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The 10 Best Animated ‘Barbie’ Movies, Ranked

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Conn chapter.

If you’ve had the typical childhood of a girl, you may have stumbled upon one or two Barbie movies in your lifetime. Or you could have been like me and re-watched them all during your freshman year of college with your roommate.

With the popularization of the blockbuster, Barbie, this past summer, we’ve learned Barbie can do and be anything. For the previous two decades, Barbie has been through many different adventures, taking us along for the ride. Taking Ken along most recently as well to discover Ken isn’t just Ken. Whether you’ve become a fan of Barbie with the most recent Barbie blockbuster or grew up watching the films, both have something to offer the collective. I thought it would be fun to take a blast at the past and rank some of the previous animated films.

10. Mermaidia

Mermaidia was a great movie that followed the popularity of mermaids in the 2000s. It presented a great underwater setting and creative visuals for its time. This film also had the iconic little blue fuzzy side character, Bibble. Bibble has become a familiar icon in the Barbie movie collection and is still a memorable Barbie sidekick.

It had great characters with varying emotions and good ideas going for the work of the movie. Elina is a great character, along with the friends she makes along the way. However, it could’ve been rated higher on the list with a bit more character work and plot extension for certain characters.

9. A Fashion Fairytale

We get a great movie that starts with Barbie going away to Paris after a breakup to start a new adventure in the world of fashion. She meets the “flaires” and makes new friends along her journey as a fashion designer.

This was one of the movies released in recent years, adding a more modernized twist to the Barbie series. It may not be everyone’s top pick, but it’s a pretty fun watch.

8. Fairytopia

Every girl, at some point, may have had an interest in fairytales and how complex and magical they are. With all the magic and adventure connected throughout this film, watching as Elina has to defeat the evil fairy, Laverna, and save Fairytopia from her evil plans, this movie definitely satisfies that childhood interest. This is also the first film that introduced us to one of the funniest and cutest side characters mentioned earlier, Bibble.

Overall, it was a great movie and a great series for Barbie and her magical adventures flying around in Fairytopia or swimming around as a mermaid, however, there were others that may have been just a bit better.

7. Magic of Pegasus

As a follow-up on number eight, girls, at some point, might also go through a horse-girl phase. I personally went through both. Magic of Pegasus may not be what everyone thinks of right away when they think about Barbie, however, once you rewatch it, it truly does strike you as a pretty great film produced in the Barbie collection. There were heavy plot twists and turns, going from big stakes of a kingdom cursed and a sister who’s doomed to stay as a pegasus forever. From the moment the film introduces us to the plot line, you get sucked in for the ride — a great movie, maybe even a bit underrated for its time.

6. Barbie and the Three Musketeers

Coming out in 2009, this Barbie movie was the 16th movie in the collection. It features Corrine, a young adventurer who wants to become a musketeer, with her three friends. It’s fun, adventurous, and it has a slightly different vibe compared to previous Barbie movies with the plot and sciences they included. It’s definitely a good movie to enjoy alongside its great musical plays.

This movie was definitely dynamically changing and had a great plot. It has some fun sidekicks and fun montages. Overall, it’s a great film that takes a fun twist on the original idea of “The Three Musketeers.”

5. the Diamond Castle

Like any good Barbie movie, this one plays on the complexities of friendship, but it also develops stronger ideas of what a real-life connection might look like with love, disagreements, adventures, etc. We follow along two flower shop owners, Barbie and Teresa, who are on an adventure to save their friend from an evil woman with an enchanted flute. They use their enchanted mirror and the power of friendship to save the day.

It’s a very well-developed movie and fun to watch. It shows true dedication and testament to each other’s friendship and love. It has many important hidden lessons that viewers of any age can learn from.

4. the 12 dancing princesses

This movie was beautifully set up from the beginning, from the gorgeous scenery, graphics, and plot. We followed 12 princesses, all sisters, which seemed like a dream for me being an only child growing up. They follow along the journey of learning to use the power of dance magic to help stop their evil stepmother before she poisons their father to take his place on the throne.

This movie made me want to become a ballerina and learn to dance like them. The magic and powerful plot line shows solidarity and strength from all the sisters to come together and use their love to work towards the same goal. It’s a great movie that feels as though you can always remember when it comes to the Barbie movie collection.

3. Swan Lake

The movie is based on the original Swan Lake ballet. It follows along a strong plot line of the Swan Lake original play, a great ballet to begin with, tying in everything that made each of these movies a memorable Barbie movie: friendship, love, family, and magic. The main character, Odette, changes into a swan after being cursed in an enchanted forest which changes her life and the journey begins magically changing from here.

However, this movie has to have the most cute and exciting side characters by far. It felt as though every sidekick in this movie had their own set of characteristics, whether it was being sassy, cute, or silly. I might have to add that the father and daughter villains in this movie were definitely not on the pleasant side, rather a bit annoying, especially once they shape-shift into birds, and the daughter, Odile, calls out to her father.

However, it is a very strong Barbie movie with a great plot line for a film to follow along to and enjoy. As well a rather a great classic reference to the original Swan Lake ballet.

2. Rapunzel

Before the Disney movie Tangled came out, we had a Barbie version of the movie, which is a classic in the Barbie collection. Gothel is given a great backstory alongside the side characters, who were also very silly in the film, and they are also given backstories of how they came to be with Rapunzel.

With the great graphics and creativity of the time, Barbie magically painted each of her gorgeous outfits or painted places and could teleport to them. Every part of this movie was well thought out and probably made some of us wish for a magical paintbrush, too. The film also did a great job giving side plots with the side characters, like the purple dragon having issues with their father, making us understand not only the film but also smaller yet crucial aspects of character development throughout.

Overall, this film did great presenting a message of bravery and strength throughout as Barbie fights for her independence and release from Gothel, finds true love, and saves a kingdom from war. With a touch of magic, Barbie can really do it all.

1. the Princess and the Pauper

Last but not least, The Princess and The Pauper. On some level, I might be convinced that every girl has seen it or at least seen clips of it online. It tells the story of the friendship that builds between Princess Anneliese and servant Erika, who look nearly identical. They swap lifestyles to live like the others and find true love in the end, while one of them gets kidnapped by Preminger to save the kingdom from bankruptcy. This film is filled with endless plot lines and twists and turns.

It has some hilarious animal sidekicks and some great songs, specifically “I Am a Girl Like You.” The second you hear the tune, “I’m just like you… you’re just like me,” it brings up a familiar and almost nostalgic childhood memory. With that, Preminger also brought some funny villain moments throughout the movie, making him a great dramatic antagonist. Overall, I think it was a great film that made me want to meet a girl like me and become best friends, just as Anneliese and Erika did.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the animated Barbie movies are a good representation of what love, friendship, and strength can look like, all while looking in style, in different dresses, and in different worlds. Barbie overcomes many obstacles and villains in her journey while making friends along the way. These are storylines we may even face in our own daily lives.

Barbie is a good role model and shows us you can really be anything magical you want to be: a princess, a ballet dancer, a mermaid, or a fairy. I don’t know how my childhood would have been without these movies, and I’m glad to have them as a core memory to look back upon and re-watch them for years to come.

Khrystyna is a junior at the University of Connecticut majoring in Marketing. She has published a book called "Faded Reality." During her free time, she loves reading, scrapbooking, and fishing. Her fun fact is that she knows five languages.