titans, Marvel Comics’ Deadpool and Ubisoft’s FarCry 5. His example speaks volumes about the power of dedication and perseverance.
“I felt that coming from a small town, growing up, I didn’t think that someday I’d redesign this huge franchise. That’s something I want to get across to everybody-you have to keep at it (your passions) and be tenacious,” stated Yorke.