A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Barbie movies aren't educational titles, but kids may learn lessons about friendship and using your talent.
There are some positive messages about not pretending to be someone else (figuratively or literally) and having faith in your abilities and talents.
Positive Role Models
Lumina is a talented hairdresser and stylist. She generously offers unique makeovers to every mermaid who goes into her shop.
Violence & Scariness
A power-hungry royal plans to poison a king so his own son will ascend to the throne. He also orders the death of a living princess; he kidnaps her and her best friend and throws them in a dungeon.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some romantic overtones between Lumina and Delphin, Cora and Fergus.
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Products & Purchases
The Barbie movies have distinct storylines, but they're all created to further the marketing of their newest line of tie-in Barbies. All of the major characters and some of the undersea locations and animals are available as merchandise that's sold separately but advertised through the DVD.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Barbie the Pearl Princess is a straight-to-DVD feature film tied to a new line in the legendary doll brand. This particular movie is another undersea Barbie-as-mermaid adventure that features some mild violence (a royal captain of the guard orders someone to poison the king and later kidnaps the princess and orders his henchman to "get rid of her") and romance (flirting and dancing). Some families may not appreciate how much this story focuses on appearance, makeovers, and fashion (the main character is a gifted hair and wardrobe stylist). Although the movie has generally positive messages, the tie-in to the dolls and all the girly-girl stereotypes may not sit well with families looking for more gender-neutral role models and less merchandise-targeted entertainment. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This will mostl likely please little girls who love Barbie. But while this Barbie release has elements of various tried-and-true themes -- the secret princess who has no idea about her royal origins, the magical mermaid with a fish best friend, the offbeat hairdresser everyone loves -- the story never really comes together and is less compelling, entertaining, or educational than comparable productions such as Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess, Barbie: A Perfect Christmas, and Barbie in the Pink Shoes.
Kids (particularly girls) may enjoy the relationship between Lumina and her best pal, the seahorse Kuda, as well as the light romance in the final third of the movie. But overall Pearl Princess isn't one of the more memorable Barbie installments, despite all the similarities to Rapunzel and other movies. Still, if you have a Barbie fan in the family, they may be excited to meet yet another incarnation of the doll and getting a new tale.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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