Barbie in the Pink Shoes
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Barbie in the Pink Shoes is the latest doll-tied story in Mattel's heavily marketed direct-to-DVD Barbie franchise. There is a bigger educational component to the movie than previous movies, because this one focuses on a teenage ballerina who gets transported into the premises of famous ballets, like Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Snow Queen. Young viewers will learn about the various characters and plot lines of the ballets. Two villains are slightly menacing, particularly the Snow Queen who can freeze people, but never fear, there's still a happy ending.
What's the story?
BARBIE IN THE PINK SHOES follows the story of Kristyn (voiced by Kelly Sheridan), a bubbly young ballerina preparing to rehearse her dance in her ballet school's showcase. During her rehearsal, she gets "lost in the music" and starts doing her own choreography, which her instructor Madame Natasha (Tabitha St. Germaine) demands that she stop doing. Needing new ballet slippers, Kristyn and her best friend, seamstress Hailey (Katie Crown) visit the costume mistress, Madame Katerina (Lori Triolo), who offers Kristyn a special pair of fuchsia pink shoes. As she tries them on and starts to do a few steps from the legendary ballet Giselle, Kristyn and Hailey are transported to a different the world -- the stories of the ballet.
Is it any good?
Although it's hard to escape the marketing strategy that drives all these Barbie movies, this installment in the franchise at the very least teaches young viewers (mostly little girls already aware of the brand) about some famous ballets. Kristyn and Hailey, who are stuck in the world of Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Snow Queen, reveal plot details and characters from each of the classic dances. There's even a cameo from the Nutcracker and the Sugar Plum Fairy -- two characters kids are likely to recognize.
The filmmakers smartly gloss over the more disturbing details of the folktale based ballets (which tend to include heartache and death) and focus on Kristyn's heroic commitment to helping the fictional ballet characters she encounters. When she finally fulfills her mission in the ballet story world, she is self confident enough to face Madame Natasha (who is also the Snow Queen) and dance from the heart -- not just to the choreographed steps.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the stories within the story. Does the movie make you want to learn more about or go see the ballet?
Kids: Do you like watching stories with romance and marriage proposals? How do these stories make you feel?
Discuss how to separate the movie from the products it's promoting. We've got tips on how to manage product placements and advertising in pop culture. How do you feel about a ballet-based story advertising through fast-food kids' meals?