Barbie: A Perfect Christmas

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Barbie: A Perfect Christmas Movie Poster Image
The Christmas spirit saves this Barbie-marketing musical.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

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 & Representations

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
Sexy Stuff
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

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylisa_07 September 13, 2012

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... Continue reading
Parent Written byembeau November 15, 2011

Not as sweet and kind as other Barbie movies..disappointing

Just not as sweet or entertaining as other movies in the Barbie series. The younger sisters are rude to one another, calling each other names. I felt that the... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old January 9, 2012
Kid, 10 years old December 21, 2011

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 h... Continue reading

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.

Movie details

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