Barbie Dolphin Magic

Movie review by
Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media
Barbie Dolphin Magic Movie Poster Image
Parents recommend
Barbie and her sisters save dolphins in gentle story.
  • NR
  • 2017
  • 63 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

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We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Sisters always tell each other everything. The fewer the number of people who know a secret, the less likely it is for the secret to get out. It's important to respect nature and help animals in trouble.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Barbie and her sisters are helpful, friendly, trustworthy, and kind. They love animals and respect nature. Marlo is a researcher who abuses her position as the head of a marine biology lab to make money selling rare sea animals.

Violence & Scariness

A shifty marine biologist is selling rare sea animals instead of helping them. She imprisons rare dolphins, then chases them when they escape.  

Sexy Stuff

This is part of a series of DVDs based on the popular Mattel doll, the movies only a part of the larger Barbie merchandising universe.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Barbie Dolphin Magic is another cheerful video in the Barbie doll animated series. This one takes Barbie and her younger sisters on an island vacation to visit their friend Ken at his marine biology internship. A greedy villain tries to steal marine wildlife for big money and Barbie, her sisters, and Ken step in to save the animals. A mermaid is discovered in the process. Mild peril and bad guys provide tension, but there's no actual violence or harm to scare away younger viewers. Positive messages about trust, teamwork, and ingenuity are woven throughout.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bylinda_henderson February 18, 2021


my children loved this movie so much! the fact that it represents friendships is fantastic! barbie overall is a fantastic movie series because barbie has fantas... Continue reading
Adult Written bymatilda22 February 18, 2021

morally fantastic

I watched this film with my 2 children, ages 5 and 8. They absolutely
adored this movie because they got to explore the fantasy world. This movie includes some... Continue reading

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What's the story?

BARBIE DOLPHIN MAGIC is a sweet tale featuring an animated Barbie (Erica Lindbeck) and her younger sisters on an island vacation. They visit Ken (Adrian Petriw), who is interning at a marine biology lab, but they quickly discover that the lab's head, Marlo (Maryke Hendikse), is a sinister and greedy sea animal kidnapper who isn't helping rare dolphins at all but instead is plucking them out of the sea and selling them to circus sideshows for big bucks. To help foil this nasty plot, Barbie, her sisters, and Ken team up with Isla (Shannon Chan-Kent), who shares the secret that she's a mermaid. Mild tension grows as the team tries to save the dolphins from Marlo, but all ends well.

Is it any good?

This movie does a good job of promoting the idea that humans should be kind to and take care of vulnerable animals living in our seas. However, many liberties are taken with reality. Barbie befriends a mermaid and meets brightly colored "gemstone" dolphins, animals covered with sparkly markings that disappear in captivity. Barbie Dolphin Magic also promotes a sense that life is a pretty happy affair, where youngsters go to idyllic islands for vacations, taking their puppies along but not their parents. Such fantasies about teenage privilege and independence make for a feel-good experience, but some of the liberties should be addressed by grown-ups who watch along. Barbie and pals go snorkeling, which requires that the top of the snorkel be exposed to air for breathing purposes, but these kids all swim underwater for long minutes while wearing snorkels, as if they were getting air through the gear. Grownups should be sure to warn kids that they shouldn't try this stunt at home.

Parents may also want to point out that the characters are based on dolls, and unusually perfect-looking ones at that, to underscore that looks are less important than kindness and good character. Still, this is a cute story that will entertain its intended audience.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of keeping wildlife safe in their native habitat. What can you do to help the animals?

  • Barbie and her sisters meet a mermaid. Do you think mermaids are real? Do you think magic is real? Does Barbie Dolphin Magic use magic to help tell the story?

  • The movie is about "gemstone" dolphins, which are supposed to be mythical, brightly colored sea animals with sparkly markings. Do you think that the movie created these special creatures to help us understand how extraordinary and valuable even ordinary dolphins are?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love Barbie

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

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