Barbie and the Three Musketeers

  • Review Date: September 11, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 81 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Barbie gets the swashbuckler treatment; some violence.
  • Review Date: September 11, 2009
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2009
  • Running Time: 81 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

Positive messages

Barbie goes to battle? Maybe not as egregious as this, but Barbie and her friends train to fight and do indeed drop a host of bad guys with their self-made weapons. The idea that girls can't be Musketeers motivates Barbie and her friends to try their hardest to fulfill their dreams to be swashbucklers with swords. Eh...

Positive role models

Brandishing a weapon does not make Barbie a strong, empowered role model. And Musketeers do not necessarily screech, "Musketeers rock!" with a cheerleader bounce.

Violence & scariness

Considering that it's Barbie, there's a lot of sword play and macho language from the girls. "Let's do this!" Barbie shouts as they take on a group of ne'er-do-wells. As they prepare for a costume ball where there's danger, Barbie and her friends decide to make "weapons that blend in with our costumes." Barbie runs with a sword to best the bad guy atop a Parisian church.

Sexy stuff

A good deal of accidental touching and special moments with the Prince, as Barbie attempts to save his life. Swoony, dreamy sighs as the Prince walks by.

Consumerism

Obviously the Barbie tie-ins with the movie are must-haves for fans. A Corinne doll, complete with a sword, is on the shelves.

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?

QUALITY
 

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. 

Families can talk 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?

Movie details

DVD release date: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 and fairies, Adventures, Book characters
Run time:81 minutes
MPAA rating:NR
MPAA explanation:Not Rated

This review of Barbie and the Three Musketeers 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, okay 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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Kid, 8 years old January 23, 2011
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

it's very good

i love so much
What other families should know
Educational value
Great role models
Parent of a 4 year old Written byTurtlewomyn October 8, 2009
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

Teaches your child to be violent

My daughter is now getting in trouble at daycare for increased hitting of her friends since the first time she saw this movie. I noticed a change in her behavior immediately after watching the movie for the first time.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Teen, 15 years old Written byNectaria December 1, 2009
AGE
6
QUALITY
 
What other families should know
Great role models

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