A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this farmland adventure celebrates the power of dreams and imagination. Parents familiar with Barney and his buddies will know that there's very little to be concerned about in this movie. The only possible issues occur when a character steps in animal dung, during a brief scene in a French restaurant where adults soberly sip from wine, and when a character is a distracted driver as he makes a chocolate shake and a hamburger while trying to drive his truck.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Cody (Trevor Morgan), Marcella (Kyla Pratt), and Abby (Diana Rice) visit their grandparents (George Hearn and Shirley Douglas) on a farm. Marcella and Abby imagine their Barney doll into life, and even though Cody is a skeptical older brother, together, they discover a magical egg, and they embark on a quest to find out what is inside this egg, and this journey takes them to a bird sanctuary, a circus, and a parade.
Is it any good?
BARNEY'S GREAT ADVENTURE should prove enjoyable to kids familiar with the television show. And while not as adult-friendly as offerings from the Muppets or Sesame Street, the movie will serve as an alternative for parents wearied of watching the show over and over. Songs are abundant (including, yes, "I Love You, You Love Me"), the scenery is colorful and lush, the acting is competent, and the scenes of the kids' imaginations coming to life and the adventure they undertake with Barney should keep younger kids fully engaged. Grandparents are treated with respect, and the discussions of how adults use their imaginations should provide worthwhile conversations.
It's not a masterpiece by any stretch, thanks in part to some loose ends, and there are some scenes parents may find questionable (Cody stepping in animal dung, for instance), but all-in-all, Barney's Great Adventure is an enjoyable experience for younger kids, and relatively less excruciating for parents who have seen the TV show one too many times.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how everything that anyone has ever made was first imagined by someone. What's a time you imagined something and made it come true?
How is life on a farm different from other places?
The kids learned about the mysterious egg by reading about it in a book. What are some things you could learn about in books?
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