Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses

  • Review Date: September 17, 2006
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 81 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Barbie fan's dancing dream is sometimes too scary.
  • Review Date: September 17, 2006
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2006
  • Running Time: 81 minutes





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Includes lessons in looking out for your siblings and sticking together. "Big or small, there's a difference only you can make." Although most of the 12 sisters aren't well-developed characters, as a group they demonstrate the value of working together as a team.

Violence & scariness

A two-faced character uses poison to try to slowly murder a king and take over his throne. She also bullies and mistreats the king's daughters. In one scene, two armored knight statues come to life and attack characters with a sword and a spiked ball and chain. The sword comes dangerously close to cutting a protagonist.

Sexy stuff

Sparks of innocent romance between two characters who eventually wed.

Not applicable

While there is no product placement during the film itself, Mattel is selling a plethora of merchandise to tie in with the film: plush toys, dolls, a vanity playset, picture books, coloring books, etc. -- all featured in the DVD insert and in a special section of the site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this fairytale-based fantasy combines elements that will appeal to little girls -- it's all right there in the title -- and themes that might scare them, too: The princesses' father is being slowly poisoned by a cruel relative who also bullies the girls. Parents should also be aware of the large number of product tie-ins they'll find mentioned in the insert, featured online, and in the toy stores.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BARBIE IN THE 12 DANCING PRINCESSES stars Barbie (voiced by Kelly Sheridan) as Princess Genevieve, one of 12 high-spirited sisters who are doted on by their father, King Randolph. But the widowed royal worries that he doesn't know how to raise proper young ladies, so he enlists the help of his cousin, Duchess Rowena. The duchess has ulterior motives, which is immediately obvious from the second she arrives at the palace with her dilapidated carriage, evil-looking eyebrows, and creepy pet monkey. She bullies the princesses, even banning dancing, singing, and bright colors from their home. She's also poisoning the king with her deadly brew of tea. In perfect timing, the sisters discover the secret entrance to a magical world of dancing -- a special gift from their late mother. But they realize that they must return home to save their father from Rowena and her minions.

Is it any good?


Although it tries to be a magical fairytale for little girls, this Barbie story steps on its own toes a bit. On the one hand, it's an innocent story about sisterly love and ballet dancing appropriate for girls 5 to 7. On the other, it incorporates an ominous subplot that might be frightening to that same age group. The CGI animation is similar to a computer game. As a result, the dancing scenes (choreographed by the NYC Ballet) feel artificial. Other animation is more lifelike and detailed.

The older princesses are, of course, Barbie-slim and look almost exactly alike, except for hair and eye color, as do the younger sisters. Most of their personalities aren't well developed, with the exception of Genevieve and four of her sisters. The lighter side of this movie is probably too simplistic for older kids, but the poisoning scenes and other scary moments may be too much for younger ones.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the sisters work together to save their family. Although escaping into the magical dancing land is fun, why is it important for them to return home? If you had a magical land to go to every night, what would it be like, and would you bring your siblings with you? Would your magic place require a tiara and a dress or comfy PJs and play clothes?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:September 19, 2006
DVD release date:September 19, 2006
Cast:Chantal Strand, Christopher Gaze, Kelly Sheridan
Director:Greg Richardson
Studio:Universal Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies
Run time:81 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses was written by

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  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
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Adult Written byhartounian April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Fits right in with all the other Barbie movies

Pretty much what you would expect from a Barbie movie. It is a little strange from an adult perspective that all 12 daughters are pretty much identical except for dress and hair color, but my 5 year old enjoys it. She does not understand the plot line involving the attempted murder(by slow poisoning) of the father however.
Adult Written byCSM Screen Name... April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Fun princess story

A new fairytale told in a way only Barbie can. It's a bit of a difficulty as a parent to sit through it... however the joy it gave my daughter was well worth the purchase!
Adult Written byBeckstar October 31, 2011


This is my favourite Barbie film. I've seen it countless times and it still enchants me. Why don't they make them like this anymore? It's beautiful. I love all the dancing and magic. Contains NO singing (yay!) and the whole 'secret' of them running off to dance is still thrilling to me at my age.


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