A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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.
- On DVD or streaming: 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, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Holidays
- Run time: 74 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: March 14, 2020
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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.
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