Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 Movie Poster Image
Less shopping, more friendship in undersea Barbie adventure.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Barbie movies are for entertainment purposes, but kids may learn a few incidental things like that the national dishes of Australia and Hawaii are pickled beetroot and poi.

Positive messages

Like most Barbie movies, this tale focuses on teamwork -- here, between Merliah and her surfing rival Kylie. The various mermaid ambassadors also work together against Eris' villainous pursuit to control the ocean. Merliah's friends aren't bothered by the fact she's a mermaid. Merliah is willing to help Kylie, even though she stole Merliah's magical necklace.

Positive role models & representations

Merliah and her mother, Calissa, are visions of elegance, intelligence, and grace. They're intelligent and kind and only use their physical strength when defending themselves or others. Merliah, like all typical teenagers, is competitive and would like to prove she's better at surfing than Kylie, but in the end she does what's right for the merfolk even though it means she won't surf again.

Violence & scariness

There's mild violence when Eris lures Kylie to the whirlpool and traps her. The huge electric fish that follow Eris have enormous teeth and act menacingly. Eris' battle with Calissa and the mermaid ambassadors unleashes their biggest "nightmares."

Sexy stuff

The girls wear bikinis, but there's (for once) no love interests or opposite-sex flirting in the story.

Language
Consumerism

All Barbie videos are made with the underlying intent of creating more awareness of the newest Barbie line and selling the dolls and their accessories. However, there's less overall consumerism in this sequel than in the original, where the girls spent most of their free time shopping.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Barbie tale is actually less consumerist and superficial than other installments in the ever-growing direct-to-DVD franchise. The sequel to Barbie in a Mermaid Tale features a little violence, but nothing scarier than an evil mermaid who can make others' worst "nightmares" a reality (usually a mental or emotional fear). One of Merliah's friends is a bit ditzy, but overall the characters work together to defeat the nefarious, self-obsessed villain.

User Reviews

Adult Written bySally Fields April 6, 2012

Pure product placement

Product placement and bad role model for girls.
Kid, 9 years old April 19, 2014

COOlL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kid, 9 years old March 5, 2014

Merliah and Kylie rule!

Oceania each queen could change the name. Merliah=Merania Kylie=Kyanaia Anne=Anania Emma=Emanaia Alex=Alanaia Kay=Kaanaia Mermaid+Human+Movie+BarieinaMermaidTa... Continue reading

What's the story?

In this sequel to Barbie in a Mermaid Tale, Merliah (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) the half human, half mermaid once again impresses judges in international surfing competitions. Her biggest rival is Kylie (Ashleigh Ball). With her magical necklace that allows her to turn into a mermaid whenever she wants to, Merliah checks in with her mermaid mother, Calissa (Nicole Oliver), in their underwater home of Oceana. Calissa invites Merliah to a special "changing of the tides" ceremony with all of the mermaid ambassadors of the sea, but Merliah declines in order to compete in a prestigious surfing invitational in Australia. The night before the competition, the evil Eris' (Kathleen Barr) fish lackey convinces Kylie to steal Merliah's necklace and transform into a mermaid. That leads to Eris being freed from her whirlpool prison and getting ready to take over the ocean -- if Merliah can't stop her.

Is it any good?

As a rule, sequels to straight-to-video films aren't exactly going to wow audiences, but this one is surprisingly less obnoxious and superficial than other films in the Barbie universe. There are no cute merman or human hunks to impress, and we're spared the many shots of the protagonist and her friends shopping that were so blatant in the original. And unlike Princess Charm School, which was all about make-overs and Cinderella-style transformations, this sequel is a call to action, a reminder of what's really important.

The movie takes a realistic look at how competitiveness can consume someone to the point that they're willing to do anything to win. There are also valuable lessons in tolerance (Merliah's friends don't mind that she turns into a mermaid), generosity, and courage. The animation in these videos is never as thorough as that in feature animated films, but the characters in Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2 are more substantial than other Barbie creations, and the story is sweet and refreshingly romance free. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the movie's messages of friendship and competition. How does Merliah overcome her desire to beat Kylie? What does Merliah's selflessness teach kids about doing what's right?

  • Talk about how to separate the movie from the products it's advertising. We've got tips on how to manage product placements and advertising in pop culture.

  • How does this particular movie compare to others in the Barbie universe? Do you like that there are no boy-girl relationships or romantic themes?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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