Word On The Street: A Movie About “Barney the Dinosaur” is Currently in Development

While working on my recent editorial, I came across this piece of movie news on a twitter account called DiscussingFilm. The link featured in the tweet led to an article about the project on Variety. This is probably the most “what the heck” movie news story I’ve discussed this year. But since I saw very few people talking about it, I knew that this would be my next Word On The Street post! In the Variety article, Justin Kroll shares how three different companies are teaming up to make a ‘Barney’ movie. These companies are Mattel Films, Valparaiso Pictures, and 59%, a production company created by Daniel Kaluuya. When asked about the project, Robbie Brenner, from Mattel Films, said, “Working with Daniel Kaluuya will enable us to take a completely new approach to ‘Barney’ that will surprise audiences and subvert expectations”. Robbie also said, “The project will speak to the nostalgia of the brand in a way that will resonate with adults, while entertaining today’s kids”.

Vector cartoon interior of kindergarten room
Preschool classroom image created by Vectorpocket at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by vectorpocket – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

After reading the article, I ended up feeling torn about this idea. On the one hand, this project just seems unnecessary. The original ‘Barney’ show was intended for an audience of babies to preschoolers. It seems like audiences are more nostalgic for IPs that were created for older children than for younger kids. A recent example is Dora and the Lost City of Gold, which made its respective studio, Paramount, lose money. Similar to the Dora the Explorer movie, this ‘Barney’ film is in development after the show’s prime. Barney & Friends was taken off the air around 2009 to 2010. This means that the movie has started development about ten years after the show ended. As some people on Twitter have mentioned, a ‘Barney’ movie already exists. In 1998, Barney’s Great Adventure was released in theaters on April 3rd. When that movie premiered, the show was still on television, so creating a ‘Barney’ movie made sense. On the other hand, the creative team behind this film could be using the IP to tell an interesting story. Maybe it will be a biopic about the people who created the show? Perhaps the movie will focus on a specific piece of ‘Barney’ memorabilia, such as the Microsoft Interacts Barney doll? It’s way too early to determine if this ‘Barney’ movie is worth the price of theater admission. But, at the end of the day, it all comes down to what this film’s cinematic narrative will be.


What do you think about this ‘Barney’ movie? Which children’s show would you like to see receive a film adaptation? Tell me in the comment section!


Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen


If you want to check out the references I mentioned in this article, you can visit these links:

Barney the Dinosaur Movie in the Works From Mattel Films and Daniel Kaluuya


If you want to check out the tweet, you can visit the official Twitter account of DiscussingFilm by typing @DiscussingFilm into Twitter’s search bar.

There’s an interesting video that briefly discusses the Microsoft Interacts Barney doll. To watch that video, type “Parents Upset Over Barney” into Youtube’s search bar or visit the official Youtube channel of Chadtronic. In this video, the segment about the doll starts at 3:37 and ends on 5:47.