I Even Joined a Facebook Dads Bluey Fan Group
The Heeler family consists of Bandit (Dad), Chilli (Mom), Bingo (Little Sister), and Bluey (Older Sister). They are dogs. They are Australian. They are also hilarious – for kids and adults. Somehow, someway, Bluey snuck itself in to my home of three little boys and has captivated their attention to the point of tears when the television is turned off for the day.
So what is Bluey and why should you care?
Bluey Was Conceived as Australia’s Peppa Pig
Nobody tell Hasbro!
Joe Brumm, creator of Bluey, had originally created the idea of Bluey as a replica to Peppa Pig – but for an Australia audience. Bluey is based on Brumm’s own dog (an Australian Cattle Dog known as a “Blue Heeler” … get it?) named “Bluey”, and the adventures of parents raising two daughters (Brumm also has two daughters).
The entire production is Australian-based – from writing, to animation, and even the music. Ironically enough, the show’s decision to simply tell stories of kids playing together instead of working around the idea of teaching numbers or letters is one of the main reasons for the show’s immense international popularity. The show features Bluey and Bingo, two sisters, using their imagination to play. From games like Statue, Tickle Crabs, Grannies, and Feather Wand, there is an endless supply of fun imaginative games for kids watching the show to mimic at home. The episodes are short – roughly 7 minutes in length – and are packaged in the US three-at-a-time.
My three year old demands we play “Statue” every single day.
Parents Immediately Identify with Bandit and Chilli
Too often in television shows produced in the United States, executives and boards get in the way of telling authentic stories to fit some alternative motive – selling toys, advertising, or fitting in to some programming contract. Bluey didn’t exist to sell toys or to fit Nickelodeon’s programming mandates or Cartoon Network’s unfavorable contracts – it was simply created to be a fun kids show that featured imagination as the key element.
To that end, the writers of Bluey are parents. While the main characters are Bluey and Bingo, the parents – Bandit and Chilli – work as morale guides to Bluey and Bingo growing up and learning lessons. But there’s plenty of adult humor snuck in to this innocent kids show.
In the latest season airing in Australia, Bandit talks about potentially getting what the viewer believes is a vasectomy with a neighbor dog but the show quickly reminds you these are dogs, as the neighbor exclaims he “even got to keep them” – quickly reminding you that dogs get neutered, not vasectomies.
Some of the Best Episodes of Kids’ TV Ever
There’s one episode in particular that struck a chord with me and it’s one I’ll push any parent to watch. The episode titled “Baby Race”, which features Chilli telling the story of when Bluey first learned to walk. The premise is that Chilli was in a mother’s group – all with newborns – and a silent competition began on whose baby would be the first to walk.
We see Chilli get frustrated as Bluey fails to sit up right, crawl right, or even walk before the others. A mom from the same group visits Chilli after Chilli stops taking Bluey to the baby group and comforts her – letting her know she’s doing great as a first-time mom, leaving Chilli in tears. That hit home as my family went through the same thing with our first born – we never knew if we were doing things right, wrong, or anything of the sort. Our first born was never crawling fast enough, standing fast enough, talking fast enough – everything you read said it has to happen at a certain time and you set unrealistic goals for yourself and your baby. To see that same thing approached in a kids show took my breath away in a good way. You never see things that tell you that you’re doing good enough, only that you can do better.
Chilli ends the episode just having fun with Bluey instead of encouraging her to try and be the fastest or first to do things. The episode ends with Bingo asking when Bluey decided to walk. Chilli says it happened in the kitchen. You see Bluey stand up on her own, take a step, put her arms out towards Chilli and begin walking. Bluey asks, “I wonder what made me walk that day?”, to which Bingo replies, “Maybe you just saw something you wanted” as the camera goes to Bluey’s eyes as she takes her first step towards her mom, Chilli.
Man, the onion-cutting was fierce.
Beautiful Animation and Award-Winning Music
Ludo Studio, located in Brisbane, handles the animation. The music is composed primarily by Joff Bush, with assistance from David Barber and other composers. We’ve included some stills from the show to showcase the incredible animation.
Where to Watch Bluey
The first two seasons of Bluey are available to watch on Disney+. It also airs daily on the Disney Junior channel. Season 3 is now airing in Australia, but likely won’t be available in North America until late 2022 on Disney television channels, and Disney+ in 2023. But that won’t stop Bluey fans from finding ways to watch it.