Warner Bros. Discovery has picked up the new cg-animated Barney reboot Barney’s World and will bring the legendary purple dinosaur to Cartoonito, Cartoon Network, and Max later this year.
Announced back in February, the new Barney series is one of many reboots of popular 1980s and 1990s kids programs that are heading to tv, streaming, and theaters in the near future. In fact, Max will premiere Gremlins: Secrets of Mogwai later this month.
Here’s what we know about Barney’s World so far:
- Synopsis: With all the heart and comfort of the original iconic dinosaur, Barney’s World is modernized with dynamic characters and music-filled storylines that highlight themes of love, community, and encouragement. Set in a local playground, Barney is joined by dinos Billy and Baby Bop and their three kid best friends. Throughout silly and imaginative adventures together, Barney helps kids explore big preschool emotions and shows them how to love themselves and others.
- Barney’s World will be executive produced by Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television and by Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy, and Pam Westman for Nelvana.
- Said Michael Ouweleen, president of Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family, and Boomergang: “Barney’s World perfectly exemplifies our ‘best in animation’ approach. It strikes the right nostalgia chord for today’s parents and introduces this iconic dinosaur to a new generation of preschoolers,” said Michael Ouweleen, president, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Family, and Boomerang.”
- Mattel Television senior vp and general manager Fre Soulie added: “Having grown up watching the original series, many of today’s parents have fond memories of laughing, singing, and learning with Barney and his friends. We are proud to partner with Warner Bros. Discovery to reimagine this famed brand and bring a fresh and modern version of Barney to a global audience of families.”
Cartoon Brew’s View: For Barney’s World, or any of the reboots of decades-old kids’ programming, the key to success with modern kid audiences will depend on the quality of the product and not on the brand itself. The Super Mario Bros. Movie has taken advantage of a nostalgic audience because adults are watching it too. It’s hard to imagine many people in their 30s and 40s will be sitting down to watch a Barney show simply because they had an affinity for the character when they were toddlers.
That said, we expect to see even greater exploitation of classic IP as WBD moves forward, whether it be with original programming like Gremlins or acquisitions like Barney’s World. CEO David Zaslav has touted WBD’s catalog since he took over at the company and during the company’s Q1 earnings call earlier this week, he lamented that “we haven’t done much with animation at this company,” and said the goal is to make Warners’ animation outfits productive again.