Barbie: A Fairy Secret

 
(i)

 

Shopping and cattiness dominate weak Barbie effort.
  • Review Date: March 19, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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.

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

DVD release date:March 15, 2011
Cast:Adrian Petriw, Britt Irvin, Diana Kaarina
Director:William Lau
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie: A Fairy Secret was written by

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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; OK 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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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 more centered on fashion (make-up, dresses, skimpy and tight clothes (subtle message on dressing sexy and provocatively) stylish shoes, matching belt, etc.) and unnecessary spending. A person's character is far more important than how someone looks. It is so ironic that the fairy whom they said was wise created fairy transport portals to take her to her favorite shopping spots when she just "can't wait" to buy something. This is the current state of most people in North America (women in general) - spending, spending, spending, living on credit cards and debt. The movie has too much immediate gratification mentality - getting what they want when they want it at whatever cause (unnecessary shopping, flirting with someone else's bf, manipulation, forcing someone to marriage, the list goes on and on. We are molding our kids to grow up to be kids and immature. No wonder our society is in shambles because the grownups who are supposed to be our role models are acting like kids and NOT responsible adults. Not to mention that there's a misplaced role between women and men. I can see that the movie depicted well the sad reality between gender roles. How many times do we see in our own households mothers taking the role of the fathers at home? In most cases, mothers have one more child than they asked for. Why? Because men are becoming more and more passive and it drives the women wild. And this movie is encouraging that (Ken playing the damsel in distress; the guy folded when the princess raised her voice and threatened to unleash her fury at him if he doesn’t shut up; etc.) This is the kind of mentality we are passing on to the next generation. I have nothing against women who can stand on her own two feet, but ladies, we have our own role to play already, let’s not take the men’s as well. Although they tried to address some negative issues in the end and tried to sprinkle values like friendship, forgiveness, communication and love, there are really no real consequences pertaining to the negative behaviour of the characters in the film. And again, this is exactly how we are now functioning at home nowadays. If kids will not be given real consequences for their actions, they will come back again and again to whatever they were doing wrong until they hit the wall. Boundaries are essential to develop one’s character and when they are crossed there should be serious consequences. When the princess found out that Crystal tricked her into marrying Ken so Crystal can scheme her way to have her bf she was secretly and desperately in love with, she was asked to clean up after the wedding reception as a punishment. How lame is that? This is supposedly a movie for kids. Let’s make some that is suited for them with morals and values they can imitate and live by – not some crappy movie enticing kids to just look pretty outside but rotten within.
Parent 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 out of hand. I'm not always crazy about the boyfriend/girlfriend themes in some of the Barbie movies because I don't want my daughter to get wrapped up in that at 7. But I'm very impressed with most of the Barbie movies, it's hard to not like them. Not as good as some others, but still cute.
What other families should know
Great messages
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 cheesy prince. Barbie wins and marries prince for no reason whatsoever. Bottom line: Barbie movies are always the same story, dumb, cheesy, pointless.

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