Movie Reviews

Barbie and Her Sisters in a Pony Tale (2013) Movie Review

Barbie and Her Sisters in a Pony Tale, released in 2013, is the second film starring Barbie and her sisters (although thankfully, there are no talking puppies this time!) It takes place in a Breath of the Wild-style riding academy in Switzerland, owned by Barbie’s aunt Marlene. The luxurious riding academy, complete with stables and training grounds, is surrounded by wide, green plains in the mountains. In these mountains lives a mythical herd of horses called the Majestiques.

When Barbie and her sisters Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea, arrive to the riding academy for their summer holidays, they soon discover that the academy is in trouble! They have not won a competition in eleven years and enrolments are at an all-time low. If the Alpine Riding Academy does not win the Inter-Academy Equestrian Tournament, Barbie’s aunt Marlene will be forced to sell.

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Our antagonist, Philippe Cheynet, from the neighbouring riding academy, is eager to call the Alpine Riding Academy his own. He knows that the secret Majestique horses are somewhere on Alpine land, and wants to exploit them for profit and his own personal gain.

Thankfully, Barbie and her sisters are here to save the day! Chelsea takes some time to bond with her small pony, Dash, but they eventually win first place in the “Pretty Pony” competition. Stacie also struggles to work with her horse -Pepper just won’t listen! With a little help from Barbie, Stacie learns to build a connection with her horse and eventually goes on to win second place in the Cross Country race.

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Despite being an experienced and talented rider, Skipper does not show any interest in horses at first. She’s annoyed that she’s not back in California at Tech Con with her friends. However, after making a bet with Jonas “Monkey Boy,” from the nearby riding academy, Skipper goes on to win first place in dressage.

Meanwhile, Barbie spots a Majestique horse in the mountains, who saves her from a pack of angry wolves. Barbie names the horse Majesty and trains her to be a force to be reckoned with! Barbie and Majesty compete in the riding competition and win first place. Marlene’s riding academy (and the herd of Majestique horses) are saved, the sisters go back to Malibu and all is well.

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The motto of the film is “if you love something, set it free.” This makes sense in the context of the story (Barbie plans to take Majesty back to California but ultimately decides against it because Majesty belongs in the wild), but I don’t think this is a good “life message,” just because it doesn’t make sense in real, everyday life.

The film’s theme song is “You’re the One” by Heavynn Gates. This song is one of the better Barbie songs and I quite like it. Would I listen to it on repeat? Probably not.

The animation of the scenery is really well done, especially the mountains and the trees. The inside of the stables and the girl’s bedroom is also really nice. I liked the design of the buildings, and the wolves looked really realistic. However, the characters themselves looked a bit like …giant potatoes. It’s the faces, I think. They’re too… round? I don’t understand why they have such good, nice, ready-to-use models from previous Barbie movies, yet they choose to make the characters look like this.

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I felt that the inclusion of the dance party was a bit sudden -why wasn’t it mentioned earlier in the film? Skipper could have said something like “I’m so excited for the party later” or something like that.

Other than the sudden party scene and the animation of the characters themselves, I can’t really find a fault with this film. The dogs were a bit annoying and I felt they weren’t really necessary, but at least they didn’t talk! I’m glad the horses didn’t talk, either.

I felt the plot was well spaced out, and I thought it was clever how Philipe released the horses to try to stop the Alpine from winning the competition.

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In many Barbie films where the characters are well-known and already established, there is little to no character development, however I was pleasantly surprised with Barbie and Her Sisters in a Pony Tale. I thought it was interesting how Chelsea, Stacie and Skipper all dealt with their own individual problems alongside the main plot.

I felt that despite being the main character, Barbie did not go through as much character development. At the beginning of the film, she wants to find a champion horse to take back to Malibu. She wants to take Majesty but eventually “sets her free.” Not much going on, huh? I think this could have been improved by highlighting Barbie’s desire to find her champion horse.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this film. I really liked horses as a kid and I was always reading books about them. I remember seeing a horse up-close for the first time, when I was around thirteen, and that was a really amazing experience for me. Seeing this film brings back a lot of those memories, and it makes me want to watch more horse films!

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The film runs for 70 minutes, which I think is the perfect time -there’s enough complicated storyline to make the film interesting, but it’s not so long that you get bored. If you don’t mind a bit of potato face, this film isn’t bad and I recommend you give it a try!

 

8 thoughts on “Barbie and Her Sisters in a Pony Tale (2013) Movie Review

  1. Nice review! I agree with what you said about the animation-though in my opinion the animation in Perfect Christmas was worse!

    The thing I find strange is the fact Barbie has a number of relatives who only are featured once or twice (Like her grandma from Willows, her Aunt Millicent from Paris, and her Aunt Marlene.) I wonder why Mattel only chose to feature them once. Since Barbie never mentioned her Aunt Marlene in the vlogs or any other recent material that I can think of, I wonder if she’s considered “canon” anymore? I’m pretty sure her cousins Jazzie and Francie aren’t considered canon any longer. But they’ve been discontinued for decades! If I recall Barbie has mentioned her grandma at least a few times. And I also find it strange that Mattel has featured Barbie’s aunts and not her parents! (Note: my phrasing was kinda strange in this paragraph! Lol!)

    And I also agree with you about the puppies-I much prefer it when they don’t speak, because it makes it more realistic. I still like for them to be included, just silent, as they were in Dolphin Magic.

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    1. Yeah, I didn’t notice the puppies much in Dolphin Magic which was a lovely surprise.

