You can count Bob West, the original voice of Barney, among the minority who are feeling the reimagined purple dinosaur, and he tells us the new — let’s say more energized — look is exactly what the franchise needs.
Bob, who became the voice of Barney way back in 1988, tells TMZ … it’s really exciting to see Barney making a comeback after 14 years off the grid, and the friendly dino’s spruced-up image fits with the times.
Of course, Bob’s reaction is a far cry from the popular sentiment being shared online … with most folks dragging the rebooted Barney all over social media.
But Bob, who voiced Barney on “Barney & Friends” on PBS from 1992 to 2000, says the franchise needed fresh programming and a fresh image … and he’s excited to see what the future holds for the new Barney.
Mattel says the new show won’t debut until next year, and Bob tells us he’s hoping to voice the character again … he even did the classic voice for us, and he’s still got it down! He hasn’t been contacted or spoken to anyone from the production yet, but he’d love to chat with ’em if the role’s still open.
Bob says there’s a balance between honoring tradition and bringing Barney up to date … and he thinks his voice work could bridge that gap.
It’s funny … Bob says lots of parents who introduce their kids to the OG Barney hire him to send Barney voice messages to their kids, but all they have to show their children are old VHS tapes and grainy footage.
With a new Barney on deck, Bob’s happy folks will have some new, high-definition programming.