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Princess Annika (Barbie) escapes the clutches of the evil wizard, explores the wonders of Cloud Kingdom, and teams up with a magnificent winged horse - who turns out to be her sister, Princess Brietta - to defeat the wizard and break the spells that imprisoned her family. Written by
My 5 year old daughter is very into the Barbie series of movies. I've had mixed feelings about that - not wanting her to buy into the whole Barbie-doll image of things, and recognizing that the movies are a marketing ploy to convince young girls to buy more dolls and make more money for Mattel. This morning though she asked me to watch this movie with her, and - it being a lazy Saturday morning and with not much else to do - I agreed. I don't know if the movies have been made to help market the dolls, which seem to be losing their appeal a bit from what I've heard or if the dolls are there to market the movies (or, more likely, a bit of both) but whichever is the case, I have to admit - somewhat to my surprise, this wasn't half bad.
It's a fun and imaginative story full of magical places and people and memorable characters (both good and evil.) Essentially, Annika ("played" by Barbie) has to find a way to build a "wand of light" to reverse the evil spells of the wizard Wenlock, who among other things has turned her sister into a flying horse and her parents into stone. The animation here was pretty good - not Disney-calibre (if one thinks of Disney as the standard to aspire to) but generally pretty good, and while the movie is obviously tailored to young girls rather than middle-aged men, I still found there were enough twists and turns to make me wonder how it was all going to turn out. It's true that there were some holes in the story, or at least some logical inconsistencies, but again one must remember the target audience, who wouldn't really think of such things. This is an all around decent family movie. 7/10
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