review by Drusilla Blakey
There are so many toys that have been around for decades, but you would be hard pressed to find a brand that has had the impact and longevity of Barbie that launched in the 1950s. It has not only created and entire toy world of dolls and accessories, but numerous animated features, video games, books, comics and so much more. Now it is making its way to the big screen with a live action adaptation aptly titled Barbie starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Will Ferrell, Helen Mirren, Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Rhea Pearlman, and America Ferrera from director Great Gerwig.
Growing up, one of my favorite things to do was to go shopping for new outfits for my Barbie. Back then, you could buy a complete outfit, with shoes, for about $2-3. I would save up and get so excited when it was time to get something new.
I had the clothes case where I would hang up all of her outfits and always made sure her hair looked perfect. I had the 3 story dream house with the pulley elevator and had the pink car where I could wheel Barbie around the house. Over time I added more furniture to her house, a little blow-up pool and she even had a fuzzy dog. Needless to say, I’m a Barbie fan and I was so excited as the movie started, especially being in a crowd of people dressed in their Barbie pink!
The movie focuses on what Barbie herself has focused on over the years. Female, empowerment, encouraging girls to reach for their dreams, and equality. Throughout the film, we see all types of Barbies represented - different races, careers, etc. As a first generation Latina growing up in the US, I never really had an issue with Barbie being a Caucasian doll with blond hair.
That was the norm and I never thought anything of it. Although others may be sharing their stories of how Hawaiian or tan Barbie changed their lives, I’ll be honest and say I was just happy to have a real Barbie and not a cheap knock off. However, it does feel good to see that this equality in representation is shown in the movie just how it is now with the dolls.
In the film, Barbie comes to the real world, hoping to see a reflection of her female empowerment message. However, what she finds is that some people find Barbie pushes the opposite message and her spirit is broken a bit. At the same time, Ken comes to the real world with her, and sees for the first time that he can be his own person without her. What ensues next, is a series of crazy and funny events.
Margot Robbie does an excellent job in the role of Barbie. Completely believable, endearing, passionate, and she absolutely embodies the character, but I think people will come out of this movie, talking about America Ferrera, and her amazing performance.
The cast of this movie is insane and amazing. The costumes, the Barbie dream houses, the cars, the sets- everything in this movie is perfect for Barbie-land. It’s easy to be mesmerized just looking around at the sets and costumes, but the story itself does captivate you. It’s a story of encouragement, finding your way in life, and finding the strength to become who you’re meant to be.
I think the film could have easily gone in a silly direction, but I found it to be very entertaining and uplifting. So put on your best pink Barbie outfit and get to the theater to check it out. In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including numerous featurettes on bringing this bright and vibrant world to the big screen.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including numerous featurettes on bringing this bright and vibrant world to the big screen. Step into the world of the famed doll with Barbie available now on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD from Warner Bros Home Entertainment.