Barbie might be full of pop and pink, but the upcoming Barney movie is being called “surrealistic” by Mattel Films.
I love you, you love me, let’s make a fringe Mattel movie…As the feature-length adaptation of the iconic toy Barbie awaits its big screen release, in the shadows waits Barney, with the upcoming movie now being described as a “surrealistic”, “A24-type” movie. And we have just bumped it to the top of our most anticipated movie list, now that we know Baby Bop gets decapitated after suffering from a walnut allergy.
The slated Barney movie, which is produced by Daniel Kaluuya, is looking to hit a key demographic — that is, those that know the purple dinosaur from their youth. According to Mattel Films vice president Kevin McKeon, speaking with The New Yorker, “We’re leaning into the millennial angst of the property rather than fine-tuning this for kids…It’s really a play for adults. Not that it’s R-rated, but it’ll focus on some of the trials and tribulations of being thirtysomething, growing up with Barney—just the level of disenchantment within the generation…It would be so daring of us, and really underscore that we’re here to make art.”
As previously reported, senior vice president and general manager of Mattel Television Fred Soulie assured those that grew up with Barney that they would feel at home not just with the movie but with another project, the planned series. “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 Films, which reformed as such in 2018, is looking to be a powerful, albeit niche, presence on the movie scene. Their first production, Barbie, is on the verge of a potential $80 million opening later this month, while the Barney, Hot Wheels, Masters of the Universe and American Girl movies are headed our way. And, really, the brand has plenty of other properties to choose from. As Mattel producer Robbie Brenner said, “In the world we’re living in, I.P. is king. Pre-awareness is so important.” So, yes, that means anything owned by Mattel is in the game table. As per another, “Look, my kids and I played UNO every night during the pandemic. I love it…Is there an UNO movie? I don’t know!”
Barbie arrives in theaters on July 21st. But no matter how over-the-top it looks, there’s not a chance that it could top the image of Barney partaking in pagan rituals in his own movie.
Based on Mattel’s description above, are you looking forward to the Barney movie? Let us know below!