Barbie Has Everything Else, So Why Not a Movie Now, Too?
by Ethan Anderton
September 23, 2009
If you didn't think Transformers, G.I. Joe, Battleship, Candyland, He-Man, Monopoly, and Stretch Armstrong (did I miss any?) weren't enough to wet your clearly desperate appetite for toy based cinema, now it's time to bring some of that action to the ladies. Variety announced earlier tonight that Universal will be bringing Mattel's 50 year-old Barbie toyline to the big screen. I'm pretty sure we already saw this back when it was called Legally Blonde, but apparently Universal thinks that they've bagged a winner amongst the other studios clamoring for a safe bet in picking up well-known intellectual property for new movies.
Here's what Universal Chairman Marc Shmuger had to say about the new Barbie movie:
"Barbie is the most famous doll in history, a unique cultural icon in the world of brands. So many representations of Barbie frequent pop culture, but never before has she been brought to life in a motion picture."
I don't know about you, but I remember seeing Barbie brought to life in tons of terrible straight-to-DVD releases with computer animation reminiscent of the 90's Canadian animated series "ReBoot." To be fair, Barbie does have a lot at her disposal. I mean off the top of my head I'm pretty sure that Barbie has been a veterinarian, an astronaut, a nurse, a movie star, a stewardess and even the President of the United States of America. On top of that she's got a Jeep, a camper, some dogs, a whole bunch of other crap. Such great fodder for a movie. But isn't Barbie really just a non-slutty, smarter, hard-working version of Paris Hilton?
Anyway, I know that this will give girls something to be excited about with all the toys for boys taking over cinema, but I can't see this film becoming anything more than a lighthearted romantic comedy akin to dozens of other films we've seen like it before. Unless something extremely creative is done with Barbie, I can't imagine it being more than just a brand name slapped onto a dramatic story. Good luck, Universal!