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Bluey sparks cheers and controversy at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The beloved Australian blue heeler soared above the crowds at the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The beloved Australian blue heeler soared above the crowds at the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Photo: officialblueytv

Bluey, Australia’s most famous blue heeler, made a big splash overseas after debuting at one of the biggest events of the year in the US.

A massive balloon version of Bluey, the titular character of the popular children’s show Bluey, debuted at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on Friday (Australian time).

The parade, held annually to celebrate the major US holiday, had an in-person turnout of about 3.5 million, while 50 million Americans watched from home.

Bluey’s balloon was equivalent to the size of a four-storey building in height and seven taxis in width, measuring an impressive 16 metres tall, 15 meters long and 11 metres wide.

Bluey at the 96th annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade

Source: officialblueytv

Decorating the balloon was a massive feat, as it took 189 litres of blue paint hand-painted by the Macy’s Parade Studio Team to bring Bluey to life.

“As one of the most popular characters in children’s entertainment today, we could not be more excited to welcome Bluey, all the way from Australia, to the 96th Macy’s Parade line-up,” said Jordan Dabby, producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

People took to social media to express their delight at seeing the cheeky dog soaring about the crowds gathered to watch the parade, praising the Australian show as one of the few children’s productions adults enjoy watching too.

However, the landmark moment wasn’t without some controversy.

Social media users called out US TV network CBS commentators for misgendering the pup by using the pronoun ‘he’, while others admitted they hadn’t realised the smash-hit TV character was female.

“I remember seeing Bluey in the parade and I had to look up Bluey’s gender. Man, this is like when everyone found out Blue from Blue’s Clues is a girl,” one person tweeted.

Bluey was preceded by another large balloon likeness of Dragon Ball Z character Goku in the parade. The show also featured live performances by Mariah Carey (accompanied on her float by twins Moroccan and Monroe) and Funny Girl actress Lea Michele.

It followed a week of major moments for the hit Australian TV show, which included the red carpet premiere of Bluey’s Big Play at Madison Square Garden in New York City, a guest appearance at the International Emmy’s, and an appearance at Jimmy Fallon by David McCormack and Melanie Zanetti, the voice actors behind Bluey’s parents, Bandit and Chilli.

Back home, the series has again been nominated for an AACTA for best children’s program. The awards ceremony takes place on December 7.

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