‘Bluey’ Changes Direction, Follows Disney’s Lead

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Bluey with a shocked expression

Credit: Ludo Studio

After becoming the most-viewed show on streaming last week, it’s safe to say that Bluey has one of the biggest audiences currently watching. However, not all those billions of views are the show’s primary or intended demographic.

Bluey meets Jean Luc in Camping
Credit: Ludo Studios

Thanks to Disney+, the Australian animated series has become accessible to fans worldwide. Although its target audience is primarily Bluey or Bingo’s age group, the show has had an arguably more significant effect on adults and parents in the room.

Related: Disney Jr. Drops Brand New ‘Bluey’ Episode

Parents have not been quiet about their love for the show either. As Bandit and Chilli continue to raise the parenting bar, and mums and dads continue taking advice from a cartoon dog, the adult fanbase has expanded to include not just parents but child-free grownups as well, an audience that is rapidly making itself heard.

Bluey Without the Pups

Muffin barks at Bluey and Bingo
Credit: Ludo Studios

One of the most common phrases about the beloved series is that Bluey is a show about parenting that kids can watch too, and there’s a whole lot of truth in that statement. However, it’s becoming clear that the adults in the audience are reaping more benefits than the series’ intended audience.

Related: ‘Hamilton’ Star Lin-Manuel Miranda Cast in New ‘Bluey’ Episode

Inside the Magic has previously covered how adults have been in love with the show since season one and how psychological studies have shown that they are getting the most out of watching. However, the fanbase has recently opened up about how many are adults without children.

A recent post on r/Bluey shared a whole host of self-proclaimed Bluey buffs admitting to extensive viewings sans kids. This demographic not only shares their two cents on the fandom side of things but also how the show has personally and emotionally made an impact.

The Truth Comes Out

Three cartoon dogs, a brown and white dog named Bluey, a black and white dog, and a red dog, stand on a wooden platform in a grassy field with a clear sky.
Credit: Ludo Studios

u/JelloNo379 makes the following post on Bluey’s subreddit, asking where they stand in the grand scheme of the show’s audience.

“I am a childless Bluey watcher who happens to also be an adult. I’m trying to get my friends and family to watch Bluey as well, but they always say “it’s a kids show” and that “adults can’t watch shows made for kids” when I can list at least 15 shows made for kids that adults also like. It almost makes me embarrassed to like Bluey, but I want to be reassured that I’m not the only one. The thought that I can’t like or watch Bluey because I’m not the target audience is very immature.”

Given that the series has become the most-watched show currently streaming, it’s hard to say that anyone should feel embarrassed about watching Bluey. Of course, the user above isn’t alone.

Related: ‘Bluey’ Gets Redrawn: Official Redesign Predicted

Down in the comments, u/LegendaryTamer shares their support when they write,

“Childless adult fan here. I don’t talk ‘Bluey’ outside of things like Discord and Reddit. Never tried to get friends or family into the show. If it were to ever come up in conversation naturally, I’d give my two cents plus interest.”

“I’m not embarrassed that I love a cartoon for kids, but at the same time I’m not about to shout that love from the rooftops. People come around eventually. Heck, I’m pretty late to the party- but better late than never.”

To which u/BeatificBanana replies,

“Could have written this comment myself, it’s exactly how I feel about it and the approach I take. Only difference is that I happen to have 2 childless adult friends who also like Bluey so I can talk about it with them, but I don’t bring it up with anyone else!”

Although views like those expressed above are consistent and familiar, other users take a much more personal approach to their admiration. Further down, u/TandyMouse expresses just how much Bluey has raised the bar for entertainment as a whole.

“I’m 26, childless and Bluey is my favorite modern tv show hands down. I have autism and it’s become my number one comfort show. I don’t understand why people care so much about adults watching “kid” shows or movies. If you ask me, Bluey has a lot more emotional maturity than lots of “adult” shows I’ve watched.”

“It’s a problem that’s plagued animated shows and movies forever, especially in the States, it seems. I often get made fun of for watching animated shows and movies, but I don’t care. Animation is a beautiful art form and you can tell amazing stories that other mediums couldn’t. Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t ok to watch shows like Bluey! People who say that are shut off from their inner child. It’s important to enjoy the innocent things of life, in my opinion.”

The latter half of their comment truly strikes a chord, as it seems multiple audiences (including those outside of Bluey’s) are making more of an effort to appeal to that sense of inner child healing. Moreover, the series might be taking a directional shift by following Disney’s lead.

Bluey See, Bluey Do

A cartoon image of Bluey, a blue dog with black ears and a mask, looking surprised while tiptoeing across stepping stones in a creek surrounded by foliage.
Credit: Ludo Studios

Disney has been making more efforts to appeal to its older clientele in recent reports. Even former studio heads are jumping to the defense of Disney Adults, so why shouldn’t Bluey follow suit?

Related: ‘Bluey’ Joins Disney in Neurodiversity Win

It’s already been suspected that the series could be taking a more adult approach as Bluey, Bingo, and the rest of the animated cast will be aging along with its audience, leading to an older demographic appeal. However, as pointed out by some of the comments above, its mature storytelling might ultimately lead to this decision.

Just as Disney Adults continue to dominate the theme parks, so will the childless Bluey buffs soon dominate whatever streaming service offers the beloved animated series. Honestly, that might not be such a bad thing.

Are you a “Bluey Adult?” Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below! 

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