A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the materialistic vibe of this movie is pretty over the top. Oceana is populated with girls who shop all day and act ditzy. On the other hand, there's no prince in this Barbie movie -- the girls save the day all on their own. Violence is pretty mild with some underwater chase scenes and an evil ruler who captures people in whirlpools.
What's the story?
When Merliah (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) competes in a Malibu surfing tournament her hair turns a gnarly shade of pink. This sends her underwater -- where she discovers she can not only breathe but understand a dolphin speaking to her. Merliah soon finds out that she is not only half-mermaid, but the daughter of the Queen of Oceana. And Oceana is in trouble thanks to a cruel leader who has imprisoned her mother. With the help of her new underwater friends, Merliah must find three magical objects in order to reclaim her title as princess and to set her mother free.
Is it any good?
Because the underwater world is full of fascinating scenery, and because the adventure is pretty exciting, the rampant consumerism in this movie really is a drag. Couldn't the girls in Oceana be pretty and fun without being so utterly focused on their clothes and hair? That said, Barbie fans will enjoy the ride, though parents might cringe to hear their girls mimicking the totally gnarly surf-speak that pervades the Malibu beach scenes.
Talk to your kids about ...
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
For kids who love Barbie
Our editors recommend
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.