Barbie: A Perfect Christmas

  • Review Date: November 15, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

Common Sense Media says

The Christmas spirit saves this Barbie-marketing musical.
  • Review Date: November 15, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

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

Educational value

Although this movie is more for entertainment than educational purposes, there are worthwhile lessons about the importance of helping others, giving rather than receiving, and being a loving sibling.

Positive messages

Most of the positive messages center around the spirit of Christmas -- being kind to others, finding a way not to give into negativity, and even rescuing shelter dogs. Once the sisters work together and discover the joys of staying at the Tannenbaum Inn, they're able to have the "perfect Christmas."

Positive role models

Barbie tries very hard to be a good big sister, and she's devastated when she can't get her sisters to New York City. She wishes, more than anything, to give her younger siblings the Christmas she believes they deserve. Christie is always willing to show the sisters the silver lining of their imperfect situation. Little Chelsea is in awe of the Christmas spirit around her.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language

Stacie sometimes calls Chelsea "rude" or a "copycat." Chelsea call an idea "dumb."

Consumerism

Because this movie is about Christmas and the holiday spirit, it does seem slightly less egregiously consumerist than the other Barbie direct-to-DVD movies. But of course, like all Barbie products, there are many merchandise tie-ins, from books and CDs to the entire character set and a Mattel micro-site devoted to makeover games and other interactive features.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this addition to Barbie's extremely profitable and popular line of direct-to-DVD movies comes with a sweet moral about the true meaning of the holiday season instead of just being another excuse to trumpet the latest Barbie merchandise. Of course, there are a lot of Perfect Christmas products available just in time for the holidays, but the actual movie focuses on the relationship between the four sisters and how Christmas is more about giving than receiving -- not a bad lesson for kids to learn when it comes to Barbies.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Four sisters -- Barbie (voiced by Diana Kaarina), Skipper (Rachel Harrison), Stacie (Lauren Lavoie), and Chelsea (Ashly Drummond) -- are headed to New York City to spend Christmas with their wealthy Aunt Millie (Patricia Drake). They all believe it's going to be their "perfect Christmas," since they each have big plans (Barbie has tickets to a Broadway show, Skipper is going to play in a band, Stacie wants to skate in Central Park, and little Chelsea can't wait to spot the sea lions at the zoo). Unfortunately for Barbie and her younger sisters, their cross-country plane trip makes an emergency weather-related landing in Minnesota. Stuck in the Midwest, the girls wind up at the Tannenbaum Inn, where the innkeeper and her friends are all super-infused with the Christmas spirit. What looks like the worst Christmas ever for the girls turns out to be a magical holiday after all.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Surprisingly, this Christmas musical isn't nearly as obnoxious as some of the other Barbie tales. This time Barbie isn't trying to get a makeover at a princess school or transform into a mermaid; she's just an oldest child attempting to make the holidays special for her younger sisters. The plentiful musical numbers are catchy (each actress has a professional to sing the original songs), and the storyline is actually pretty sweet, which is notable given that many of the Barbie movies are focused solely on fashion and romance.

The animation in these films is never anything to compare to the quality of theatrical animated features, but at least this particular movie has filled-in backgrounds and snowy landscapes. With its Christmas theme and memorable tunes, this is one Barbie adventure that not only entertains kids but will teach them an important lesson about holiday giving.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages about the holiday season. Should kids be focused on themselves or on others? Kids: Why is it important to give and not just receive?

  • In this movie, the four sisters each have a special wish for Christmas. It doesn't necessarily come true exactly as they planned, but they still have a wonderful experience. How is this applicable to real life? Are there times when things don't happen as we imagined but everything still works out?

  • Even though this is a "Christmas movie," it's also made to make kids interested in Barbie products. Find out how to deal with consumerist messages in movies and TV shows.

Movie details

DVD release date:November 8, 2011
Cast:Diana Kaarina, Lauren Lavoie, Rachel Harrison
Director:Mark Baldo
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Holidays
Run time:74 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie: A Perfect Christmas 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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Kid, 9 years old January 9, 2012
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

Barbie: A Perfect Christmas

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 10 years old December 21, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Barbie actually ruined my friendship.

I was forced to watch this as a ten year old girl, and the only thing that gave it a three star rating, was that it was about Christmas. The plot doesn't have any real charm to it, and Barbie is perfect. Nothing can be perfect. Shes a good role model but she promises to her family that she would get them to NY. When actually, it would be impossible. Now i know that sometimes its better to tell a lie than tell a hurtful truth, but there are so many movies nowdays that include a character over-reacting to a lie, instead of forgiving and forgetting. Seriously, she should have just told them that they wouldn't be able to make it to new york... My rating started at three stars and dropped to one in the first 10 minutes... The message is distorted slightly as there are no obvious things, it is put out in, "Skipper, you CAN'T give up now!" from Barbie. Barbie has caused problems with my friends would you believe it. My friend is trying to be perfect without even knowing it. Barbie movies have turned her into little miss perfect. Barbie movies makes her feel its right to tell other people what to do, In the barbie movies Barbie gives kind words of advice, by saying it in their face, or something like, "But, Skipper, you can't give up! you can do it!" My friend gives me lectures like this, even if i get homesick. for example, "[insert mah name here] You can't get homesick because would your mum be homesick? Nooo," When i got home mum said she had missed me insanely and was worried. Barbie movies have ruined my friendship and life with my friends. They can watch them, but when they start second grade. STOP LETTING THEM BUY THEM UNLESS THEY WANT TO HAVE PROBLEMS WITH FRIENDS TOO.
Educator and Parent Written bylisa_07 September 13, 2012
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Warm your heart

My family loves this movie! After starting the movie with some high ideals and focusing on themselves, the characters go through some ups and downs and learn a new understanding of what a "perfect" Christmas is. The message is the perfect Christmas is about enjoying time with people you love and sharing. You will leave this movie with a warmed heart. We did not notice nor did we participate in any commercialism associated with this or any other Barbie movie. We enjoy the movies for what they are.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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