“Thrilled Bluey Day!” is how a colleague greeted me on Slack today. It’s the kind of message you get when you’re the parent of a preschooler (who, actually occurrence, recently attended the Bluey’s Big Game stage show) and have been on a nearly year-long drought since new episodes of the beloved Australian cartoon arrived.
“Bluey day” means that 10 new Bluey the episodes – which first aired in Australia in June 2022 – are finally available for American families to watch on Disney+; the episodes will also air on Disney Junior and Disney Channel later this year. Here’s what to know about the new batch, and why it’s not just kids who are pumped for the show’s return.
What is Bluey?
Created by Joe Brumm, the Australian cartoon follows the titular Bluey, a 6-year-old Blue Heeler pup who lives with his little sister Bingo and parents Bandit and Chilli. Premiering on Australia’s ABC Kids network in the fall of 2018, the show quickly established itself as a family favorite thanks to its tongue-in-cheek sense of humour, depictions of imaginative family games and – for American children who got access to the show when it premiered on Disney Junior in September 2019 – contagious Aussie accents and slang like “dunny”.
Bluey began streaming on Disney+ in early 2020. As its popularity grew, the show attracted celebrity fans like Natalie Portman and Eva Mendes, who both made voice cameos in the first part of season 3.
What are the new episodes?
The 10 new episodes released on July 12 include Part 2 of Season 3 and are the first new batch of episodes since Part 1 debuted in the United States last August. Part 3 of Season 3 aired in Australia from April to June 2023, but it’s not yet known when they might be available in the United States.
Part 2 features celebrity voice cameos from Lin-Manuel Miranda (who plays a talking horse in “Stories”) and Rose Byrne, along with Chilli’s sister Brandy in “Onesies.” The storylines will address family estrangement, self-confidence and unconditional love, while the episode “Turtle Boy” will be the first to feature a deaf (dog) character.
The full recap of the new episodes is:
“The decision maker”
Why Parents Love It
While children’s programs like Blippi And Pebble tend to push parents into the wall, many have a soft spot for Bluey. Speaking to Yahoo Life last fall, Melanie Zanetti, the Aussie comedian who plays Heeler matriarch Chilli, shared how a friend described it as “the only show that doesn’t make me want to bleed from my eyes when I have to watch it for the hundred thousandth time.” Zanetti credits the show’s “universal” appeal to both its unique Australian charm and playful spirit. While Mum Chilli certainly fights back, Bandit the Dad (voiced by musician Dave McCormack) has become a fan-favorite and fictional parenting icon thanks to his enthusiasm for playing with his children, creating inventive games and being practical at home.
“Bandit got a lot of kudos because he was a dad who played with his kids and used his imagination,” Zanetti said. “We see that less from men in the media. And a lot of young dads I’ve spoken to have said, ‘I’m so thankful there’s a portrayal of a dad who just isn’t not a clumsy fool. In my age group, dads want to be good dads, they want to be there for their kids. It’s a generation where there were a lot of fathers who weren’t there or didn’t have a strong emotional connection with them because they didn’t have that closeness. And I think millennials and millennials in particular really want to be the ones [more involved] parents.”
In an interview with Yahoo Life last August, Bluey Ludo Studio executive producer and co-founder Daley Pearson also noted that Bandit and Chilli represent a “new generation of parents” who seem closer and “human”. (Example: A Season 3 episode in which Bluey and Chilli appear to be dealing with the age-old struggle of parenthood while nursing a New Year’s hangover.)
“We often get messages from people saying it’s like the creators of Bluey put a camera in their home because it relates to their family life,” said Sam Moor, the show’s producer and production manager. USA today.
They’re also able to apologize to their kids when needed, acknowledge their flaws, and admit they don’t have all the answers (or the patience to play another game of Keepy-Uppy). At the same time, their playfulness is contagious.
Alexis Ohanian, the Reddit co-founder who shares daughter Olympia with wife Serena Williams, is among the parents who are “inspired” by the Heeler family, he recently told Yahoo Life’s So Mini Ways. “We are going to dress up the house, with these house signs, so that it is like a metro station [like in] an episode with trains,” he shared. “We’ll be using wheelchairs to be the ‘trains’ and I’m pushing them.”
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