Guest Review by Hunter Hale
In this magical musical adventure, a twist of the classic story The Prince and the Pauper, Barbie stars as Tori, a sweet and caring princess who would rather play than keep up on her royal duties, much to the disdain of her Aunt the duchess. When Tori's favorite pop star, Keira, comes to visit the kingdom of Maribella they discover that they have a lot in common. Tori is tired of the princess life and aspires to have an ordinary day for once, while Keira fantasizes about being a princess with no cares in the world. After discover they each possess their own magical device--a hair brush for Tori, which can change hair to practically any style she wants, and a microphone for Keira, which can magically switch her into different outfits, the two hatch a plan to switch roles for just one day.
Continuing their bonding session, Tori reveals to Keira her family's best-kept secret: a magical orchid that produces diamonds. However, due to their switching places, people mistake them for each other. Soon a series of events lands them both in a predicament involving a show, a thief, and a crisis for the entire kingdom of Maribella.
Overall, the movie's animation is only mediocre with some of the characters having repetitive motions and actions that become overtly irritating after a while. However, these issues don't make the movie toxic, just bothersome. If you're an adult I doubt you'll be watching this with anyone but your own children and they'll probably not be so nitpicky. Bottom line: kids will enjoy it. Adults, on the other hand, might not be too thrilled to watch it, especially more than once. And a final warning: the songs are disturbingly catchy.
The widescreen (1.78:1) presentation of Barbie: The Princess & The Popstar looks wonderful. The animation is clear and the multitudes of bright colors are at times extremely appealing. The majority of the movie uses these bright colors and they provide the perfect back drop to this type of fare.
The audio is presented in Dolby 5.1 showcasing a clean, pop-driven soundtrack certain to woo the target audience. Children will definitely be jamming along with this one.
The film contains a couple of extras, although they aren't interactive whatsoever which would have been a nice bonus. The extras are included under the "More Fun" selection and include a music video of one of the main songs in the movie, outtakes of a few different scenes in the movie (mostly just funny little jokes while music plays), a Polly Pocket webisode, a Barbie Life in the Dream House episode, and finally a trailer gallery of other Barbie movies.
This magical sparkling animated movie will be well-received by Barbie-loving kids. Every aspect--from the eye popping colors to the catchy songs--fits the Barbie brand very well.It's definitely a great gift for any young Barbie fan, but parents beware: this isn't a clever Pixar movie full of humor and subtlety.