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Barney Gets New Makeover in '90s Kids Franchise Relaunch

Barney the Big Purple Dinosaur Is Getting a Whole New Look — and Reactions Are Split

Barney the Dinosaur balloon at the 2002 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on November 28, 2002

Barney is being reintroduced to a new generation of kids. The toy company Mattel announced this week that it plans to relaunch the Barney franchise with a whole new animated look. But some OG fans are not happy about the changes.

Parents and kids can expect to see the big purple dinosaur back in a new animated series in 2024, in addition to new music, books, and toys. Mattel is also working on a line of clothes and accessories featuring classic Barney for adult fans who grew up with "Barney & Friends" and are now parents themselves.

And while young stars — like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez who got their start on the original series — won't be there, the show promises to tap into the nostalgia of of the 90s while giving it a modern take. It just might not be the modern take anyone had in mind.

Many turned to social media to share their reactions to the "new and improved" Barney with horror. "WHAT did they do to Barney?" tweeted one person, noting that the dino had "lost weight" in the comments. But most focused on the alleged "plastic surgery" their purple friend had underwent.

Sundance filmmaker Taietsarón:sere 'Tai' LeClaire pointed out that Barney's new face looks like he got buccal fat surgery (aka Instagram cheeks), which has been trending since Chrissy Teigen opened up about receiving the procedure to give the appearance of sharp cheekbones. "They gave Barney contacts, a nose job and bigger veneers. Sad," wrote one critic.

Others were upset by aesthetic changes like adding a gapped tooth and losing the "friendly sleepy eyes" that was synonymous with the 1992-costume. Even Lovoto's mom shared her disappointment on Twitter with: "Aww man… I hate change."

Despite the initial backlash, there is hope that kids will come to love this CGI-version of the T-Rex. Aimed at preschoolers, similar to the original, the revamped show will still focus on love, community and encouragement and will also feature games and problem-solving adventures with Barney's friends.

Image Source: NBC via Getty
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