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Bluey on CBeebies trivia: Cast and crew reveal 11 things you didn’t know about the smash hit Australian pre-school series - Exclusive
Daley Pearson, who’s the Exec Producer of Bluey and Director of Ludo Studio, and Dave McCormack, who voices dad Bandit, exclusively reveal secrets about the making of the show.
Hit Play above to watch Bluey’s Dave McCormack (the voice of Bandit) and Daley Pearson (Exec Producer) reveal all about the making of the show and behind-the-scenes secrets
Pre-school TV series Bluey has had as many accolades as Peppa Pig has jumped in muddy puddles. As any parent will know, that’s a lot.
Since its launch on Australian TV in 2018, the animated show about a six-year-old Blue Heeler dog called Bluey and her family has received record ratings on linear and on demand, a chart-topping soundtrack, received an International Emmy award, a bestselling merchandise line, and been named in Rolling Stone's Top 100 Sitcoms List.
That’s without the praise of countless TV critics across the globe, who have applauded the show for its portrayal of playful parenting and family values, particularly when it comes to Bandit and his willingness to get involved with his young daughters’ antics.
But perhaps most importantly, it’s been a word-of-mouth hit with frazzled parents, who take five (or more specifically, seven) minutes to sit with their tots and watch together.
Created by Joe Brumm (who previously worked on TV series Charlie and Lola, and Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom), the show follows the adventures of Bluey, who lives with her four-year-old little sister, Bingo; her dad, Bandit; and mum, Chilli, in Brisbane, Australia (where the show is made).
In every episode, Bluey uses her limitless energy to play elaborate games, bringing her family and the whole neighbourhood into her world of fun.
Bluey premiered in its native Australia on ABC Kids, but now also airs on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer in the UK (season 2 is coming on August 1). Season 3 follows shortly after on Disney+ on August 10, and there's talk of more episodes (and even a film) to follow.
To celebrate the show’s new season, we spoke to Dave McCormack (the voice of Bluey and Bingo’s dad, Bandit) and Daley Pearson (Exec Producer and Director of Ludo Studio) to share behind-the-scenes secrets about the making of the show.
From surprise trivia to fun facts and more, Dave and Daley reveal 11 things you didn’t know about Bluey.
1. Is Bluey a boy or a girl? She’s definitely a girl, despite fans wondering otherwise…
One of the most popular Google searches around Bluey is whether she’s a boy or a girl. Fans of the show will know that Bluey (and her sister) are girls, but it’s not the first time that people have wondered whether Bluey is male.
“I hesitate to correct people, especially kids, that say ‘I really love him’”, Daley tells us. He reckons that part of the mix-up comes from young male viewers.
“I think kids see what they want to see. They want to be Bluey, so if they’re a boy, they see themselves… Those kids tell their parents. I think it was a bit of a happy accident,” Daley explains.
Further confusion comes from the fact that Bluey is blue - but that’s because she’s a Blue Heeler dog, not because she’s a boy! (incidentally, it’s also Bluey’s favourite colour). Bluey’s “adventurous and playful" attitude adds to the confusion, Daley speculates, although as he rightly says, “girls are also adventurous and playful!”
2. Bluey and Bingo nearly had a little brother
From Peppa Pig and her little brother George, to Charlie and Lola, many animated pre-school shows feature boy and girl siblings, so viewers may expect to see a brother and sister duo. In fact, that’s what Bluey could have been, if an early broadcaster that they pitched the show to had their way.
Daley recalls: “Really early on, we had a broadcaster who wanted them to have a little brother. It was a nice ‘no’, it was a happy ‘no’, but it did feel like one of those where they were like ‘can they have a skateboard?’ and we were like ‘no, this is the show, they’re sisters’.”
Joe Brumm, who created and writes the show, has two daughters, so the script often reflects his home life. Dave McCormack, who voices dad Bandit, also has two young daughters.
He jokes that he wouldn’t have been able to voice Bandit if they were boys: “It would have been a stretch for me, acting-wise, if it was a boy and a girl, I don’t know if I would have got the gig, I would have just fallen in a heap. ‘How do I interact with a son?’ I don’t know!”
3. The jokes in Bluey are written to appeal to adults AND kids
One of the Bluey’s biggest draws is that it’s suitable for preschoolers and adults, so rather than having your toddler watch Paw Patrol on repeat while you attempt to order your weekly food shop on your mobile next to them, you actually want to sit down and watch Bluey together.
I think kids see what they want to see. They want to be Bluey, so if they’re a boy, they see themselves… Those kids tell their parents. I think it was a bit of a happy accident.
