The Best Barbie Movies of my Childhood

My sister is almost eight years older than me, so we didn’t always see eye-to-eye growing up. However, we always seemed to bond over Barbie movies, and they are still movies we get together to watch when we are feeling nostalgic. While there are 36 Barbie movies that have been produced, there are only a few that really bring back childhood memories. These films are the ones that my sister often quote and watch when we are together, and in my opinion, are the only ones in Barbie’s discography that truly matter. While this list isn’t a ranking, there is one that is my personal favorite, but we’ll get to that later. Here is a nostalgic trip down Barbie’s movie star career.

Barbie: Fairytopia (2005)

Courtesy of Barbie Wiki

To be honest, I don’t remember much about this movie. The only thing I remember is that she had a pet named Bibble, who is now the star of his very own meme, and the backstory behind an inside joke I have with friends.

Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus (2005)

Courtesy of Fanpop

Barbie stars as Princess Annika, a young woman who goes to save her sister and stop the evil Wenlock. This film was released as a 3D DVD, which came with a pair of themed glasses. Not only is this film aesthetically pleasing, but it also features an end credit song by Captain Marvel herself, Brie Larson, as this movie was released during her early pop star career. The dolls that were released that paired with the film were gorgeous, and you best believe I owned the horse.

Barbie as the Island Princess (2007)

Courtesy of IMDb

Barbie stars as Rosella, a young girl who lives on an island with her animal friends (pictured above). She longs to find out where she is from, as she only has a battered trunk as a clue. The movie follows her finding herself and love along the way. This film, one of Barbie’s musical films, has a fantastic soundtrack, with songs that get stuck in your head. The story is wholesome and has really funny characters.

Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses (2006)

Courtesy of Barbie Movies Wiki

Genevieve is Barbie’s character in the series’ ninth film. It follows 12 sisters who discover that emblems on their bedroom floor transport them to a magical world, where they dance all throughout the night. It features the voice talent of Catherine O’Hara, who stars as the movie's villain, Duchess Rowena. I owned both the Nintendo DS game and the computer game, so I have many memories of this story.

Barbie as Rapunzel (2002)

Courtesy of Pinterest

This film is Barbie’s version of the classic fairytale of Rapunzel. Barbie’s Rapunzel is stuck in her tower, and she discovers that she has a magic paintbrush that transports her to wherever she paints. There’s a “makeover” scene where she paints multiple dresses for herself to wear to the ball, which is goals honestly. She has some animal sidekicks, including her sassy and clumsy purple dragon Penelope. This movie is a classic, as it was only Barbie’s second film.  

Barbie in the Nutcracker (2001)

Courtesy of The Princess Wikia

This film is Barbie’s first movie, and it is a certified classic. Barbie stars as Clara and tells the story of the famous ballet, The Nutcracker. It uses the classic Tchaikovsky soundtrack and has beautifully animated choreography. Barbie in the Nutcracker is the perfect foundation for the rest of Barbie’s career as a movie star.

Barbie of Swan Lake (2003)

Courtesy of Barbie Movies Wiki

Barbie’s third film is probably my second favorite of this film anthology. Barbie stars as Odette in this spin on the Tchaikovsky ballet. She discovers a magic land adjacent to her small village and learns that she is the one who will save the woodland creatures/humans from their curse, getting her own curse along the way. It has spunky characters, Kelsey Grammar as the villain, and beautiful dances and costumes.

Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper (2004)

Courtesy of Reelgood

This is by far the best movie in the Barbie anthology. This film is the one my sister and I talk about the most and the soundtrack is sung often. Barbie stars as Anneliese and Erika in this retelling of The Prince and the Pauper. The two girls, one a princess and one a seamstress, discover they are identical, and Erika, the seamstress, must save the day and step in as Anneliese when she is kidnapped. The soundtrack has some certified bops that randomly get caught in my head, a villain voiced by Martin Short, with a color palette that has inspired my life's aesthetic.

Whether you grew up watching these films like me, or have never heard of them before, the Barbie movie anthology is filled with wholesome, cheesy stories, romance, adventure, quirky characters, and strong females who are their own heroines (for the most part). They are movies I turn to when I want to revisit my childhood and spend some quality time with my sister, and just remember simpler times before the craziness of college.