Barbie and the Diamond Castle

 
(i)

 

Charming friendship tale ties into lots of toys.
  • Review Date: September 19, 2008
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2008
  • Running Time: 79 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Girls are smart, strong, and loyal. Only white characters are represented.

Violence & scariness

A sword fight that never gets started. A dragon gets bonked on the head.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Many, many product tie-ins from Mattel: dolls, carriage, castle, and more.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that even though this DVD is clearly meant to sell more toys in the Barbie brand (the dolls, the carriage, and the castle can be purchased), it does have enough substance and skilled performances to engage a varied audience. Younger children may not understand the history of the muses, though the over-arching themes of friendship, connection, and harmony are meant for all ages.

What's the story?

BARBIE AND THE DIAMOND CASTLE is a story within a story. When Stacy (voiced by Stacie Chantal Strand) is having a fight with another friend, Barbie (Kelly Sheridan) and Teresa (Cassidy Ladden) tell her a story of a magical land, where two friends are confronted by a wayward muse who seeks to destroy all music but her own. In this land Barbie becomes Liana, and Teresa turns into a character called Alexa. They meet a girl trapped in a magical mirror who asks for their help getting back to the Diamond Castle, so that she can rescue the muses turned to stone by the malcontent muse Lydia (Kathleen Barr). The girls face hunger and loss of their home, they are tempted by promises, and their loyalties are tested.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Music is a central theme of this film, and it gilds the plot in a surprising aura of skillfully crafted songs. The general score, performed by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, is not cloying or overt, but rather serves to emphasize the theme of harmony among friends. Very young girls in particular will want to "play" Alexa and Lianna after they've seen the movie (and Mattel is happy to supply them with dolls and set pieces, of course).

Overall this is a mild film, which has a drifty ambience that may surprise adults with its watch-ability. The performances are not shrill, nor are the characters syrupy sweet or randomly evil. They seem actually rather innocent and self-effacing. And their tale is one with plenty of lessons. Connection and friendship are touted as being more important than having excess food, a closet full of clothes, or a bigger house. And loyalty trumps everything. Barbie says: "Real friends care even when you make a mistake." And she seems to mean it in this movie.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about friendship and what it means to be connected. Have you ever invited a new friend into your circle of old friends? Have your friendships ever been tested? Why did Alexa decide to stay in the mansion when she knew she was breaking her promise to Melody and Liana? Why are friends important, and how are they different than family? How are they similar?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 9, 2008
DVD release date:September 9, 2008
Cast:Cassidy Ladden, Kelly Sheridan, Maryke Hendrikse
Directors:Gino Nichele, Jeffrey Nachmanoff
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies
Run time:79 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of Barbie and the Diamond Castle was written by

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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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Parent of a 2, 3, and 5 year old Written byreadilyaparent February 12, 2010
 

Scary witch and her minion scared my daughter, sexual undertones scared me

My 3 year old daughter was incredibly scared by the flying creature the witch has chasing the girls. And thought it says no sexy stuff there is some pretty non-subtle hints of things such as one night stands. (The girls get a job singing at a "pub" where the "barmaids" attack the two minstrels the girls fall in with because they never returned after "that night" or something along those lines - it was pretty obvious to me, though I know a young child wouldn't understand what was going on - I just don't think that kind of behaviour should be viewed by kids anyway
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byembeau November 19, 2009
 

Barbie series is fabulous with great messages for little girls (age two and up)

My daughter (and all the girls at her preschool) all have seen the barbie series and talk about them endlessly. There is a silly, scary dragon in Diamond Castle but for the most part it is not a "scary" movie. My daughter scares easily but loves this movie. She started with the series at age 2 1/2 or so. I would recommend all of the barbie series except the nutcracker (weird and scary). Little girls love this series. For the record, I was NOT a big Barbie fan prior to seeing any of these dvds.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 4 years old January 10, 2012
 

Terrible

This movie was far too scary for my four and a half year old daughter, she has had nightmares about the scary lady and the dragon. The stereotyping of the dumb-acting boys coming to rescue the girls made my toes curl, not to mention the irate barmaids throwing things at them (alluding to a one night stand). I hate the body image of the three main characters, so thin and unrealistic, plus the huge eyes that seem to be the disease of 21st century dolls. I thought Barbie had escaped that trend... Overall the movie has good messages about friendship, but it is far too sophisticated for a child under eight.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism

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