A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Barbie & Her Sisters in the Great Puppy Adventure is a cheery adventure for Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea as they visit their grandmother in their hometown of Willows. Positive messages about sharing, determination, and selflessness are central elements of the story. The four sisters and their grandmother are always caring, supportive, and thoughtful family members. The only jeopardy comes in the form of two buffoonish crooks who continually tumble, bump, and make mistakes. Mild suspense accompanies the group during the climax when the crooks chase them through underground caverns with a rickety bridge, bats, and a rockslide. No one is hurt. This new Barbie adventure introduces four new puppies to the Barbie brand, including plush animals, Barbie dolls with accompanying small pups, and carnival toys.
What's the story?
Excitement is in the air in BARBIE & HER SISTERS IN THE GREAT PUPPY ADVENTURE. Barbie, Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea are delighted to take a trip on their own to the town in which they were all born: Willows, a picturesque small village in the Midwest that is way different from Malibu. The girls' grandmother still lives in Willows and has a wonderful surprise for each of them. Four puppies were recently born to her dog Tiffany, and each girl will get one of her own. The adorable puppies are perfect matches for everyone. Plus, there's Willow-Fest, the annual carnival that comes to town and brings back many wonderful memories for Barbie. Things get even brighter when an old map is discovered in Mrs. Roberts' attic, a map that will hopefully lead them to a long-buried treasure. While Barbie renews old friendships and discovers that Willows is facing an economic crisis, Skipper, Stacie, Chelsea, and the pups enthusiastically follow the map's clues. Unbeknownst to them, however, two wicked carnival workers are aware of the treasure, too. It's a race to the prize as the girls discover the fun and beauty that comes from both sharing an adventure and helping others.
Is it any good?
This movie is fun for young Barbie fans with adorable pups to cheer for, slapstick bad guys to root against, and new toys available to add to Mattel's already substantial treasure. The story is simple and clear, intercutting Barbie's growing awareness of her hometown's neediness with the younger girls' treasure hunt. The two story lines come together by the film's end in a way that provides the strong messages and gives fans a peek at Barbie's life before she moved to Malibu. It's interesting to note that Barbie's youngish, modern grandmother is as curvy, beautiful, and idealized as the girls themselves.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Barbie and her sister dolls. How realistic-looking are they? In real life, why is it a good thing that everyone is different in looks, personality, and interests? What makes people special?
If you have a grandmother (or grandmothers), how is she similar to or different from Barbie's grandmother? Draw a picture of your grandmother and describe what you like best about spending time with her.
Do you agree with the girls' decision about what to do with the treasure they found? Why, or why not? What would you do with a treasure if you found one?
How does this movie help sales of Barbie dolls and the toys that come with them?
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