HomeTelevisionReview: Bluey 'Ghostbasket' & The Top 5 Bluey Celebrity Cameos

Review: Bluey ‘Ghostbasket’ & The Top 5 Bluey Celebrity Cameos

This past Sunday, animated television phenomenon Bluey premiered a new episode globally for the very first time. Until Sunday’s premiere of ‘Ghostbasket,’ fans outside of Australia had to wait a year or more to see episodes that originally aired in their country of origin. The Pop Break is here to celebrate this release and hype audiences for one more global release next week: an extended episode called “The Sign.”

The folks at Ludo studios certainly didn’t hold back from sparking speculation with ‘Ghostbasket.’ What started as a fun new entry in the popular run of “grannies” episodes shocked die-hard fans with the reveal of a “for sale” sign in front of the Heeler home. 

While astute viewers have been predicting a possible Heeler move for months, and while there are no shortage of episodes in which Bandit and Chilli have dropped hints that they are feeling constrained in their small, aging home, confirmation of a possible move feels like a bit of a gut punch. The repercussions could be far-reaching, and perhaps change the structure of this beloved show when it returns from its current hiatus. On the other hand, perhaps the Heelers won’t go through with the move, or perhaps it won’t take them far from the community we’ve grown to love. We’ll see what the masses have to say about it this week, but for now – let’s talk about a great new episode:’Ghostbasket.’

The episode opens on Bandit playing the role of a real estate agent hyping himself up to finally sell a house that has been giving him trouble for a while now. What’s the trouble? The “grannies” (Bluey and Bingo playing elderly caricatures). This is Janet and Rita’s house, and they are not eager to move (or be put in an “old codgers” home by their children).

In addition to physically assaulting prospective buyers, it turns out that the grannies have created the illusion of a “ghostbasket.” In layman’s terms, the “ghostbasket” is actually Bingo crawling around under a laundry basket while making ghost sounds. Bandit maximizes the humor of the situation by hurriedly pointing out the home’s classic and charming features (with all the specificity of a person deep in the throes of a real-life home sale) while running from the basket and distracting the buyer from this potential deal-breaker.

Although this “ghostbasket” has been scaring away buyers for weeks, the latest buyer (played by Chilli) isn’t falling for the ruse. She uncovers Bingo beneath the basket and “purchases” the home. Despite the real estate agent’s initial relief, he pities the displaced grannies when Chilli demands they be removed from her new lawn. He works with the grannies to concoct a “ghost wheelbarrow” in the backyard. This sends the new owner packing in a fright.

Rita and Janet have their home back, but viewers don’t get to share in the relief. As Chilli runs from the property in faux fear, we zoom out to reveal a large “for sale” sign in front of the home. 

It’s one heck of an episode, and the release of “The Sign” on Sunday, April 14th is sure to generate even more conversation and speculation before the show continues its extended hiatus. 

Until then, we want to add to the Bluey buzz one more time. 

Bluey ‘Ghostbasket’ is streaming on Disney+

Previously, we brought you 5 episodes of Bluey to make you laugh, 5 episodes of Bluey to make you cry, and 5 innovative episodes.

This time, we are here for some shallow pandering as we discuss 5 episodes that feature fun celebrity cameos! 

While this article sets out to identify some of the best celebrity cameos Bluey has to offer, we haven’t covered every example. We’ve also decided to pander to our American audience. This leaves a host of Australian favorites out of the conversation. For these reasons, it’s important to establish three universal truths:

  • There is no such thing as a bad episode of Bluey.
  • The “worst” episode of Bluey is still miles ahead of most other shows produced for children or adults. Every episode on this list and beyond is oozing with noteworthy humor, style, and emotion.
  • Lists like this are subjective and should only be used to facilitate conversation and build community around this pop culture phenomenon. Bluey knows how to dig deep into our souls, and each episode will land differently in the heart of each viewer. All of those takes are valid.

Now it’s time to beg you to start your Bluey journey by hyping 5 memorable celebrity cameos!

Eva Mendes in “Born Yesterday” (3.5)

If you still don’t believe that Bluey hype is warranted, why not ask Eva Mendes? She stepped out of semi-retirement simply to voice a few lines of dialogue as a yoga instructor.

In “Born Yesterday,” Chilli is listening to the yoga instructor when her daughters sneak up and pretend to take pictures of her in a sensitive position. When the girls try to trick Bandit into a similar compromising position, he refuses, stating that he “wasn’t born yesterday.” 

Bandit turns this into a game in which he pretends to have literally been born yesterday. He infuriates the girls with endless questions and his literal interpretations of their answers, but when they step back and allow him to experience things on his own, he becomes transfixed by the complexity of a leaf. In a state of wonder, he declares that the leaf is “alive.”

This episode reminds viewers how much we can grow when given a little space and time.

