The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The LeSabre

The greatest Barbie movies

Ashlyn Swanson
Though there are more than 40 Barbie films, only a select handful rank highest on the list.

Growing up my sister and I always watched Barbie movies. Whenever we were going on a car ride or had a spare afternoon, we would put in a Barbie movie to watch. As I have grown up, I still love watching movies because they transport me to a previous era and bring back wonderful memories I had with my sister.  I’ve decided to select the top five Barbie movies in my opinion after reviewing my favorite ones. 


“Barbie as Rapunzel” was inspired by the fairy tale “Rapunzel” by the Brothers Grimm and released in 2002. (Ashlyn Swanson)

#5 Barbie as Rapunzel: Easily among the greatest and most recognizable Barbie films—or really, just films in general. My life has been genuinly transformed by the inspriational acting of the incredible ferret, Otto, and I do not doubt that it will positively affect yours as well. I genuinely think it’s fantastic and would suggest it to everyone if I could. All in all, it is a masterpiece and a significant aspect of both my past and present. The songs, the characters, the narrative, and the storyline are all top-notch. The movie tells the tale of Rapunzel, a lost princess who lives in a large tower deep in the forest with Gothel, a cruel witch who treats her like a servant. Rapunzel has ambitions to be independent and paint, which Gothel despises. Overall, an incredible film.

#4 Barbie in a Mermaid Tale: This movie is so good that they made a sequel (which is unfortunately not

“Barbie in A Mermaid Tale” was released on March 2, 2010, and takes place in Malibu. (Ashlyn Swanson)

on this list because nothing beats the originals.) This movie is a go-to for everyone who likes mermaids, or even if you don’t. In this movie, Barbie plays the role of Malibu-born surfing champion Merliah. She is a typical teenager one moment, and then she finds out a startling family secret: she is a mermaid. Merliah embarks on an underwater quest with Zuma, her dolphin companion, to save her mother, the Oceanian queen. Merliah protects the ocean kingdom with the support of her newfound mermaid friends. Ultimately, she finds that your uniqueness may be your greatest asset. This movie is inspirational, and I highly encourage everyone to watch this. 

#3 Barbie: Princess Charm School: I am commonly not a fan of the Barbie movies released after 2010,

“Barbie: Princess Charm School” was released September 13, 2011 and takes place in the kingdom of Gardenia (Ashlyn Swanson)

however, this one goes against that opinion. There are not enough words to express how amazing this film is. It truly is a magnificent work of art. My heart was opened to the fullest extent by the music. The astounding graphics made me feel as though I was there with Blair. And I never would have thought Blair was the princess: the greatest plot twist in movie history. Delancy’s transformation from a rival to a friend in less than two hours was a remarkable example of her character growth. I have gone from pity to joy in a short amount of time, and will never be the same. This movie will entertain all audiences. 

#2 Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses: This movie is especially special to me because one of the main

“Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses” was inspired by the German fairy tale “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” and was released in 2006. (Ashlyn Swanson)

character’s name is Ashlyn. I never knew someone with my name growing up, which adds to the sentimentality of this since I still recall how happy I was the first time I saw this movie. Besides loving this movie because of the characters’ names, I loved the movie because of its whimsical charm. The plot is made up of Princess Genevieve and her eleven sisters discovering a secret entrance to a wonderful world, despite their stern cousin Duchess Rowena’s prohibition against them from dancing. This film is a high pick for me because of the amazing magical land the princesses visited and the strength of sisterhood that is demonstrated throughout.

#1 Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper: If I had to sum up my entire childhood into one movie it

“Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper” was inspired by the Mark Twain novel “The Prince and the Pauper” and was released in 2004. (Ashlyn Swanson)

would be Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper. To this day I can recite the movie word-for-word. I believe there is no comparison or competition; this movie is on another level than the other Barbie movies. This is a musical with some of the greatest songs you will ever hear. Barbie appears in the film Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper, playing two very similar-looking roles: a princess and a poor village girl. When Princess Anneliese is taken captive and Erika, her look-alike, is forced to attempt to save her, the fates of the sisters are destined to collide. This movie is breathtaking and a true cinematic masterpiece. This storyline is stellar and never fails to keep me fully engaged.  Barbie was ahead of her time in every way—the storyline, choreography, and vocals were on point.


Below is my honorable mention list of excellent Barbie movies that I was unable to include in my top five:

  • Barbie and the Three Musketeers
  • Barbie of Swan Lake
  • Barbie in the Nutcracker
  • The Barbie Diaries
  • Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus
  • Barbie & the Diamond Castle
  • Barbie as the Island Princess



More to Discover
About the Contributor
Ashlyn Swanson
Ashlyn Swanson, Journalist
Grade: Senior Activities: Swimming and Softball My car's name: Dora the Ford Explorer Favorite superhero: Spiderman Favorite coffee shops: Starbucks and Copper Pony