Barbie in the Pink Shoes

  • Review Date: February 26, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013

Common Sense Media says

Barbie teaches kids about classic ballets; some romance.
  • Review Date: February 26, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013

Age(i)

2
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Unlike other Barbie movies, which don't have an educational component, this one focuses on a ballerina who explores the story lines (albeit oversimplified to skim over the sadder parts) of a few famous ballets, like Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Snow Queen.

Positive messages

The overriding message of the movie is to dance from your heart, which is undeniably a sweet lesson. But what's odd is that Kristyn is applauded for dancing her own steps, getting lost in the music, when ballet is an art form that does not encourage changing choreography and doing her own thing. Overall, however, there is a positive message about sharing your talents, believing in yourself, etc.

Positive role models

Kristyn refuses to leave the ballet "otherworld" until she has helped the villagers and then her friend Hailey defeat the evil Snow Queen. Hailey is a supportive best friend who encourages Kristyn to stay true to her artistry, even if the ballet director isn't a fan of Kristyn's style.

Violence & scariness

As is common in Barbie movies, there is mild violence as the villain -- in this case the Snow Queen -- "freezes" people into ice statues and forces characters to dance until they're exhausted. She's generally a menacing, cruel presence. Rothbart, the villain from Swan Lake, turns Kristyn and Hailey into swans, but he's less frightening than the Snow Queen. Of course in the end, everyone gets their happy ending.

Sexy stuff

No kissing but there's definitely some flirting while Kristyn is in the magical ballet realm. Three different guys propose to her.

Language

A few insults about being poor, obnoxious, sloppy, or undisciplined, said a couple of times to different characters.

Consumerism

All Barbie straight-to-DVDs are made with the intent of spreading awareness and interest in the latest doll, in this case it's the new ballet-dancing Barbie, Kristyn (and other characters in the Pink Shoes line). The Barbie toys are also featured in McDonald's Happy Meals.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Barbie in the Pink Shoes is the latest doll-tied story in Mattel's heavily marketed direct-to-DVD Barbie franchise. There is a bigger educational component to the movie than previous movies, because this one focuses on a teenage ballerina who gets transported into the premises of famous ballets, like Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Snow Queen. Young viewers will learn about the various characters and plot lines of the ballets. Two villains are slightly menacing, particularly the Snow Queen who can freeze people, but never fear, there's still a happy ending.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BARBIE IN THE PINK SHOES follows the story of Kristyn (voiced by Kelly Sheridan), a bubbly young ballerina preparing to rehearse her dance in her ballet school's showcase. During her rehearsal, she gets "lost in the music" and starts doing her own choreography, which her instructor Madame Natasha (Tabitha St. Germaine) demands that she stop doing. Needing new ballet slippers, Kristyn and her best friend, seamstress Hailey (Katie Crown) visit the costume mistress, Madame Katerina (Lori Triolo), who offers Kristyn a special pair of fuchsia pink shoes. As she tries them on and starts to do a few steps from the legendary ballet Giselle,  Kristyn and Hailey are transported to a different the world -- the stories of the ballet.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although it's hard to escape the marketing strategy that drives all these Barbie movies, this installment in the franchise at the very least teaches young viewers (mostly little girls already aware of the brand) about some famous ballets. Kristyn and Hailey, who are stuck in the world of Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Snow Queen, reveal plot details and characters from each of the classic dances. There's even a cameo from the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy -- two characters kids are likely to recognize.

The filmmakers smartly gloss over the more disturbing details of the folktale based ballets (which tend to include heartache and death) and focus on Kristyn's heroic commitment to helping the fictional ballet characters she encounters. When she finally fulfills her mission in the ballet story world, she is self confident enough to face Madame Natasha (who is also the Snow Queen) and dance from the heart -- not just to the choreographed steps.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the stories within the story. Does the movie make you want to learn more about or go see the ballet?

  • Kids: Do you like watching stories with romance and marriage proposals? How do these stories make you feel?

  • Discuss how to separate the movie from the products it's promoting. We've got tips on how to manage product placements and advertising in pop culture. How do you feel about a ballet-based story advertising through fast-food kids' meals?

Movie details

DVD release date:February 26, 2013
Cast:Ali Liebert, Katie Crown, Kelly Sheridan
Director:Owen Hurley
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Arts and dance
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie in the Pink Shoes 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.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written byGURLLLLLLLLL March 10, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

COPIED NARNIA!!!

It copied the movie Narnia,it had an evil ice queen and they went into a weird magical land with weird creatures and a castle just like Narnia did!

Parent of an infant and 1 year old Written byAlicia Kimberly June 2, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Perfect for very young girls! (And their mothers)

I love this movie for my toddler and preschool-age daughters and nieces, and my youngest, not even one years old, will sit and watch it all the way through (remarkable) because the colors are bright and sparkly and the action is not too fast-paced. I love it for me because, whether I am sitting in the family room with them or in the kitchen doing dishes, the comedic moments make me smile, if not laugh out loud. Some mild "adult" humor, but nothing rude or suggestive in any way, making this a bearable young child's movie... which is rare. I also enjoy watching my daughters practice "dancing" the parts from different classical ballets. Thumbs up!

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much consumerism
Parent of a 10 year old Written byYogaMommy September 7, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Barbie is still a poor role model for young girls

My 5 year old begged me to rent this for her, since she loves both ballet and the color pink. I regretted it for a couple of reasons. I checked "language" because of the taunting, sarcastic tone used by Kristen's peers - something my daughter has not been exposed to yet (she was in preschool at the time). We did use it as an opportunity to talk about speaking to each other respectfully and kindly. Still, I wasn't ready to expose her to the high school mean girls!

My other issue with Barbie is that, underneath a shallow "follow your dreams" moral, there seems to be an underlying message that, if you are graceful and pretty, everything will work out for you in the end. Barbie (or in this case, Kristen) still disappoints with her unattainable body type and lack of genuine depth.

What other families should know
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism

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