A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Barbie is supposed to be a French "countryside girl" whose dream is to be a Musketeer like her father once was. Some parents might question "girl power" being defined by using weapons. Barbie and her friends fight and go after bad guys with their self-made weapons.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Barbie plays Corinne (voiced by Kelly Sheridan), a girl from the French countryside who has always dreamed of being a Musketeer like her father. Now that she is seventeen, she has enough skills to go to Paris and follow her passion. She takes her horse, her cat, and a letter of introduction to the big city. But she soon discovers that girls are not allowed to be Musketeers, which makes her even more determined to follow her dream. She happens to become employed by the royal family as a maid, and meets three other girls who also want to be Musketeers. They are trained by the house maid, who is secretly also a Musketeer, and soon the four girls find themselves defending the Prince's life in earnest.
Is it any good?
Though it feels more like Cinderella, this movie looks like an attempt by the creators to jump on the Pirates of the Caribbean ship. Barbie does all kinds of acrobatic moves, which flaunt her girlishness, but putting a sword in her dainty little hands seems to be a stretch. When she boasts, "I'm gonna be a Musketeer," she sounds a little too much like a cheerleader. Moreover, the high-toned language of Tim Curry, who plays the bad guy, Philippe, strikes a jangly contrast to Barbie and her friends who say things like, "Musketeers rock!" and "Let's do this!"
On the other hand, trying to fashion strong female characters isn't a bad thing -- like Helene (Kathleen Barr), the chamber maid-slash ninja master who teaches the girls how to fight. But she's ultimately never elevated beyond her maid status. And though Barbie and her crew become Musketeers in the end, their hair is perfectly coiffed as they ride into the sunset with their matching outfits and their kitten. A pretty good try, but this Musketeer misses the mark.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the history of females as warriors. Who are the women who have gone to battle in times past? Is there a reason why women should or shouldn't go to war? Why have women traditionally left the violence to men?
Though it's not exactly violent, this movie has a lot of sword play and fighting. How does even the mildest level of violence affect a young viewer? This article looks at the effects of media violence on our society's most impressionable viewers.
Barbie and her friends help to save the Prince. This is a role-reversal from the typical fairy tale. Can you think of some alternate ending to some other fairy tales? How are girls portrayed in typical fairy tales?
Does being equal mean that girls must be initiated into the violent world of boys?
- On DVD or streaming: September 15, 2009
- Cast: Kelly Sheridan, Kira Tozer, Tim Curry
- Director: William Lau
- Studio: Mattel Entertainment Inc.
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Book Characters
- Run time: 81 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- MPAA explanation: Not Rated
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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.