Barbie and Her Sisters in A Pony Tale

  • Review Date: October 21, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Barbie and her sisters have sweet, magical, Swiss adventure.
  • Review Date: October 21, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 75 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

Barbie movies aim to entertain, not educate, but young viewers will learn about the discipline needed to be a competitive equestrian as well as the various events in which equestrians compete (dressage, jumping, cross country). They will also learn that the Alps are in Switzerland, the movie's location.

Positive messages

Barbie's relationship with her three sisters promotes healthy sibling relationships through kindness (as opposed to the rival brothers). Healthy competition also is highlighted but more as a way to find one's strength, not necessarily to win. Lastly, being gentle to animals is encouraged.

Positive role models

Barbie is a kind, understanding big sister who encourages and supports her younger siblings. The girls' Swiss aunt is loving and wants the girls to do their best in the equestrian competition without putting too much pressure on them to win.

Violence & scariness

Wolves are about to attack Barbie when a horse intervenes, saves her, and drives the wolves away. A man is cruel to his horse and overuses the riding whip.

Sexy stuff

Skipper ends up having a crush, and they end up flirting and dancing at a party.

Language

Colorful insults exchanged between the rival brothers: "You hair of a child's nostril" and "You pig of a dog of a mule."

Consumerism

Barbie movies are made as a tie-in to the dolls. Every time a new Barbie movie comes out on DVD, the accompanying line of related toys is available in stores. Skipper frequently uses an iPad-like tablet.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Barbie and Her Sisters in A Pony Tale is a direct-to-DVD offering starring the popular Mattel doll. Like all Barbie features, this one has a direct merchandise tie-in to a set of equestrian Barbie (and her sister) dolls and their corresponding horses. The movie is fine for younger kids but does contain one potentially scary moment when wolves menacingly creep up on Barbie and her horse until another more powerful horse intervenes and scares the wolves away. The language includes some colorful insults exchanged by bitter rivals such as, "You hair of a child's nostril" and "You pig of a dog of a mule." It's not a major plot point, but there is a little romance between Skipper and a Swiss equestrian. Kids might learn a thing or two about equestrian competitions.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In BARBIE AND HER SISTERS IN A PONY TALE, Barbie (Kelly Sheridan) and her three younger sisters, Skipper (Kazumi Evans), Stacie (Claire Corlett), and Chelsea (Ashlyn Drummond), travel to Switzerland for the summer to visit their Aunt Marlene (Alex Kelly), who runs a horse stable and a riding academy. Barbie, a renowned equestrian, is there not only to compete as part of her aunt's academy but also to pick out a horse to take back home to Malibu. Barbie soon becomes enchanted with a mysterious wild horse she encounters while riding in the beautiful Alpine terrain. While Barbie obsesses about the magical-seeming horse, Aunt Marlene delivers the terrible news that if the academy doesn't win an upcoming competition, she'll be forced to close it.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

These direct-to-DVD Barbie movies aren't exactly a marvel in modern animated storytelling, but for what they are (a way to attract kids to the Barbie brand by creating a rich backstory to their doll lines), they're pretty decently written and conceived. The backgrounds, landscapes, and other CGI details aren't up to par with theatrical animated movies, but the story should appeal to kids, especially children who love horses. 

Barbie isn't for every family, and if you have all boys, chances are slim they'll be interested in this franchise of DVDs, but that's not to say boys won't enjoy the competition angle and the fierce rivalry between the two riding academy managers, who enjoy sparring verbally with creative insults. Older girls may get a kick out of how Skipper ends up having a little romance with one of the other academy's top riders. As for lessons learned, this particular movie will teach young kids about the power of sibling relationships, being kind to animals, and rising to the challenge. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the allure of horse stories. Why do you think horses appeal to audiences, especially young girls, so much?

  • Talk about how to separate the movie and its characters from the Barbie products in stores. We have tips on how to manage product placements and advertising in pop culture.

  • How does this particular movie compare to others in the Barbie universe? Do you prefer the Barbie movies where she's a fairy tale or fantasy character or the more realistic ones? Do you like the movies with the sisters or ones only about Barbie?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 22, 2013
Cast:Claire Corlett, Kazumi Evans, Kelly Sheridan
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Brothers and sisters
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie and Her Sisters in A Pony Tale 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; 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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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byjocelynaus August 25, 2014
AGE
3
QUALITY
 

I wish more barbie movie were like this

I want more barbie movies like this, my daughter, son and I all enjoy this movie which is a simple positive story for kids, especially girls. I love that Romance is downplayed, ken is not mentioned at all, I like his character in the life in dreamhouse series but his storyline was the lowest of many lows in fashion fairy tale. There is some flirting but it stays pretty teenage and Chelsea soon draws focus back for younger viewers. From a feminist point of view my only criticism is that the only villain is male, but it also shows barbie, her sisters and their aunt as assertive, caring and confident women. It has great messages for kids. I've rated it 4, obviously that's a rating considering it's a made for video barbie movie, it's not a great cinematic masterpiece, but it's by far the best made for video movie I can think of.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old January 13, 2015
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

appealing story about horses

contains flirting between skipper and another boy. a scary moment when chelsea is thrown off a big horse but fine and a man gets hardly hit by the hind legs of a horse. not for all kids but fun and vibrant.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex

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