Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia

 
(i)

 

Undersea Barbie adventure will enchant little ones.
  • Review Date: October 21, 2010
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 85 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids learn about teamwork and selflessness in the face of danger. They may also understand how important it is to keep the sea clean.

Positive messages

"Trust your true self" is Barbie's motto. If you put your personal differences aside, you can work together with someone toward a shared goal. Elina and Nori don't start out as friends, but they agree to try and save Nalu together, and only together do they succeed. Impetuous Nori learns that patience is an important virtue.

Positive role models

Elina is a courageous, generous, heroic fairy who will go to great lengths to help her friends in need. She is willing to forgo her wings and even turn into a mermaid to save Nalu from Laverna's grasp.

Violence & scariness

An evil Fairy, Laverna, is threatening and power-hungry. Her henchmen, played by fungal creatures, are creepy and scary. Nori and Elina fight off treacherous seaweed that wants to trap them.

Sexy stuff

Nori is jealous of Elina and Nalu's past adventure together. Nori is obviously interested in Nalu and tries to find out what kind of relationship Elina and Nalu have, and later Elina plays matchmaker to Nalu and Nori, who profess their love for each other.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The entire film is pretty much a commercial for Barbie -- the doll and all the accessories and branded merchandise.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Barbie tale features fairies and mermaids who have to overcome some frightening undersea challenges to save a friend who's been kidnapped. There's never any doubt that everything will end up "happily ever after," but there are a few scenes of mild peril and a villainess with creepy henchmen made of fungus. Nothing offensive to note, except that as with most movies aimed at young girls, there is blossoming romance -- including a character who acts jealously toward a fairy who might be her rival for a mermaid prince's affection. Families concerned with consumerism should note that the movie acts as an 85-minute commercial of sorts for the merchandise of Barbie's Fairytopia collection.

What's the story?

Barbie returns as the courageous fairy Elina (Kelly Sheridan), who was granted wings for her bravery in the original Barbie: Fairytopia. Elina has just gotten used to flying around the Magic Meadow when she receives news that her friend Nalu (Alessandro Juliani), the prince of the Merpeople, has been been kidnapped by the evil fairy Laverna's (Kathleen Barr) three fungus henchmen. When the fungi threaten to poison the sea, Nalu agrees to give up the secrets of a magical "immunity berry" that will restore Laverna's power. Elina, accompanied by her pet puffball Bibble (Lee Tockar), travel to the sea, where a jealous mermaid Nori (Chiara Zanni) refuses to help her at first. But Elina perseveres and finds a way to go into the water and collaborate with the Nalu-smitten Nori to save him and defeat Laverna again. To do so, however, Elina must be willing to give up her newly earned wings and temporarily turn into a mermaid before a magical spell wears off and leaves her a mermaid forever.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

There's a lot going on in this story, and it seems a bit needlessly complicated for a movie aimed at preschool-aged girls. With all the Indiana Jones-like challenges Elina and Nori have to pass to get to Nalu, and the whole, slightly ridiculous immunity berry subplot, it's all a bit much. And unlike much bigger-budget animated productions, there aren't any memorable musical numbers or comedy bits to lighten up the dramatic tension. Elina is also slightly too perfect, but girls probably won't mind, since she's so beautiful and brave.

One of the rare humorous scenes is when the squeaky voiced Bibble eats a magical berry that allows him to sing like an opera singer. Bibble breaks out into an aria that enchants and distracts the fungus goons. Bibble is an adorable sidekick and adds a much-needed dose of humor to an adventure that is conspicuously low on laughs, otherwise. The head fungus, Maximus (Christopher Gaze) is the stereotypical English butler-type who acts (and sounds) haughtily superior to his two less cultured underlings. As heroic journeys go, this is not exactly Finding Nemo, but Elina is an irresistibly sweet protagonist. Little girls are sure to consider her a role model, even if parents may not be as enchanted.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Elina and Nori have to work together despite not being friends at first. How does their teamwork pay off in the end? What actions turn their collaboration into friendship?

  • What does "trust your true self" mean? Does it make a difference to face challenges if you believe you can succeed?

  • Does this movie make you want to get a Barbie? Is it hard to separate the Barbie dolls from the movie?

Movie details

DVD release date:March 14, 2006
Cast:Alessandro Juliani, Chiara Zanni, Kathleen Barr, Kelly Sheridan
Director:William Lau
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies
Run time:85 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Adult Written byBeckstar October 31, 2011
 

good moral, but overall a bit of a bad film

Alright film. It was very disappointing to be honest. I loved the Fairytopia movies, but this was quite bad. The catty girl is jealous and nasty and didn't give Elena a chance which I didn't particularly like. She was an annoying character in my opinion. It had a great moral with Elena sacrificing her wings though and being brave
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Parent of a 6 and 11 year old Written byfastraxsg July 16, 2011
 

Whatever

Ok just another Barbie movie.... Not educational no good messages, role models. Not bad either
Kid, 12 years old May 30, 2011
 

Somewhat boring movie might entertain most young girls.

I can say, that it is not a total letdown, but it is somewhat is. Boring! There are some scary creatures, which can scare some really young kids. There is not a lot of sexiness though. Just a crush. At the end the crush girl realizes the guy likes her too. A good movie for 4 and up.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass