Barbie the Pearl Princess

  • Review Date: March 14, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Rapunzel-like Barbie tale stresses fashion and appearance.
  • Review Date: March 14, 2014
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 74 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Barbie movies aren't educational titles, but kids may learn lessons about friendship and using your talent.

Positive messages

There are some positive messages about not pretending to be someone else (figuratively or literally) and having faith in your abilities and talents.

Positive role models

Lumina is a talented hairdresser and stylist. She generously offers unique makeovers to every mermaid who goes into her shop.

Violence & scariness

A power-hungry royal plans to poison a king so his own son will ascend to the throne. He also orders the death of a living princess; he kidnaps her and her best friend and throws them in a dungeon.

Sexy stuff

Some romantic overtones between Lumina and Delphin, Cora and Fergus. 

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The Barbie movies have distinct storylines, but they're all created to further the marketing of their newest line of tie-in Barbies. All of the major characters and some of the undersea locations and animals are available as merchandise that's sold separately but advertised through the DVD.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Barbie the Pearl Princess is a straight-to-DVD feature film tied to a new line in the legendary doll brand. This particular movie is another undersea Barbie-as-mermaid adventure that features some mild violence (a royal captain of the guard orders someone to poison the king and later kidnaps the princess and orders his henchman to "get rid of her") and romance (flirting and dancing). Some families may not appreciate how much this story focuses on appearance, makeovers, and fashion (the main character is a gifted hair and wardrobe stylist). Although the movie has generally positive messages, the tie-in to the dolls and all the girly-girl stereotypes may not sit well with families looking for more gender-neutral role models and less merchandise-targeted entertainment. 

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

BARBIE THE PEARL PRINCESS is sort of like Rapunzel-meets-Edward Scissorhands with dashes of The Lion King and The Little Mermaid. Lumina (Kelly Sheridan) is a solitary mermaid being raised by a doting older "aunt" who doesn't let her leave their secluded undersea home. Lumina dreams of being a princess and has a magical ability to control pearls. When Lumina's mysterious aunt is summoned by the evil General Kaligo to attend a royal ball in the big city, Lumina and her best friend Kuda (a pink seahorse) follow along. Once at court, Lumina is quickly hired as a stylist to young and beautiful mermaids. But, as it turns out, Lumina is more than a talented hairdresser: she could be the key to the kingdom's future.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Although this Barbie release has elements of various tried-and-true themes -- the secret princess who has no idea about her royal origins, the magical mermaid with a fish best friend, the offbeat hairdresser everyone loves -- the story never really comes together and is less compelling, entertaining, or educational than comparable productions such as Barbie Mariposa & the Fairy Princess, Barbie: A Perfect Christmas, and Barbie in the Pink Shoes.

Kids (particularly girls) may enjoy the relationship between Lumina and her best pal, the seahorse Kuda, as well as the light romance in the final third of the movie. But overall Pearl Princess isn't one of the more memorable Barbie installments, despite all the similarities to Rapunzel and other movies. Still, if you have a Barbie fan in the family, they may be excited to meet yet another incarnation of the doll and getting a new tale.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why these Barbie movies are so popular. Do you have to be a fan of the dolls to enjoy the movies? Which of the Barbie movies do you prefer: the ones in which Barbie is in an established story or in which she's in an original story, such as this one?

  • Kids: Does seeing this movie make you more interested in buying the Pearl Princess-theme Barbies and accessories? Parents: How can you focus on the stories' positive messages without getting any merchandise?

  • A lot of the movie focuses on the mermaids and other creatures getting makeovers. What are some of the messages about beauty and gender that get communicated in Barbie movies and toys? Is this movie different in any way?

Movie details

DVD release date:March 11, 2014
Cast:Kelly Sheridan, Katie Crown, Mark Oliver
Director:Zeke Norton
Studio:Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Princesses and fairies, Fairy tales, Ocean creatures
Run time:74 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Barbie the Pearl Princess was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byHainesama123 September 3, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Ohh....

I thought this was going to be a copy of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch, but thank goodness it isn't!
Educator and Parent of a 2, 6, and 8 year old Written byKittycat56 April 4, 2014
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

What!?

Julia and Laura watched Pearl.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 9 years old March 23, 2014
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

really good movie

i think this was a very good movie. i think if your child believes in mermaids than they will just love this movie so much. this movie is funny in some parts.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

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