|“Barney is a dinosaur from our imagination,
And when he’s tall he’s what we call a dinosaur sensation…”
Beloved by three-year-olds, ridiculed on websites by twelve-year-olds. He’s big, he’s purple, he’s prehistoric. He’s Barney, and he loves you.
Aimed at children from ages two to five, Barney and Friends certainly hit the mark. The show starred a stuffed purple dinosaur named Barney. With the power of imagination, that little plush toy grew into a six-foot, smiling T-rex, ready to sing, play, and learn with a group of four ethnically diverse tots per show.
Each episode revolved around a single lesson-learning to count, taking responsibility, making friends, and hundreds more-illustrated through rhymes, games, pretend play, and songs (most of which were traditional children’s songs with new lyrics). Helping the big fella out were three-year-old green triceratops Baby Bop and her yellow seven-year-old brother BJ. At the end of every program, Barney would recap in a direct message to the kids at home, called “Barney Says.”
Before long, that purple tyranno went from king of the thunderlizards to king of kids’ TV. Barney merchandise flooded the globe, personal appearances drew huge crowds, songs were complied onto several CDs, the feature-length Barney’s Great Adventure was released to theaters, and of course, anti-Barney hysteria spread through the ranks of the post-Barney and Friends set. Always polite and kind, Barney just shrugged off the haters, continuing to do what he does best.