For decades, Pixar has made a name for itself by creating animated movies that can appeal, move and touch both children and parents. But nowadays there’s a new king in the world of animated content with crossover generational appeal: “Bluey.”
If you’re a parent, you’re probably pretty familiar with Bluey Heeler, the 6-year-old Blue Heeler puppy. Created by Joe Brumm and produced in Australia by Ludo Studio, “Bluey” follows the adventures of energetic, curious Bluey; her younger sister, Bingo; father, Bandit; and mother, Chilli. It’s also a massive hit. When the third season hit Disney+ in the U.S. in 2022, the show ranked in the top 10 most streamed acquired shows, according to Nielsen’s streaming ratings. With 298 million streaming minutes, the show ranked among the likes of “Seinfeld,” “New Girl” and “Downton Abbey.”
Meryl Alper, an associate professor of communication studies at Northeastern University, says “Bluey” is one of the few shows that supports co-viewing among children and their parents. Alper teaches a class on kids, media and technology at Northeastern and also has more than 15 years of experience consulting on shows like “Sesame Street” and with Disney and Nickelodeon. “Bluey” is a big hit with her and her children at home.
“It does operate on two levels where there’s jokes that are definitely for parents and there’s jokes that are very easy for kids to get,” Alper says. “There’s a lot of physical humor and maybe that’s for your 3-, 4-, 5-year-old, but there’s also some deep emotional issues that ‘Bluey’ tackles that are very relatable for early grade schoolers. There’s a lot of heart to it.”