Barbie Presents Thumbelina

Movie review by
Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media
Barbie Presents Thumbelina Movie Poster Image
Eco-friendly story unrelated to real Thumbelina story.
  • NR
  • 2009
  • 75 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 8 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 12 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids will learn about saving the earth, plus positive lessons about friends, family, and more.

Positive Messages

Positive (if heavy-handed) message about the importance of saving the earth and being green. Strong themes about the importance of family and friendship.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A disrespectful, materialistic child is being raised by overindulgent, distracted parents -- but they all learn important lessons about family and friendship by the end. Tiny Twillerbees emphasize the message that there's no such thing as being too small to make a difference.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

As with all the Barbie media products, doll tie-ins and accessories are available.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Barbie vehicle bears virtually no resemblance to the fairy tale by Hans Christian Anderson, aside from the name of the main character. Repeated scenes of spoiled and materialistic kids and clueless parents are intended to set the stage for transformation. Corporate sabotage in the name of saving a patch of forest is depicted repeatedly. Predictable, safe family fare.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byBeckstar October 31, 2011


I was VERY disappointed in this film. Barbie wasn't in it, but this disappointing 'Thumbelina' which has a sort-of ugly looking face. It was supp... Continue reading
Parent of a 3 and 7-year-old Written byamadaras March 1, 2010
The human girls in this behave horridly. They are materialistic, rude, competitive, and just plain mean. True, the heroine has a turn around and learns about tr... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old March 1, 2014

I love Thumbelina!

I love Thumbelina! I love the Great Messages and Great Role Models. I hope this movie can be on forever.
Kid, 10 years old October 28, 2011


When heard about this i thought it was gonna be a barbie adaption of Thumblina, AKA Thumblina [the real one] But when i started i realized it was about saving t... Continue reading

What's the story?

Though it shares its name with a famous fairy tale, BARBIE PRESENTS THUMBELINA has virtually nothing else in common with the Hans Christian Andersen story. In this version, Thumbelina is the greatest of the Twillerbees, a tiny race of magical creatures who have the power to make plants grow. Their hidden forest enclave is threatened by development, and Thumbelina has only one way to save them: convincing spoiled little rich girl Makena to talk her cell phone-wielding business owner parents into stopping the bulldozers that will obliterate the Twillerbees forever.

Is it any good?

Definitely some fun eye candy here, in the form of the richly hued animation of flowers, trees, and a posh glass penthouse. The Barbie franchise has hit on a consistent movie formula and stuck with it: a main character, either fairy or princess, who must overcome various forms of evil with the help of animal sidekicks, determination, and some good old-fashioned grrrl power. This DVD is no different. The evil is threefold: modern corporate development at the expense of the ecosystem, shallow friendships, and clueless, overindulgent parents. Never fear, Thumbelina has them all covered (thanks to an assist by Twillerbee girl friends and a smiling dog.)

Good, positive messages are given about the true meaning of friendship in a materialistic world, the virtue of saving nature, and the ability for small people to accomplish big things -- always a nice message in a movie aimed at children. Unfortunately, the movie is so predictable from the opening scene that even the youngest viewers are unlikely to wonder about its outcome, and older kids will grow quickly bored.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the Twillerbees' contention that you can do anything you want to and that size is not a constraint. What does that mean in your life -- what are the causes that you're willing to try to make a difference over?

  • What does this story have in common with the original Thumbelina fairy tale? Which do you like better?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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