Movie Reviews

Barbie: Spy Squad Review

I finally got around to purchasing the 2016 film Barbie: Spy Squad directed by Conrad Helton and produced by Margaret M. Dean and Shareena Carlson. I haven’t really been keeping up with Barbie movie stuff lately (or at least to the degree of memorising directors), so those names don’t mean anything to me. It was $16, gone down from $30.

*This review contains spoilers. Check the title of each section before reading*

Barbie_Spy_Squad_Trailer_Screenshots_55

The Animation

It’s def not one of my favourite animation styles, but a whole lot better than some others. *cough* Perfect Christmas *cough* I don’t have a very much to say about it, really. The faces were a bit “ewgh,” but it’s not TOO bad…

Bonus Features

I really wasn’t too happy with the bonus features. There were outtakes, which were pretty standard -amusing, but not something I would watch again and again. And some trailers for more recent Barbie movies (Spy Squad, Princess Power and so on). Expect the thing about the trailers, you couldn’t select which one you wanted to watch, just fast forward. How silly is that?

Costumes

I really enjoyed the costumes shown throughout the film. My favourite was Patricia’s outfit at the end. Although I do wish that when the girls were shown in casual wear on different days they wore different clothes.

Storyline **SPOILERS**

I really liked the storyline. After watching the trailer and music video a few billion times, I thought I knew what would happen -but guess what? I didn’t. Maybe it’s because I barely did any research before watching the movie (ie: no lurking on fanpop!) but the whole Agent Dunbar working for the other side was a twist I was not expecting!

I also did not expect Lazio to have such a big part in the film, or for Patricia to run off like that. I think that’s called a Wild Card character -where they don’t work for the good side because they’re ‘good’ or the bad side because they’re ‘bad,’ they just work for whoever benefits them the most.

More Information about Wild Cards: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WildCard

One thing I thought was odd, towards the end -we never found out the results of the gymnastics competition! And why wasn’t Patricia participating? She got almost a 10 in the trials!

Characters **SPOILERS**

Hooray! I could tell the difference between the two main co-stars! This is a pretty big achievement for me, guys. I don’t understand the difference between Madison and Makayla, I don’t pay that much attention! (reference to Princess Power, if you haven’t seen that one yet). Anyway, yes, I loved Renee because she was just really funny and a ‘real’ person, she acted bubbly and like somebody we’d all love to be friends with.

I loved Teresa, too (although why does Mattel have to keep reusing names??), because she wasn’t all ‘come on guys, let’s save the day!’ she actually was realistic and thought about things before jumping ahead. Her personality reminded me a bit of Anna from Polly Pocket. Barbie was great as well, I thought the fact she messed up the trick during the first trial was fantastic, and how we saw her practising on her own. Definitely a well-developed character.

However, I thought that Lazio got a bit annoying towards the end. All that ‘not just you, all of you’ was cute at first, but after the third time, it got a little old. After the ten billionth time, I never wanted to hear that line again. I was a bit surprised that we never saw him and Teresa go out :/ I mean, it is a Barbie movie! Speaking of which, I was also pleasantly surprised that Barbie wasn’t the one that Lazio was interested in.

Toys

I wasn’t the least bit inclined to spend money on the toys that were produced from this film. All that painted-on clothing, yuck! I didn’t think they were very practical, especially since they couldn’t be used in other games, with all those long sleeves and pants. Only two out of all the toys reached my local stores -the expensive Barbie doll, and the budget Renee doll. So I probably have a warped perspective.

Parental Guidance

I don’t know about the rules in other countries, but this DVD was marked PG for Parental Guidance for me. Basically that means, if you’re under 15, it’s recommended you have an adult watching with you. This is for ‘mild animated action violence.’ Basically the whole PG thing makes me really, really happy. This is the second PG Barbie movie so far! I never dreamt the day would come where we have one, and now two? How amazing! It shows that Barbie isn’t just for six year olds.

Overall -is it worth it?

Yes! I was not expecting to enjoy this movie as much as I did. It’s definitely up there on my list of favourite Barbie films. However, I would not pay too much for it. $16 was a very good price.

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