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Barbie Movies: Rankings from CNU

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

With the live action Barbie movie coming out starring Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, Simu Liu and more, everybody is in the mood for our favorite doll and we are all turning on our TVs to hit nostalgia road. While we are all excited for the potential of a new fan favorite, the big question remains: will the live action movie be as good as the originals? 

As I looked back at my past favorite movies, I compared the quality of the Barbie movies, both good and bad. Although I didn’t rank all of the movies, I mostly rated the older movies because those are usually everybody’s favorites.

10.  Secret Door

This movie is probably my least favorite Barbie movie I’ve watched so far. It is beyond cheesy. The villain is literally a child and she is the flattest character ever. Also the characterization of Barbie in the movie is annoying. It’s like they took all of the magic of Barbie and turned it into a bratty child and because of that, I give this movie a -100/10.

9. Princess Charm School

I actually enjoyed this movie, and that’s saying something since it’s one of the newer ones. It has decent characters and the friendship/relationship Barbie has with Ken is kinda dorky but cute. This movie contains good villain redemption, but it’s pretty predictable and the incorporation of hiphop is pretty cheesy. It’s the type of movie you watch to make fun of. 

8. Diamond Castle

This movie is what I would consider the transition of old Barbie into new Barbie. It has funky fresh music and the animation is smoother than what it was before(no more shrek is love, shrek is life thank god). The songs are a bop and I love the bright color scheme. The thing is, though: I feel like the ending was a bit of a letdown. Throughout the movie, there was so much hype about the diamond castle but we are only shown like 5-10 minutes of it. Then the girls don’t even live in the castle- WHICH IS CRAZY. But I guess if they’re happy at the end, it’s alright.

7. Rapunzel

One of the early originals, Rapunzel has the fairy dream-like world, incorporating the magic of art and painting to help Barbie in her role as the heroine. The story is enjoyable and full of quirky animal characters, but the villainess is flat and her motivation for stealing Rapunzel is petty af (unrequited love with Rapunzel’s dad). It is also made with animation that is giving shrek is love shrek is life(iykyk) so I always feel slightly uncomfortable when watching it. 

6. Island Princess

This movie has my least favourite barbie animal sidekick ever. Her name is…drumroll please….Tikka. Tikka the elephant brings down the movie’s IQ and she just isn’t a good friend. She literally almost ruined Barbie’s life because she just wanted Ro all to herself. They try to redeem her at the end but literally if Barbie/Ro wasn’t a nice person, Tikka would have been kicked off immediately. Other than that though, the movie is pretty solid. The prince is hot, the villain has a good motif and creates good conflict, and Ro’s transformation dress is *chef’s kiss. 

5. Swan Lake

Swans, ballet, magic, what more can a girl ask for in a Barbie movie? An old classic, Barbie Swan Lake will have you swooning over the music and the ballet choreography. This is one of the movies where I wish they would reanimate it in modern technology so I could see how smooth it’d be. I love the romance between Barbie and Ken in this movie. You can tell that they genuinely like each other and the date they go on that the animals set up is too cute. 

4. Fairytopia Trilogy

I’m going to include the whole trilogy as number four because I think the people behind Barbie really took a challenge with this one and pulled through. It’s already hard making a successful trilogy with individual movies let alone a whole series. Each movie of the trilogy had its own individual plot and detail that set it apart from each other, yet united in theme. The first movie is a bit slow, but it sets up the rest of the series well and the last movie ties up the series in a nice, rainbow bow.

3. The Magic of Pegasus

I love the incorporation of ice skating in this movie. I thought it was a very cool idea and it was a new take on a Barbie movie. The color scheme of sunset colors is gorgeous and the animation of the clouds was very soothing for me as a kid. I also liked the quest-like nature of the story and the enemy to lovers trope between Ken and Barbie solidifies this movie as a good classic.

2. The 12 dancing princesses

This Barbie movie is the most fun to watch in my opinion. The variety of colors and characters in this movie keep you interested and the dancing is satisfying to watch. The only reason why I didn’t put it as my number one choice would be because I don’t have a ton of nostalgia with it. 

1. Princess and the Pauper

With a stellar soundtrack, likable characters, and more, this movie trumps all of the other Barbie movies and proudly sits on top. The villain is entertaining and Barbie graced us with not just one trophy husband but two (if I could marry Dominique or/and Jillian I would). As one of the peak highlights of my childhood, this movie brings so much joy and nostalgia and it’s honestly sad that the Barbie company doesn’t make movies like these anymore.

Abigail Lee is a Junior at Christopher Newport University. She is a Communications Major and a Writing Minor. Her hobbies include cooking, playing the ukulele and longboarding. Her favorite show is Avatar the Last Airbender and her favorite movie is the Parent Trap(the one with Lindsey Lohan :)) .