Fans of Ludo Studio’s Bluey are irate yet again–this time because of a new episode of the show that reportedly encourages dangerous behaviors.
Bluey and Her Family
Bluey is an Australian animated preschool TV series that first appeared on the Australian Broadcasting Network in October 2018. Disney acquired the international broadcasting rights to the show in June 2019, and Bluey, the six-year-old (later seven-year-old) Blue Heeler puppy, her sister, a Red Heeler puppy, Bingo, and her mom and dad made their first appearance on Disney Junior and across the Disney+ streaming platform in late 2019.
Bluey is a Blue Heeler puppy who lives with her family and spends the day embracing imaginative play and silly antics with them. She’s full of energy and curiosity, and she’s always up for an adventure–especially ones she creates for herself and her younger sister, Bingo.
The show’s themes center around the importance of family, growing up, and around the Australian culture.
A Huge Success in Children’s Programming
The award-winning show is unequivocally one of the most beloved and successful in children’s programming. In an increasingly competitive market, the creators of Bluey have distinguished the show from others in several ways, not the least of which is the way that each of the seven-minute episodes of Bluey not only draws in preschoolers and young children–but their parents and caregivers as well.
Even Disney touted the children’s program as “a parenting show that kids enjoy, instead of the other way around.”
Over the summer, during the week of July 10 through July 16, 2023, Bluey hit a new record, amassing over one billion minutes viewed on Disney+. During that week, viewers watched 1.35 billion minutes of Bluey–and with good reason, as the show debuted 10 new episodes on July 12.
And unlike much of American programming for preschoolers and young children, the show doesn’t aim to teach counting, the alphabet, or other pre-Kindergarten skills. Instead, Bluey teaches kids to play, to share, and to be social.
“There’s no counting in Bluey, there’s no learning this or that–just show ’em playing,” says Joe Brumm, Australian animator and creator of Bluey. “It’s to show parents that the kids aren’t just mucking around. They’re learning to play, learning to share. And generally, you can just put your feet up and let ’em do it.”
Brumm was inspired by the British children’s series Peppa Pig and had aspirations of creating a similar type of series for Australian families. He also wanted to demonstrate through his animation that children’s development can be encouraged by self-directed play as well as imaginative, unstructured play.
But for all the love the show gets, fans still take issue with the show from time to time.
Controversy Over the Show’s Content
Bluey is one of the most popular shows in preschool programming, with a massive fan following that includes adults as well as children. But for all its accolades, awards, and critical acclaim, there have been a few episodes of the family-friendly children’s show that fans have found, well, less than family-friendly.
An episode titled “Exercise” angered fans who said that fat-shaming was a part of the story, and they were appalled by it. In another episode, titled “Family Meeting,” Bluey’s dad has a bout of flatulence, something he refers to as “fluffing.” Some fans called for the episode to be banned for its inappropriate content, but the episode eventually made its way back to Disney+.
Bluey’s “Housework” Episode
Now, fans are angry over yet another episode of Bluey, this one titled “Housework.” According to KidSpot.com, fans have taken to social media to air their grievances over the show’s alleged encouragement of dangerous behaviors.
In the episode, Bluey is seated on the family’s sofa, holding a bowl of grapes, and she’s enjoying every single bite of the juicy fruit from the bowl. But fans have pointed out that the fruit is actually a forbidden fruit for the Blue Heeler puppy–and all dog breeds.
Though it’s Bluey who’s seen eating the grapes, one fan was apparently so upset about the visage that she mistook Bluey for her mom, Chilli.
“I’m confused,” the fan posted on the Adult Bluey Fans Club Facebook page. “I’m watching ‘Housework,’ and [Bluey’s mom] Chilli is eating grapes. I think isn’t that dangerous for dogs?”
According to WebMD, the fan is right to be concerned–that is, if Bluey were a real dog. The website states that “grapes and raisins are highly toxic for dogs, regardless of breed, age, or gender” and “grape toxicity is linked with kidney damage, and eating the fruit can result in sudden kidney failure and even death.”
While the reasons for such a terrible result are still being studied, it’s thought that dogs are unable to metabolize certain substances found naturally in grapes. Even in small amounts, grapes can cause a dog to become extremely sick and can even result in death.
If nothing more, perhaps the upset over this episode can be taken as a public service announcement about canine grape toxicity. But with the history of fans complaining about various elements seen in episodes of the adorable preschool show, it’s probably only a matter of time before another upset occurs, and it’s anyone’s guess what will be at the center of that debate.
New Bluey Episodes Available
Despite the controversy, Bluey continues to release successful content, with new episodes now on Disney+ as of January 2024. Additionally, a new, longer episode will be released later in 2024.
Are you a fan of this popular children’s series? Let us know in the comments!