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Bluey Stars Explain Inspiration For Their Characters

Despite Bluey becoming a huge international sensation, the voiceover performers for the show have done very little press for the animated series. It’s becoming hard to avoid as that popularity intensifies, and a new interview to promote a very special Bluey moment in the United States brought us some tidbits of info that we’ve never heard before.

Melanie Zanetti and Dave McCormack, AKA the voices of Chilli and Bandit Heeler on Bluey, visited Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul ahead of their appearance this weekend at Twin Cities Con inside the Minneapolis Convention Center – their first U.S. convention appearance ever!

This was the second time in five years this pair of performers were in the same room together, the first being their appearance last year on The Jimmy Fallon Show. Zanetti and McCormack answered questions from the hosts, providing some great entertainment along with some amazing insight onto the popular Australian animated series.

Bluey Goes Global

The first question addressed was speculating on how this little animated series from The Land Down Under rapidly dominated the animation scene across the globe. Both actors were equally mystified but grateful that it happened.

“I had no idea,” McCormack explained. “I thought it was going to be a one-off thing that we record and it would be on YouTube, and I thought ‘That’s cute – dogs’. I didn’t have any drawings or anything, just words on the paper.”

Zanetti had seen some animatics and had a better idea of the final product, but was still taken aback by its initial success. “When I saw that and I heard the voices, I thought this is really special. No one predicted what a juggernaut it would be come. But when I saw that, [I thought] okay, they’re onto something here… When I started seeing how much merchandise was everywhere, walking down the street you can see whole families decked out in Bluey stuff, that started to make it home for sure.”

McCormack realized it more when Bluey aired on a prime slot on Australian national TV for kids entertainment, a time typically reserved for the top shows in that age bracket. “We’re on national TV at 6 o’ clock, this is huge.”

What Do The Stars of Bluey Think About Their Adult Fans?

While kids love Bluey, the adult fanbase might rival them in terms of size and obsession. When asked about their older audience, both actors had positive things to say.

Zanetti attributed it to the creative process that reaches so many of the loyal viewers outside of the intended target age group. “I think the writing is so great,” she explained, “Joe Brumm – the creator – so strong, his ability to really see the essence of that age group, of that family, and all of its hilarity and absurdity, and the beautiful way he touches on tricky things. There is so much heart.”

When asked about what McCormack’s kids think about the show, the Heeler patriarch responded, “Rose and Grace are now 10 and 12 so they’re aware of it but when we started it, they were amazed. They thought it was incredible. They thought it was a biopic about their lives.”

The Heelers certainly a closeknit family, and the Fox 9 reporters had a bone to pick with the voiceover performers with how perfect Chilli and Bandit were as parents. McCormack reminded them it’s just the joys of being a cartoon dog. “We only have to be good parents for seven minutes, then we’re terrible.”

Melanie Zanetti and Dave McCormack’s Favorite Bluey Episodes

The most popular question either of these performers are asked is always what their favorite episodes are. Zanetti found it difficult to answer that, but still had one that’s very meaningful to her. “It’s like trying to choose a favorite child, but one of my favorites is “Sleepytime.” I recorded it, I knew what it was going to be, but when I first watched it, I was like sobbing.”

McCormack chose one that fans outside of Australia have yet to see. “They’re all good but there’s one about cricket… It’s an incredible episode. I can’t wait for you to see it.”

McCormack spent much of the interview joking with the hosts, and his response for what part of his Bluey character he relates to was signature Bandit. “I don’t really feel like I’m doing a character. i just feel like it’s me who looks like a dog.”

“I don’t have kids but i draw a lot of my own Mum,” Zanetti answered to the same question as her counterpart. “I’m one of six kids so sometimes I’m like ‘How would my own Mum do this?’ Oh – like that – so let’s do it like that.”

One of the more surprising revelations from this interview was when the two revealed they don’t watch the episodes in advance, and their first viewing is usually the TV premieres. Zanetti explained the showrunners will occasionally send them early releases like “Hammerbarn” because they had such a good time making it and she really wanted to see it as soon as possible.

While Bluey’s third season has almost wrapped up in Australia, other countries including the United States are still lagging behind. We don’t have an exact air date yet of when the remaining episodes will arrive in the U.S., but we are hopeful it will happen in the next few months. After this season comes to a close, the show creators have said they will take a break before starting production on Season 4.

Tickets are still available for Twin Cities Con, which happens this weekend. Joining Zanetti and McCormack will be Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, Danny Trejo, Steve Burns from Blues Clues, Janet Varnet from The Legend of Korra, Tony Todd, and loads of other wonderful celebrities, voiceover talent, and artists (full guest list here). Stay tuned for any breaking news from the convention on this website!


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