Barbie: A Fairy Secret

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Barbie: A Fairy Secret Movie Poster Image
Shopping and cattiness dominate weak Barbie effort.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 90 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational value

Intended to entertain rather than educate.

Positive messages

Shopping and applying makeup take attention away from the movie's scanty sprinkling of good stuff -- the diverse cast, and the fact that Ken is the one waiting to be saved in this movie. Girls engage in mean behavior but admit that their bad attitudes are based on insecurity.

Positive role models & representations

The two adult role models are involved in fashion: One is a helpful fashion magazine editor, and the other is a helpful shop owner. They encourage the girls to shop, shop, shop! In a flip gender role, it's Ken who's been kidnapped and is being forced to marry a princess.

Violence & scariness

A few falls from great heights and peril while riding through wind tunnels on Pega-Ponies, but everyone is fine. Ken and Zane have sport duels to show their manliness.

Sexy stuff

Characters kiss on the lips.


The movie is dripping with product tie-ins. Fairies have magical shoes, purses, and "matching belts," which allow them to fly. The girls are going to save Ken by "going shopping" at a magical shopping mall. Phones look an awful lot like iPhones.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Magic potion looks like wine, and it causes the drinker  to act strangely.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that fashion and shopping are the main attractions in this Barbie story. Not only are the fashion items shown in the movie available for purchase in the real world, but role model characters encourage the Barbie characters to shop as both a form of entertainment and a way to save a friend. In an interesting gender role twist, Ken must be saved from a forced marriage, but this storyline isn't enough to make up for catty behavior and other stereotypical female behavior.

User Reviews

Parent of a 5, 7, and 9 year old Written byzhi April 13, 2011

I'm very disappointed! Direct and subtle themes are not very ideal for kids!

I'm very disappointed with this movie. If I have my own kids, I don't think I would want them to see it. It has very little substance to it and is mor... Continue reading
Adult Written bymcpjess7503 January 10, 2012

Good but there are better Barbie movies

I like the message about forgiveness between the 2 girls, and how sometimes we just misunderstand each other, and don't let the misunderstanding get too ou... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bytheflickchick March 29, 2011

barbie movies

Always the same story. Barbie is a fairy/princess. There's usually some evil witch trying to get her. Barbie goes on quest. Barbie meets dumb friends and c... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old October 28, 2011


Personally, as a ten year old being put through endless barbie movies by my best friend who has trouble with movies. Lets just say she acts weirdly for her age.... Continue reading

What's the story?

Barbie (voiced by Diana Kaarina) is getting ready for a walk down the red carpet with the help of her stylist friends Taylor (Kate Higgins) and Carrie (Cassandra Morris). When she gets to her movie debut, her co-star, Raquelle (Britt Irvin), ruins her dress. Not to worry! Barbie's stylists know what to do, and, as if by magic, her dress is repaired. But magic actually is at work, since the stylists are really fairies. Meanwhile, a spellbound fairy princess kidnaps Ken to be her fiance, which means that Barbie and her fairy friends have to do some fancy maneuvering to save him.

Is it any good?

There isn't much substance to BARBIE: A FAIRY SECRET, which makes its faults all the more obvious. Most glaring is the gotta-have-it shopping compulsion that dominates the plot. One of the role model-type adults admits that she has created fairy transport portals to take her to "two of my favorite shopping spots when I just can't wait" to buy something. That's not just a subtle pitch for kids to get hooked on spending -- it's a frontal assault. 

Though it's targeted at younger kids, there are themes here that are better suited to tweens and teens -- like very sarcastic, catty comments among frenemies, girls flirting with other girls' boyfriends, and plots to undermine girls' success. Most of these issues are confronted and dealt with, but with what consequences? There's too much Real Housewives and not enough fairy innocence in this movie for it to be recommended.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about product placement. Do you notice certain items in the movie that you've also seen in a store? How are they are advertised in this movie? Does seeing a toy or other product in a movie or TV show make you want to buy it?

  • Raquelle admits that she has been mean to Barbie because she felt insecure about herself. How else do we act out when we feel badly about ourselves? What are more constructive ways to make ourselves feel better?

  • Ken is kidnapped and forced to wed a princess. What's unusual about that set-up? Who usually rescues whom?

Movie details

For kids who love fairies

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate