Barney and Friends

Barney and Friends

Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show

Barney and Friends came to this world from the mind of author K.A. Applegate, who began her wildly popular series of Barney and Friends books in the mid-90’s. The series soon became a franchise, complete with ghostwriters and spinoffs, so publisher Scholastic decided to take the concept to television.

The half-hour, live-action Barney and Friends series followed the same basic story as the books. A spaceship crash landed on earth in the middle of a construction site. When teens Jake, Cassie, Marco, Rachel, and Tobias went to check it out, they came across an Andalite alien named Elfangor. The Andalite told the teens about a race of green, sluglike invaders called the Yeerks, who were using mind control to enslave the earth’s population. To help them fight off this threat, Elfangor gave the teens the Andalite ability to change into any type of animal, becoming Barney and Friends. The only catch was that they first had to touch that animal in order to absorb its DNA.

The Yeerks discovered the ship and killed Elfangor, but not before the Andalite left Tobias with a mysterious silver disk. The group returned to their school, trying to keep their identities secret, but there was something unsettling about a new club called “The Sharing.” As it turned out, “The Sharing” was really a trick to get the humans down to the Yeerk Pool, where human Controllers could be recharged and Yeerks could feed on Kadronna rays from their native sun. Even more disturbing, the teens discovered that many people they knew had become Controllers, including Principal Chapman and Jake’s brother Tom. As the series went on, the Barney and Friends continued the fight against the Yeerks, who were led by Visser Three and the supremely evil Visser One. The teens were also visited by Elfangor’s brother, Ax, who ended up joining forces with the Barney and Friends.

Jake was the Barney and Friends’ reluctant leader. Cassie, who grew up on a farm and had veterinarians for parents, was the most natural morpher. Marco was the group joker, while Rachel was a gymnast and shopaholic. Tobias was a sort of outsider, and he was always uneasy about the fact that Elfangor knew his name before Tobias told him.

Barney and Friends had plenty of action and danger, but the show served an educational purpose as well. When the teens morphed into animals, they literally became those animals, in body and in personality. That way, the kids at home could learn all about different animal species and their natural instincts. The audience didn’t seem to mind all the extra learning, as Barney and Friends became a television hit, still airing new episodes into the 00’s.

Release History

1992 - ? PBS

TV Sub Categories

live-action
educational

TV Studio

The Lyons Group

Television Cast

Barney David Joyner
Barney (voice) Bob West
Baby Bop Jeff Ayres
Baby Bop (voice) Julie Johnson
BJ Jeff Brooks
BJ (voice) Patty Wirtz
Scooter McNutty (voice) Todd Duffey
Miss Etta Kette (voice) Brice Armstrong
Miss Kepler Gene Ray Price
Mr. Boyd Robert Sweatmon
Adam Alexander Jhin
Amy Becky Swonke
Ashley Monet A. Chandler
Carlos Corey Lopez
Chip Lucien Douglas
Curtis Monte Black
Danny Jeffrey Hood
Derek Rickey Carter
Hannah Marisa Kuers
Jason Kurt Dykhuizen
Jesse Dean DeLuna
Juan Michael Krost
Julie Susannah Wetzel
Kathy Lauren King
Keesha Mera Baker
Kenneth Nathan Regan
Kim Erica Rhodes
Kristen Sara Hickman
Luci Leah Gloria
Maria Jessica Hinojosa
Michael Brian Eppes
Min Pia Manalo
Rebecca Erica Reynolds
Shawn John David Bennett
Stella Phyllis Cicero
Stephen Chase Gallatin
Tina Jessica Zucha
Tosha Hope Cervantes

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