— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) February 13, 2023
PBS Kids show Barney & Friends aired from 1992 to around 2010, although it’s heyday was in the mid to late 90s. Barney is of course a big purple anthropomorphic dinosaur that talks in a goofy voice and sings and dances while teaching lessons to children. Honestly I found Barney cloying even in small doses. My son is now 18 so this show was around when he was little, but we didn’t watch it even once. (Calliou was similarly not welcome in our house.) Barney is a polarizing figure due to how annoying he can be, although the intention was of course pure. The cast and creator, Sheryl Leach, got so much hate for their show that a documentary was released about it last year, called I Love You, You Hate Me, a play on Barney’s I Love You, You Love Me theme song.
Mattel recently announced that Barney is getting an animated reboot, complete with a makeover. It’s presumably to appeal to millennial parents who grew up with the purple dinosaur and want to introduce him to their kids. The CGI Barney has giant eyes and sucked in cheeks and of course people are complaining about it. Here’s part of that announcement from CNN and Yahoo did a writeup of some of the online chatter about the new Barney.
Toy giant Mattel (MAT) announced Monday that Barney, the friendly (and, let’s be honest, cringe-worthy to a large group of Millennials who watched him as pre-schoolers, and to their parents) purple dinosaur is making a triumphant return to TVs and toy shelves next year. Thanks to the switch from live-action to animation, he’s now also got great big eyes.
The “Barney & Friends” show, featuring the titular violet-hued T-Rex, aired on PBS in the United States from 1992 until 2010. Mattel said Monday that the new show, unlike the original, will be animated. So no beleaguered actor dressed up in a dinosaur costume marching around and singing to young kids.
A spokesperson for Mattel told CNN that it has no specific news to announce yet about whether the relaunched Barney will be on PBS, but added that the company has “confirmed streaming and broadcast partners that we’ll be announcing later in the year.” PBS was not immediately available for comment. – From CNN
Since Mattel unveiled the dinosaur’s makeover on Monday, Feb. 13, Twitter has been swarmed with horrified millennials coming face-to-face with the updated version of the character they grew up watching on PBS.
Speaking with Variety, Mattel’s chief franchise officer and global head of consumer products, Josh Silverman, didn’t address the character’s extreme makeover, choosing to focus on how the revival will continue to spread “Barney’s message of love and kindness.”
“We will tap into the nostalgia of the generations who grew up with Barney, now parents themselves, and introduce the iconic purple dinosaur to a new generation of kids and families around the world across content, products, and experiences,” Silverman said. – From Yahoo!
[From CNN and Yahoo!]
Raising children can be annoying and many parents resent content that contributes to that. I never liked Barney and didn’t want his earworm Hallmark jingles stuck in my head. I can appreciate that other parents and children loved him. My cousin had all the Barney VHS tapes for her now late-20s kids. A lot of people hated the Teletubbies, but I found them adorable and introduced my son to them. We have different tastes as to what we find sweet and affirming. For some of the adults who grew up with Barney, it’s jarring to see him reinvented as a cartoon. That’s understandable, but they did it with beloved children’s show Blues Clues recently. I think Barney can also get a makeover and all the merchandising that goes along with that. It’s clear that whatever they do to him people aren’t going to like it. Maybe some of the people who hated on the original Barney will rethink their stance, but they’ve probably moved on to hating multiple other things. Whenever I check our page on Facebook I’m reminded that Fox News exists and that Trump was president for four years.
— Taietsarón:sere (@tai_leclaire) February 13, 2023
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