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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
Updated fable features romance; a few positive messages.
  • NR
  • 2004
  • 85 minutes
Popular with kidsParents recommend

Parents say

age 3+
Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 12 reviews

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 & Representations

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
Parent of a 11, 16, and 17 year old Written byBrittanySnow August 24, 2013


It gives them the whole feel to a fantasy life. My daughter loved it when she was younger. It is the best barbie movie ever! Under 2s wouldn't understand t... Continue reading
Adult Written byAriaSaeryen July 14, 2013

My very favorite movie!

This is an outstanding movie with great role models, especially Erika. Young girls are encouraged to follow their dreams. The characters are all likeable (or ha... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byApplesauce Doctor August 17, 2013

Barbie at her Best

An excellent Barbie movie, with great characters, interesting story, and positive messages.
Teen, 14 years old Written byPenguinlover44 July 21, 2015

The movie review

I really enjoyed the movie however I foung it quite scandals. There was a very naughty bathtub seen with the main girl Erica in the bath with the man she hardle... 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

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fairy tales

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