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Barbie Gets A Movie

by onApril 23, 2014

Toymaker Mattel and film company Sony have come together to produce the first-ever movie based on Mattel’s popular Barbie doll. Precise plot details have yet to be announced but the film is expected to focus on one of the current iterations of Barbie as a professional executive and having her assist others and will be live action, possibly going into production later this year.

“Barbie” is expected to have a 2016 release date.

  1. The American dictionary defines a fan as an enthusiastic devotee, follower or admirer of a sport, pastime, celebrity, etc. One's personal interpretation of fandom is irrelevant. Regardless of how one chooses to define fandom in this particular context, the fact is that Barbie has plenty of fans. the fact that the toy line and the franchise have endured for nearly half a century should be proof of that. I would think that the main people who think of Barbie as being "nothing more than a toy" are the executives who only know profits, sales and shares. However, the movie is being made by executives, not for executives. Executives who neither know nor care what sort of Barbie fans are going to see the movie. It only matters is said fans have cash and are willing to pay 10 + dollars to go see Barbie on the big screen.

    The "tribute/parody" movie that you keep mentioning isn't a thing. There have been, maybe 2 movies like that made in the last 20 years, so it's not a genre onto itself, and with all due respect, your belief that every kids' movie is going to turn out this way is just a tad paranoid and unfounded. If your interpretation of a movie that can be enjoyed by both children and adults in equal measure is "parent service" (which isn't even a thing, btw. You made that up), then naturally, you're going to assume that any and every movie that succeeds on more than one level is being made for "anti-fans". Using your logic, Marvel's The Avengers was a "movie aimed at adults at the rest of the family's expense" because it was enjoyed equally by adults and by children. But here's the thing: fans don't have to prove to you, me or anyone else that they are fans. Anyone who considers themselves to be a Barbie fan is going to go see this movie, and anyone who doesn't consider his/herself to be a Barbie fan isn't going to bother with it. That's the long and the short of it. Whether or not these movie goers meet one's personal standards on what a fan is or should be is irrelevant, as previously stated. It should only matter if these movie goers pay to see the movie in theaters, which is how box office success is defined.

    Am I saying that I think the Barbie movie will be perfect? No. But I at least believe that Mattel has some idea what to do with this project. seeing as how the company has has several successful doll lines and has produced home videos which seem to be selling (they keep making them, someone must be buying them!) and a web series which is currently in it's 4th season (I believe), so I'm cautiously optimistic that it will turn out well as opposed to merely assuming that any and every kids project is going to turn out badly before learning anything about it. Given that, there's no reason for someone like you to go see or even learn any more about the movie, since you've already convinced yourself that it's going to be bad and that said movie doesn't meet your (very) specific standards of what a kids' movie should be.

    "Fans", huh?

    With all due respect, "fans" is a vague term, where Barbie is concerned. What kind of "fans" are we talking about: the older fans who think less of her now then they once did (i.e., who see Barbie as nothing more than just a toy), or the fans (age regardless) who actually understand who and what Barbie is really all about and who focus on the message both the character and franchise are really trying to give (i.e., "be yourself", "anything is possible", "you can be anything you want to be", etc), and who even not only put that message to good use, but still actually like Barbie for who and what the character and franchise really are? For these reasons among others, my previous point about the movie possibly being another tribute/parody movie still stands ("anti-fans" or not). That said, I can only hope that it will be an actual Barbie movie that's actually about Barbie...

    I really don't see Mattel spending millions of dollars to make a Barbie movie and aiming said movie towards anti-fans. Doing so wouldn't benefit Mattel in any way, so there'd be no point. If sales and longevity are any indication, Barbie is just as popular today as she ever was. There are still plenty of girls buying Barbie merchandise, so I'm pretty sure that the movie will be made with fans in mind and won't exist to rip on the franchise.

    Offhand, I don't know of any of these "family" movies that are "more about entertaining the parents at the rest of family's expense" that you speak of. I'm not saying that there aren't any cases of this, but naming some actual examples would add some more validity to your statement. No offense meant, but you always have this "concern" and it's such a non-issue that it's barely worth going into. It's like complaining about there being an adults lounge in Walt Disney World or something similar. Since it's known that adults who grew up with Barbie are just as familiar with the character and the franchise as their children and grandchildren that writing jokes that would appeal to them is not an issue in the slightest. Just because a movie is catered or tailored for children doesn't mean that it can't or shouldn't be enjoyed by anyone past the 3rd grade. I honestly and truly don't understand this logic. The idea that adults shouldn't be allowed to have fun watching a children's movie or that adults writing jokes that kids would be too young to know about or understand until they're older is somehow irresponsible or bad for the kids (someone think of the children!) makes zero sense to me.

    Honestly, my biggest complaint from reading this news is that this movie will be live action. Really? Mattel could have afford to have a Barbie movie with really well done CGI, but they instead decide to make their film with live actors? I figured that the movie would be something along the lines of the web series Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, which is animated in CGI and despite it's poking fun at some of the franchises conventions (such as Barbie having held hundreds of careers and no one -- including herself-- not being certain of her exact age), is nonetheless made without an iota of mean-spiritedness and is enjoyed by both children as well as having it's share of adult fans (including myself and Suede from ThatGuyWithTheGlasses.com). Someone once described B:LinDH as a Toy Story spinoff, but Toy Story was good, so I don't see that as a deterrent. If myself, a grown adult with no children, can watch and enjoy something like Barbie: Life in the Dream House, then it shouldn't be a difficult task for Mattel to make something that girls will flock to, even though I likely won't be going to see the film myself.

    "First ever Barbie movie", huh?

    They're animated, and are released direct-to-video (with the occasional preview airing on TV), but Barbie movies have been made for the past 13 years now (with another one coming this fall as of this writing). With all due respect to Toon Zone, either the writer of this article needed to do more research, or (with all due respect to him) must have decided that the movies either don't exist or otherwise don't "count". All that said, the article should have clarified that it's the first live-action Barbie movie.

    In any case, given the general animosity and hatred towards Barbie from parents, etc (including, but not limited to, any all "controversies"* surrounding both the character and the franchise), I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being another tribute/parody movie that not only didn't know what it was talking about, but also was one of those "family" movies that was more about entertaining the parents at the rest of the family's expense (which includes, but is not limited to, using jokes and gags that were deliberately designed to "go over the heads" of the rest of the family)p . Oh yeah, and I wouldn't be surprised if it focused more on the aforementioned animosity/hatred toward the character and franchise. In any case, I can't see this live action movie doing so well in the long run...

    *Most of which were really created by those critics who either didn't (and still don't, unfortunately) understand what the character and franchise are really all about (including those who think Barbie is a "bad influence"), or who otherwise simply don't care one way or the other. Somewhat off topic, but related, it's true that Mattel has made mistakes over the 55 years Barbie has been around, but they had always meant well. Back on topic, the point is, a lot of people hate Barbie with a passion, and I'm a little concerned that this movie might be more about that, and less about what makes both the character and the franchise who and what they really are. I just hope Mattel can somehow steer this movie in the direction that it really needs to go in: a movie that reflects Barbie and what both the character and the franchise stand for, and not another generic Hollywood production that focuses more on pleasing the older viewers at everyone else's expense in the short term...

    Sent from my iPod touch using toonzone

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