Trumpverse #5 Sons of Fibberty


Scolding Review: Barbie in Princess Power

You know, it'd be easy to say Superheroes are "in" right now, in years like this when you have 2 DC movies a year and Marvel has mapped out the life of Chris Hemsworth for the next decade. But in truth, outside of the Big 2,and the companies that once aquired the rights to characters from them and desperately need to make more movies of them lest their rights revert, Superheroes are pretty scant.

I mean, sure the years might yield out the odd Kickass or Avengers Grim, but there is no rush to pick up the rights to Savage Dragon or Youngblood to cash in on the theorical goldrush to be the next Avengers.

Which is perhaps, fortunate. The Superhero genre is a tricky one, and if companies randomly started getting into it just cuz they think it's "in" now, well, some really bad projects could happen.

This was my thought when I first saw that Barbie in Princess Power existed."Jeez, those dicks a Mattel noticed they couldn't compete with the harder edged Bratz and  Monster High, and after doing coke and watching Man of Steel they decided to get in on the racket."

Which, you know, might have been what happened for all I know. But that doesn't necessarilly mean the product is, you know, bad. And so, I decided to watch this movie, and give you a rundown of it.

Our story starts with Barb...Princess Kara of Wyndmere, flying through the sky using a jetpack built by her in-house scientists. Oh, yeah, I think in these movies "Barbie" lately is playing an instory role or something, so she isn't "Princess Barbie". I think it's fucking confusing because no one will confuse Princess Kara for anything other than Barbie with this face.
Give Super Sparkle some room, Dark Sparkle. Get your damn face out of her cooch.
Oh, no, this is gonna give girls unrealistic expectations of how perspective works.

And further, the cover is got Barbie spelled all over it. So just call her  Princess Barbie of Barbieland.

Anyway, Barbie's parents are all protective and stuff, leading into my main gripe with this movie: Barbie doesn't have anything close to real problems.

I mean, I know this is a DTV for little girls. I don't expect fucking Melancholia here. But when your character's life is full of servants, pets and jetpacks, maybe work harder on those, huh?

No, the fact that she's royalty and a literal Barbie doesn't mean she could not have been made more compelling. With the superhero concept come themes of responsibility and freedom and wish fullfilment and power fantasies, and what does it matter that your character can now fly thoruhg the sky, when the movie opens with her FLYING through the sky? Wish fullfilment works better if characters wish for stuff they get, you know?
I mean, wanting to be a superhero on top of being a princess isn't a character arc, it's a high concept.

Either way the plot kicks in as Rasputin, the kings Eeeevil adviser, is ploting to  overthrow the king. Sorry, I mean, Rasputin.  Hold on, let me check my nonexistent notes...No, he's the Baron. Sorry, but on my defense, he's fucking Rasputin.
Yeah, no guessing Beardo McStrongfeatures is the badguy.

 Because of historical claims, which are played for laughs but seem like they could be a mildly solid reason to go evil, Baron Rasputin is creating a super soldier magic serum, when his lab asistant A Frog knocks it down the drain.

The formula falls on a caterpillar, which  metamorphoses into a butterfly that grants powers to people who kiss it. Barbie's sister,  Bitchy Brown Haired Barbie, I mean, Katarina, tries to kill it, but Barbie stops her, which earns her a kiss from the bug. Which is a mildly unique origin for what is to be a fairly uninspired set of powers. Kararbie gets what I like to call "The Basic Superman" of  Flight and Superstrenght, plus the ability to shoot orbs of plasma pink energy.

Barbie falls ill(which her supposedly overprotective parents let by without any worries) and wakes up displaying strange powers, which only her personal Susan and Mary Test know about. They quickly settle her into  Superhero roles and refferences.

Barbie tries to fly into the city to try and make her community garden, but  highjinks ensue and a sequence  where stuff almost crushes people takes place. As tends to happen in this type of story. Fortunately Super Barbie is there to recklessly bat the things away from crushing people, so they can only almost crush them.

So now, Super Sparkle(yes, that's her super name. The whole damn title is a lie) is an established Superhero, with her own non-love interest in the form of Ken(?) playing the role of the Lois Lane, except he's more of a blogger instead of a journalist.

