Barbie and the Secret Door

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Barbie and the Secret Door Movie Poster Image
Magical tale with an engaging story and positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2014
  • 81 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Primary message: "You'll never know what you can do until you try." Also promotes reading, embracing new experiences, and helping others.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Though shy and lacking self-confidence when the story begins, Princess Alexa learns to believe in herself and her abilities. She is ultimately brave, helpful, generous, and spirited. Throughout the movie the princess finds great joy in reading. Featured and background characters are ethnically diverse. Adult characters, including parents, are caring, reliable, and understanding.

Violence & Scariness

Mild cartoon conflict between the heroic/sympathetic characters and Malucia, a mean-spirited, power-hungry little girl, includes chases, captures, casting magic spells, falls, and grabbing a fairy's wings. A few suspenseful scenes are enhanced by lightly edgy music and some shaded images.

Sexy Stuff

Another entry in the vast Barbie franchise, which includes dolls, books, toys, clothing, games, and so on. Mattel has introduced a new series of Barbie and the Secret Door dolls and products featuring Princess Alexa and other characters from this film. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that lots of singing and dancing surrounds Princess Alexa in Barbie and the Secret Door, a fairy tale adventure with some positive messages. Mild conflict includes cartoon falls, abductions, some zapping magic, and a greedy villain in the person of a naughty, scheming little girl. For kids who understand the difference between cartoon peril and real jeopardy, nothing will be scary. This movie likely will appeal to kids who like a little magic, adventure, and music along with their elegantly costumed princesses. Although the story is less consumer-driven than some Barbie tales, Mattel has introduced a line of Princess Alexa dolls and other products related to the characters in this film.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHillybillybob April 8, 2020

Terrible Role Model For Kids

So I'm not a parent, but I am an adult and a friend and I have recently gone on an escapade of watching all the barbie movies and by far this is the worst... Continue reading
Adult Written byPunaniD3st0y3r January 5, 2016


it was great. I'm 34 years old and one of the best movies ever. All the singing gets me very ecstatic. i also have it on blu-ray with bonus features, best... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byGrammarly.Com March 16, 2020

Very Positive and Heartwarming

One of the best movies I’ve ever seen, appropriate for all ages in my opinion.
Kid, 7 years old April 24, 2018

It’s awesome!

It is very creative. I also think it is magical and funny. It has some cute creatures in it. It is different than most Barbie movies.

What's the story?

In BARBIE AND THE SECRET DOOR, Princess Alexa, a thoughtful, book-loving princess (played, of course, by "Barbie," voiced charmingly by Kelly Sheridan and sung well by Brittany McDonald), lives in a beautiful castle with her very caring family. The problem is, the princess is shy and unsure of herself, and she shrinks from some of her princess duties such as meeting new people, making speeches, and attending castle balls. She's content to stay in her room surrounded by her books, hiding from all but her family and her supportive ladies-in-waiting. When she finds a secret door, opens it, and enters a magical kingdom, her life changes forever. Fairies, mermaids, unicorns, and adorably unique little creatures live there, and they're desperately in need of Princess Alexa's help. They're fighting to protect their way of life from a formidable villain in the person of Malucia, a naughty, mean-spirited little girl with ponytails, a sneering smile, and a desire to possess all the magic in her kingdom. Princess Alexa must find the courage to do battle with Malucia, learn to value herself and her talents, and open her heart to new experiences and new people.  

Is it any good?

The upbeat, engaging story is combined with a very likable new Princess and the delightful characters that surround her. Rather than relying on traditional fairy tales, Mattel has created an original one with vibrant colors, an inventive villain, and lots of music. Solid messages about courage, self-confidence, and risk-taking are subtly included rather than delivered in a heavy-handed way. Though some of the half-dozen songs are conventional, the dancing that accompanies them is not; it's contagious fun. Certainly, this DVD is intended to sell a lot of new dolls, and it stays true to the Barbie tradition of doe-eyed, perfectly pretty girls, but it's a Barbie adventure that stands on its own as an appealing movie for toddlers through grade schoolers.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the character of Princess Alexa. How is she different from other Barbie Princesses? What did you like about her? What did she learn from the Secret Door?

  • Did you want to purchase a Princess Alexa doll after watching this movie? How does your family decide whether or not you can buy toys from movies or TV shows?

  • Malucia was an unusual villain. How did the filmmakers make her seem both funny and wicked at the same time?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love princesses

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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