Chip Chilla, an original “Bentkey Adventure” from conservative media outlet The Daily Wire, has been criticized as a “blatant” knockoff of ABC Kids’ Bluey.
The new show from Bentkey is one of four original “Bentkey Adventures” from the conservative media outlet’s new children’s streaming service and app, Bentkey. The service launched in a surprise Monday announcement from The Daily Wire.
A new op-ed from The Guardian has criticized Bentkey’s flagship show Chip Chilla as a “blatant” knockoff of ABC Kids’ Bluey “for conservatives.”
“Their aim is to get ’em while they’re young, claw back some ground from ‘the left’ and counter Disney’s stranglehold,” wrote Janine Israel in the outlet, referencing comments from co-CEO of The Daily Wire Jeremy Boreing about the outlet’s endeavor into children’s entertainment.
Israel noted similarities between the music and a “pastel color palette” used in the show’s animation with Bluey, which premiered in 2018.
“There’s nothing vaguely Latino about the American-accented characters in Chip Chilla, who … inhabit a very wholesome, heteronormative, patriotic slice of US suburbia,” Israel wrote.
Is new kids’ show Chip Chilla a ‘blatant Bluey knock-off’ for conservatives? https://t.co/GafzAe5ldj
— Guardian culture (@guardianculture) October 17, 2023
Israel notes Bentkey’s inception was in response to legacy children’s media company Disney’s infusion of liberal politics into characters and storylines.
Israel cited the following comment from Boreing: “Kids go to school for 40 hours a week and then they engage in pop culture for 40 more hours every week. For 80 hours of a child’s week, you are turning them over to the left.”
“A good parent might spend 15 minutes a day in meaningful conversation with their kids,” Boreing continued. “A great parent might take their kid to church for one hour, or two hours, or three hours a week. The other 80, they’re watching Disney … they’re online … they’re in public schools.”
Israel also cited Boreing’s Monday statement that Bentkey “isn’t about teaching kids politics, it’s about childhood and wonder and adventure. It’s about values and all of the things on which politics are built later.”
Out of six episodes of Chip Chilla viewed by Israel, she says the “worst sin” of the show is being “a bit dull, at least for this adult.”
“If its mission is, as suspected, to take Bluey’s winning formula and put a conservative wash on it, it’s subtle,” she said of Bentkey’s flagship show.
In Bluey, the mother, Chilli, works outside the home, and the father, Bandit, serves as a caregiver for their children. Parental figures in Chip Chilla, on the other hand, embody traditional roles.
“Like Bandit in Bluey, Chum Chum is a highly engaged and creative father, but his style does sometimes verge on the mansplain-y,” Isreal notes.
A spokesperson for ABC said Ludo Studios, the Australian-based company that produces Bluey, respectfully declined to comment on Chip Chilla, according to The Guardian.
Chip Chilla stars actor and comedian Rob Schneider voicing father Chum Chum and former-Broadway actress Laura Osnes voicing mother Chinny.
The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh, who hosts a podcast on the outlet, provides a brief voice cameo in one episode of Chip Chilla.