The 36 Barbie movies that make up the adorably referred to “Barbie Cinematic Universe” are undoubtedly some of the greatest animated films ever made. But whose glittering throne do they occupy? This piece seeks to ascertain.
Perhaps second only to Pixar in legendary animated universes is the Barbie Cinematic Universe (it has the conspiracy theories to match). The wonderful tunes, love of sparkles, and Miss Barbie movies have touched millions of people’s hearts. Each of these 36 films is a classic and a fan favorite in its own right.
So how do you order them? I am the best person to understand how a Barbie movie that millions have seen can be a deeply personal experience and how your favorite Barbie movie may hold a special place in your heart. I honor that. They can’t all succeed, though.
The top 10 Barbie movies—the classics—are what we rank today. I worry about you if your favorite Barbie movies are the most current ones, and you lack nostalgia for the second generation’s truly wonderful dolls.
Several honorable mentions before I continue:
Although it featured a strong environmental message, the conventional Thumbelina plot was severely and irreparably altered.
The original Barbie movie! Without her, what would we do? However, the animation and adaptation have not held up well over time.
I’ve heard this is fantastic, but I’ve never watched it, and, to be honest, I was so bothered by this ad playing on every Barbie movie DVD that I decided never to watch it.
Island Princess Barbie
This is at the bottom of the list since it is less memorable than the honorable mentions, but it is here nonetheless because barbie movies wore a stunning, classic ball gown peacock dress. It was also quite lengthy. It was a wonderful musical too!
Barbie: A Tale of Fashion
I enjoyed the subtle third wall break in one of the more “modern” films, where barbie movies is revealed to be an actress playing the lead role in the Barbie movies. The plotline was sweet, albeit a little dull, and I like the setting change to Paris. The magic was intriguing, but I can’t get beyond that the fairies are called “Flares” (ouch).
Pink Swan Lake Barbie
This famous Barbie movies, based on Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s well-known ballet Swan Lake, features magic, shape-shifting, and a cute, naive prince for Odette, our typical Barbie lead. It has lovely themes and original music, which is a wonderful homage to the first ballet performance.
It is, nevertheless, quite contentious because many of its antagonists embody anti-Semitic stereotypes (this is a great article on it). Although Mattel is by no means the only business to do this, it is rather obvious in this instance.
The Fairytopia trilogy is slightly more remembered than the others and is the start of a classic series within the Barbie Universe (and Mariposa, but eh).
Elina’s character development and the countless wild Bibble compilations on YouTube wouldn’t exist without this film. Did this movie persuade me that I, too, might “earn my wings” with the correct quest? Maybe.
It’s a classic with strong magic and subtly unnerving anthropomorphic character designs.
The Three Musketeers and Barbie
Who doesn’t adore a tale about a gender-flipped Musketeer? And no less with barbie movies.
I remember this one since the girl’s training montage trumps so many superhero flicks, and I also really liked how their ball gown outfits changed (from airy to utilitarian hell-yes). Even the slingshot girl keeps her composure.
However, the plot and the bad guy are both rather predictable (a cousin plotting to become king, how original). Additionally, Barbie’s prince love interest is uninteresting. Apologies, Prince Louis.
Princess Charm School Barbie
Whatever you may think of the Barbie movies from the post-2000 era, this film is unquestionably famous. Why? Because despite the secret princess idea being overused, this film does a fantastic job executing it. There is a catchy soundtrack, subdued but spectacular magic, and a likable “villain” in this film.
But it fails because, in the end, it’s still a kid’s movie. The climactic fight is a little underwhelming because it is so clear that Blair is the lost princess and the stakes aren’t as high as in other Barbie movies (death, exile, wings, etc.).
This film, the sequel to all sequels, maybe the first I will rank as superior to the original. (Excuse me, but Shrek 2 is the sequel of sequels.)
Elina’s character story is likely the most compelling of all Barbies. Sacrifice, peril, terror, and lovely magical wardrobe changes are all present. In this film, Bibble is even better (see this clip if you don’t believe me x). Beautiful underwater landscapes complement the fascinating supporting cast of individuals (Nori and Nalu could get it).
Why, then, is it only the fourth? Primarily because the side characters (such as the huge snail/girl) are odd, and the villain is boring (dull sidekicks can only be humorous so many times).
Barbie’s Pauper and Princess
That this is so many people’s favorite Barbie movie is something I have to appreciate. I do. The plot is sound, and the “flip” is incredibly entertaining. It doesn’t fall short as a musical (Just Like You is still a banger), and the characters are fantastic. Here, the usual Barbie movie theme of the strength of friendship reaches its pinnacle. Preminger also has an unrivaled villainous intensity.
But since I’m a fantasy girl, it doesn’t contain any magic. It ranks third.
The 12 Dancing Princesses and Barbie
First of all, they created a story that included all 12 princesses and gave each of them a unique personality. Props!
But THE DANCING IN THIS is perhaps the finest part. You would be lying if you said that after watching this movie as a child, you didn’t want to be a ballerina or, at the very least, have a private dance pavilion. The plot is amazing, the magic is incredible (magical wishing flowers? Yes, please! ), and an (Indian) talking parrot always wins. Also stunning is our main ship (that dancing duet!). It serves as a testament to classical music and sisterhood. Funny and deserving of this position.
Diamond Castle and Barbie
I can’t blame this movie; however, perhaps it’s nostalgia for my younger years (except for the anthropomorphic dogs). The plotline (magical castle, dragons, and the power of music) is flawless, and all the best elements of the Barbie Cinematic Universe are represented in this film. Do I need to say more? Additionally, the songs are still popular today. I will continue to support this film as the catalyst for introducing a whole generation to the cottage lifestyle.
Furthermore, one of the main characters is named Alexa, which made me feel particularly seen as a youngster (do you realize how uncommon the name Alexa was to find on those kid-sized keychains? VERY).
In the end, the Barbie movies are stunning representations of friendship, love, and pink. You can’t consider yourself a true intellectual unless you’ve seen at least one of these, and the world is a lucky place to have them.