Barney the Dinosaur is coming out of extinction: Mattel has announced a reboot of the beloved children’s franchise (depending on whom you ask) with a new animated series set to premiere in 2024, along with other media such as in film.
To go along with the reboot announcement, Barney received a CGI redesign that took everyone on the internet who grew up watching the purple dinosaur in his classic costume on a trip down memory lane, with a side of whiplash. The new look is part of the new animated show, which will be produced by Nelvana, the Canadian animation studio known for The Magic School Bus, Beetlejuice, and Gargoyles: The Goliath Chronicles, among other shows. Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan will serve as executive producers for Mattel Television along with Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy, and Pam Westman at Nelvana.
“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.”
Soulie, who also serves as SVP and general manager at Mattel Television, added, “In creating the new series, it was important to us that we properly reflect the world that kids today live in so that the series can deliver meaningful lessons about navigating it. With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big. We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too.”
In addition to a new animated series reboot, Barney will also be featured in new movies, YouTube videos, and music, as well as products marketed towards preschoolers, including books and toys. Adult fans who are now parents of preschoolers will be getting clothes and accessories that feature Barney’s classic design. And by “classic design,” we hope they mean the one shown in the ’90s series, not the original ’80s design with a darker shade of purple.