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The Rise Of Anti-Woke Disney!

Bentkey Throws Up Their Dukes With A Cheap Copy Of Bluey!

By ZoonibroPublished 3 months ago 3 min read
Video by Clapped Seal on Youtube

Bluey (Owned by Disney) VS. Chip Chilla (Owned by Bentkey)

In the children’s series “Bluey” and its conservative knockoff, “Chip Chilla,” boundlessly attentive fathers step in to assuage parental anxieties.

In the first episode of “Bluey,” the Australian children’s series about an animated family of blue heelers, the mama dog, Chilli, drives off to work, leaving her husband, Bandit, to care for the pups. They play a game requiring Bandit to freeze in increasingly silly scenarios — fingers in his nose, sock on his tail, garden hose blasting him right in the face. Much of the series is a showcase for Bandit’s virtuosic performances in his daughters’ imaginative schemes. In subsequent episodes, he serves as their beleaguered hospital patient, beleaguered robot, beleaguered horse.

“Bluey” has been praised for its rare and complex depiction of parents, and Bandit has been commended as an exceptional father. Tribute is paid in Bandit Facebook groups, Bandit memes and custom Bandit fan merchandise. He is a fun dad who does housework, too. In one episode, he dances into the kitchen, shouts “What’s up, party people?” and plops a basket of freshly folded laundry on the floor.

I don’t know how he keeps house, works as an archaeologist and serves as a full-time prop artist to his daughters, but he does it all while only feigning complaint. He is not only a good father — he is a fantasy, one crafted to appeal to adults as much as to children.

As I watch the show over my 3-year-old son’s shoulder, I wonder what Bandit says about the latent desires of the parents queuing up the show. (More than 100 episodes are streaming on Disney+, with more arriving in January.) After all, when I turn on “Bluey,” I am being very un-Bandit — I am not engaged in focused play that follows my child’s imagination wherever it leads. I am cleaning. My son is staring at a screen.

Gone are the days of sitting a child in front of the television, selecting Nickelodeon or PBS and hiding the remote. Streaming has turned children’s entertainment into a self-serve buffet, which also can make it feel like a constant referendum on parental values and tastes. On any given afternoon, my son could be watching a vacant C.G.I. nursery rhyme on YouTube, a competent Disney musical from my own childhood or a genius Miyazaki epic. Now that we have so many choices, our selections have come to seem important, especially since they are made under a cloud of ambient judgment for pacifying our kids with screens at all.

It’s typical in children’s stories for parental figures to be obscured or even absent, especially the mothers. The Disney movies I grew up on — “The Little Mermaid,” “The Lion King” — featured authoritarian fathers who ruled their children from a distance while outsourcing their child care to a crab or a bird. My son’s favorite show is not “Bluey” but “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” in which Mickey’s parentage is irrelevant. He is a godlike figure who answers to no one. That is a fantasy for children — total parental obsolescence.

So Bandit’s omnipresence is odd, and striking. He is like Mary Poppins, stitching together a family with creative prop work. Or he’s the Cat in the Hat, leading children in controlled chaos while their mother is out. His closest analogues in children’s media are not other parents, but the fools and tricksters that children encounter when they are allowed to roam unsupervised. Bandit represents a parent freed of drudgery, one whose central responsibility is delighting his kids.

I wonder if one of the upsides of “Bluey,” from the parent’s perspective, is that it works to absolve our guilt over screen time. If we feel bad for ignoring or subduing our children, “Bluey” at least offers a simulation of boundless parental attention. As my son watches it, I’m not neglecting him, but I’m often doing the laundry that Bandit miraculously folds offscreen. I’ll admit to my own “Bluey” fantasy: I tell myself that the show takes place exclusively within the 10 daily minutes of focused playtime that various Instagram experts suggest that parents spend with their children.

When I heard that Bentkey, The Daily Wire’s conservative children’s entertainment company, had created a transparent “Bluey” rip-off, I was curious what it would do with the dad. If Bandit is the idol of progressive fatherhood, what are the attributes and habits of his conservative doppelgänger?

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About the Creator


25, Autistic, Loves good food, entertainment, and fandom-related topics. I love Bluey, Paw Patrol, Zoonicorn, and other various cartoons!

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