An animated reboot of Barney is in the works, according to Mattel, and is set to arrive sometime in 2024. The reboot of Barney & Friends, the famous 1990s children’s television franchise featuring the titular purple dinosaur, will be produced by Mattel Television and Corus Entertainment.
The show will accompany several films and YouTube videos featuring Barney, alongside a launch of new kids’ merchandise. Adult appeal and accessories with the original Barney design are also expected to release.
“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 worldwide across content, products, and experiences.”
Barney originally debuted on PBS in 1992, gaining immense popularity during the time with the likes of Sesame Street and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. However, the show never had any crossover appeal as it does currently since the children who watched the original run are now adults.
“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,” said Fred Soulie, SVP and General Manager of Mattel Television. “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.”
By the early 2000s, Barney began a laughingstock and mockery in pop culture, which caused a backlash that spawned a three-part docuseries called I Love You, You Hate Me, which premiered on Peacock in October of 2022.