Bluey, the vibrant, imagination over learning, children’s show by creator Joe Brumm, has become a premiere Disney event for families. Although children absolutely love the Australian animated series, parents typically enjoy the cartoon Blue Heeler family as well due to its emphasis on imaginative play versus teaching viewers educational lessons like other shows.
Disney has always been a company whose market aims at children. However, as Walt Disney famously pointed out, if you target children alone as your primary audience, you’re “dead in the water.” That’s what has made Bluey so successful; although it is designed for a youthful audience, plenty of parents can recall snuggling up with their little ones on the couch and enjoying the show as well.
Much like Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Bluey incorporates fun play into their stories, something all families with small children can associate with. Instead of spewing math and other school subjects, children are taught to, well, be kids. Although Disney films and shows are often lesson-heavy, they typically provide real-life insight in the exact same manner that Bluey attempts to, making the 2018 production the perfect fit for Disney Jr. and Disney+.
“Bluey” Takes Off in the United States
Not to miss a chance to bring viewers quality programming, Disney acquired the international broadcasting rights for Bluey in 2019, only a year after it premiered in its home of Australia. With each new Bluey episode, kids have fallen relentlessly in love with the Heeler family, creating a massive demand for Bluey merchandise and apparel.
Whether it’s Bluey, Bingo, Chilli, Bandit, or even Uncle Stripe, Disney Channel viewers can’t get enough of the Australian phenom. Dealing with intense topics such as life and death, family life, body image, and living with impairments, Bluey keeps things light, but has become a guilty pleasure for many families across the United States, earning the show the International Emmy ® Kids Award in the prestigious Preschool Category in 2020 and has picked up the AACTA Award for Best Children’s Program for three years running (2019-21). Bluey also recently won four Kidscreen Awards in February 2021.
Bluey has been so successful for Disney that other studios are clawing desperately at getting in on the action. Some fans are even accusing new shows, such as BentKey’s Chip Chilla, of being direct knock-offs of Bluey. However, a few copycats haven’t slowed down Bluey’s success and infusion into American popular culture, with each episode bringing imaginative life lessons for children and parents alike.
An Australian-European-American Icon
Bluey’s massive success has lent itself to a serious influx of the dog family into American culture. Not only is she now an Emmy-award-winning television show, but Bluey also is a brand-new theatrical experience. Bluey’s Big Play is a new tour-based creation by Joe Brumm, featuring new music by Bluey composer Joff Bush, making its way to North America, Europe, and Australia.
The new tour features a brand-new story told as a live theatre show with the Heeler family presented as brilliantly created puppets. Tickets to the show, which is premiering in several different cities around the world, can be purchased here. Bluey’s Big Play, is telling regarding the character’s popularity globally. As well, it’s a great measuring stick for Disney to continue to purchase or create new content for Disney Channel, Dinsey Junior, and Disney+.
“Bluey” Goes to College
As we’ve said, everyone loves Bluey. The fandom doesn’t stop at preschool-aged children. If rumors are true, even dogs love the colors and movements of Bluey. It’s a show beloved by all ages and species alike.
With no end to Bluey’s popularity in sight, it isn’t challenging to find the Blue Heeler and her family featured just about everywhere. As Halloween takes place in two weeks, you’re almost promised to find Bluey costumes at your nearest supply store. Children’s clothing and merchandise are also easy to find, sporting the adorable Heeler pup.
Despite her popularity and age, one place you may not expect to see the famous dog family is college. However, you’d be sorely mistaken as college-age cartoon-loving adults also are enamored with the beautifully crafted show. For this reason, you may find a first-year student or two on your local campus hiding out in their dorm, taking a “brain break” in between study sessions, vegging out to a few episodes of Bluey.
However, you’d probably not expect her to show up at a big-time Division One football game. Well, you’d be wrong there, too! Recently, the Purdue Boilermakers, a member of the Big Ten conference, paid tribute to Bluey.
Purdue’s marching band featured Bluey during halftime of Saturday’s game vs. Ohio State: pic.twitter.com/FLDF8fUR2I
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) October 18, 2023
The Purdue All-American Marching Band performed a fantastic tribute to the children’s show, blasting tunes from the Disney-distributed production while perfectly forming the face of Bluey on the field during halftime of a recent home game. Although their football team may not have a winning record, fans sure got a “W” on a recent Saturday when the band of the prestigious university paid homage to the ever-popular show.
“Bluey” Continues to Dominate
Despite some backlash for certain episode topics, such as wording in songs and feeding dogs grapes, Bluey remains undisputed in children’s television all over the world. However, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an end in sight.
Following its third season, Bluey execs suggest that the production of the “relentless” kids show will slow down, possibly taking a break.
“We are just going to get our heads on a bit,” explained Daley Pearson, Executive Producer and Ludo Studio co-founder, in an interview with Australia’s Courier Mail. “It’s been four or five years and we’ve made 154 episodes. It is kind of unprecedented to do that back-to-back. It was very intense … We are just coming to the end of season three, and trying to think about what’s the best way to make it better.”
This doesn’t mean that the extremely popular show is coming to an end, as some have suggested. Although a timeline is unclear as to when production on new episodes will continue, the phenomenal success of Bluey is enough to keep the demand high. Unlike some Disney-owned products such as Star Wars and Marvel, maybe creators are making the right choice by not continually flooding the market with new content that could become stale and overwhelming for fans.
What do you think? Is Bluey one of your favorite animated shows?