The creator of smash hit musicals Hamilton and In the Heights, and winner of multiple Tonys, Grammys and Emmys, has finally fulfilled another of his dreams: to guest star in the Australian animated series Bluey.
Lin-Manuel Miranda appears as a friendly horse named Major Tom in a new episode of season three, which is currently airing daily on the ABC in Australia.
In the episode, titled Stories, one of Bluey’s school friends, Indy, is devastated to discover that a horse she made out of beeswax looks more like a cow. She and her friend Winton visit the horse next door, to gaze upon his shape and diagnose what went wrong.
“Horses have long necks!” Winton points out as they stare at Major Tom.
“We sure do!” Major Tom says jovially – and when they thank him: “No worries!”
Major Tom also offers an addition to the canon of nursery rhymes: “Old MacDonald does have a horse – but she was on holiday when they wrote the book.”
In the six-minute episode, the 28th of season three, Australian singer Megan Washington returns to her recurring role as Calypso, Bluey’s teacher. Major Tom joins the class at the end, popping his head through a small window and – in one of Miranda’s most unexpected vocal triumphs – laughing along in a horse-y way.
Miranda is one of many high-profile fans of the animated show, alongside Ryan Gosling, Billy Joel and Natalie Portman, who has a voice spot in an earlier episode of season three.
In an interview with Collider last year, the Hamilton creator was asked what show he’d most like to guest star in.
“The show we watched the most during the pandemic was Bluey – because it is the only kids show that the whole family can be hysterically laughing at,” he answered. “But I wouldn’t dare guest star on it! You need to be Australian to be on that show!”
Created by Joe Brumm in his home town of Brisbane, and produced by Ludo Studios, Bluey follows a six-year-old Blue Heeler named Bluey who lives in suburban Brisbane with her family: her four-year-old sister Bingo, their mother Chilli and their father Bandit, voiced by David McCormack, who is the lead singer of the Australian band Custard. (“I’m popular at school drop-off time,” McCormack told Guardian Australia in 2019.)
In Australia, the show has broken multiple records for the ABC, with its soundtrack topping the Australian album charts, and a touring stage show earning a five-star review in this publication.
It’s since been syndicated to the UK via the BBC and the USA via Disney+, causing legions of young fans abroad to develop Australian accents and adopt new words, including “dunny” and “brekky”.
The New York Times named Sleepytime as one of the best TV episodes of 2020. And in a piece published by the Guardian on Sunday, Tom Lamont described the series as “an addictive, joyous, witty, smug, obscurely wounding piece of children’s programming” , praising it as “almost Sundance fair” that appeals to children and adults alike.