Lin Manuel Miranda in “Stories” (3.29)

If the story of Eva Mendes stepping out of retirement wasn’t enough to win you over, what would you say if we told you that America’s sweetheart, Lin Manuel Miranda, was more than happy to show up for a few brief lines of dialogue as a talking horse?

In “Stories,” Bluey’s pal Indy is feeling insecure about her difficulty sculpting a model horse out of beeswax. In despair, she calls herself a failure. Her teacher, Calypso, declares Indy giving up to be the end of the story.

Indy doesn’t like the sound of that, so her friend Winton helps her write a happier story. They team up to research some solutions and use their imaginations to add a little pizzazz to the story. Winton gives himself rippling muscles, the ability to transform into a race car, and eventually, the power to fly and shoot rainbows from his paws. 

Lin Manuel Miranda steps in to help add some additional life to the story when the kids imagine that the horse on the farm next door, Major Tom, has the ability to speak. He offers some sage advice and later pops his head through the classroom window to suggest that Indy name her final horse model “Major Tom.” 

Natalie Portman in “Whale Watching” (3.22)

Not every celebrity cameo is a simple gag. Natalie Portman got a slightly tougher job for her guest appearance.

In “Whale Watching,” Bandit and Chilli are clearly hung over from a wild New Years Eve party. When Bluey and Bingo decide to play a game of whale watching, their parents refuse to participate. Of course, with a bit of prompting, Bandit becomes a reluctant whale watching boat while Chilli plays the part of a lazy whale who enjoys snacking on tortilla chips.

Eventually, Bandit and Chilli convince the girls to watch a whale documentary on television instead. Who is our naturalist for this adventure? None other than the great Natalie Portman. Chilli is so moved by the narration, particularly its celebration of the devotion of whale mothers, that she switches off the documentary, fully commits to her role, and mimics a full breach above the ocean’s surface. She lands on her resting husband – intentionally, of course. He was asking for it.

It is in the running for the greatest sight gag in Bluey history, and it’s all thanks to a perfect setup from Padme Amidala herself. 

Rose Byrne in “Onesies” (3.32)

Natalie Portman may have played the perfect straight man to a sight gag involving hungover parents, but Rose Byrne took a break from starring in beloved comedy and horror flicks to step into the recording booth and take on the vital role of Chilli’s sister, Brandy. 

In “Onesies,” audiences are shocked to learn that Chilli’s sister doesn’t have much of a relationship with her nieces. In fact, she is only meeting them for the second time. It’s awkward, but Brandy has come bearing gifts of animal-themed onesies to smooth things over. Thanks to the strength of the voice performances, we can hear the pain and trepidation from both Brandy and Chilli throughout the visit. 

As Bingo channels her inner cheetah and attempts to hunt down her loved ones, Brandy slowly warms up to the game and Chilli insinuates that her sister’s fertility struggles have placed a difficult emotional rift between the sisters. 

While the episode doesn’t fully resolve the issue, it does provide a beautiful window into the work the sisters are doing to repair their damaged relationship.

It’s a tearjerker for sure, but the episode ends on a hopeful note when the sisters recreate a silly dance from their childhood. 

Robert Irwin in “The Quiet Game” (2.35)

Americans of a certain age can’t think of Australia without thinking of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. In the years since his tragic death, his family members have continued to advocate for animal protection and carried the torch of kindness and earnestness that defined Steve’s life. 

His son, Robert, has taken on the mantle of gentleness that his father wore so well (even while wrestling crocs), and that ongoing commitment to kindness earned him the role of a young toy store employee looking to make a good impression on his first day. 

In “The Quiet Game,” Bandit is fed up with his fun, but noisy daughters. He attempts a classic lazy parenting gambit and challenges the girls to play, “the quiet game.” Sadly for Bandit, his girls are no slouches in the game department. When he suddenly requires their services to buy the correct birthday present for his irritable niece, Muffin, the girls won’t break their silence.

Fortunately, sweet Robert Irwin rides in as the young toy store employee, Alfie. He proves himself to be helpful by decoding the girls’ complicated game of charades. Alfie makes a good impression, the girls win the game, and Bandit unlocks a new level of patience in parenting when he decides to cherish his daughters’ voices.

That’s it, folks – a whole month’s worth of Bluey hype. We made you laugh. We made you cry. We appealed to your artistic side. We pandered to your irrational love for celebrities. We even engaged in light speculation about that “for sale” sign in front of the Heeler home at the end of ‘Ghostbasket.’ If you aren’t hyped yet, we’ll just have to try again if you ever decide to become a parent. 

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for the global debut of the record-setting, 28-minute episode, “The Sign,” on April 14th!

Randy Allain
Randy Allainhttps://randyallain.weebly.com/
Randy Allain is a high school English teacher and freelance writer & podcaster. He has a passion for entertainment media and is always ready for thoughtful discourse about your favorite content. You will most likely find him covering Doctor Who or chatting about music on "Every Pod You Cast," a deep dive into the discography of The Police, available monthly in the Pop Break Today feed.

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