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Watching Childhood Favorites as an Adult: “Barney’s Great Adventure”

We all remember our childhood, our YOUTH. We can get better glimpse’s of our pasts by looking back at the things that made us happy. For me, I can distinctly remember my VCR of 1998’s Barney’s Great Adventure. The mystery and sense of imagination and adventure carried me through those young years. I decided, as an adult, to re-watch this masterpiece and catch any simple glimpse of nostalgia. What I got instead was a 77-minute long headache-inducing 90’s-fest that wasn’t made to be viewed by those over seventeen. Spoilers are present as I share my documented reactions with the public, however, I don’t think a spoiler warning a necessary.

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The movie starts off with a brother and sister, along with their best friend, being dropped off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for a weekend of adventure. After a couple minutes, I finally realized where I recognized the main character, Cody. He’s that brat that goes missing in Jurassic Park 3. When casting that movie they must’ve looked at this guy’s filmography and thought, “Well, well, well…I see you already have experience working with dinosaurs”.

 

Bored with nothing to do, Cody is just tossing a basketball in the air while lying in bed. The girls come in with their Barney doll and try playing make-believe with him. Distracted, Cody forgets he tossed up the ball and has it land down on his face in the most dedicated-stunt action scene since any Tom Cruise movie ever.

 

Cody snatches that Barney doll and runs around the house hiding it in different places, finally hiding it in the shower. Blocking the shower curtain, Cody tells the girls how Barney is just a stupid toy and not real. At the moment, the girls start using their imagination to believe in Barney until…

…BOOM.

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While Barney and the girls are dancing around in the barn, Cody is sick of this nonsense so he tries to imagine him to disappear being telling himself that Barney doesn’t exist but timaginehat’s IMPOSSIBLE. You can’t imagine for something to not-exist, Cody. You can get on your knees and pray for something to go away, like my homework; but just like Barney in the scene, it’ll still sneak up behind you and give you a good scare.

 

Cody tries to convince his grandparents that the barney doll is real and dancing in the barn but they just laugh it off. Their Grandpa makes a sarcastic comment to Cody about “watching out for that dinosaur in the barn”, while Cody just scoffs it off; probably thinking to himself “Oh shut up, Grandpa. You tried to use the shower head as a telephone”.

 

Fast forward literally 4 seconds and Barney pops out again to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” to his little kid friends on their porch at night for just like no apparent reason. OH MY GOD AND THEN IT SHOWS THE DOG STRUMMING THE GUITAR BY WAGGING his tail. I’m writing this as I watch so that REALLY caught me off guard, sorry ‘bout that. ‘Kay, so at this point…I’m having fun. No cringe yet. I feel like I’m just watching one long meme.

 

Barney is now telling Cody that he can get what his heart desires by wishing on a star, in which Cody replies by stating how stars are just giant balls of gas a billion miles away (pretty clever for his age, I must say). He’s obviously forgetting that he’s participating in conversation with a pink & green dinosaur so your theories are oucodyt the window, Cody.

 

He finally finds that one special star and decides to wish for a REAL ADVENTURE! So Barney enlists him in the marines and to this day Cody is still fighting for our country on foreign land. JK a comet falls from the sky and a magical egg lands in the barn. Now the egg’s just moving around and dropping stuff, somehow not cracking when making contact with the Earth.

 

Alright so next thing we see is Cody walking out of the house in the morning and doing a cool-guy stance against the fence wearing clothes that would be considered rad in 1998; so like…baggy button-down plaid shirt and baggy khakis. He literally then wipes his 90’s sneakers with his hands and says to not get his new kicks dirty. I laughed out loud. Cody’s got his swag level all the way to Negan status.

 

Now they’re singing “Old McDonald’ while dancing with cows and while spectating, Cody steps in crap with his fresh kicks.

 

I love every second of this.

 

Barney, Coolguy Cody and the rest of the gang find the magic egg in the barn.

 

Okay, WOW. The nostalgia is hitting me wayyyy hard right now. I remember Coolguy Cody first picking up this giant easter egg-thing as a four-year old. At this moment, I almost want to burst into tears. I can sense that inner four-year old inside of me, feeling the magic and sense of mystery that these children can feel. I can remember just sitting on the floor watching this small television; hearing the buzzes of my VCR player. I remember being young, before the divorce of my parents, before the constant bullying, before the breakup that completely ripped out my heart…

 

…oh hey! Barney’s green sidekick, “Baby Bop” just popped out of nowhere and is breaking the fourth wall during my emotional relapse. No Baby Bop, I haven’t seen your blankie. Oh wait…the dog has it! Behind you! That damn guitar-playing dog! TURN AROUND. YES IM SURE! GO! She can’t find it.

