Barbie in the Pink Shoes
By Sandie Angulo Chen,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Barbie teaches kids about classic ballets; some romance.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Unlike other Barbie movies, which don't have an educational component, this one focuses on a ballerina who explores the story lines (albeit oversimplified to skim over the sadder parts) of a few famous ballets, like Giselle, Swan Lake, and The Snow Queen.
The overriding message of the movie is to dance from your heart, which is undeniably a sweet lesson. But what's odd is that Kristyn is applauded for dancing her own steps, getting lost in the music, when ballet is an art form that does not encourage changing choreography and doing her own thing. Overall, however, there is a positive message about sharing your talents, believing in yourself, etc.
Positive Role Models
Kristyn refuses to leave the ballet "otherworld" until she has helped the villagers and then her friend Hailey defeat the evil Snow Queen. Hailey is a supportive best friend who encourages Kristyn to stay true to her artistry, even if the ballet director isn't a fan of Kristyn's style.
Violence & Scariness
As is common in Barbie movies, there is mild violence as the villain -- in this case the Snow Queen -- "freezes" people into ice statues and forces characters to dance until they're exhausted. She's generally a menacing, cruel presence. Rothbart, the villain from Swan Lake, turns Kristyn and Hailey into swans, but he's less frightening than the Snow Queen. Of course in the end, everyone gets their happy ending.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No kissing but there's definitely some flirting while Kristyn is in the magical ballet realm. Three different guys propose to her.
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A few insults about being poor, obnoxious, sloppy, or undisciplined, said a couple of times to different characters.
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Products & Purchases
All Barbie straight-to-DVDs are made with the intent of spreading awareness and interest in the latest doll, in this case it's the new ballet-dancing Barbie, Kristyn (and other characters in the Pink Shoes line). The Barbie toys are also featured in McDonald's Happy Meals.
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.
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Where to Watch
Based on 3 parent reviews
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Barbie is still a poor role model for young girls
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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 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.
Talk to Your Kids 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?
- On DVD or streaming: February 26, 2013
- Cast: Ali Liebert, Katie Crown, Kelly Sheridan
- Director: Owen Hurley
- Studio: Universal Studios Home Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Arts and Dance
- Run time: 75 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: January 11, 2023
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