Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper

Movie review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper Movie Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Updated fable features romance; a few positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 85 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 15 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

The movie features singing and an interest in science, which could inspire those interests in young viewers, and draws attention to class inequality.

Positive Messages

Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper offers positive messages about loving people just as they are, the insignificance of material things or wealth, the power of friendship, and the importance of following one's dreams.

Positive Role Models

The characters in Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper are largely positive, but fairly one-dimensional: the kind princess, the dreamer, the concerned mother, the evil henchman. Most of the characters in Barbie's world strive to be good people who do the right thing.

Violence & Scariness

There is very mild violence and some suspenseful stretches. In one scene, Princess Anneliese is kidnapped and locked up. In a later scene, she and friend Julian are trapped in a mine shaft with rising water that threatens to drown them. There's some slapstick used elsewhere -- a character is bonked on the head, another is tripped on purpose.

Sexy Stuff

No innuendo, but the plot is largely driven by the fact that the princess is destined to be married to someone she does not love, and the growing romance between the pauper and the king.


Other Barbie movies are advertised prior to the feature.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper involves some kidnapping, and for a spell, a mother's belief that her daughter is dead. It also takes the familiar fable and gives it a significantly more fairy tale-like ending with this romance-driven plot, though it does throw in a few modern updates. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byscouthathaway August 3, 2018

Best Barbie Movie!

I’m not gonna lie, I prefer old Barbie movies to new. And THIS is why! The music was just AMAZINGLY SPECTACULAR! ‘How Could I Refuse?’ Gave me shivers! Especial... Continue reading
Adult Written byGklock July 21, 2015

Mostly great movie!

This movie is amazing! However there are intense parts. For example, one character was in the bathtub while another character that she was going to marry but di... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byrandomusername675r July 16, 2017

Great Message!

Great movie about what's matter is on the inside!
One of my favorite movies growing up.
Teen, 13 years old Written byLyrikk September 9, 2018

And age can enjoy the story and the spectacular soundtrack

A film for all ages with a gripping story and my favourite movie soundtrack. I first watched at the age of 2 and still am watching it. Plus I’m male and love th... Continue reading

What's the story?

Two girls, a blonde princess Annaliese and a brunette pauper Erika (both voiced by Kelly Sheridan) look identical, but could not be more different in backgrounds. A chance meeting leads to an unlikely friendship, but when a scheming royal advisor, Preminger, plots to kidnap Annaliese and then "rescue" her to worm his way into the queen's heart, the women's similarities suddenly become essential to unraveling his evil plot.

Is it any good?

Barbie movies seem stuck in a limited approach to girl entertainment, often drawing on extremely traditional models and trying to update them; they almost succeed here. Princess Anneliese and Erika are both interested in things outside of their roles as princesses or servants (science and singing), and the film makes a point to show them making room for those interests, and even putting them first over romance, for a moment. But the big finish still centers around them pairing off, fairy-tale style.

Kids will enjoy the castle stand-in for the Barbie dreamhouse, the funny cat who barks, and the suspense of the swapped identities. The animation quality is expected for 2004, and much improved from previous Barbie films. Parents may appreciate attention drawn to class inequality, and the precious few scenes focusing on girls liking science, books, and less passive pursuits.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the class differences between the Princess Anneliese and Erika. How are there lives different? How are they the same?

  • Princess Anneliese enjoyed gemology, the study of different gemstones. Have you ever looked at rocks or gems and tried to identify the different types? 

  • The film underscores the importance of following your dreams, whether in art or science. What are your dreams for when you grow up? What would you like to be?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love fairy tales

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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