Bandit Heeler is a main character of the Australian preschool animated television series Bluey, created by Joe Brumm. Employed as an archeologist, he enjoys playing with his daughters, Bluey and Bingo, and takes any role he plays in a game they devise seriously despite often being seen as reluctant and unwilling to partake in their games. He often teaches life lessons to his daughters while he plays with them, but this strains his public relationship with them in some episodes.

Bandit Heeler
Bluey character
An anthropomorphic cartoon dog with mostly blueish grey fur with a dark blue fur pattern on his head that resembles a bandit's mask. Silver hairs can be seen all over the dark blue areas of his fur as well as on his face around his mouth similar to facial hair, indicating middle age.
Bandit as he appears in the series
First appearance"Magic Xylophone" (2018)
Created byJoe Brumm
Voiced byDavid McCormack
In-universe information
SpeciesAustralian Cattle Dog (Blue Heeler)
  • Bob Heeler (father)
  • Chris Heeler (mother)
  • Radley Heeler (older brother)
  • Stripe Heeler (younger brother)
SpouseChilli Heeler
  • Bluey Heeler (daughter)
  • Bingo Heeler (daughter)
  • Frisky Heeler (sister-in-law)
  • Trixie Heeler (sister-in-law)
  • Muffin Heeler (niece)
  • Socks Heeler (niece)
  • Mort Cattle (father-in-law)
  • Chilli's Mum (mother-in-law, deceased)
  • Brandy Cattle (sister-in-law)
  • Unnamed future grandchild (grandson or granddaughter)
HomeBrisbane, Queensland

Bandit has received acclaim from many parents and critics, and is viewed by both as a positive father figure.

Character biography edit

Bandit, who grew up in the 1980s, is the younger brother of Radley Heeler[1] and the older brother of Stripe Heeler,[2] all of whom are sons of Bob and Chris Heeler.[3] In his youth, Bandit made frequent visits to a creek[4] and frequently teased/bullied Stripe.[3] One day, at a holiday park, he was jinxed by Radley (who disapproved of Bandit teasing Stripe), which rendered him silent until someone spoke his name.[3] The curse was broken by Chilli or someone with a similar appearance; although she and her family vacationed at the same park multiple times, Chilli has no memory of this meeting.[3]

Chilli believes that she and Bandit first met in England. Although there is "some dispute" as to the particular circumstances, she says the meeting took place at a London party,[5] during which she recalls that he was picking his nose.[6] After their meeting, the two of them began dating, and went on a backpacking trip to Italy, during which she accepted a marriage proposal from Bandit.[5] The guests in the wedding included Frisky and Rad, the latter of whom "probably" fell into a pool during the event.[1]

Bandit and Chilli's first child, Bluey, was born sometime later;[5] he claims to have "wrecked [his] back changing [her] nappies".[7] Their second child, Bingo, was born two years later.[7] At an unknown point, Bandit and Chilli had a miscarriage, and she then passed down her method of coping with it to Bingo.[8] He has contemplated getting neutered[9] and disposing of the family crib[10] in light of this event.

Some time later, Bandit received a job offer that would give him better pay, but would require him and his family to move out of Queensland. Believing this would allow him to give his daughters a good life, he put the house up for sale. Bandit's older brother, Radley, had wanted to move out of Queensland with Frisky after their wedding, but changed their minds, which found Bandit questioning his decision to move. Eventually, Bandit, coming to the realisation that his family did not want to move and having been told the buyers pulled out, changed his mind and withdrew the house from sale.[11]

Character highlights edit

Much of the series' humour revolves around his relationship with his daughters,[12] who he continually implores to come up with new games to play with him.[13] Bandit enjoyed playing touch football as a kid. He has expressed an interest in playing the game again, but has been too distracted by his parenting and his job to do so.[14] He also enjoyed drawing cars at age 6, but stopped doing so after being bullied over that.[15] Among his favorite pastimes are watching cricket[16][17] and playing squash.[2] He gets cranky when he is hungry.[18] He loves bananas but hates rockmelon.[19] He alternatively burped and sneezed after eating sauerkraut,[20] which the girls say is one of three foods, along with baked beans and nut roast, that make him fart.[21]

He has a habit of making "dad jokes" in front of his children.[4][22][21][23] He is left-handed.[24] He can still ride a skateboard.[25] He has an interest in, and made references to, Greek[26][27][4] and Celtic[28] mythology. He and his wife are fluent in French.[29] He often is seen reading the newspaper and has a habit of using child-friendly expletives, most of which relate to food.[30][31][27][32][33][34] He charges his tablet, which he sometimes drops, on a bedside table.[21] He has had a series of inappropriate habits, which include urinating on his foot, having stinky armpits, eating his own gravy stains, having a hairy nose that he picks at, and doing fluffies.[33] Some of his habits, which involve his buttocks, have alarmed his neighbour, Wendy.[35][36] He is frequently seen doing housework[37] and has a doctorate in archaeology.[38]

