The giant purple dinosaur is back.
Barney, the talking, singing and dancing tyrannosaurus who starred in his own PBS TV show for nearly two decades, is being revived by Mattel.
The company made the announcement on Feb. 13, saying that besides a Barney TV show, there will be a movie, online content, music and merchandising — including kids’ toys, books and clothing.
Mattel hopes that kids raised in the 1990s and early 2000s who now have kids of their own may latch on to the reboot.
“With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big,” said Fred Soulie, senior vice president and general manager of Mattel Television. “We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too.”
Mattel gave a sneak peek at the new animated version of Barney, which won’t debut until 2024. As you can see, this new dinosaur is animated with CGI.
Barney’s new look received mixed reactions online. Some think he’s cute, but others are saying the cartoon Barney is off-putting.
Dianna De La Garza, the mom of Demi Lovato, who made her screen debut on “Barney and Friends,” expressed some disappointment, tweeting “Aww man … I hate change.”
Aww man… I hate change https://t.co/h2cOn7mSko
— Dianna De La Garza (@DiannaDeLaGarza) February 13, 2023
The original “Barney and Friends” series was created by Sheryl Leach, Kathy Parker and Dennis DeShazer. The show aired on PBS from 1992 to 2010 and starred more than 100 children (including Lovato and Selena Gomez), plus adult cast members. Actors who donned the suit to play Barney himself included David Joyner, Carey Stinson and David Voss. The purple dino was voiced by Tom West and eight other actors.
Mattel bought production company HIT Entertainment in 2012 for $680 million. In doing so, it gained the rights to the company’s shows, including “Barney and Friends,” “Thomas the Tank Engine,” “Bob the Builder” and “Angelina Ballerina.”
A previous attempts to restart “Barney and Friends” took place in 2015, when Mattel announced show relaunch with 9 Story Media Group. This collaboration didn’t pan out. There’s no word about whether the 2019 announcement of a live-action Barney movie starring actor Daniel Kaluuya is part of Mattel’s newly announced reboot plans.