Peppa Pig was a pretty resounding success for this kind of cross-over appeal. Not so much that adults would watch it themselves, but if screen-time is at all shared, it’s much preferred over a lot of the alternatives.
One of my key litmus tests for any media is whether there’s respect for their audience. So much of kids media doesn’t really take or care about a child’s perspective. What makes Bluey so strong, outside of top-quality production, is that every character is treated sympathetically, with small nods and extremely truthful observations. There’s not really “side characters” that become set dressing; everyone has their feelings and experiences, even if they’re just a half-second, upstage reaction to what’s happening.
They’re little cartoon dogs, but they’re also some of the most realistic depictions of children I’ve seen, and the little details about how they talk or fidget are on-part with Miyazaki for insightfulness.
The music in Bluey is fantastic. Really give it a listen. It’s largely punched up arrangements of classical music with fun instrumentation. Unfortunately all the music I’ve been able to find includes lots of voice samples.
I certainly agree with you. I’ve watched quite a few of the episodes with my 2 and a half year old grandson. The personalities feel very real - both the kids and adults.
I watch it, because my granddaughter does. I don’t particularly care for it myself.
I haven’t seen this show, but some of the kids shows when my kid was little I did like. Wonder Pets were fun, and Yo Gabba Gabba was almost too weird for me, but it was a good weird.
The cartoons and shows for kids are overall much better than most of the children’s programming when I was little. PBS being the exception.
And I would also grant an exception for Land of the Lost. When I rewatched that as an adult I was shocked that it had gotten made. Not that it didn’t have it’s cliche moments, but sometimes it really was much more intelligently weird than most kids shows.
I believe that Bluey is one of the finest pieces of children’s entertainment written in the past 20 years.
In addition to the rock-solid and authentic characters (the comparison to Miyazaki above is earned), the show also explores some open questions of both childhood and adulthood.
ETA: and it’s much more fun than I just made it sound.
Thanks to two public service broadcasters - Australia’s ABC and the BBC.
Bluey gets watched in this household, and there are no kids. Nice short episodes that are good to let run while doing the dishes. As a Brisbane local the fun thing is spotting the local landmarks, and the artists really do capture the essence of this place.
The side-eye moments and “seriously, …” are worth it by themselves and the rest is just icing on the top.
One of the reasons the old Warner Bros cartoons are so great is all the pop culture references. They’re like little time capsules.
OH man, I LOVED that show as a kid.
It’s an absolute gem of a show. So much heart.
My personal theory is that it’s specifically aimed at getting fathers more engaged with parenting and I’d love to see research to investigate whether it has a positive effect.
While they’re brilliant parents (sometimes to the extent that it makes you feel slightly inadequate), it’s great to see them injecting a bit of realism such as the parents suffering through hangovers the morning after getting wasted at a party and having to deal with the kids
Yep. I love the arrangement of Beethoven’s 9th / Ode to Joy in “Bike” - guitar, accordion, xylophone, juice harp, among others.
Everything about bluey is high tier. Great animation, wonderful voice acting, engaging music, and interesting storylines that are still simple enough for small children to grasp.
Kids see themselves in the little dogs even though they are dogs. While it’s not my daughter’s favorite show, because they are dogs and not cats, she does like it a lot and the sheer joy in her voice when she is giggling at their antics warms my heart.
The show does a good job of depicting loving and yet fallible parenting. The kids are getting in trouble, adults are handling it, the adults are getting themselves into troubles sometimes, and the kids are handling it. And the depiction of the dad is particularly good. He’s right there, he’s parenting, he’s loving his kids and doing right by them. And while he’s doing his dad thing, no one’s praising him to the moon. Because in the world of Bluey, he’s just a normal dad. My spouse gets praised a whole lot and it annoys him to no end. Because he’s like “Why do you keep heaping praise on me? I’m just doing my job as a dad. Every dad should be doing this”
So many children shows either focus solely on the children, the children are at odds with the parents, or the father is pretty much entirely absent. With Bluey you don’t have that. And one last thing is that both of the kids are girls. As a parent of a daughter I have noticed that in so many kids shows, the characters and the heroes are all boys or mostly boys. I’m not sure which is more insulting: when there aren’t any girls at all or when the girls are token characters.
When I first discovered Bluey, my (then) 3 or so year old made me stop channel surfing for this blue dog’s cartoon. First thing I see is a kid dog down-talking the dad, and I was like, nope… this is not good for you!
Then a couple of days later I got to watch 1 story, of which each episode has 2-3, and I was hooked. The situations are engaging, not just for the kid but for the parent as well. It pulls you into the perspective of the kid and how a certain situation makes them feel; that on it’s own has made me think of the parenting choices I make, not based on the parenting of Bluey parents, but just opening that other “perspective”.
Bluey is one of the few shows that I let my kids enjoy (probably besides Sesame Street and a couple of others). My son’s smile every time he’s watching Bluey is priceless and is now engraved in my memory for ever; and for that, thank you Bluey!
It’s more than a personal theory; it’s confirmed. The creator wanted to focus on teaching parents how to play with their children.
Ah good to know! Thanks. I think this sets Bluey apart from everything else. Now I just want to see a longitudinal study to see what the impacts are.
It works too. So many times, I’ve quietly said to myself when challenged: “What would Bandit do?”
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