Development edit

Bandit was based on Brumm's own life; he modeled the character after a Blue Heeler owned by a friend of his father, and, as with the character, was the middle child in his family tree. The character's occupation was partly influenced by one of his brothers, Adam, who was an archeologist in his own right,[39] and had been involved in the discovery of fossilised remains of Homo floresiensis,[40] which he nicknamed "The Hobbit" at a Queensland university. The Heelers, including Bandit, are presented as a nuclear family, with him serving as one of the show's two working parents (his wife Chilli is employed as an airport security guard).[41]

Voice edit

In all English dubs of the series, Bandit is voiced by Australian performer/musician David McCormack, who was initially approached to read what he assumed would be merely "a couple of lines", through his Sonar Sounds studio - who specialise in television and film soundtracks - only to voice the character for the entirety of the pilot. McCormack, who was raised in Brisbane (where Bluey is based), is a noted alternative rock musician (His bands include Custard, a mainstay of the Australian indie scene) and film/tv soundtrack composer for a number of Australian Broadcasting Corporation shows including Redfern Now. McCormack performs his voice work for the series remotely in Sydney, and his voice recordings are then sent to the production company in Brisbane. He does not hear any other voice actors or view footage while recording, and does not alter his own voice to produce Bandit's dialogue. [42][43]

Appearances edit

Bandit has appeared in most of the episodes of Bluey that have aired during its run, and has appeared in most merchandise related to the series. He was the subject of three books, My Dad is Awesome,[44] The Big Blue Guy's Book of Dad Goals,[45] and an entry in the Bluey: Little Library series.[46] He also appears in the stage show Bluey's Big Play[47][48][49][50] and the video game Bluey: The Videogame.[51][52]

Reception edit

Bandit has been praised as a positive father figure and commended for his patient nature, willingness to do housework and play with his children.[37] Jennifer McClellan of USA Today described Bandit as "sarcastic, sympathetic and silly".[53] Philippa Chandler of The Guardian described the character as "laconic, playful and certainly more emotionally intelligent than, say, Peppa Pig’s hapless dad".[12] Doug Hendrie of The Sydney Morning Herald claimed that Bandit was designed to improve Australian dads.[54] Amanda Hess, writing for The New York Times, opined that Bandit is "not only a good father — he is a fantasy, one crafted to appeal to adults as much as to children."[55] Kate Cantrell of The Conversation criticized the character for occasionally bullying the children and acting like a larrikin.[56] He is considered one of the greatest cartoon fathers of all time.[57][58][59]

