Barbie Movies Reviewed - Which Ones Are The Best?
Barbie Movies Are the Best!
Since 1959, girls have adored playing with Barbie dolls. Is it the glitter, the beautiful countenance or the detachable clothes that make Barbie so famous? From observing my little six year old girl, I would have to say it’s definitely the magic princess factor, followed by the fabulous ballgowns that would make any woman weep for her childhood – a time when anything was possible and when you could be rainbow coloured in every sense.
I’d like to share with you my pick of Barbie movies, so that you can choose the most appealing and age appropriate ones for your child or grandchild and give them a magical gift. I’ve star scored my Barbie movies below, based upon how much my daughter and I have enjoyed them together. I hope that this information will help you in finding the perfect one!
The Princess and the Pauper
Ages 3 - 8 years | 5 out of 5 star rating
One of our earliest favourite Barbie movies, the Princess and the Pauper was the movie which made Barbie musicals popular (it was the first Barbie animated musical ever made).
It has a beautiful, compelling soundtrack of seven original songs that make you want to sing, and the story is a romantic fairy tale based on a Mark Twain tale, with a handsome prince, cute pets, helpful friends and some villains that are not too scary.
The scenery is gorgeous, with a castle guaranteed to spark the imagination of any young girl and an old fashioned medieval town that will show them a small piece of history. My daughter (6 years old) enjoyed this movie very much and I think it’s a great signature Barbie movie, ideal for young children getting started with their collection.
Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale
Ages 4 - 10 years | 5 out of 5 star rating
A modern style of Barbie movie, Fashion Fairytale is very distinctive, with sparkling gowns, French accents and marvellously snobby pets.
After a bad day, Barbie goes to Paris to visit her Aunt Millicent and helps her to get her fashion business functioning again after discovering the Flairies and the magic cupboard.
Although the title makes it sound like a fluff movie, I found Fashion Fairytale to be quite meaningful and reasonably good for young girls to watch. It is not about trendy fashion or body issues, but about original and classic fashion that inspires designer dreams and stories on creating genuinely gorgeous outfits without hangups.
Ken is very funny with his antics and this movie stands out from other Barbie movies because it has a bit of everything and is a positive experience for female fashion. It also deals with what winners do about jealousy (eg. dignity and forgiveness).
The villains are not scary at all, so it's a win/win with young children, though children younger than four years old may find the concepts hard to understand or the storyline a bit complex. You can expect your child to be asking for a sparkly looking dress or a poodle after watching this!
Barbie: The Diamond Castle
Ages 5 - 8 years | 4 out of 5 star rating
An emotional and heartfelt Barbie movie featuring best friends who share a love of music and stand by each other throughout theirs adventures. The movie also has the usual adorable pets and a Pegasus.
My daughter enjoyed this one a lot and I caught her humming to the distinctive music played at the start and end of the movie when the best friends (Barbie and Teresa) sing and play their guitars. Mothers will like the soundtrack too!
The plot revolves around Barbie Liana and best friend Alexa, who discover a girl trapped inside a mirror. The two best friends share many adventures together on their way to the Diamond Castle.
Lots of flowers and fantasy with adventurous travels and helpful Ken clones who turn out to be great friends, this is definitely one for hardcore Barbie fans as the movie feels rather long.
However, a note of warning – the scary bits with the villains are prolonged in this Barbie film, so it’s better if a child older than five years views it.
Ages 3 - 6 | 3 out of 5 star rating
The Barbie Fairytopia collection includes Fairytopia (the original), Mermaidia and Magic of the Rainbow. Lots of fairies, flowers and insect friends abound in these very cutesy and girly productions. The Fairytopia series is a bit simplistic for adults, but young kids love it.
The main drawcard for my daughter in the Fairytopia series was the fairies, friendly stories and adorable small creatures. Likewise, a similar enjoyment was derived from the mermaids and sea creatures in Mermaidia.
As it only shows short segments of villains and scary bits, and focuses mostly on overcoming small life obstacles in a positive way, I’d say Fairytopia is appropriate for a much younger age group who are just starting on Barbie movies.
My daughter liked Fairytopia when she was four and five but became more interested in the stronger plot lines of other Barbie films as she got older. The star rating I have given for this reflects the fact that the Fairytopia series might only be appropriate for couple of years, then everyone will be bored with it, so don't pay too much when purchasing.
Ages 4 - 6 | 4 out of 5 star rating
Another beautiful production from Mattel, in the spirit of the Princess and the Pauper, Barbie of Swan Lake involves lots of dancing, singing and a magical unicorn, waterfall and town.
Barbie stars as Odette, a baker's daughter in the town and she follows a unicorn into the Enchanted Forest behind a waterfall. The evil wizard Rothbart transforms her into a swan and tries to kill the Fairy Queen. Odette saves the Queen with some help from her friends and falls in love with Prince Daniel.
Once again, there are scary moments in this movie due to the villain Rothbart, but since Odette has help from the Fairy Queen and some little forest ballet dancers, it’s not quite as dark as some of the other Barbie movies.
Lots of Tchaikovsky music (performed by the London Symphony Orchestra) and lots of lush landscapes that my daughter really liked.
This was her second favourite Barbie movie at the time (I think it was the fact that it involved ballet and fantasy) and I found my four year old son really liked Swan Lake too (he only likes some Barbie movies).
Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (3D)
Ages 4 - 10 | 4 out of 5 star rating
Both my son and daughter got a kick out of getting the 3D glasses with this movie – there are a few 3D scenes in it and they are great!
We all enjoyed the Magic of Pegasus – there’s a lot to like about it, with the ice skating, lots of flying horses, dreamy cloudscapes and adventure based on a fairytale. The signature cute pet (a polar bear pup) is also found in this movie
The evil wizard Wenlock turns Princess Annika’s parents to stone and Annika finds new friends and has adventures to break the spell.
With music by Beethoven, the Magic of Pegasus has lots of travel to different places, little subplots and riddles going on which fit well within the spectacular computer generated landscapes.
Scary bits well were outweighed by the ability of Barbie and her prince to be creative and solve the problems fairly easily.
I recommend this movie for something a little different, as it is a good all-round Barbie movie experience for both girls and boys four years and up.
Barbie: 12 Dancing Princesses
Ages 3 - 8 years | 3 out of 5 star rating
A nice Barbie movie with 12 princess sisters who like to do lots of choreographed dances. The story revolves around the discovery of a riddle which, when solved by dancing, leads to a secret garden where wishes come true. The 12 sisters work together to save their father and the kingdom.
The music in this movie is not as grabbing as in other movies, it is more of a classical style. The plot is OK, but not as compelling as say, The Princess and the Pauper - then again, this is just my family's opinion and it might be because we are a small family.
The movie looked OK when I bought it, but my daughter didn't end up watching it very much compared to her other Barbie movies. I have heard that some people's kids really adore this one....but don't know if it is because it's their first Barbie movie or whether they come from a large family or what the attraction might be.
Your child needs to like dancing to get into this movie, and my daughter might have found it hard to follow because there were more main characters to keep track of that could be indistinguishable from each other. However, after watching it again some years later, I did enjoy it again myself, and it's worth watching.
© 2010 Suzanne Day