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12 December 2019
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Griffith Magazine

True Bluey


Fourth Edition December 2019

The team of Griffith alumni behind the hit series Bluey has had an unforgettable year, nominated for an Emmy, winning a Logie Award and becoming the first program to eclipse 100 million plays on ABC iView.

Created by Griffith Film School alumnus Joe Brumm, Bluey has proved wildly popular with families across the nation, becoming the ABC’s most watched show ever.

The show won Most Outstanding Children’s Program at the Logie Awards this week, and Joe thanked the series legions of fans in his acceptance speech.

“A massive thank you to the Bluey fans who have really taken this show to their hearts,” he said.

The series is produced by Emmy award-winning Ludo Studio, co-founded by fellow Griffith Film School alumnus Daley Pearson, and the show employs scores of Griffith animation graduates.

The creative team recently inked a deal with Disney Junior and Disney+ that will see the show go global. They have partnered with Moose Toys to produce a range of books and toys and are also in discussions to create a live play based on the show.

Daley said the team was determined to make sure the show stayed true to its roots.

“This is definitely the biggest thing that’s happened to any of us, but we want everything that goes out to be as good as the show.

“It’s about following our natural instincts that made the show a success in the first place.”

Joe Brumm, who previously worked on BAFTA-award winning kids shows Charlie and Lola and Peppa Pig, created Bluey after watching his daughters at play.

“It’s fascinating seeing how much they learn from devising and playing their own games. Bluey is a celebration of the role imaginative play has in shaping healthy kids,” he said.

As creator and showrunner, Joe wanted to ground the universal themes of family and fun in a recognisably Australian setting.

“We are making this series right here in Brisbane with local animators and actors, so I wanted that reflected on screen – we’ve included Queenslanders, hilly suburban streets, backyard swimming pools,” he said.

Joe graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Animation (Honours) and worked in London for a decade before returning home and establishing his own production company, Studio Joho.

For Bluey, Joe teamed up with Ludo Studio – co-founded in 2012 by fellow Griffith Film School alumnus Daley Pearson, who helped create the Emmy-award winning kids series Doodles.

Ludo’s ethos is simple: ‘create locally, screen globally’. This is evident in the amount of local talent working behind the scenes – including more than 20 Griffith Film School animation graduates.

Daley, who is Executive Producer on Bluey, said the team had done a “fantastic job”.

“Joe and more than 50 Queensland animators, designers, sound and production talent are doing an incredible job,” he said.

“These artists have taken everything beautiful about Brisbane and put it on the screen to make a truly Australian show.”

Griffith Film School Animation Program director Dr Peter Moyes said local graduates made up more than half of the workforce on Bluey.

“Fifty per cent of people employed on this project are new graduates from Griffith Film School,” he said.

“For a long time there were only a couple of animation studios in Brisbane, but there has been a real upsurge in the industry, with a dedicated children’s channel on the ABC and streaming services like Netflix and Stan.

“The course at GFS attracts people who have a genuine desire to go into this industry, and they are surrounded by other people who feel the same.

“It’s a bonus that people can stay in Brisbane and find meaningful work in the industry.”