 

Alright so now the kids & Barney decide to go to their neighbor’s house, who’s a bird expert, in order to check out the origin of this egg. So like…now the kids are going through the woods on horseback and Barney is guiding the horse…sure.

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They find this lady’s crazy birdhouse and she’s somewhat unfazed by Barney, it’s whatever. This lady’s house is like CRAZY, though. It’s got all elevators and clocks and bells and frigging everything bird-related; everything running on gears.

 

Then they sing to the lady asking her what the egg is and her response is pretty much her singing “DUDE, I don’t know!”

 

While looking through all these books, still singing, the kids are suggesting the egg might be a baby chimpanzee or fluffy little dog. Nah, Coolguy Cody. You’re telling me that you know what stars are made of, but think Harambe came from an egg?

 

Now the egg starts shaking and gets more colorful. Oh my God…so the one book they haven’t read in this crazy lady’s house is being used to balance a broken chair. On the cover of the book is literally a picture of the egg falling out of the sky. Apparently inside the egg is a “Dream Maker”? It comes every 1,000 years in order to grant wishes and stuff. They need all the colors on the egg to show up, while also being back where it landed (so the barn), in order for the egg to hatch,

 

OH MY GOD, CODY. Still in disbelief of this whole thing, Not-So-Cool-Anymore Cody very over-exaggeratingly waves his arms around and ultra-pimp slaps the egg onto the floor as it rolls through a perfectly egg-shaped whole in the wall.

 

*sigh*

 

The magical Dream Maker egg falls into a bucket of bird seeds as the bird seed delivery man waves goodbye and drives away.

 

*bigger sigh*

 

We’re only halfway through the movie at this point.

 

The kids get the idea of taking all of the decorations in the bird-lady’s yard and craft together a wooden chariot. Somehow finding another horse, this time one wearing a fedora. The kids are the only ones actually riding the horse while Barney is riding the chariot. In the next scene the horse is no longer wearing a fedora, now I’m mad.

 

So they’re in hot-pursuit of the delivery man, who’s just accidentally spunout because he was cooking a cheeseburger in his car. Like a whole meal; he had a deep-frier, George Foreman grill, and everything. The barrel with the egg in it then goes Tokyo-drifting through a parade while Barney & the gang are in hot-pursuit of it.

 

Barney’s chariot detaches and he grabs the barrel, only for it to be hollow with the egg left on the ground. The kids want to rush to get the egg, only for Barney to stop and tell them to look both ways. While taking their time to look both ways, a marching band comes and marches around the egg.

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Lesson learned, kids. Don’t look both ways. You see what you want and you TAKE IT.

 

The Dream Maker egg gets caught in some dude’s Tuba and he ends up launching the egg like a rocket. While airborne, the gang is chasing after it only for Barney’s Yellow Dinosaur buddy, BJ, to literally come out of nowhere and catches it like the “BJ” in his names stands for “[Odell] Beckham Jr”.

 

Oh wowwww. So while everyone is hugging and congratulating BJ, he does a celebration dance and Tom Brady’s that egg back into the air. THIS IS THE KIND OF STUFF THEY PENALIZE YOU FOR IN THE NFL.

 

The Dream Maker egg is now pinballing its way through town and lands on some fancy-lady’s hair. They end up losing the egg when a waiter in a fancy restaurant takes it. With the kids deciding what to do, Barney disappears and ends up on the stage singing jazz with the band. The kids make use of this distraction to look through people’s tables for the egg. All the dinner-guests and waiters are in complete awe of Bayney’s singing, making facial expressions straight out of the Tim and Eri70029_608x456c Show.

 

Barney is able to spot the egg from the stage and then starts speaking french with the waiter while the kids run after it. They all eventually find out that the restaurant sent the egg to the circus. Jeez, my god.

 

The gang is now looking all around the circus grounds and asking the circus-people if they’ve seen the egg, while they’re rehearsing. They finally find it but it gets launched off a giant teeter-totter. A juggler catches it while juggling like four other things. After saying some nonsense for a minute, the juggler chucks the egg back into the air and books it out of there. The egg never comes down and the gang hops in a tent when it begins raining.