      Tbh, I don’t even count Jazzie and Francie as Barbie’s cousins at all. It’s interesting -Barbie actually had another cousin called Kristen (or Kirsten?) which was featured in a storybook. How many cousins does one doll need??

      I think it would be much better if they just stuck to a canon lineup and kept that going for years, instead of just mentioning a character once and then “throwing them away.” I would really like to see Aunt Millicent again!

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      1. Yes, I would love to see her Aunt Millicent again too! I wonder if they ever will feature her again? Also, I think they should stick to a canon lineup. It would simplify things a great deal! (Oh, and yes, I actually have heard of her cousin Kirsten. I was just looking through Amazon one day, happened to come across it, clicked on it, and read the preview they offered. I was like “who in the world is Kristen?” Apparently in the book, Barbie helps her prepare for her wedding. I believe the title was called “Barbie: The Wedding Party” or something like that.)

        Honestly, I’d love to see maybe a special/Dreamhouse Adventures episode where Barbie and her sisters travel somewhere with a cooler climate than California. I suppose they won’t though, because most of the latter movies featuring the four of them were very “summer themed”. To me, as a person living in North Carolina, where we usually get at least a little snow in January or February, it would make things more relatable. And, on top of that, my dad and I live about 3 hours from the beach. Though, thankfully, our summers are pretty warm. It gets to, like, 95 degrees! Perfect pool weather! (And, when we do get to the beach, the trips are much more memorable because they don’t happen as often : )

        And, I know I’m focusing this post too much on myself, but there’s something I thought I should mention. Some, if not, most thing are not going to be relatable to me, but that’s probably because I attend a school with only about 250 students, (which includes kindergarten all through 12th grade!), and there are only 7 people in my 9th grade class! Although, in my opinion, it’s better that way, because it allows me more time to really get to know my classmates as well as teachers. After all, it’s all how you view things that affects your attitude. Or, as Barbie would say, “Positive Attitude Changes Everything!”

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      2. Whoa, that’s not very many at all! My 9th grade classes usually had 30-35 people, and now I am at college, there are classes of 400! I imagine it would be difficult with only 7 people -what if you had a fight with someone and everyone in your class was angry with you? But like you said, it would be nice getting to know everyone really well.

        I would love a colder special as well! Aside from Magic of Pegasus and the Winter-themed episodes of LitD, we really haven’t had anything with snow or “cold-ness,” so I agree that would be really good! We’ve had lots of summer / beach episodes, so it’s only fair 😉

        Yes! The wedding book was where I heard about her. I saw it in Target, but I didn’t want to buy it, so I just read it in the store lmao 😂

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  2. Yeah, I know what you mean…7 people isn’t really a lot. Though we all, for the most part, get along really well. : )

    One thing I thought I should mention is the fact that I’ve attended my school since kindergarten, so I’ve grown up with quite a few people. Besides that, the teachers are all really, really nice. Some of them even tell jokes in class sometimes! Although we always get right back to work.

    Another aspect of my school is how the buildings are arranged. 7th-12th grades are located in one area, and 6th and under are located in another area. So, while there are only 7 people in my grade, I’m around others of different grade levels every day.

    Actually, going into 7th grade is a pretty big deal at my school. Once a kid is in 7th grade, he or she is finally considered a “middle schooler”, begin courses with more than one teacher, and begins using a locker for the first time.

    Pardon me if I sound too self-centered, but I just wanted to clarify a few things. Also…have you ever taken a foreign language? It’s a requirement at my school to take two years of Spanish, which can be pretty challenging, but also really fun. I think our teacher helps. (She’s only 28 years old!)

    One more quick thing. You might have noticed how my identification (above my comment) now says “Sarah Jane”. Sarah is my first legal name and Jane is my middle name. When I was a little girl, my dad called me “SJ” as a nickname for “Sarah Jane”. I always thought my name was unoriginal when compared to other girls I knew,(There’s this one girl in my grade named Tirzah!) but now I’m trying to accept it more. For some reason, when I was younger, I always wanted my name to be “Abigail”. It’s pretty weird, I know. The only reason I can think of is that there is this other girl in my grade, and her middle name is Abigail. Anyway, that was quite a rant! Lol!

    Pace! (I’ve always loved how you end each post with Barbie’s vlog acronym!)

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    1. Yes, I learnt French for 10 years (although I have forgotten everything now), and I am learning Japanese at the moment. I tried to learn Spanish for a little while but then I gave up 😛

      American schools sound so confusing haha, but there are lots of things that I am envious of too. Like cafeterias! And football!

      Pace xx

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      1. We actually don’t have any sports teams at my school. We used to, but I guess it got to be too expensive. But, we do, of course, get to play sports at gym class.

        My school isn’t your typical American school, though. It’s a privately-owned school, as opposed to the government-run schools. I’ve never seen that as an issue, though, because my school scores equal with (if not above), the public schools on the required standardized tests we take each year.

        Plus, I think I’m really attached to my school because not only have I grown up there, but my older cousin Brittany did, as well. Most of my teachers also taught her. But then again, it’s not surprising since the school has existed for over 40 years!

        You’re learning Japanese? Wow, that sounds really difficult, even more difficult than Spanish! Also, what do you think of my going by “Sarah Jane” now? I’ll admit it’s an old-fashioned name, but Sarah means “Princess”, which I think is unique enough! And, besides, most of my friends at my school and teachers address me as “Sarah”, so I guess it seems fitting enough.

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