What was in the egg in the Barney movie?

In the opening scene of the Barney movie, Barney’s Great Adventure, Barney the dinosaur hatches out of a large colorful egg. This catches the attention of young kids watching the movie, immediately drawing them into the story. So what was inside that giant egg before Barney hatched? Let’s explore some possibilities.

It Was a Real Dinosaur Egg

Some may think the egg contained an actual baby dinosaur that later transformed into Barney. However, since dinosaurs are extinct, this couldn’t have been a real dinosaur egg. Additionally, the egg was much too large to be a natural dinosaur egg. So while the egg in the movie sets up the dinosaur theme, it did not actually contain a real prehistoric creature.

Dinosaur Eggs Are Smaller

Based on fossil evidence, most dinosaur eggs were smaller, around the size of a football or even smaller. Large dinosaurs did lay larger eggs, but nothing as giant as Barney’s egg which was big enough to hold a life-size walking, talking dinosaur. So the shell would have cracked if it contained a real dino!

It Was a Prop Egg Filmed in Front of a Blue Screen

Since an actual dinosaur egg wasn’t used, the most likely explanation is that Barney’s egg was a prop made of plaster, papier-mâché, fiberglass or plastic. The shell may have been designed in separate segments so it could break apart more easily when Barney hatched. Most of the movie was filmed on blue screen stages which allowed the backgrounds to be added in later.

Other Dinosaur Eggs in Movies Are Props

Other dinosaur movies use prop eggs rather than real ones for obvious reasons. For example, in Jurassic Park, the scientists clone dinosaurs from ancient mosquitoes trapped in amber, not from actual dinosaur eggs. The dinosaur eggs shown hatching in those movies are detailed props, not unlike Barney’s egg.

The Egg Could Have Been Empty

Another possibility is that the egg prop in Barney’s Great Adventure didn’t contain anything inside. The filmmakers likely focused their efforts on making the egg shell look real. When Barney hatched out, he may have simply burst through an empty egg rather than having been inside it the whole time.

Having Barney Inside Would Be Difficult

Having a person in a full-body Barney costume hidden inside the egg prop before hatching would have some logistical challenges. There would need to be enough room for the actor and air ventilation while still having the egg appear solid. And the actor would have had to stay crammed inside in an uncomfortable position during filming. An empty egg makes more sense.

The Egg Could Have Contained Confetti and Streamers

For dramatic effect when the egg cracked open, there may have been festive materials like confetti and streamers inside. These could have sprayed out when Barney emerged to add to the excitement. Young children would have loved seeing the colorful confetti burst from the egg.

Confetti Cannons Create a Celebration

Using confetti and streamers inside the egg would mimic a confetti cannon reveal like those used at parties and celebrations. It would help make Barney’s entrance feel more surprising and special.

Possibility Likelihood Reasoning
Real dinosaur egg Very low Dinosaur eggs are much smaller and extinct
Prop egg High A prop would be easier to film and crack open
Empty egg Medium May have avoided logistics of actor inside
Confetti filled Medium Adds to the celebratory reveal

In the end, the contents of Barney’s egg in the opening scenes of Barney’s Great Adventure were likely either nothing or some festive fillers like confetti and streamers. While the giant colorful egg sets the dinosaur theme, it didn’t contain an actual dinosaur. The egg was a dramatic prop meant to focus on Barney’s surprising arrival, not what was inside. The imaginative possibilities are part of the fun for kids watching!

Why Did Barney Come From an Egg?

Using an egg to introduce Barney establishes him as a dinosaur character right away. Dinosaurs hatch from eggs, so this immediately set up the prehistoric theme. Even though Barney only wears a costume, having him emerge from an egg was a creative way to link him to dinosaurs.

Other Dinosaur Media Uses Eggs

Having Barney come from an egg is a common trope in kids’ dinosaur media. For example, Baby Sinclair hatches from an egg in the show Dinosaurs. So it helps identify Barney as a dinosaur character to viewers.

The Egg Appeals to Kids’ Imaginations

The mystery of the egg draws kids into the story and engages their imaginations. Not knowing what’s inside adds excitement and anticipation. When Barney finally hatches, it’s more surprising and joyful. The egg being so large also adds to the fantasy, making kids imagine all the possibilities of what could be inside.

Imagination is Important to Child Development

Allowing preschool-age kids to use their imaginations helps promote creative thinking and cognitive development. So the giant egg and reveal of Barney taps into a key benefit of imagination – learning through speculation and wonder.

The Egg Evokes Curiosity

The unanswered question of what’s in the egg gets kids curious to find out. Curiosity drives learning and exploration in young minds. By not showing what’s inside right away, the filmmakers create curiosity that draws viewers into the story.

Good Storytelling Evokes Curiosity

Making the audience curious is a technique often used in good stories, especially for children. Kids want to find out what happens next. Barney’s egg creates curiosity and anticipation that immediately pulls them into the movie.

Seeing the Egg Hatch Models Growth

For preschoolers, seeing Barney emerge from the egg can represent a metaphor for growth. In nature, many animals hatch from eggs and go through transformations as they grow. Witnessing Barney hatch and come to life mirrors this process.

hatching animals in nature, growth cycles, transitions

Here are some examples of growth cycles and transitions in nature that hatching from an egg can represent:

Animal Egg to Adult Process
Chicken Egg hatches into chick which grows into hen/rooster
Butterfly Egg hatches into caterpillar which forms chrysalis and becomes butterfly
Frog Egg mass hatches into tadpole which becomes a frog

So for young viewers, Barney hatching from an egg can represent a similar metamorphosis from one life stage to another. This helps teach them about the natural world.

The Egg Sets Up the Movie’s Story

Barney’s egg functions as what screenwriters call the “inciting incident” that sets the rest of the movie’s story into motion. When Barney hatches, he meets the kids which leads them to find the stolen treasure map and go on their adventure.

Good Story Structure Requires an Inciting Incident

In storytelling, the inciting incident introduces a problem or event that catalyzes the story. Without Barney hatching from the egg, the rest of the movie wouldn’t happen. So the mystery egg effectively kicks off the film’s plot.


While Barney did not actually hatch from a real dinosaur egg, the giant colorful egg in the opening scenes of Barney’s Great Adventure serves multiple important purposes. It establishes Barney as a dinosaur character, engages kids’ imaginations and curiosity, represents growth and transformation, and sets up the rest of the movie’s plot. The egg prop may have been empty or filled with confetti inside, but its role in the story is what truly matters.

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