Barbie and the Diamond Castle

  • Review Date: September 19, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008

Common Sense Media says

Charming friendship tale ties into lots of toys.
  • Review Date: September 19, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Girls are smart, strong, and loyal. Only white characters are represented.

Violence & scariness

A sword fight that never gets started. A dragon gets bonked on the head.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Many, many product tie-ins from Mattel: dolls, carriage, castle, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though this DVD is clearly meant to sell more toys in the Barbie brand (the dolls, the carriage, and the castle can be purchased), it does have enough substance and skilled performances to engage a varied audience. Younger children may not understand the history of the muses, though the over-arching themes of friendship, connection, and harmony are meant for all ages.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BARBIE AND THE DIAMOND CASTLE is a story within a story. When Stacy (voiced by Stacie Chantal Strand) is having a fight with another friend, Barbie (Kelly Sheridan) and Teresa (Cassidy Ladden) tell her a story of a magical land, where two friends are confronted by a wayward muse who seeks to destroy all music but her own. In this land Barbie becomes Liana, and Teresa turns into a character called Alexa. They meet a girl trapped in a magical mirror who asks for their help getting back to the Diamond Castle, so that she can rescue the muses turned to stone by the malcontent muse Lydia (Kathleen Barr). The girls face hunger and loss of their home, they are tempted by promises, and their loyalties are tested.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Music is a central theme of this film, and it gilds the plot in a surprising aura of skillfully crafted songs. The general score, performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is not cloying or overt, but rather serves to emphasize the theme of harmony among friends. Very young girls in particular will want to "play" Alexa and Lianna after they've seen the movie (and Mattel is happy to supply them with dolls and set pieces, of course).

Overall this is a mild film, which has a drifty ambience that may surprise adults with its watch-ability. The performances are not shrill, nor are the characters syrupy sweet or randomly evil. They seem actually rather innocent and self-effacing. And their tale is one with plenty of lessons. Connection and friendship are touted as being more important than having excess food, a closet full of clothes, or a bigger house. And loyalty trumps everything. Barbie says: "Real friends care even when you make a mistake." And she seems to mean it in this movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship and what it means to be connected. Have you ever invited a new friend into your circle of old friends? Have your friendships ever been tested? Why did Alexa decide to stay in the mansion when she knew she was breaking her promise to Melody and Liana? Why are friends important, and how are they different than family? How are they similar?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 9, 2008
DVD release date:September 9, 2008
Cast:Cassidy Ladden, Kelly Sheridan, Maryke Hendrikse
Directors:Gino Nichele, Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies
Run time:79 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of Barbie and the Diamond Castle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byBeckstar October 31, 2011
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

lovely!

I love this film! Overall I didn't really like the 'friendship' plot. But I still liked it. The dogs were cute, but irritating. A great film for young girls. I'm 19 and me and My mother love all the films (not the current ones like 'Fairy Secret' though).. No problems in this film.

What other families should know
Great messages
Teen, 15 years old Written byNectaria January 14, 2010
AGE
3
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byembeau November 19, 2009
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

Barbie series is fabulous with great messages for little girls (age two and up)

My daughter (and all the girls at her preschool) all have seen the barbie series and talk about them endlessly. There is a silly, scary dragon in Diamond Castle but for the most part it is not a "scary" movie. My daughter scares easily but loves this movie. She started with the series at age 2 1/2 or so. I would recommend all of the barbie series except the nutcracker (weird and scary). Little girls love this series. For the record, I was NOT a big Barbie fan prior to seeing any of these dvds.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families