Bluey actress Melanie Zanetti has said she was wiping away tears after she watched the programme’s 28-minute special The Sign.

The extended episode of the hit Australian children’s TV show about a family of cartoon dogs will premiere globally on Sunday.

The animation, which centres around the perspective of puppy Bluey as she engages in imaginary play with her sister Bingo, will include a wedding and follow on from Ghostbasket where viewers saw a “for sale” sign outside the Heeler household.

Melanie Zanetti
Melanie Zanetti (James Cant/PA)

Speaking about The Sign, Zanetti, who plays Bluey’s mother Chilli Heeler, told the PA news agency: “Usually I only get to see it (the episodes) when the public get to see it but we had a little viewing of this one, and it is an emotional roller coaster.

“Even when I recorded it, I got the first part of it (the script) and then the second.

“So I, as the performer, had some of the experience the audience will and I was like, ‘What, what does this mean? What’s gonna happen?’.”

“And then at the end, when I actually got to see it, I think partly because we’ve never made an episode of this length, it felt really momentous, and there was definitely tears. I was wiping them off my chin.”

Discussing the show’s appeal, Zanetti said: “I think the writing is so truthful and I think it manages to really capture the reality of family life at that age in all its hilarity and ridiculousness, but also the things that are a little tricky to grapple with as well.

Bingo, Bluey and Muffin watch Uncle Rad and Aunt Frisky get married (Ludo Studio/PA)

“And I think it’s so wholehearted and genuine and even though it’s made very specifically Australian, it’s sort of that paradox that when you make something really, really specific in truth, then it becomes universal.”

She added: “A lot of parents, particularly dads, say that the show has taught them how to play with their kids and parent their kids.

“I’ve had a teacher tell me that they have had a couple of children with special needs in their class and this show taught them how to play with other kids and (helped to) change their life at school.

“One woman said she works in foster care in some really serious situations, she said this show is, for a lot of these kids, the only example they have of a functioning family.”

She added: “The extent that it (Bluey) has affected people and the range of people is just extraordinary and knowing that it’s part of a generation of families who will grow up with this messaging… I’m just so thrilled to be a part of it.”

The Sign premieres on Sunday April 14 as the first episode of Bluey that will premiere globally at the same time.