Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barbie headed to the big screen

Yes, I know there is a ridiculous toy craze in Hollywood, that I've mocked, but I'm not totally opposed to the idea. Variety reported that Universal will be adding a live-action, family-friendly Barbie movie to its lineup. Apparently studios need a sure thing. I had no idea a movie based on a disproportionate doll was a sure thing. Universal, please see Bratz: The Movie.

“Barbie is the most famous doll in history, a unique cultural icon in the world of brands,” said Universal Pictures chairman Marc Shmuger. “So many representations of Barbie frequent pop culture, but never before has she been brought to life in a motion picture. We’re grateful to Mattel for entrusting us with this extraordinary opportunity.” [Variety]

Anyway, this isn't the first time Barbie has been brought to some screen. There was a Barbie animated TV miniseries. There are the horrid straight-to-DVD movies, which usually involve Barbie being some sort of princess. I will not admit to watching these. There were also Barbie novels that involved Barbie attending high school. I didn't even know these existed. I will now purchase them.

This makes me wonder what sort of storyline they'll use. The princess storyline is probably out, because who wants to purchase the rights to Barbie only to do a princess movie? Disney already does it best. Maybe they'll put her in high school to attract the young girls who are more likely to blow their parents' hard earned cash on frivolous things. Grown women will only show up in droves to watch a Barbie movie with their daughters. Or they could make her grown up and make her do some of the random stuff she's good at. She's been a pilot, a teacher, a flight attendant, a cop, an astronaut, a doctor, a firefighter, a Nascar driver, a soldier (hilariously, there was a Desert Storm edition), a U.S. President, and a ballerina (when is Barbie NOT a ballerina BTW?). For me Barbie was usually a high school kid by day and a superheroine by night. I blame the X-Men.

Barbie also has an assortment of token diverse friends, most of which I owned as a child because my mother wanted me to grow up knowing that I didn't have to be blond to be pretty, successful, etc. She neglected to tell me I didn't have to be a size 0 to be those things either. Are all of Barbie's friends, family, and boyfriends anorexic?

Despite my rambling mild tirade, I loved those dolls as a kid (I still want that Barbie dream house). And, all the toy movies have been geared towards the boys anyway. Who am I kidding, most of the movies in general have been geared towards the boys. So now, some of the boys are pissed. If we have to take a G.I. Joe movie seriously (well, we did before the trailer came out, and after the film made money at the box office), then why not take this seriously? Which is why even though I'm not a Diablo Cody fan, I'm not 100% against a Sweet Valley High movie either. I loved those books and I think it's about time girls had some nostalgia for themselves.

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