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Double Babysitter". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 25. 6 November 2020. ABC.
  2. ^ a b "Squash". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 4. 20 March 2020. ABC.
  3. ^ a b c d "Fairytale". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 26. 16 December 2021. ABC.
  4. ^ a b c "The Creek". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 29. 3 April 2019. ABC.
  5. ^ a b c "The Show". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 19. 4 April 2020. ABC.
  6. ^ "Magic Xylophone". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 1. 1 October 2018. ABC.
  7. ^ a b "Yoga Ball". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 16. 16 October 2018. ABC.
  8. ^ Oderberg, Isabelle (5 April 2023). Hard to Bear: Investigating the Science and Silence of Miscarriage. Australia: Ultimo Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-1-7611-5216-0.
  9. ^ "Perfect". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 14. 5 September 2021. ABC.
  10. ^ "Promises". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 4. 24 November 2021. ABC.
  11. ^ "The Sign". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 49. 14 April 2024. ABC.
  12. ^ a b Chandler, Philippa (21 November 2018). "Bluey: how Australia fell in love with a cartoon blue heeler puppy and her family". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 21 November 2018. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  13. ^ Collins, Simon (26 March 2019). "Fun tales ABC Kids series Bluey lapped up". PerthNow. Seven West Media. Archived from the original on 26 March 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Fruitbat". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 8. 8 October 2018. ABC.
  15. ^ "Dragon". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 43. 14 May 2023. ABC.
  16. ^ "Horsey Ride". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 9. 9 October 2018. ABC.
  17. ^ "The Weekend". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 6. 6 October 2018. ABC.
  18. ^ "Omelette". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 5. 25 November 2021. ABC.
  19. ^ "Trampoline". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 33. 7 April 2019. ABC.
  20. ^ "Chickenrat". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 46. 20 April 2019. ABC.
  21. ^ a b c "Family Meeting". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 23. 13 December 2021. ABC.
  22. ^ "The Pool". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 22. 22 October 2018. ABC.
  23. ^ "Turtleboy". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 30. 16 June 2022. ABC.
  24. ^ "The Claw". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 19. 19 October 2018. ABC.
  25. ^ "Bob Bilby". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 12. 12 October 2018. ABC.
  26. ^ "Hospital". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 2. 2 October 2018. ABC.
  27. ^ a b "Tickle Crabs". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 20. 5 April 2020. ABC.
  28. ^ "Queens". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 23. 8 April 2020. ABC.
  29. ^ "Pavlova". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 17. 7 December 2021. ABC.
  30. ^ "Daddy Robot". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 4. 4 October 2018. ABC.
  31. ^ "Taxi". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 25. 25 October 2018. ABC.
  32. ^ "Duck Cake". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 44. 7 December 2021. ABC.
  33. ^ a b "Smoochy Kiss". Bluey. Season 3. Episode 35. 21 June 2022. ABC.
  34. ^ "Road Trip". Bluey. Season 2. Episode 46. 13 November 2020. ABC.
  35. ^ "Work". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 31. 5 April 2019. ABC.
  36. ^ "Copycat". Bluey. Season 1. Episode 38. 12 April 2019. ABC.
  37. ^ a b Hiatt, Bethany (5 March 2019). "Bluey, the cartoon pup your kids just can't get enough of". The West Australian. Seven West Media. Archived from the original on 5 March 2019. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  38. ^ "Archaeology". Bluey. 1 April 2022. ABC.
  39. ^ Dow, Steve (11 April 2020). "Bluey creator Joe Brumm's dog days". The Saturday Paper. Schwartz Publishing. Archived from the original on 10 April 2020. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  40. ^ Sutikna, Thomas; Tocheri, Matthew W.; Morwood, Michael J.; Saptomo, E. Wahyu; Jatmiko; Awe, Rokus Due; Wasisto, Sri; Westaway, Kira E.; Aubert, Maxime; Li, Bo; Zhao, Jian-xin; Storey, Michael; Alloway, Brent V.; Morley, Mike W.; Meijer, Hanneke J. M.; van den Bergh, Gerrit D.; Grün, Rainer; Dosseto, Anthony; Brumm, Adam; Jungers, William L.; Roberts, Richard G. (30 March 2016). "Revised stratigraphy and chronology for Homo floresiensis at Liang Bua in Indonesia". Nature. 532 (7599): 366–369. Bibcode:2016Natur.532..366S. doi:10.1038/nature17179. PMID 27027286. S2CID 4469009.
  41. ^ Reiha, Amy (4 September 2018). "Bluey set to nuzzle her way into the hearts of Aussie preschoolers this October". ABC TV Publicity. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Archived from the original on 28 February 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  42. ^ Stafford, Andrew (16 May 2019). "Custard's Dave McCormack on voicing Bluey's dad: 'I'm popular at school drop-off time'". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  43. ^ "The Bluey phenomenon: Bandit Heeler voice actor reveals all about playing arguably the world's greatest dad". Sky News. Retrieved 12 March 2024.
  44. ^ "Bluey: My Dad is Awesome". Penguin. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  45. ^ "Bluey: The Big Blue Guy's Book of Dad Goals". Penguin. Archived from the original on 7 April 2023. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  46. ^ "Bluey: Little Library". Penguin. Archived from the original on 4 June 2022. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  47. ^ "Beloved Bluey hits the road". The West Australian. Seven West Media. 15 November 2019. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  48. ^ Leeson, Josh (14 November 2019). "Hit ABC Kids show Bluey announces live stage show for 2020". The Newcastle Herald. Australian Community Media. Archived from the original on 16 November 2019. Retrieved 16 November 2019.
  49. ^ James, Faye (30 March 2020). "Bluey's Big Play rescheduled". Kidspot. News Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 1 October 2020. Retrieved 1 April 2020.
  50. ^ Kanapathippillai, Julia (26 November 2020). "Bluey's Big Play The Stage Show heads to Canberra Theatre Centre". The Canberra Times. Australian Community Media. Archived from the original on 13 December 2020. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  51. ^ Harmon, Steph (19 July 2023). "Bluey: The Videogame in the works, according to evidence dug up by online sleuths". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 20 July 2023. Retrieved 16 September 2023.
  52. ^ Ankers-Range, Adele (19 September 2023). "First Ever Bluey Video Game Launches This November". IGN. Ziff Davis. Archived from the original on 19 September 2023.
  53. ^ McClellan, Jennifer (21 October 2019). "Finally! Bluey on Disney is a show kids can watch on repeat without driving parents crazy". USA Today. Gannett. Archived from the original on 23 October 2019. Retrieved 23 October 2019.
  54. ^ Hendrie, Doug (3 September 2022). "'I wish you were like Bluey's dad. He's much funnier than you'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 21 June 2023.
  55. ^ Hess, Amanda (18 December 2023). "The Fantasy of the Fun TV Dad". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2023.
  56. ^ Burton, David; Cantrell, Kate (10 June 2022). "Everyone loves Bandit from Bluey – but is he a lovable larrikin, or just a bad dad?". The Conversation. Retrieved 21 June 2023.
  57. ^ Goulis, Leah (2 September 2022). "Proof that Bluey's dad Bandit is the most relatable father". Kidspot. News Corp Australia. Retrieved 9 March 2024.
  58. ^ "How a cartoon dog became a role model for dads". BBC News. BBC. 30 July 2022. Retrieved 21 June 2023.
  59. ^ Donnelly, Erin (9 August 2022). "Why Bandit on 'Bluey' makes me want to be a better parent". Yahoo Life. Yahoo! Inc. Retrieved 21 June 2023.

External links edit