Bluey has gone from a local love to a full-on global phenomenon in a matter of years. Co-creator Joe Brumm sat down with Marc Fennell for our new podcast, Hey, Guess What? to talk about what Bluey means to him, those around him and the interesting way he started his animation company.

Hey, Guess What? is a new podcast from Telstra that looks to teach us all a little something about who we’re connected to, how we grow and what it all means. Subscribe to Hey, Guess What? on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Whooshkaa or wherever you find great podcasts.

On where the idea for Bluey began…

To me, you know, there’s no grand idea behind Bluey. I didn’t start with one I knew I wanted to have, you know, cartoon animals. I’ve always loved dogs and I thought look within within dogs species, you know, breeds, I guess you get all that visual variation. You can have Dalmatians and brown dogs and all this. So that’s what my grand idea was then just I guess, as we started executing it, you know, and we sort of put my myself into it. And then it really pivoted and became about play and about all the sort of things that come from that, that I think it really took on what it is that is appealing to people about Bluey. It’s a show about dogs that love to play. It’s a show about parenting and about being a kid.

My earliest memory of drawing was just drawing a pair of shorts, and I still remember the shape of them there just the must’ve been four or five and they just very boxy looking but I just remember a thought in my head. A that’s a good pair of shorts. So ha, like you can have sort of figured out you can actually turn a corner.

On dealing with the global success of Bluey

It hits you in in different ways. An ex-Australian cricket captain will email you one day and say his kids love the show. And, or you’ll just go to a restaurant, and there’s some kid’s being given a present and are unwrapping it and it’s a Bluey doll, you know, like little, little times like that. When it’s, you know, these sort of bizarre things happen that you go, Oh, yeah, like, this thing isn’t just on our rushes TV at work, you know, it actually goes out into the world and people watch it. But I mean, we’re so busy making it sometimes you think it only exists on in the edit suite, you know, but when you when you do go out in the world, and you see it in people that the toys and the books in people’s hands it that’s when it becomes real for me.

On what he wants to teach kids via Bluey

I’d set out not to make a show where you learn numbers or counting, or any, like, overt sort of moral lesson, you know, where there’s an adult going, see now, that’s why cooperation is X or Y, you know, see, we learned that, you know, friends are all you need. Like, I didn’t want to do that I kind of just set out so I’m gonna, if I’m gonna make a show, I’m gonna just try and make a show that makes kids laugh now, then, you know, I also wanted to have adults be able to watch it too, because I wanted to make a show that I just thought it must be a great experience for a kid to sit on a couch and watch a show with their parents. And the parents are laughing as well. And, and kind of not separately, I guess they are laughing at the same thing.