Where Did Princess Barbie Go?

It's been almost three years since the last Barbie movie dropped on Netflix. Since then, it appeared as though she retired from her fairy tale princess days in favor of the Dreamhouse Adventures series, which also premiered on Netflix shortly after Dolphin Magic. This was a big disappointment to those of us who loved Barbie's magical and sometimes musical masterpieces that came out two to three times a year between 2001 and 2017. Seeing Barbie hanging out with her sisters in modern-day Malibu in Dreamhouse Adventures isn't nearly as interesting or exciting as discovering an enchanted realm, saving the world, or switching places with a princess. That's why I was elated to learn that she would release a 72-minute feature this year called Princess Adventure. Is Princess Barbie back?

Barbie discovers what it means to be a modern princess in this full-length, original musical when she switches places with her royal doppelganger. Barbie helps a young monarch find her voice and use her position for social change.
Does that logline sound familiar? It should. This would be the third time that Barbie releases a movie with that exact same plot. The first time was in 2004 with The Princess and the Pauper, the greatest Barbie movie ever made (fight me). Eight years later, they tried to modernize the story with The Princess and the Popstar, which recycled some of the concepts but also introduced contemporary technology such as tablets and smartphones into the mix. The upcoming Princess Adventure appears to take that a step further with Barbie and her friends dressing up in modern fashion and exploring the theme that was popularized in the latest Aladdin remake of princesses using their power for good and becoming great leaders. It is possible that we will hear a new remix of "To Be a Princess" among the movie's six songs, but we will likely get several original hits as well since the poster features Barbie's new plus-sized bff Daisy rocking her DJ headphones.

Though Princess Adventure is slated for this year, there has been no trailer or release date, or really any other identifying information outside of a dual poster coupled with an ad for a new Thomas the Tank Engine special. Some fans speculate that Princess Adventure might by the first full-length Dreamhouse Adventures special instead of a standalone movie like the others. For me, that would be a little disappointing because it would force the film to stay grounded in a more realistic world as opposed to the incredible places that Barbie's movies have taken us in the past such as Fairytopia, Gloss Angeles, and Oceana. If it does take place in the same continuity as Dreamhouse Adventures, I would question why Barbie's sisters don't appear in the poster, especially after she has been in several movies with them unless they will be used as a framing device like Kelly was in The Nutcracker. Barbie tells us that we can be anything, so I would love to see an unlimited scope for this new adventure outside of the confines of the Dreamhouse.

Through the dearth of information about the movie, there have been some leaks of dolls that will accompany it. Barbie and her friends look very modern in their t-shirts and chiffon skirts featuring cursive words of inspiration like "Dream" and "Believe." Ken seems a bit out of place with a huge crown, formal jacket, and jeans. While this style does match my personal fashion as a casual princess in a modern world, there is a jarring lack of creativity to it. Barbie has always been a huge proponent of playing dress-up, and these dolls seem rather plain in comparison to the elaborate gowns she's worn in her other movies. The fact that the poster and dolls feature Barbie and her peers Daisy, Nikki, and Teresa hearkens back to her other girl-power team-up films such as The Three Musketeers, Princess Charm School, and Spy Squad. The question remains as to when we will see these girls in action. Did the coronavirus scare them off?

A lot of sources claim that the movie is scheduled for early 2020, but the lack of a release date when we are already a quarter of the way into the year says otherwise. I'm not sure if they're going through distribution or marketing delays, but I do know that I would like to see this movie sooner rather than later. We can all use more princesses in our lives during these tough times and are long overdue for a new Barbie movie. I'm not sure if the rise of streaming services lead to the halt in production, but it seems like Mattel chose Netflix as Barbie's new home now that DVDs have dropped in popularity. It's also probably cheaper to produce simple Dreamhouse Adventure episodes with minimal sets than feature-length movies with original songs and settings. Therefore, I'm glad they're willing to put in the extra effort for one more princess adventure.

Comments

PrincessContent said…
From the poster and the dolls, to me it seems like Barbie and her friends are playing some sort of royalty dress up.

I think we have this kind of “eat and have the cake” situation.
Mattel brings in the princess concept for the nostalgia but they still want to keep Barbie grounded in the "new" image - that she’s a normal girl that’s just like “you” but still a bit magical.
I really can see why Mattel keeps going back to “The Prince and The Pauper”. They can have Barbie be a princess but not a real princess since they want her to be more relatable to “normal” girls.

If this is the case, it makes me bit sad since Mattel already had “eat/have the cake” concept in the early Barbie movies. They started with normal Barbie telling Shelly a story and then in that story we got our princess portrayed by Barbie.
I really like that set up and I wish Mattel would go back to that. I miss “classic” princess Barbie.

Stay safe!
jem said…
I miss the old Barbie so much 😢

Popular posts from this blog

Review: Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs

What's Still Missing From Disney+

One Hundred Princesses for My 100th Post

Forever Royal: The Last Sofia the First

Rapunzel Reveals There Is More in You in the Tangled Finale

Dyesebel Is the Best Mermaid Princess Show You've Never Seen

Review: Charming

Will We Ever See These Princess Movies?

The Burning Question: Is Mulan a Princess?