“Bluey: The Shield”: Is the first XXL episode too long for young children’s eyes? [Parental Guide and Review]

With “Bluey: The Shield,” we are presented with the first extra-long episode of the popular Australian children’s series. We’ll tell you, spoiler-free, whether young children might lose interest.

The Australian preschool series “Bluey” not only captivates children’s eyes but also repeatedly impresses parents and adults as it charmingly reflects the everyday lives of young and old alike. “Bluey: The Shield” not only marks the finale of Season 3, but audiences also expect an extra-long episode for the first time. Instead of the usual runtime of about seven minutes, “The Shield” is a whopping 28 minutes long! Is that too long for young children’s eyes? We’ll tell you in our spoiler-free review what to expect in the episode and at what age we would recommend it. Starting from today, April 14, 2024, “Bluey: The Shield” is available on Disney+.

What “Bluey: The Shield” is about

First, you can get a first impression of the plot thanks to the trailer:

While fun and games usually take center stage for sisters Bluey and Bingo, “The Shield” presents them with big emotions. In the first long episode of the series, a wedding is celebrated. It’s clear that there might be a tear or two shed by the guests. And big tasks lie ahead for the girls Bluey, Bingo, and their cousins Muffin and Socks: They are the flower girls!

However, all the wedding preparations are overshadowed by a surprising development: As revealed at the end of “Basketball,” the Heeler family home is up for sale – are Bluey, Bingo, Chili, and Bandit moving away from Brisbane soon? And why haven’t Chili and Bandit talked to their daughters about the move yet? The audience can expect these developments and more surprises in “The Shield.”

Big emotions come into play with the extra-long episode

“Bluey” has proven its willingness to tackle difficult topics with nearly 150 episodes in the past. Whether it’s premature birth, depressive phases, or the typical sleep deprivation that new parents experience for several years – all these topics have found their way into “Bluey” so far. “The Shield” also doesn’t shy away from big themes. A possible move triggers big emotions in Bluey, which, at seven years old, she can’t immediately categorize. Here, she needs her family’s help to navigate the changed situation. Once again, the older audience can only marvel at the fact that these and other “adult hurdles” are addressed in a preschool series and presented in a child-friendly manner. The only downside for the audience: Free play, which is present in “Bluey” in almost every episode, is not the focus of this XXL episode.

Of course, despite the big emotions and lessons, the episode doesn’t forget to have fun. When Muffin and Socks are featured in an episode, laughter is guaranteed for the family. Additionally, the wedding party provides funny and heartwarming moments. Even the youngest children’s eyes light up – a prime example: my 18-month-old son!

Age recommendation for “Bluey: The Shield” – it’s too long for the very young

“Bluey” is officially recommended for audiences aged 0 and up on Disney+. Thanks to a runtime of about seven minutes, “Bluey” typically offers calm entertainment with fantastic animations and a playful approach. So, it’s no surprise that my son watched his first “Bluey” episode before his first birthday. At 18 months old, he watched “The Shield” with me and unfortunately lost interest after about ten to 15 minutes. Towards the end, his interest was briefly piqued again, but I strongly doubt that he can process, let alone understand, what he saw. I had already suspected beforehand that a runtime of almost 28 minutes would simply be too long for him.

I would recommend “Bluey: The Shield” for children around 3 years old. Or, in other words, for toddlers who have previously shown interest in preschool series with an episode length of about 20 minutes. Of course, parents always know their children best. Therefore, my recommendation should be understood only as such: a recommendation. Thanks to the big emotions that “The Shield” offers, parents should be prepared to talk to their children about what they’ve seen afterwards. Perhaps there will be a tear or two shed in front of the screens – from young and old alike. “Bluey: The Shield” is available on Disney+ starting today, April 14, 2024.

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