Barney’s Army

Way before that purple “Barney” there was Barney’s Army. No real affiliation with the Army per-se, it was more a live, kid’s show that featured an animated “blob” named Barney. It centered around Raleigh and Durham, featured bands and Kids could watch the interactive the space game, call in, shout “POW!” over the phone, which would then fire a gun at space invaders type game – all voice activated.

I was only able to catch a few of the later episodes after we moved back from Frankfurt, Germany – then a short while later another great animation/drawing show appeared – Secret City. A friend of mine, Hal Earp is a designer out at McClatchy Interactive and he is reviving Barney’s Army online. Hal’s looking for any Barney-related material to add to the site – no, not the purple Barney. Check out and click “contact” to get in touch with him.

I bring this little show to light here because the new Puppet Tool features in After Effects can create some very similar effects like those demonstrated behind Barney’s Army. The unusual animation style was patented by Aniforms and it allowed Barney to be manipulated live by his puppeteer, despite the fact that he looked like he was a hand animated drawing, with it’s own stretching, tweening and bend forms…


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