WWith nearly three full seasons of minute-long episodes, the children’s cartoon Bluey has won the hearts of parents and children around the world. It’s hard for many to pinpoint a favorite plotline, and especially for series creator Joe Brumm, who based the show on his own family life.
But he points to a season two episode called Flat Pack when asked about the independent to choose the favorite that stands out. It plays out hilarious scenes instantly recognizable to any parent – or person – who has ever tried to put together flat pack furniture.
Protagonist Bluey and her sister play with the box and shipping materials, coming up with imaginative play scenarios, while their parents, Bandit and Chilli, wrangle with the manual. Dad Bandit gets hurt and mutters while Mom Chilli struggles with instructions.
“I loved making short films when I was a student…it’s a lot like a small short film to me,” says Mr. Brumm, 43. the independent. “It has really beautiful music… [and] the little stories that it’s woven into, I love what it’s trying to say, and it was really satisfying to write.”
He adds, “I guess it’s something you don’t normally see on a kids’ show, and I’m really proud of that.”
Since Bluey debuted in Australia in 2018 and internationally in 2019, the series has gone from strength to strength, and Brumm says he’s particularly proud of the show’s emphasis on the importance of play in child development, especially when parents get involved. in the development of their children. fantasy worlds.
That’s what I wanted to show with Bluey. However, as the beloved cartoon is all about play, activity and imagination, Brumm admits its status as a TV show creates a tiny conundrum as parents work to limit screen time for young children.
“I guess there’s a core hypocrisy to it,” he says. the independent. “The show is about playing and going out…and it’s a TV show, at the end of the day. That is something I had to accept from the beginning.
“It’s not a show that sits there pontificating about screen time…there are a few episodes that deal with that, and they definitely take the attitude of…trying to cut it down.”
But Mr. Brumm says he’s definitely not trying to preach about raising his beloved Bluey.
“I never try to teach anything, especially adults and definitely not children,” he says. the independent, adding that he simply wanted to share sweet moments from his own family life and the project grew from there.
“Just putting that up there, honestly, is what people are connecting with,” he says. “It’s not about them being intimidated by my worldview; it’s just sharing my experience, and I think that’s probably what, as a parent, you sometimes feel like, like you’re the only one going through this.
“And then this moment when you connect with someone and realize this is normal and they go through it too… [those] They are usually the moments that go through the most. And that’s what this show is about.
His “favorite parents” that he and his wife have known since they had children, he says, are the most fluid, people who believe that “everyone is going to do what they want.” [and] We’re not judging you, outwardly, anyway,” he laughs.
And that brings us back to screen time lessons built into an on-screen show.
In the Bluey episodes, he says, “we don’t show the kids in front of the TVs most of the time, because it’s not a particularly entertaining cartoon if they’re sitting around watching TV, but you do what you have to do.” .
“My kids watch TV and they have iPads and, I mean, they use it too much, and I’m struggling with it just like every parent these days.”
However, his experience with other parents is definitely influenced by his status as the creator of Bluey. the independent – especially in charming and positive ways.
“People definitely want to come over and tell you what their favorite episode is and talk to you about the show, so it’s been pretty sweet,” she says, adding that she’s had parents, “tell me how much the show means on occasion. to them; maybe they don’t let their kids watch TV usually, but they let them watch Bluey, and they all watch it together.
“I’ve had stuff like that that’s pretty satisfying, because it’s probably someone I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for the show. Sometimes people come up and say, ‘Because of you, I’ve been forced to play Daddy Robot for the last two hours,’” he laughs.
While people often assume that Bandit might be inspired by Mr. Brumm and his upbringing, since he is the creator of the show, he tells the independent he’s more like Bluey’s uncle.
“Uncle Stripe is voiced by my little brother Dan, who also works and does sound design on the show,” he says. “And you can tell that Uncle Stripe is still dealing with some of the aspects of fatherhood.
“I think Dan, my little brother, sometimes probably feels like… ‘Why is Bandit the perfect dad?’ Well, it’s not,” says Brumm. the independent.
He says, “Stripe is based on me; Bandit is more of the idealistic type, in a lot of ways, dad, whereas Stripe is probably more accurate with my actual fatherhood.”
He is delighted with the popularity and global resonance of the show, although he maintains that connecting with young viewers is still his focus, and tries “not to think too much about impact or anything like that”.
“Part of my job is to keep the show fun and entertaining, and everything else has to fall by the wayside,” he says.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.