Barney Christmas Specials
Decided to check out an old favorite dinosaur of mine with Barney & Friends and his Christmas specials he had over his career. I’m sure I’ll talk a little more on my love for Barney in the future, poor guy got so much hate so quickly, he never got a chance to be remembered fondly and yet still hung on to kids televisions for many years. Since it’s the spirit of X-Mas time let’s take a look at this magic purple Rex’s different Santa Claus related winter adventures. I have to admit there’s more to check out than I originally thought, I had no idea what to expect but it sure has been a wild ride, no regrets and the Barney Home Video catalog can be a gold mine of content.
Barney Waiting for Santa
Being a fan I obviously wanted a plush toy of the big purple dinosaur, especially since that’s how he transformed into his real form. And lucky me there was a new VHS special in stores with a plush toy and the Barney Christmas special, I of course needed this and luckily I got it. I remember not liking the special too much as a kid but then again I don’t think I ever really liked the show too much, and more of the idea of Barney existing. Apparently with further research this was released in 1990 as the fourth video in the Barney & the Backyard Gang series which was a pilot of sorts before he show got picked up and it had a few releases before the one that I had as a little kid. This explains some things as to why it felt different and lower budget in a way than the actual show with some concepts not yet ironed out.
The special is mostly about one of the kids not knowing if Santa Claus has his new address, so Barney takes the rest of the kid gang to go to the north pole and see if Santa is updated with the info, which of course he is. They sing Christmas songs all along this journey with varying quality. I was mad my plush toy didn’t have the correct scarf Barney had from the special but it made up for it with a Christmas hat. So yeah songs, a snowman, Mrs Claus and Santa once everyone is asleep and that’s the special. It’s alright for a special I guess, nothing too offensively boring even if nothing exciting to have any memorable moments.
Barney’s Night Before Christmas
We didn’t get a second Christmas video special until 1999 which was way past Barney’s prime, we now had Baby Bop and BJ as other dinosaur friends added to the show by now. I was a big kid by then and not interested in little kid stuff anymore, only into kewl anime like Dragon Ball Z and Pokemon. But Barney didn’t care he had new generations of young kids to appeal to with this Christmas special, so how did 9 years improve on the Christmas special. I nearly fell asleep, the kids this time actually meet Santa and go to a tour of how they made the toys in true 1999 CG fashion. The Barney format doesn’t lend to something that is too long and here even having Santa himself be part of the special is not enough, also it seems he switched his fancy computer from the previous special back to a basic book where he can write the names of children. Surprised there weren’t many repeat songs from the previous Xmas special. Barney also in general is less mystical and more boring..
Barney’s Christmas Star
It didn’t take too long for Barney to stink up the holiday’s with the 2002 release of Barney’s Christmas Star, which also had a stage show but sadly I couldn’t find much footage of that so I’ll stick to the video review. This time Santa or even Ms Claus are nowhere to be seen and the plot of the full length christmas special is about finding the missing star for the tree and somehow it’s the best plot we’ve had so far and I was actually following to see where the heck that star was. Unfortunately the special is just way too long like the previous one and even the great star plot wasn’t enough to keep me hooked the whole time, an improvement but this time we did have plenty of repeat song and the lack of Santa hurts this special.
Barney & Friends Season 11 Episode 19 A Visit to Santa / Gift of the Dinos
I believe the only episode of Barney & Friends that is all about Christmas, we have two episodes in 2011 so they did leave some room to breathe since the last Xmas special, A visit from santa has a kid who forgot to write santa on time and Barney has got to fix things with his connections since even since the first special it’s implied they’ve been friends for a long time. Gift of the Dinos is alright despite not having Santa in the episode, it’s about secret santa and the shenanigans that happen in those gift exchanges, songs are alright and as mentioned the short 15 minute format makes it much more bearable. The new dinosaur Riff also helps add a little more interest in the episode before you zone off and fall sleep.
A Very Merry Christmas
Just when you thought it was over, Baby Bop is acting like a brat of only wanting to receive presents and not give them and Barney can’t flippin’ understand how she can be so insensitive. Released in 2011 on home video/dvd/hell maybe even vhs and beta, this is mostly a compilation clip show of previous Christmas specials and in one case of the episode “Winter” which is not xmas related but snow related I guess. It takes I guess the best elements from those previous specials in a way but not well enough that I think a better clip show could’ve been made. I believe some of the clips are all new to this compilation video as well like the nutcracker one and even the old videos have actually been altered with Barney having his less than stellar new voice instead of the classic one.
Overall 5 christmas specials is more than enough for Barney, I can’t say any of them were amazing, the first one being disappointing as a kid somehow is the best, less filtered full of magic Barney is the best Barney before they toned that down in the others that even his Sonic the Hedgehog like friends with attitude can’t help. Happy Xmas Barney fans.