Oh boy. Barney is back.
The iconic ’90s children’s TV series, with its earworm of a theme song and endless merchandising possibilities, is returning to cable TV (and streaming) with a new series. The new Barney’s World, starring an animated version of Barney, is coming next year to Cartoon Network and Max.
The official plot description of the show goes like this:
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.
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The original Barney & Friends TV series aired for 14 seasons and more than 250 episodes on PBS. Unlike this new show, the old one was live-action, with a performer inside an oversized dinosaur costume and a voice provided first by Bob West and later by Dean Wendt.
Mattel and Warner Bros. have yet to announce who will be voicing Barney on Barney’s World, but if it were up to me I’d pick Tom Waits. People love a gritty reboot these days, and he’d be exactly what kids in the 2020s need from their friendly purple dinosaur. Plus he can sing his own songs!
Barney’s World will debut on Cartoon Network and Max in 2024.