A talking purple dinosaur leads a group of children on a hunt for a large missing egg.A talking purple dinosaur leads a group of children on a hunt for a large missing egg.A talking purple dinosaur leads a group of children on a hunt for a large missing egg.
More on that later. The film concerns three young kids, the stubborn Cody (Trevor Morgan), his instigating sister Abby (Diana Rice), and their friend Marcella (Kyla Pratt), all of whom are headed to Cody and Abby's grandparents' farm. Abby and Marcella are playing with a stuffed Barney doll, who they believe will come to life if they use their imagination and believe hard enough. Cody, on the other hand, is cynical to this idea, even after Barney does indeed come to life, bring his cheeriness and infectious personality to the natural world.
Frustrated and bored out of his mind, Cody wishes for a spectacular summer adventure one night, and the next morning, he's greeted with a large colorful egg. The egg turns out to be a dream maker, but finds itself in harms way when it's dropped on a truck. Now, it's up to Barney and the three youngsters to obtain the egg, occasionally seeking the help of their friends B.J. and Baby Bop in their adventure.
To begin with, Barney's Great Adventure is captured in a relatively ugly way in terms of its photography. It's a film that bears a look to it that would more fall in line with a horror film or an incredibly micro-budget TV movie; not a film about a lively, cuddly Television character meant for ages five and younger. The entire look to the picture feels off; the color palette is so unmoving in its drab, grayness that it seemingly does everything in its power not to immerse you in the environment. Furthermore, the film is never as adventurous as it could be, especially given the title. Most of the time, we get petty moralizing amongst the characters, which is fine if that wants to be the climax or the concluding scene, but Barney's constant interference that involves some kind of wraparound, larger-than-life idea wears on the audience to the point where one feels they're being sermonized to and not entertained.
Barney's Great Adventure has a chance to amuse the young, but not as much as your average episode of Barney & Friends, in my opinion. The scenery is too drab, the action too routine, and the kind of situational humor in the film alludes the kind in the show, as it's much milder and less engaging. There is a disconnect evident here, as if those who worked on the show weren't committed or allowed to be involved with the film adaptation, and thus, executives took over with the notion that they thought they knew what kids wanted rather than actually knowing. It's disconnects like these that make me sad, especially when a product with a great deal of potential was sacrificed.
Starring: Trevor Morgan, Diana Rice, Kyla Pratt, George Hearn, and Shirley Douglas. Directed by: Steve Gomer.
- Apr 27, 2015