 

With everyone losing hope, except Barney, he starts singing again about finding hope in the darkness and saving the day. The kids are all unimpressed, though, until Barney just picks them up and forces them on the stage to dance with him.

BARNEY'S GREAT ADVENTURE, (aka BARNEY'S GREAT ADVENTURE: THE MOVIE), Diana Rice, Trevor Morgan, Kyla Pratt, Barney, 1998. ©Polygram Filmed Entertainment

I’ll admit, I’m impressed by the choreography. They incorporated some modern-style hip-hop beats and sweet dance moves. I was digging it. The weather liked their moves too, because the clouds went away and transformed into a sun-shower.

 

While outside, one of the circus-members uses his binoculars to find the egg in a hot air balloon. Those must be some lenses on that thing. They can spot the egg in a cage on one of the balloons and Cody is back to being a cool-guy by using his imagination.

 

The gang hops on a  wooden log and pretend that it’s the fastest, coolest, airplane in the whole world. The power of make-believe grants these children with the powers of a God as the log is now transcending gravity and slides its way into the atmosphere. Barney is asking the audience to help too and I’m already here screaming at Netlfix, “I BELIEVE”!

 

mv5bmtawmdu0nzg0odreqtjeqwpwz15bbwu3mdayndm2nje-_v1_cr030250141_al_ux477_cr00477268_al_Soaring through the sky, Cool-guy Cody manages to dodge all the other air balloons and find the one they’re looking for. Cody’s got these Anakin-level piloting skills. They try to convince the hot air ballon pilot-conductor-whatever to give them back their egg, but he’s a world collector and would never surrender such beauty.

 

The dude then just says YOLO and drops the egg from the sky. Cool-guy Cody then dive-bombs for the egg faster than Tony Stark did for Rhodey in Civil War, warning that he’s about to break the sound barrier. Alright, dude…relax…

 

They manage to catch the egg and I’m just sitting here waiting for them to somehow mess it up again and lose it. While crash landing conveniently back on their grandparent’s farm, they fly straight into a hayride while the grandparents finally believe their story. The kids then sum up their entire adventure to them in a matter of fifteen seconds, which is probably what I should’ve done. As Barney introduces himself to the grandparents, BJ returns and I’m just hoping they keep that Brett Favre of a dinosaur away from the magical egg.

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As the egg suddenly gets ready to hatch, Cody runs to the barn but trips on his fresh new kicks and the egg goes airborne…again. WOW and lands right into Baby Bop’s blankie as she finds it. I mean I wouldn’t worry so much about dropping the egg…it DID fall from space after all.

 

Now, everyone waits around the egg as the final colors begin to change and magical sparks start flying out of that thing, rainbows spurt out too. We see the first couple cracks and out comes some baby-Koala looking thing.

 

They try to communicate with it but somehow forgot that this thing was born literally eight seconds ago. Grandpa seems unimpressed and bored by the young fur ball; probably because he’s having Vietnam flashbacks.

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We figure out that the Dream Maker’s gift is to let people see their dreams, which is cool I guess.

 

Cody apologizes for not believing in Barney, saying that he’s actually pretty cool. Barney tells Cody he’s pretty cool too,
which probably went straight to his ego. The two of them hug and all is peaceful as everyone looks at their dreams. The DreamMaker, named “Twinken” or something, flies through the sky and right back into Barney’s arms; now Barney sings his notorious theme song while the whole family hugs and sing
s a long. Grandpa even puts Cody in a chokehold and gives him a noogie, which scared me because I thought he was about to finally snap and kill the boy.
While not looking, Barney and his friends disappear out of nowhere, but Barney is found again in toy-form next to toy-Twinkie sitting on the porch swing.

 

SO…was their nostalgia? Not really, just a tiny bit but not enough to really generate a hardcore reaction out of me. I WILL find that reaction though; I don’t care how many of my childhood movies I need to re-watch. Was this movie cringey? Not at all. It actually gave me a couple solid chuckles, simply from how god-awful and stupid the whole thing is. As an adult, I decide to responsibly use this movie as a new drinking game…because that’s definitely what adults do.

 

What’s your favorite childhood movie? Let me know…because I truly care.

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Danny Coughlin

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Danny Coughlin is known by society as a World Traveler and National Treasure. But amongst his peers, Danny is known as the kid that likes to use comedy and narcissism to cover up his deep and inner insecurities. Danny is a Communications student at Eastern Connecticut State University and hopes to pursue a career in Entertainment Law...until reality hits him and he ends up managing a Cinnabon in Omaha.