Your life is interminable. You wish for nothing but the endless summers of childhood. You even want childhood itself. But then, one day as you’re walking in the rain, under the chronic grey skies, the song of love and happiness filters through: “I love you, you love me. We’re all one big family”. Ah yes, the Barney theme song. Finally, you’re happy. This must be the effect wished for by Daniel Kaluuya and his production company when the new ‘Barney & Friends’ live action movie is released, but I’m doubtful they’ll get it.
The ‘Get Out’ star has stated; “Barney was a ubiquitous figure in many of our childhoods, then he disappeared into the shadows, left misunderstood, we’re excited to explore this compelling modern-day hero and see if his message of ‘I love you, you love me’ can stand the test of time.” Seemingly this is the point, to inject yet more nostalgia into cinema culture.
Perhaps we should welcome the advent of the new Barney Age. When I was a little girl, rooted firmly in the culture of the 2000s, Barney seemed to belong exclusively to the 1990s thus was nowhere to be seen. The rumour was, in fact, that Barney (or, the actor who played him) was an alleged paedophile, so he wasn’t pined after. In respect of what Kaluuya has said about Barney, I have now had the crushing realisation that I might have been one of the many who have committed the cardinal sin of ‘misunderstanding’ Barney, a fictional purple dinosaur.
”The question I must ask is; why does Daniel Kaluuya (…) believe Barney is needed anymore?”
I realise that this Barney live action film will not be marketed exclusively to those who grew up with him, but also the new generation of toddlers. The question I must ask is; why does Daniel Kaluuya and his production company believe Barney is needed anymore? To the children of today, Barney is boring. These children have grown up with YouTube and well-executed animation, they no longer need to be subjected to felt running around a playground, teaching them about kindness. Their parents will drag them to the cinema to watch Barney and the only thing they will want to know is; ‘when is that purple thing gonna do a Fortnite dance?’.
Take a minute now to picture how this new Barney will look. Take into account how good animation in live action films is these days. Now realise how terrifying Barney will be: the wide smile, the bulging eyes and the texture of his skin. We need only remember the live action version of CATS to understand how Barney will be transformed from relative cuddliness to a hyper-realistic terror.
Ultimately, I can’t tell if Kaluuya is acting on sheer nostalgia or cashing in to the live action trend which seems to be infecting every inch of Hollywood. I don’t think Barney is missed, nor do I think he needs to be introduced to the children of today. Please, if Daniel Kaluuya is reading this, pull the plug on the movie. Think of the children.
Photo Credit: Yahoo Movies UK