A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Mattel's Barbie in Rock 'N Royals introduces a new line of "rocking" teen dolls and toys. In this story about rivalry between two camps -- Camp Royalty and Camp Pop -- situated just across the river from one another, Princess Courtney has an enriching two-week experience that inspires her to make unexpected friendships and learn about her own creativity. Despite the usual idealized faces and bodies of the Barbie characters, this franchise entry aims for individuality and to show what a treat it can be to meet people from different backgrounds. Music plays an important part of the story and is the uniting factor between the two camps. A comic, cheating villain and time constraints provide the mild suspense. This contemporary princess story should appeal to a wide range of Barbie fans, from the youngest through tweens.
What's the story?
Young Princess Courtney (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) is a little apprehensive but looking forward to her first overnight camp experience at Camp Royalty in BARBIE IN ROCK 'N ROYALS. Erika (Chiara Zanni), a fun-loving rock-'n'-roll singer, can't wait to spend her two weeks at Camp Pop. When the two girls accidentally get switched in transit, both are terribly disappointed and doubtful. How can a traditional princess fit in with an exuberant gang of rockers? And how will Erika negotiate a camp devoted to elegance, fine arts, and tradition? Complicating matters, the two camp owners are plotting to get rid of one another and take over both campsites; Courtney and Erika become pawns in the rivalry. It isn't long before all the resourceful and talented campers get wind of the situation. Petty differences are put aside; bonds are forged; and competition turns into a massive team effort to save the day.
Is it any good?
Wholesome messages about teamwork, friendly competition, and being willing to find joy in surprising new places help soften the merchandising pitch for an array of new dolls and toys. The story is easy to follow; characters are distinctive; and only the "rock" music feels generic (and there's plenty of it). Fans of Barbie should find this tale entertaining. It's clear that the filmmakers strive for originality, clarity, and solid values when cross-pollinating their movies with the company's products.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Barbie films help sell dolls and toys. Why are movies more successful at promoting products than simple commercials or advertisements?
This story gives Princess Courtney and rock star Erika a chance to find out about people who, at first, seemed very different. What did the groups learn about each other? Have you ever been surprised to find that others (individuals or groups) are not what you expected? What did you learn?
Sloan and Olivia are the designated "mean girls" in this tale. Do you think mean girls know they're thought of as bullies? How do you and/or your friends deal with mean girls (or boys)?
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