Toy maker Mattel is producing a cg Barney animated series, as part of an extensive reboot of the brand that will also include toys, clothing, and apparel/accessories for adults, as well as a possible feature film.
Here’s what we know so far about the show:
- The new preschool series is a “modern take” that will “properly reflect the world that kids today live in.” The show is set to debut globally in 2024.
- Canadian animation company Nelvana will co-produce the series with Mattel Television. Executive producers are Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television, and Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy, and Pam Westman for Nelvana.
- The series reflects the current trend in the animation industry to reboot library content, especially IP from the late Eighties and Nineties. In this case, it’s Barney & Friends, a live-action series that aired on PBS in the 1990s starring the eponymous purple dinosaur. The Baby Shark of its era, Barney & Friends became a mini-cultural phenomenon, entertaining children while testing the patience of parents with featherbrained drivel like the “I Love You” song sung by Barney at the end of episodes.
- “Barney’s message of love and kindness has stood the test of time,” said Josh Silverman, chief franchise officer and global head of consumer products at Mattel. “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.”