“Two best friends, Liana and Alexa, embark on a journey to find the Diamond Castle! With the help of music, the girls overcome challenges that show friendship is the true treasure.”-Anonymous, IMDB.
Barbie and the Diamond Castle is a direct-to-video “friendship musical” film and the 13th entry in the Barbie film series. As with all the Barbie movies, this film was brought to us by Rainmaker Studios, previously known as Mainframe Entertainment, the creators of the ReBoot TV series. The film features the voice of Kelly Sheridan as Barbie, and Kathleen Barr as the evil Lydia, best known for her role as Dot Matrix from ReBoot. Another voice actor of note is Veena Sood, who co-founded the Loose Moose Theatre Company in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in addition to her roles in The X-Files, Bates Motel, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Supernatural and Battlestar Galactica. She plays the dual roles of Sparkles and Lily, the dog sidekicks in the film.
Some thoughts from me (Potential spoilers below)…
I’ve mentioned previously how I tend to avoid the Barbie films because they’re generally serviceable movies, if a bit shallow. That said, some of the Barbie movies do have a lot of cheese to them, which makes me perfectly happy to add them to the Bad Princess Movie line up. Again, I tend to look for movies that are entertaining, them being ‘bad’ isn’t the end all be all.
Barbie and the Diamond Castle has a fair bit of cheese to it that puts a smile on my face. I think it’s partially because when I watch movies like this I picture some executives sitting around the table in the board room, designing the movie by committee. “We need to have an animal sidekick… in fact, we should have TWO animal sidekicks!”… “There HAS to be a transformation sequence where they get elaborate dresses, we can sell more dolls that way!”… “Who are the male love interests going to be? We need to have some so we can have Ken dolls in this line up”.
Actually on that last note, I should give the movie credit: While they do have two male characters who at first glance seem to be set up to be the love interests, our female protagonists don’t dwell too much on them. This isn’t a film about romance, it’s about the friendship between the two main characters. They cross paths with the guys long enough to establish a bit of a friendship with them so that it’s plausible that the guys show up later to provide some assistance at a crucial point in the story. Again, the Barbie people do know how to pull a film together. While I’m sure they have some sort of guidelines around what they have to include in the movie so that Mattel can make the dolls and toys they want, the Barbie people know how to make a movie that doesn’t feel like it’s just a commercial.
… I mean, it is a commercial, but it’s more subtle one, y’know? And I can appreciate the attempt at subtlety.
I say check this one out, this one might work as another palette cleanser type movie that you use to wash out the taste of a more heinous princess movie.