 Super Sparkle folds a few bank heists and s rescues some people from a fire, all while balancing her life as a famous princess. I make it sound way more interesting than I make it seem. Besides, she's so sloppy, she gets found the hell out real soon by the only other fly in her milk , Bug Killing, Slightly Negative Barbie.

So Brown Hair Barbie puts it together than having been kissed by the butterfly made  Barbie Super, so she finds it, and then forces herself onto the Butterfly, becoming Dark Sparkle.

Now, I know you may be thinking I may be exaggerating by basically implying Barbie's sister raped a magical butterfly. But context is king. The butterfly kissed Barbie out of her own volition, as a reward for saving her life...from this specific person. And now she's her, trapping said butterfly and kissing her as she squirms.
I mean, I'm tagging this rape, juuust in case.

Or I'm overthinking  it.

Either way, that's about the darkest thing Dark Sparkle does. Henceforth dressed identically to Super Sparkle but like, 3 shades darker pink, she starts butting in on her sister's turf and stealing part of her thunder. She's not like, particularly violent or blunt, so the main issue here isn't her method.

"You've tried the try ME!" "Ma'am, the mall doesn't open in an hour." "Oh...ok"

Even bigger troubles lie ahead as Lewis Lame deduces Sparkle's secret identity too, and even though he's her biggest fan and everything, he just  fucking puts it on his damn blog.

Like, not even a little doubt. What a dick.

So Sparkster's parents ground her, and forbid her from being a Super anymore. She's more.

But then Baron Von Rasputin gets his formula together again, and this time mostly drinks it, and starts threatening the king, so it's not a very long time not being  Super. And so begins a pretty long superfight between Super Sparkle, Dark Sparkle and Rasputin Sparkle.
This isn't Barbie's Mud Hole: It's Barbie's Operating Table!

Ok, so it's not exactly The Zod fight from Man of Steel. It's still a DTV Barbie movie, after all. But there's plenty of slamming people into walls and shooting magic missiles.

Midfight, Super Sparkle just tells Dark Sparkle to fuck off and let her operate, and Dark Sparkle is like "ok, whatever". Which is kind of weird, because what's at stake is how alive their family and themselves are.

Meanwhile,  the Frog gets Superpowers too. And the cat and the dog, too. I don't know why the Butterfly doesn't have superpowers of her own, or maybe she does? Does anyone who kiss Barbie, her Sister, and The Baron get Superman powers now?

General Nod is now unable to reach the royal family because they locked themselves into an impregnable tower they have, so he unleashes a river of magma from the frustatingly named volcano Mount Dormant. Barbie stops the tower falling down, but as the lava rushes down to the  city, she is forced to divert it by carving a long ditch on the ground to lead the lavato a lake. However, just as she's running out of stamina to do it, Bug Rape Sparkle comes in for the save. They divert the lava, the now empowered pets beat up The Baron and he's locked into the tower they already explained is impregnable so...I guess if he can die at all he'll die there of hunger.

So Barbie makes that garden she wanted, and steals Ken's phone and forces him to work on the garden. The End.

Look here, I have a lot of hair on my chest, so this thing obviously wasn't made for me. However, there are things on which I think it could have been better.

Different Powers. Given the different context in which  characters get powers in this (bad ones through consumption of a magic potion, good ones through  a bug that ingested said potion) a bit of different abilities would have been nice. You don't even have to be original. Steal from DC. Steal from Marvel. Steal from Dark Horse if you want,  just not the same damn Superman powers!

Give Barbie a more solid arc. Nothing wrong with a "wanting more outta life" plot. But you know, if Barbie's main problem in life is that her parents are too overprotective, you need to either make them actually overprotective or otherwise show us what she is longing for.

If her main arc is her strained relationship with her sister, show that well as well.

Don't make it look like it was made in The Sims. Look, I don't expect Sin City when I put in Barbie in Princess Power. But it looks a little too smooth at times. It's a little offputting.

But as it is it's...pretty decent for a DTV Barbie movie. I don't regret having sat down to watch it. The Bad guy was somewhat fun, the nods towards comic book movies kind of fun, and the dialogue wasn't always grating. Which is frustrating, because if it'd just reached  a little bit farther it might have been good-good, instead of "Not Bad for What it is". Oh, well, at least we have Super Hero High.

Wait, fuck.

Follow by Email

What are you guys watching?