Yes, I'll be watching Bluey 'The Sign' with my child today

(Image credit: Disney)

There are many times as a parent when you need the TV to act as a babysitter for your kid — maybe you need to get dinner ready, or your child is home sick — and you want them to watch something that's not going to drive you insane the more you hear its theme. 

How to watch "Bluey: The Sign"

"The Sign" will be available on Disney Plus, as well as the Disney Channel, Disney Junior and ABC iView on Sunday, April 14. 

Too many animated kids shows follow the same predictable pattern (I call it the "Paw Patrol" formula): Some bad guy hatches an evil plan, and it's up to the team to use their combined powers to thwart their scheme. These being children's shows, the "evil" plan is more like an inconvenience — like stealing every birthday candle in town. 

Lately, my kid has been on a "Spidey & Friends" kick, which means a pint-sized Peter Parker and pals face off against a prepubescent Green Goblin, Sandman, and Doc Ock. But it's the same trope over and over, and while I'm sure it's subconsciously imparting lessons about teamwork and all that good stuff, it's really insipid. 

But there's one exception to the pablum of animated kids programming: "Bluey."

Instead of retreading the same plot over and over, each episode is original, exploring different facets of relationships between parents and children, siblings, friends, and learning about all aspects of life — whatever that may be. While most episodes are lighthearted in nature, it doesn't shy away from sadder topics, such as when Bluey finds a dead bird, or how to deal with disappointment.

And, a lot of the episodes aren't just about Bluey's interactions with her parents; there's plenty of time devoted to just Bandit and Chili (Bluey's dad and mum) and their relationship. 

Like some of the best classic Warner Bros. cartoons, a lot of the humor in "Bluey" is directed at adults, so I'll often find myself chuckling alongside my kid.

I'm not sure if any of the lessons of Bluey have rubbed off on my daughter, but some of its mannerisms sure have. While she's not speaking with an Australian accent, she will often express disappointment by letting out an "Awwww!" 

Come to think of it, even I've succumbed. Whenever my kid calls out "I'm hungry!", I'll often respond "Hi hungry! I'm Dad!" 

The only issue I have with "Bluey" is that each episode is only about seven minutes long, so if for some reason autoplay isn't working, you have to press play on the remote continuously, lest you have an angry child on your hand. I risked opening Pandora's Box, and taught my kid what button she needed to push.

This Sunday's special, "The Sign," is different in that it has a 28-minute runtime. On IMDB, the plot synopsis reads: "Bluey, Bingo, Mum, Dad and all their family and friends are getting ready for the 'wedding event of the year', in an exciting special bursting with adventure, romance and - emergency toilet stops."

It will also feature a few guest stars, including Patrick Brammall, Rose Byrne and Joel Edgerton.

And fortunately, it won't be the last "Bluey" episode, as many feared. There's a listing for an episode following, called "Surprise!" — no doubt a nod to all the speculation. 

"Bluey: The Sign" is available now to stream on Disney Plus.

Mike Prospero
U.S. Editor-in-Chief, Tom's Guide

Michael A. Prospero is the U.S. Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide. He oversees all evergreen content and oversees the Homes, Smart Home, and Fitness/Wearables categories for the site. In his spare time, he also tests out the latest drones, electric scooters, and smart home gadgets, such as video doorbells. Before his tenure at Tom's Guide, he was the Reviews Editor for Laptop Magazine, a reporter at Fast Company, the Times of Trenton, and, many eons back, an intern at George magazine. He received his undergraduate degree from Boston College, where he worked on the campus newspaper The Heights, and then attended the Columbia University school of Journalism. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, electric scooter, or skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine, smoker, or pizza oven, to the delight — or chagrin — of his family.