available to rent at the library, and from what I understand the Barbie movies aren’t a Netflix
top hit. But they are the foundation of my childhood, and some are actually pretty good. Here
are some of my favorites.
7. Barbie: A Perfect Christmas
For me and my siblings, this movie has seen many car trips. It’s from 2011, the newest installment on this list, and it hit my family when me and my siblings were all at an age where we found this sort of entertainment amazing. It follows Barbie and her sisters as they prepare for the “perfect Christmas” in New York, then deal with an enormous blizzard that keeps them trapped in the Tannenbaum Inn. While training dogs, chasing reindeer, wrapping presents, and unwrapping a mysterious secret, the Roberts sisters begin to realize that it doesn’t matter where they are for Christmas- as long as they’re together.
6. Barbie: Fairytopia
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what’s known as a hidden gem, found only in the shelves of convenience and toy stores. Fairytopia is the story of a wingless fairy named Elina. When a mysterious illness begins killing flowers and preventing fairies from flight, it’s up to her, the only one immune to the anti-flight magic, to find a cure. Joining her on her epic quest is a blue puffball named Bibble and a giant butterfly named Hue. When she discovers the source of the flowers’ sickness, Elina faces a difficult decision, far more literal than often: fight or flight?
5. Barbie of Swan Lake
This was the only version of Swan Lake that I knew existed until I was about nine. It’s a good thing this was a good interpretation. The story is about Odette, a baker’s daughter who rescues a unicorn but is then transformed into a swan. The owner of the unicorn partially reverses the spell as a thank-you, but Odette remains a swan during the day. She does everything in her power to reverse the spell fully and regain her humanity, even if that means facing the evil sorcerer von Rothbart. Helping her on her quest to normalcy is her unicorn friend Lila and the handsome prince Daniel, whose hobbies include archery and avoiding his duties as prince. It’s the classic story of the prince falling for the princess, then thinking she’s someone else, not realizing she’s a swan. Ah, love.
4. Barbie as Rapunzel
Barbie as Rapunzel is one of the earliest Barbie movies, and bears a striking resemblance to the Disney movie Tangled, based on the same fairy tale. However, this movie came first, and painting is the start and end of the obvious similarities. Rapunzel has served the woman Gothel her whole life, believing her to have saved her from abandonment as a child. When Rapunzel discovers a passage out of the mansion and begins to explore the world around her, she realizes there may be more to her past than she thinks. With help from her animal sidekicks, Penelope the dragon and Hobie the rabbit, and her new friend Prince Stefan, Rapunzel explores more and more of the nearby kingdoms… and learns something shocking about her parents.
3. Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
This was the first movie I ever saw with animated bloopers- even before Pixar. It follows Princess Annika, a girl on the run, as she tries to defeat a powerful wizard named Wenlock. He wants to force her into marriage, which Annika adamantly refuses, but now she’s on a tight time limit to find a way to defeat him before he turns her subjects permanently to stone. She finds refuge in the mystical Cloud Kingdom, where she befriends a pegasus named Brietta and decides to attempt building the mystical Wand of Light, which requires a measure of courage, a ring of love, and a gem of ice lit by hope’s eternal flame. On their journey, Annika and Brietta enlist the help of a snarky blacksmith named Aidan, with a sad past that attributes to his sardonic attitude. Together with a polar bear named Shiver, the trio goes bravely onward to face Wenlock and hopefully banish him from the kingdom. However, there’s one thing about Brietta that seems a bit familiar to Annika, and she can’t quite place her finger on it…
2. Barbie in the Nutcracker
Starring in her first movie since the 80’s, Barbie plays the iconic role of Clara in this retelling of the Nutcracker ballet. Clara receives a nutcracker as a Christmas gift, and wakes up that night to find him fighting a Mouse King. Soon she is shrunk to the size of the nutcracker and together they go on a journey to turn Clara to her original size, and to make the Nutcracker human again, as it is revealed that he is actually the prince of the Land of Parthenia. Throughout their journey they are joined by two men named Major Mint and Captain Candy, and together they journey to the supposed home of the Sugarplum Fairy, the only one who can help Clara and Nutcracker.
1. Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses
Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses was one of my all-time favorite movies as a six-year-old. It holds a lot of strong themes, like family and individuality. The story is based off the Brothers Grimm tale, with Barbie starring as seventh sister Genevieve. Together, she and her eleven sisters must figure out how to save their dying father and rid their kingdom of their evil cousin Rowena, and where to fit their favorite hobby, dance, into that equation. The sisters receive help from the friendly cobbler Derek, and his pet parrot, who act as spies of sorts when they’re away. My favorite part of the movie wasn’t so much the (great) plot so much as watching the sisters interact. At one point I had all of their names and personalities memorized, and I can still give basic ideas of certain princesses. Fun fact: the younger set of twins, Hadley and Isla, are played by Ashleigh Ball, the voice actress for Applejack and Rainbow Dash on the show My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic