Won’t you say you (still) love “Barney,” too?
The iconic purple dinosaur is set for a makeover in an upcoming franchise reboot, the toy company Mattel announced on Monday.
The relaunch of the 1990s icon — who haunted parents’ dreams with his constant reminders to be kind and optimistic, not to mention the “I love you” song — will include an animated series, as well as film and YouTube content and product lines marketed to both younger and older audiences, including toys, books and clothing.
The rebrand, set to debut in 2024, will feature the revamped dinosaur alongside pals from his ’90s “Barney and Friends” TV show, which ended its run in 2010. The new series will “introduce new audiences to the world of Barney through music-filled adventures centered on love, community, and encouragement,” according to an official description.
“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.”
General manager of Mattel Television, Fred Soulie, said the purpose of the “modern take” of the dinosaur is 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 2019, it was announced that the big, purple dinosaur will get his own live-action remake with “Get Out” star Daniel Kaluuya.
“Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows left misunderstood,” Kaluuya, 33, told the Hollywood Reporter at the time. “We’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.”
Last year, Peacock released a trailer for a two-part documentary that shed light on the hidden darkness behind the kid’s show.
The documentary, entitled “I Love You, You Hate Me,” revealed that both actors who donned the purple suit had received a slew of death threats.
“They were violent and explicit, death and dismemberment of my family,” recalled one of those stars, Bob West, 66. “They were gonna come and find me, and they were going to kill me.”
The documentary premiered on Oct. 12, 2022.
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