“Flowers may bloom again, but a person never has the chance to be young again.”
This Chinese proverb reminds us that we won’t have this moment again, and that refusing opportunities to connect with our childlike sense of wonder, imagination, and just plain carefree fun, even for moments, will only become rarer as the years pass.
If you’re a parent like me, you probably didn’t learn this proverb from studies of philosophy or ancient text. No, you probably learned it from a great modern philosopher covered in blue fur – Bandit Heeler (voiced by David McCormack), the dad to two delightfully energetic young pups on Bluey.
After trying tirelessly to sit and read the newspaper while waiting for the rest of his takeaway order, Bandit is caught up in the chaos of his two young daughters (Bluey and Bingo) in everything from an out of control water faucet, crows sneaking into their food, the eternal 5 minutes for the missing part of their order to finish, or even Bingo needing to take a really long bush wee.
And it’s just one of many examples of where Ludo Studios’ Bluey perfectly bridges the gap between entertaining children with childlike antics and imagination and hitting parents in the gut with a pinpoint accurate reflection on life.
Bluey means a lot to our family. We discovered the Heeler Family in 2020 at the height of pandemic at a time when a lot of things were closed and many of us were spending most our time at home. It sparked the imaginations of all our kids, leading to a wonderful increase in pretend-play, whether that was something like using furniture, toys and other items around the house to create a mess of a neighborhood in the living room and play “neighbors,” or our girls tying blankets around themselves as capes and using a magnifying glass as a scepter to walk around the house as “queens.” Now, it’s an almost-nightly ritual for our family to watch a few 7-minute episodes together – the kids getting one viewing experience while mom and dad get a completely different viewing experience, something the creators of Bluey excel at.
There’s a treasure trove of fun and thoughtfulness to be found in every episode of Bluey and it’s just one of the reasons (aside from being hilariously spot-on when it comes to its portrayal of kids and parents) that it has resonated so well across the audience age spectrum.
With that in mind, it felt like there was no better time than Father’s Day to appreciate just a few of the many relatable moments in parenthood with our favorite TV dad, Bandit Heeler.
Standing in the pantry to get breakfast ready, Bandit shouts to Bluey “You want cereal?!” There’s no answer from Bluey. A brief pause and Bandit quietly answers himself. “Yeah, you want cereal.” – Featherwand (S2, E3)
“It never ends.” Bandit sums up the eternal struggle of laundry perfectly. It’s hard enough to keep up with your own, but throw a few kids and all their clothes into the mix and you’ve just discovered a new form of purgatory. – Grannies (S1, E28)
Bluey and Bingo want some money to use a Claw Machine at a restaurant. Bandit tries to encourage the magic word to the point of pretty much just saying it himself. “Puh…Puh…puh…pluh…pluh…plea…plea…please…” – The Claw (S1, E19)
“Well, that tooth fairy is doing well for herself, isn’t she?” Bandit exclaims after spitting out his cereal at the sight of the five bucks the Tooth Fairy left behind for Bluey. “That’s what she left all of Bluey’s friends,” Mom Chilli casually points out. – Markets (S1, E20)
Bluey meets a new friend, Winnie, at the park and very quickly wants to invite her and her dad over for breakfast, but the awkwardness from Bandit and Winnie’s dad, Fido, is palpable. The kids force the dads into playing customers in a game of Cafe, showing that it’s quite a bit harder to make new friends as an adult than it used to be as a kid. When Winnie and her Dad don’t seem to be at the park one morning, Bandit starts to realize he was making a grown-up friend, one he missed hanging around with! – Cafe (S2, E35)
And a trip to the movies is gonna cost ya.
Bandit: One adult and two kids to Chunky Chimp, thanks.
Bingo: And a giant popcorn!
Bandit: And a small popcorn.
Bingo: (disappointed) Ohhhh.
Movie Employee: Uh, $54, please.
Bandit: Chunky Chimp! Do I have to pay for the four-year-old? She’s not really gonna watch it.
Movie Employee: Uh, yeah, you still have to pay.
– Movies (S2, E29)
Bluey airs in the US on Disney Junior, in ABC Kids in its home country of Australia and on CBeebies in the UK. The first two seasons of Bluey are available to stream on Disney Plus and select episodes for free on Disney Now.