Barney & the Backyard Gang is a home video series produced from 1988 to 1992 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. In 1991, the director Jim Rowley took over in the last two videos of this series.
|#||Total||Image||Title||Writer||Director||Original Release Date|
|1||1||"The Backyard Show"|| Frank Olsen |
|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.|
|2||2||"Three Wishes"|| Frank Olsen |
|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.|
|3||3||"A Day at the Beach"|| Frank Olsen |
|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.|
|4||4||"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.|
|5||5||"Campfire Sing-Along"||Frank Olsen||Dwin Towell||June 8, 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||"Barney Goes to School"|| Frank Olsen |
|Garry Potts||August 15, 1990|
|On a Saturday, Barney brings Tina to her school to show him a typical school routine.|
|7||7||"Barney in Concert"|| Sheryl Leach |
|Jim Rowley||July 29, 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.|
|8||8||"Rock with Barney"||Sheryl Leach||Jim Rowley||October 20, 1991|
| Barney and the Backyard Gang explore a movie studio.
- Barney (Bob West (voice), David Voss (body suit performer, first six videos), David Joyner (body suit performer, last two videos))
- Michael (Brian Eppes)
- Amy (Becky Swonke)
- Tina (Jessica Zucha)
- Luci (Leah Gloria)
- Jason (Salim Grant, only appeared in the first 3 videos)
- Adam (Alexander Jhin, only appeared in the first 4 and last 3 videos)
- Derek (Rickey Carter, successor to Jason, starting with Waiting for Santa)
- Jeffrey (Jeffrey Lowe, only appearance was Campfire Sing-Along)
- Kathy (Lauren King, appeared in the last video)
- Baby Bop (Julie Johnson (voice), Dao Knight (body suit performer))
- Michael and Amy's Mom (Sandy Duncan, only appeared in the first 3 videos))
- Michael and Amy's Dad (Bob Reed, only appeared in the first 3 videos)
- 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 this series featured Barney with a slightly deeper voice, perhaps larger eyes, a visible red tongue (until 1990), and a much darker color of purple (which turned more magenta as the series went on).
- The first six videos of this series features skinner Barney costume, and The last two videos of this series features the chubbier Barney costume.
- 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.
- Barney & Friends - The TV series that came after this video series 1992–present.