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Barney & the Backyard Gang

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The Barney and the Backyard Gang logo

Barney & the Backyard Gang is a home video series produced from 1988 to 1991 that launched the stardom of the worldwide popular television show Barney & Friends. The series focused on a purple tyrannosaurus rex named Barney, and a group of kids known as The Backyard Gang, and the adventures they take, through their imaginations.

The series, for the most part, was for entertainment, having little to no education incorporated. Some tapes, such as Campfire Sing-Along and Barney Goes to School, are really the only ones of the series to teach educational lessons. All the other tapes only focus on the caring and imagination aspect of Barney. It wasn't until Barney and Friends, when the songs incorporated lessons and morals.

The series made more than $3.5 million. The first three tapes alone sold 50,000 copies. Despite being a huge success in Dallas, the series was only a moderate success throughout the rest of America.

The first six videos of this series where Frank Olsen writtens. Frank Olsen left the show after the first six videos of this series.

Videos

# Total Image Title Writer Director Original Release Date
1 1 Thebackyardshow "The Backyard Show" Frank Olsen
Pat Reeder
John Grable October 13, 1988
The Backyard gang puts on a birthday show for Michael and Amy's dad. Barney encourages the gang to use their imagination to make old props seem like new.

New Songs: Barney Theme Song, I Love You, Hey, Hey, The Gang's All Here, Hello, Hello, Hello

2 2 Threewishes "Three Wishes" Frank Olsen
Pat Reeder
John Grable January 27, 1989
After a Saturday leaves the Backyard Gang bored, Barney grants the Backyard Gang three wishes to go anywhere in their imagination.

New Songs: The Rocket Song, Friends Are Forever

3 3 Adayatthebeach "A Day at the Beach" Frank Olsen
Pat Reeder
John Grable April 6, 1989
After beach plans for Michael and Amy's family are ruined, Barney takes the Backyard Gang to the beach. They play in the sand, explore a pirate ship, and meet a mermaid.

New Songs: Barney Is Our Dinosaur, This is the Way We Walk the Beach, Swimming, Swimming, This is the Way We Leave the Beach

4 4 Waitingforsanta "Waiting for Santa" Frank Olsen Dwin Towell January 6, 1990
Barney and the Backyard Gang takes their new friend Derek to the North Pole to ensure him that his name is on Santa's list. While at the North Pole, they frolic on the ice, explore Santa's Workshop, and discover the true meaning of Christmas.

New Songs: Waiting for Santa, SANTA, Winter's Wonderful, Skating, Skating, The Elves' Rap, Let's All Do A Little Tapping

5 5 Campfiresingalong "Campfire Sing-Along" Frank Olsen Dwin Towell August 6, 1990
After listening to a story about camping read by her mom, Tina wishes that she could go camping someday. She dreams about taking a camping trip with Barney and the rest of the Backyard Gang.

New Songs: S'Mores

6 6 Barneygoestoschool "Barney Goes to School" Frank Olsen
Sheryl Leach
Kathy Parker
Dennis DeShazer
Deborra Murphy
Garry Potts August 15, 1990
On a Saturday, Barney brings Tina to her school to show him a typical school routine.

New Songs: I Wish There Was School Every Day, There Are Seven Days, The Alphabet Chant, The Weather Riddle Song, The Shape Song, Mix a Color, What I Want to Be, Three Bears Rap, The Goodbye Song

7 7 Barneyinconcert "Barney in Concert" Sheryl Leach
Kathy Parker
Dennis DeShazer
Jim Rowley July 1, 1991
Barney and the Backyard Gang perform a special concert at the Majestic Theater in Dallas, Texas. Barney introduces the gang and the audience to Baby Bop.

New Songs: Everyone is Special, Backyard Gang Rap, We are Barney and the Backyard Gang, Baby Bop's Song, Baby Bop's Street Dance, Bubble, Bubble Bath

8 8 Rockwithbarney "Rock with Barney" Sheryl Leach Jim Rowley October 20, 1991
Barney and the Backyard Gang explore a movie studio.

New Songs: Help Protect the Earth, Me and My Teddy, There are 50 Stars on Our Flag, I Can Laugh, Good Manners


Cast

Trivia

  • Music for the Backyard Gang videos was done by Stephen Bates (Baltes) and Philip A. Parker (as with the television series that aired later), while Lory Lazarus wrote the first original song created for Barney, Friends Are Forever.
  • In the first five videos, "I Love You" was sung at the beginning. However, it was sung at the end of Barney Goes to School and Barney in Concert and is frequently sung at the end of Barney & Friends.
  • In November 1990, The Disney Channel aired episodes from the Backyard Gang series as part of its "Lunch Box" program.
  • Related merchandise to the Backyard Gang videos include read-along books (of the first three videos) and tape sets (of the entire series), and later in the series, the first Barney dolls (two of them actually used in the videos).
  • The earlier videos from 1988 and 1989 featured actress Sandy Duncan as Michael and Amy's mother.
  • Because the majority of the gang (except for Michael and Amy) meet Barney for the first time in A Day at the Beach, it takes place before The Backyard Show.
  • The first three videos of the series featured Barney with a slightly deeper voice, perhaps larger eyes, a visible red tongue (until 1991), and a much darker color of purple (which turned more magenta as the series went on).
  • All eight videos were re-released in 1992, and the last five titles were re-released in 1996. Two of them, Waiting for Santa and Barney in Concert, were also re-released by Lyrick Studios, in 1997 and 2000. 

Gallery

See also

  • Barney & Friends - The TV series that came after this video series 1992–present.

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