Barbie in the Pink Shoes

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Barbie in the Pink Shoes Movie Poster Image
Barbie teaches kids about classic ballets; some romance.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 75 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

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.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.

Sexy Stuff

No kissing but there's definitely some flirting while Kristyn is in the magical ballet realm. Three different guys propose to her.


A few insults about being poor, obnoxious, sloppy, or undisciplined, said a couple of times to different characters.


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.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byAbba9634 April 11, 2019


Yuck! I had to stop it in the middle of the movie because the cattiness and inappropriateness for my 4 year old. I dont even know if id let her watch it when sh... Continue reading
Parent of a 5-year-old Written byYogaMommy September 7, 2013

Barbie is still a poor role model for young girls

My 5 year old begged me to rent this for her, since she loves both ballet and the color pink. I regretted it for a couple of reasons. I checked "language... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old July 30, 2014

Newest Barbie Movie Has Ups and Downs...But Mostly Downs

In this movie Barbie plays the girl who everyone loves, who always steals the spotlight, and always ends up in a glamorous pink dress. I was disappointed to see... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byAnimationReview... June 2, 2018

Sweet and fun

The movie is overall fun and with lots of dancing the main characters are likeable and has a bit of Alice in wonderland feel the animation while not the best is... Continue reading

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?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love dance

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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