Top 10 Barbie films to watch before Greta Gerwig’s movie is released in cinemas

Top 10 Barbie films to watch before Greta Gerwig’s movie is released in cinemas

A compilation of different Barbies

One of the most eagerly-anticipated film releases of the year is almost here (Picture: AP/Universal)

Get your pink outfits ready and begin channeling your Kenergy – it’s almost time for Barbie to hit cinema screens.

Starring Margot Robbie in the titular role alongside Ryan Gosling as Ken, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie will see the iconic Mattel doll venture into the ‘real world’ on a journey of self-discovery.

The plastic fantastic feature also stars Will FerrellEmma Mackey, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, America Ferrera, Dua Lipa, and many more.

The cast dazzled at the London film premiere, and indeed turned the whole capital pink as unique signs popped up to celebrate the arrival of the Queen herself – Barbie.

Gerwig’s creation will join a pantheon of films that have focused on the doll – 40, to be exact.

Those of us looking forward to seeing the latest Barbie film – maybe during an Oppenheimer double bill – may want to dive into a pink-tinged binge and watch some of the doll’s previous screen work.

But with so many to choose from, what is the cream of the crop when it comes to Barbie movies? Here, we give you the top 10 must-watch films to prepare for July 21.


10. Barbie: Fairytopia

Barbie Fairytopia

In at number 10, we have this magical Barbie film (Picture: Barbie: Fairytopia)

Kicking off our top 10 we have the 2005 fantasy Barbie flick Fairytopia.

It’s the fifth of the Barbie films, but the first to have its own original story not based on any existing source material.

It follows Elina, a wingless flower fairy who longs for a sparkling set of her own. When the evil fairy Laverna threatened all of the flying creatures in Magic Meadow, Elina must find the Guardian Fairy, Azura, and thwart Laverna’s plans.

9. Barbie of Swan Lake

Barbie Of Swan Lake

Barbie takes on the classics at number nine (Picture: Barbie of Swan Lake)

There are a number of Barbie films that see the Mattel icon retell classic tales, one of which is Barbie of Swan Lake.

The third film in the Barbie franchise, released in 2003, is based on the beloved fairy tale Swan Lake and set to the music of Tchaikovsky.

If you’re not aware of the story, Barbie of Swan Lake sees Barbie ‘star’ as Odette, a girl who follows a unicorn into the forest and is turned into a swan by an evil wizard.

8. Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia

Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia

Fairytopia received the sequel treatment in 2006 with Mermaidia (Picture: Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia)

Following the success of Fairytopia the film sparked two sequels – the first of which was Mermaidia in 2006.

We once again follow Elina who travels to Mermaidia to save her friend Nalu, the merman prince after he is kidnapped in an attempt to learn more about a special berry that could make Laverna the most powerful fairy in Fairytopia.

But Elina can’t beat Laverna alone, and she enlists the help of Nori, a mermaid who struggles to trust outsiders.

7. Barbie and the Diamond Castle

Barbie in The Diamond Castle

This is Barbie’s ultimate tale of friendship (Picture: Barbie in The Diamond Castle)

If you’re a TikTok user, you might recognise two of the characters from this film from a viral trend on the app.

Barbie and the Diamond Castle, released in 2008, is the thirteenth film in the world of Barbie and also features a special cover of the song Connected recorded by Katharine McPhee.

The film sees Barbie and Teresa appear as Liana and Alexa, two best friends that share a love of music who are gifted an enchanted mirror and befriend the girl trapped inside.

6. Barbie as the Island Princess

Barbie as The Island Princess

The songs in Barbie as The Island Princess are regarded as some of the best by Barbie fans (Picture: Barbie as The Island Princess)

Featuring some of the best songs of any Barbie movie written by Megan Cavallari and composed by Arnie Roth, Barbie as the Island Princess comes in at number six.

Released in 2007, Barbie appears as Rosella, who as a youngster is saved by a group of king animals after a shipwreck.

Set in the present day, Ro can talk to the animals and her life is changed forever as she saves the life of a prince who returns her to her former life.

5. Barbie in the Nutcracker

Barbie in The Nutcracker

Barbie takes on another classic Tchaikovsky ballet in The Nutcracker (Picture: Barbie in The Nutcracker)

The top five kicks off with the first Barbie film and it’s a retelling of yet another well-known tale released in 2001 – this time E. T. A. Hoffmann’s 1816 short story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.

Featuring music from the Tchaikovsky ballet of the same name and a bizarre appearance from Tim Curry as the Mouse King, he casts an evil spell over our hero Clara that causes her to shrink.

Clara and the Nutcracker set out on an adventurous journey to find Sugarplum Princess, who has the power to undo the spell.

4. Barbie As Rapunzel

Barbie As Rapunzel

In 2002, the second Barbie film was released and it proved to be a hit (Picture: Barbie As Rapunzel)

Following the release of Barbie in the Nutcracker, the second Barbie film saw the Mattel doll take on the Brothers Grimm fairytale Rapunzel.

The 2002 animated film sees Barbie appear as Rapunzel, a maiden who is kidnapped and locked in a tower by the evil witch Gothel, voiced by The Witches’ Anjelica Huston.

She finds her life turned upside down when she comes across a magical paintbrush that turns her paintings into portals.

3. Barbie and The Three Musketeers

Barbie and The Three Musketeers

In The Three Musketeers, Barbie fights like a girl (Picture: Barbie and The Three Musketeers)

In this 2009 action flick, it’s ‘all for one and one for all’ as Barbie becomes a Musketeer.

Based on the 1844 novel The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, Barbie stars as Corinne, a young country girl headed to Paris to pursue her big dream – to become a Musketeer.

Against all the odds, she along with Viveca, Aramina, and Renee achieve their dream as they grab their swords to save Prince Louie from his evil cousin Phillippe.

2. Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses

  Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses

Another huge star has a voice acting role in this 2006 film (Picture: Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses)

Loosely based on the German tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses, this 2006 release takes our number two spot.

Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses sees Princess Genevieve and her eleven sisters discover a doorway to a magical world, where they learn the strength of imagination and creativity.

However, they soon realise their father’s kingdom is in grave danger from Duchess Rowena – voiced by Catherine O’Hara – who wishes to take the throne for herself.

1. Barbie as The Princess and The Pauper

Barbie as The Princess and The Pauper

And now, our number one pick (Picture: Barbie as The Princess and The Pauper)

Most Barbie fans will attest to Barbie as The Princess and The Pauper being the best film in the franchise – and not only because its soundtrack features wall-to-wall bangers.

The 2004 film is the first musical in the series and is loosely inspired by the 1881 Mark Twain novel The Prince and the Pauper.

In it, Princess Anneliese is kidnapped by the evil Preminger, voiced by Martin Short. But help is at hand as a poor village girl, Erika, who just so happens to be the doppelganger of Anneliese, endeavours to expose Preminger’s evil plan.

Barbie is released in cinemas on July 21.

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