A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this gentle story will appeal to children who love animals and/or Barbie, and that its original music score may even draw in the grown-ups. The main character talks about missing the family from whom she was separated at a young age. A depiction of a near-drowning is harrowing, and younger kids may need some help understanding the villain's motivation, which is presented in song. The traits that define the heroine are bravery and compassion, not just beauty.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
The movie opens on a desert island where Barbie appears as Ro (voiced by Kelly Sheridan), who washed ashore years earlier and has befriended three animal sidekicks: an elephant, a red panda, and a pompous peacock. Her devotion to her animal "family" is a recurring theme. But Ro's idyllic life is turned upside down when the island is discovered by Prince Antonio, who begs her to return with him to his kingdom. Ro agrees to go, curious to see whether she can find the human family from which she came. Drama ensues when they arrive in Abalonia to find that the prince has been betrothed in his absence, to the very sympathetic Luciana.
Is it any good?
A nice twist in this movie is that Luciana and Ro are NOT pitted against each other, and in fact help each other when they have the opportunity. And the prince, from the start, is attracted to the girl with personality and verve, not just beauty. Overall the folks at Mattel seem to have caught on that parents are looking for female role models with more than just good looks.
The movie's lush original score, which is performed by the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra, lends it a quality not often found in children's movies, and the lyrics are catchy as well. The computer-generated animation in these movies continues to improve with each new film; seeing the fabrics sway as the characters move in their ornate gowns is a treat. With BARBIE AS THE ISLAND PRINCESS, parents can rest assured that the subject matter is entertaining and kid-appropriate, and put their energies toward worrying about all the commercialism surrounding it.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: September 18, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: September 18, 2007
- Cast: Kate Fischer, Kelly Sheridan, Patricia Drake
- Director: Greg Richardson
- Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More
- Run time: 86 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
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