“Why would they give a dinosaur a nose job?” Barney’s makeover looks little love

children’s television

Purple T rex is getting a facelift for new TV, film, online and musical projects – but some fans aren’t happy about it

Barney the purple dinosaur is getting a makeover to revive his US TV career – and not everyone is happy about it.

A social media user asked: “Why would they give a dinosaur one [nose] job and botox?”

A relative newcomer compared to his ancestors who roamed the earth millions of years ago, Barney the anthropomorphic (and purple) tyrannosaurus rex made his groundbreaking show Barney & Friends entertain preschoolers (and their parents’ patience) for the first time put to the test) three decades ago.

But Barney’s handlers believe the time has come for a facelift as they try to create a fresh look for new TV, film, online and music projects.

“Barney’s message of love and kindness has stood the test,” said Josh Silverman, chief franchise officer and global head of consumer projects at Mattel, the toy giant that announced the revamp this week.

“We will tap into the nostalgia of the generations who grew up with Barney and are now parents themselves, and bring the iconic purple dinosaur to a new generation of children and families around the world through content, products and experiences,” said Silverman.

A “full range” of new books, toys and clothing will be released, Mattel said.

In terms of looks, the “upgraded” Barney seems to have followed legions of Hollywood celebrities into the plastic surgeon’s practice. His eyes and ears are bigger, his face slimmer, his nose rounder, and he has shiny new teeth that are a shade or two whiter than his first grind.

But not all of his fans have welcomed the facelift. One observer on Twitter was shown the old and new Barneys side by side, Write: “They gave Barney contact lenses, a nose job and bigger veneers. Sad.”

Another user asked: “Why would they give a dinosaur one [nose] Work and Botox? Give Barney back his chubby cheeks and nose!”

Mattel says an animated series will come out in 2024 that seeks to “introduce new viewers to the world of Barney through music-filled adventures centered on love, community and encouragement.”

No cast has been announced. Barney & Friends, which ran for 14 series and 268 episodes after its 1992 premiere on PBS and was mothballed in 2010, featured an array of ethnically diverse regulars and guest stars. Celebrities who performed as children include Selena Gomez and Demi Lovato.

It’s unclear if a new theme tune is in the works. The original, what one observer called a “miserable anthem,” became a nuisance to legions of Barney haters.

In 2022, a Peacock documentary, I Love You, You Hate Me, attempted to explain the contempt that growing numbers of adults had for Barney, a fictional television character trying to raise their children.

Perhaps Barney’s greatest moment on the world stage came in 2003, when it was revealed that US military interrogators were playing the tune in a high-volume loop to break the will of Iraqi prisoners of war.

“Anyone whose child watches the television program will know how unnerving it is,” wrote British human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith in the Guardian in 2008.

“In the torture industry it’s called ‘futility music,’ to convince the prisoner that it’s futile to assert one’s position.”


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