- Daley Pearson, Bluey Exec Producer
The makers of the show definitely take this on board, as Daley explains to us that everything in Bluey is included because it makes the grown-up production crew laugh, too. He says: “You want the parents and children to connect. I don’t think anything gets by that isn’t loved by somebody in the crew. Most of them are adult jokes that kids love.”
Dave (the voice of Bandit) adds that he loves the moments in the show where Bandit tries to tweak games so it involves him reading the newspaper or watching the cricket on the sofa (like playing ‘doctors’ or the ‘quiet game!’)
He laughs: “I love that stuff. I think that’s real and it will appeal to a lot of people. I find myself desperately trying to come up with games with my kids that involve me lying on the couch and watching some sort of sport on TV. It’s a funny thing that happens in real life.”
4. The show’s been responsible for American kids picking up Aussie words and accents
In 2021, largely thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and families staying at home watching more TV, American parents claimed (via a report in The Guardian) that Peppa Pig was responsible for their children speaking in English accents.
Fast forward a year later, and a recent article in The Independent reports that Bluey is responsible for American children using typical Australian slang words and phrases. The report states that the “Bluey and her family have won the hearts of global viewers of all ages - and their Aussie accents and phrases, anecdotally, are seeping into young fans’ speech”.
Daley’s heard this, too, but says he struggles to identify the Australian words used in the show because they’re normal to them. He says: “I’ve definitely heard that kids are using Australian accents! I’ve seen a lot of TikTok videos from parents saying their kids are talking Australian now thanks to Bluey.”
This video on the Bluey Cartoon Fans YouTube channel outlines the various Aussie words heard in Bluey, including ‘thong’ for flip-flop, ‘capsicum’ for pepper, ‘brekkie’ for breakfast, and ‘dunny’, which is sometimes used instead of the word for toilet (I’m A Celebrity fans will recognise that one!)
5. Bluey has many A-list Hollywood fans - who’ve since become celebrity guest stars…
Bluey has a whole host of fans from Tinseltown, including Billy Joel, who threw a Bluey-themed party for his daughter Della Rose's sixth birthday party; Eva Mendes and husband Ryan Gosling, whose two young daughters "love the show"; Natalie Portman, who was spotted reading a Bluey book to her two children, and Bridesmaids actress Rose Byrne, who binge-watched Bluey with her two sons during the pandemic.
Their adoration for the show has paid off, as many of these celebs have landed guest spots in the upcoming third season on Disney+. Daley tells us: “We’ve always managed to fit the guest roles in organically… We had Natalie Portman as a voiceover on a documentary, Lin Manuel-Miranda as a horse, and Eva Mendes who’s helping Dad get a bit fit [as a yoga instructor].”
6. The wish list of guest stars includes Chris Hemsworth, Freddie Flintoff and Stephen Fry
The makers of the show confess that there isn’t enough space to have loads of celebrities in the show - Daley says it’s “tough” to get those people as it is - but one person who we feel is destined for a role on the show is Chris Hemsworth.
Not only is he an Aussie dad-of-three, but there’s a hidden Bluey connection as Daley - who’s an executive producer on the show - has also starred alongside Chris Hemsworth in the Thor video shorts on Disney+, and made a return to his role as Darryl Jacobson in the 2022 blockbuster, Thor: Love and Thunder.
Daley tells us: “We’d love to have Chris Hemsworth… The future might hold a role [for him]. Maybe in the future I’ll leave a pleading voicemail, ‘You gotta do it, people think I’m friends with you, man!’ We will keep it in mind.”
In terms of British guest stars, he says: “We’d love The Queen, obviously we’d love [Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Elizabeth II in The Crown]. What about the Welsh newsreader, Huw Edwards? I always remember his voice being great!”
Cricket super fan Dave (the voice of dad Bandit) adds: “Can we get Ian Botham, the cricketer? Why not [Freddie Flintoff?] Or the whole Ashes team? What about Stephen Fry doing Oscar Wilde in Bluey?!”
Hit Play below to watch Bluey’s Dave McCormack (the voice of Bandit) and Daley Pearson (Exec Producer and Director of Ludo Studio) reveal all about celebrity guest stars, the future of Bluey and a potential spin-off film
7. Dave McCormack records all his lines as Bandit in isolation - and has yet to meet mum Chilli…
The benefit of working on an animated show is that the voice cast can record their lines in the comfort of their own homes, as nobody needs to see their faces, and they don’t need to interact with anybody.
Whilst Bluey is made at Ludo’s headquarters in Brisbane, Dave actually records Bandit’s lines down in Sydney - over 500 miles away! Dave tells us: “I just get to do it with Joe [Brumm, creator of Bluey] via Zoom, we have a giggle, they edit it all together and then the magic happens.”
