Barbie Bliss! The Top Three Movies

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Movie website imdb.com highlights a photo of Margot Robbie as Barbie in LuckyChap Enternainment’s upcoming, live action Barbie movie releasing summer of 2023 (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1517268/)

Written By Kadence Johnson , Staff Reporter

I, like many others from my generation, grew up with Barbie movies as a part of the expansive DVD collection that resided in my household. Barbie was a part of all of our childhoods in one way or another; whether it was the movies, the online games, or the doll itself, Barbie was a notable figure throughout the childhoods of the early 2000s. Barbie has been around since the late 50s, yet somehow she still manages to remain relevant to children today. Mattel, the toy company Barbie is produced by, keeps the brand pertinent by constantly coming up with new ideas surrounding inclusivity, hobbies, and individuality. Barbie also continues to dominate the toy industry with new products and films, but the upcoming live action movie is a realm that has never been done before by the franchise. Preceding this live action film, Barbie was most known for producing animated, computer generated movies. Delving into this new realm of film making has resparked talk about the brand and elicited excitement for those whose childhoods included Barbie. 

This new movie has created a sense of nostalgia for those, like me, who watched the movies routinely, and many are reminiscing on their favorites from the Barbie movie collection. Barbie’s enduring popularity warranted a review and ranking of what I believe are the best three movies to date. This roundup also gave me the chance to reminisce on my childhood love for the Barbie movies. 

I remember my all time favorite movie was Greg Richardson’s “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses.” This movie follows the young protagonist, Genevieve, and her eleven sisters on their adventure to rebel against their Aunt Rowena to pursue their unanimous passion for dancing. As a child, this movie appealed to me because of the dazzling outfits and the elegant nature of the sisters and their dancing, as I’m sure many other children shared these sentiments. However, watching this movie as a high school student, I still hold a particular fondness for this film. The characters in this Barbie movie are well developed, especially compared to the other Barbie movies. The depth of the characters and their stories makes their feelings and actions more understandable, and in a way, more relatable. I also applaud Richardson for his ability to include so many different characters into one movie and to make each one of them unique with their own individual personalities. He also kept the plot simple and comprehensible for a younger audience. Additionally, the romantic interest of the cobbler, Derek, was believable because of the history and friendship that was present between Derek and Genevieve prior to the starting point of the movie. In terms of the plotline of the film, I found it to be creative yet still believable. Having the villain be a family member (Aunt Rowena) trying to obtain the family’s wealth was a classic storyline, but was very well done in this particular movie. Overall, “Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesseshas an immaculately developed plotline, strong and believable relationships between characters, and a good message of family unity and friendship. 

The next Barbie movie that I feel as though deserves to be in the Top Three best Barbie movies is certainly William Lau’s “Barbie as ‘The Princess and the Pauper’.” When you ask people which Barbie movie is their favorite, this film is frequently mentioned. Although I find this movie to be a little overhyped, I still believe that this movie is rightfully beloved. I enjoy the story between Anneliese and Erika and how contradictory their two lifestyles are. Anneliese is a princess, so naturally she grew up with an abundance of opportunities and material items. Erika, however, was a seamstress for Madame Carp, the owner of a dress shop in the village, and was consistently undergoing hard labor. I enjoyed the unique story of the two girls being identical and conciendantly running into each other and discovering their resemblance at the same time, regardless of how unrealistic this scenario may be. Although the friendship foundation of the two protagonists may be a bit otherworldly, the villain story of Preminger is quite plausible. Preminger worked as the royal adviser of Queen Genevieve, and aspired to become king of the kingdom by stealing the kingdom’s gold supply. This storyline is believable because of Preminger’s jealousy that runs throughout the film and the typical childhood dream of becoming royalty. Preminger’s character sends the message of greed being detrimental to friendships and relationships and overall is disincentivizing children from being materialistic. “Barbie as ‘The Princess and the Pauper’” is a great movie because of its complex storyline that creates dynamic relationships between characters that engages the audience 

The final movie that deserves to be in the top three is Anita Lee and Tiffany Shuttleworth’s “Barbie in a Mermaid Tale”. Merliah, the protagonist in this film, discovers the secret of her mother being a mermaid and the movie follows her exploration of this other world. Once Merliah is of age to become a mermaid (16), she starts noticing differences like her hair turning pink in the water and the fact she can transform her legs into a tail. She meets a talking dolphin, Zuma, and the two of them travel to Oceania where the kingdom is in danger. The kingdom is doomed because Eris, Merliah’s aunt, has taken over the throne from Calissa, Merliah’s mother. Eris is enforcing strict laws and punishments for rule breakers, and it is up to Merliah to save the city because of her relation to the royal family. I find the villain story to be not only believable but entertaining because of the family drama and the jealousy that is consistently shown in villains. I also appreciate Merliah’s independence during this movie, and her bravery to go on multiple crazy adventures in order to save Oceana, a city she has never been to before this. I love the unique setting of the film and all the outfits of the mermaids because of the bright colors and unique shapes that other Barbie movies have not demonstrated yet. Another aspect of this film that other Barbie movies don’t tend to thrive in is the soundtrack. The soundtrack of this film is absolutely amazing, and deserves to be praised and acknowledged. My personal favorite song in the movie is “Queen of the Waves”. “Barbie in a Mermaid Tale ” is worthy of being in the top three Barbie movies because of its intricate plot line, fabulous costuming, and bopping soundtrack.  

Overall, these three Barbie movies all include similar themes and aspects that make them the best three. Specifically, they all include a believable storyline that is enjoyable to watch, as well as deep relationships with other characters. Before going to watch the newest addition to the Barbie movie collection, it is crucial to watch these three to think back to the good old days of childhood.