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BARNEY'S GREAT ADVENTURE

SYNOPSIS:
Cody (Trevor Morgan), a jaded kid aged around nine, is staying on his grandparents' farm with his younger sister Abby (Diana Rice) and her friend Marcella (Kyla Pratt). Pretty soon Barney, a big talking dinosaur, shows up, and everyone goes off on an amazing adventure in pursuit of a magical egg. Barney sings and dances, Cody learns about the importance of using your imagination, and the characters all grow to love each other.

"My name is Gaby and I am three. My Daddy took me to see Barney’s Great Adventure and he is writing this for me. Daddy has told me about some other movies called funny things like Citizen Kane and names like that. Well, I don’t know about those movies, but I know what I like - and I like Barney. Daddy says I am exactly the right demographic for this movie. I don’t know what that means but it sounds OK. For all of you who don’t know, Barney is a big purple dinosaur who magically comes to life to help children out and teach them stuff. In Barney’s Great Adventure, he teaches us about the power of imagination. He also does lots of dancing and sings lots of songs that I know and my friends know - like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. In one part, Daddy laughed a lot and said that Barney was singing "scat" (whatever that is). Barney’s Great Adventure is a magical journey for kids. There’s lots of great looking places and stuff. Daddy says that’s called ‘production values’; but he also said there’s some bad ‘blue screen’. It didn’t look blue to me - there were lots of colours. All the way through the movie, my Daddy kept looking at me and smiling. He said watching me was the best part of the whole thing. Mummy told me about some people called Siskel and Ebert. Well, I never met them, but Mummy said I could give Barney’s Great Adventure two (little) thumbs up."
Gaby and David Edwards

"Intended to personify the innocence of childhood, Barney The Dinosaur is enough to scare any thoughtful pre-schooler witless. Who knows what demons lurk behind that fixed grin, obscene chuckle, and compulsive bullying good cheer? Pink, plump, bald and needy, Barney does resemble a monstrously overgrown infant – one who's somehow learnt to speak and act with repulsive TV salesmanship. The movie itself, braving the credibility problems automatically associated with the presence of a guy in a dinosaur suit, has a scrappy, not totally unlikable pantomime spirit, with clumsy but energetic song-and-dance numbers and frequent calls for audience participation. The production design brings the story-book settings to life with some nostalgic charm; but considering the notably trite and uninventive script, all the preachy stuff about 'using your imagination' is very hard to take. Of course sensible parents will keep their kids at home to play in the backyard, where they might really use their imagination. Really, even three-year-olds deserve better than this."
Jake Wilson

"Arguably the most critic-proof picture of the decade, Barney’s Great Adventure will delight everyone who can’t wait to see it and be a grin-and-bear-it experience for those who must accompany members of the former group. No film could have a higher must-see rating among the 2 to 5 year old target audiences… There is no denying the huge popularity of the gurgly dino, who has the personality of a big, oafish kid and only wants to have fun, while also stressing the importance of using your imagination and having respect for others. As the central figure of a sustained narrative, however, the good-natured, facially inexpressive guy in a furry suit has decided limitations…. Since the notion of conflict, the essence of drama, is essentially banished from Barney’s world, [the] only ‘suspense’ derives from the hunt for the colorful egg, which will keep toddlers engaged but will surely have their chaperones glancing at their watches… Another downside for grown-ups is the musical score, which features at least portions of more than a dozen tunes, many of them painfully familiar (Old MacDonald, Twinkle, Twinkle) and none particularly exhilarating…"
Todd McCarthy,Variety



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 0

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Gaby Edwards went to her first movie The Quick and the Dead at age 4 months. Since then she has seen around 30 films. One of her favourites to date is Fairy Tale - A True Story.

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BARNEY’S GREAT ADVENTURE (G)
(US)

CAST: George Hearn, Shirley Douglas, Trevor Morgan, Kyla Pratt, Diana Rice, David Joyner, Bob West, Jeff Ayres, Julie Johnson, Renee Madeleine Le Guerrier

DIRECTOR: Steve Gomer

PRODUCER: Sheryl Leach, Dennis DeShazer

SCRIPT: Stephen White (story by White, Sheryl Leach, Dennis DeShazer)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Sandi Sissel

EDITOR: Richard Halsey

MUSIC: Jan Rhees

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Vincent Jefferds

RUNNING TIME: 75 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: PolyGram

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: Sept 17, 1998 (Brisb, Melb; other states 24th)







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