Mattel & Nelvana partner on ‘Barney’ animated reboot


Toy company Mattel is rebooting its Barney franchise with plans including a new animated series for pre-schoolers set to debut next year.

Co-produced by Mattel Television and Corus Entertainment’s Nelvana, the Canadian distributor and producer behind Max & Ruby and Franklin, the series aims to introduce the purple dinosaur and his friends to a new generation of children.

The show will feature music-filled adventures centered on love, community, and encouragement and will be executive produced by Fred Soulie and Christopher Keenan for Mattel Television and by Colin Bohm, Doug Murphy, and Pam Westman for Nelvana.

“In creating the new series, it was important to us that we properly reflect the world that kids today live in so that the series can deliver meaningful lessons about navigating it,” said Soulie, SVP and general manager of Mattel Television.

“With our modern take on Barney, we hope to inspire the next generation to listen, care, and dream big. We think that parents, many of whom will fondly remember the original Barney from their own childhoods, will love the show, too.”

Mattel also plans to relaunch the franchise with films, YouTube content, toys and other consumer products. The original Barney & Friends series was a live-action show that ran on PBS from 1992 to 2010.

The return of Barney comes as part of Mattel’s strategy to mine its legacy IP, which has also included recent reboots for its Monster High and Masters Of The Universe franchises, both through new consumer products as well as television projects.

The doll franchise Monster High, for instance, spawned an animated series on Nickelodeon last year, while Masters Of The Universe has launched two Netflix shows in recent years – She-Ra And The Princesses Of Power and Masters Of The Universe Revelation.

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