He continues: “We record about four episodes in an hour or two, which we do every couple of weeks or so. It’s pretty low-impact for me, it’s not too draining. They highlight all the bits I have to say too, which is really helpful!”
But a downside to recording remotely is that the voice cast have yet to meet each other! Yep, that chemistry between Bandit and Chilli on Bluey is completely scripted as Dave has yet to meet Melanie Zanetti [the voice of Chilli] in real life.
Daley confesses: “We’re quite embarrassed about that and want to fix that as soon as possible. It’s a blight on our name!”
8. The voices of Bluey and Bingo aren’t revealed to the public
Eagle-eyed Bluey viewers will notice that once an episode has concluded, Bandit and Chilli’s names (as well as any guest stars) are listed in the end credits - but Bluey and Bingo’s names are not.
That’s because the real voices of the two pups are top secret - they’re voices of the kids of the Bluey production crew, but that’s all we know. Daley explains: “We’re happy to say they’re friends and family of the crew, but it’s the parents’ decision. It makes a lot of sense. We just decided to let them decide when they want to [reveal who they are].”
On that note, producers revealed in an interview with iNews.co.uk recently that the crew are digitally altering Bluey’s voice so that it doesn’t age, giving Bluey ‘eternal youth’ so that they can make more series.
9. A single Bluey episode takes up to five months to make
A single series of Bluey consists of 52, seven-minute episodes (fun fact: it would take kids, and big kids, 364 minutes, or six hours, to get through an entire series). But we couldn’t believe a report that it takes up to five months to make a single episode of Bluey. You can see why Ludo has a crew of around 50 people working on the show.
Daley explains: “It takes four-five months [to make one episode]. There’s Joe [Brumm, the creator], there’s Rich, the director, the animators… they keep their eyes on four teams, who each make one episode each in parallel. When they finish, they just move to new episodes.”
He continues: “It’s a very slow-moving train that you can’t stop. You can play with it as it’s going along, but once it’s gone, it would stop the whole train to get it back. There’s a few cases where we have, for animation fix-ups or line adjustments, but it’s very rare.”
10. Some Bluey episodes are more like ‘experimental short films’
Most of the episodes in Bluey revolve around family gaming episodes, where Bandit (Dad) and Chilli (Mum) play games with Bandit and Chilli.
There’s a beautiful animation at the end of Grandad which signifies time passing. That sums up the show for me because it’s funny, and then it makes you think there’s more going on in life.
- Dave McCormack, Voice of Bandit
For those, Daley recommends watching The Weekend and Yoga Ball, which are the first episodes they made for the show.
But, some Bluey episodes are more experimental. Daley explains: “The other episodes are more humanist episodes, a bit experimental, avant garde. I like Sleepy Time and Flat Pack [in season 2] for that. They’re kind of experimental short films. I think every department hit a home run at the same time with those episodes.”
For an episode with more heart, Dave recommends the episode Grandad, in season 2, which is about Chilli’s relationship with her dad. He says: “There’s a beautiful animation at the end which signifies time passing. That sums up the show a lot for me because it’s funny, and then it makes you think, there’s more going on in the show, there’s more going on in life.”
11. There’s going to be more Bluey - and there’s even talk of a film!
In a recent interview with The Independent, Bluey creator Joe Brumm confessed, in a blow to parents, that he doesn’t see Bluey in his long-term future, instead wanting to focus on adult animation (think Family Guy and The Simpsons).
He said: “I never, ever saw myself working in children’s television… It doesn’t suit me very well”, citing editors who “chop and change” his script: “I can’t handle that so well – so I think my days working in it are probably a bit limited.”
We can confirm that there will be more Bluey - how much more is up for discussion. Daley says: “We’ve just finished season 3, we’ve just delivered the last episode. We’ve just started twenty shorts which are a little shorter than episodes, all through the same timeline, and cast. We’re just doing them now.”
Explaining the process of coming up with more ideas, he says: “We come to the end of what we’re finishing and we see what lies ahead. Anything could be on the cards. Definitely more of it. We haven’t stopped for five years, it’s been five pretty full on years. It’s very rewarding but very intense. We try to approach it fresh every time. We want it to be the best it can be.”
That being said, could Bluey follow in the footsteps of Paw Patrol, with a big theatrical release at some point in the future? He says: “We’ve always been excited by the idea of a feature [film]. A Bluey film would be incredible. Joe’s the creator, [so] the first seed needs to come from him. It hasn’t come yet, but fingers crossed in the next 48 hours!”
Bluey season 2 is available on CBeebies and BBC iPlayer from Monday 1 August.
Season 3 is also available on Disney+ from Wednesday 10 August.