Hello, Spongey here.
Well, it’s that time of year once again. Yep…it’s time to peddle Red Ribbon Reviewers once again! For the past couple years I’ve been doing this, so why stop now? You should all know about this by this point….but I suppose I can repeat it again.
Here’s the info dump for the site: “Red Ribbon Reviewers began in September, 2010 as a way for internet based video reviewers to spread awareness and discussion on HIV and AIDS. Through the simple act of wearing a red ribbon during video reviews, it is hoped that this small but potent symbol will be recognized and discussed and that proper information about HIV, AIDS and its prevention be provided. “
Yeah, I thought I’d try to you know, pitch in for once by doing the same thing I always do….but with a ribbon at the top of a review. It helps, I swear!
Jokes aside, this thing is pretty cool hence why I have been doing it since 2012 with the Batman Returns review. It’s a nice cause, you know? I plan to keep doing this as long as I am able to do a review in December, and despite what may happen, I will do so.
This year I’ll do even more for them, as long with 5 reviews I’ll have my look at Disney Sitcom and Cartoon Episodes coming eventually. …That should be fun. With that said, I’m so happy it’s finally December.
I make a fairly big deal out of Christmas over here. As soon as December begins, it’s nothing but Christmas. The blog is no different, with all my Christmas reviews. I have some interesting ones planned, with tie ins and some I actually wanted to do!
And what better way to begin this jolly month than with…Barbie. Dang it. Back in July, I spent the movie reviewing films from the Direct to Video Barbie Franchise.
I expected the worst….and they were just mediocre. They weren’t awful, but they were just …there. Some were funny bad, but typically they were just boring. Pandering, but in a hugely insulting way. Just in a typical way.
I was disappointed. Because of that, I have no plans to do the other movies, mostly because there’s like 30 of them. But I simply had to do at least one more, because why not. And when I saw that it’s first real Christmas entry was, I know I had to do it.
Released in 2008, this was part of the first Era of Barbie movies whee each film was an adaptation of a classic story. They already did The Nutcracker, so it makes sense for the Christmas Episode to be A Christmas Carol!
Yeah, it’s no shock that would go that route. A Christmas Carol is one of most overused story ever, but we still love it because it’s such a good story. Hell, I’ve done it….twice, sort of.
While I’m sure this will just be a dull straight adaptation, I just wanted to see what Barbie did with it. Plus, Barbie plays the Scrooge role. Barbie is Scrooge. That HAS to be the best thing ever!
The director and writer have only Barbie stuff, which isn’t too shocking. Let’s dive into it and see if Barbie can bring us Christmas cheer, or just bring out my inner scrooge.
This, is Barbie In A Christmas Carol
After a long title sequence, the movie opens with Barbie telling her sister Kelly to get ready for some charity ball thing. First off, the animation is pretty wonky looking here. At least when it comes to the character’s movements.
Kelly isn’t feeling the Christmas spirit, because she wants to stay home like she usually does. She’s acting pretty selfish here. It’s not like they are doing anything crazy. Barbie points out that they will go to a big party and help a good cause (this will raise money for hospitals or something) but Kelly is still being a brat.
Well, I hate at least one character already.
Barbie hands her a snow glob and launches nto a story about how a girl discovered the beauty of Christmas. Yes, we are using the same formula from the other Era 1 Barbie films. I thought they ditched it by 2008, or at least learned to not be as forced with it’s set up.
How hard is it to make someone act like a Christmas Scrooge to get things started?
Our real story takes place in Victorian England, as we meet Edin Starling, the most famous singing star in all England. I don’t why but “Singing Star” sounds a bit off. Like something I would say when I can’t think of a better phrase.
“She was beautiful, talented…and incredibly full of herself”
Sounds like my kind of woman!
“I hate Christmas!”
I will randomly proclaim my opinion because the audience must know this!
She rambles on her with her horribly fake accent, as we see she naturally has an evil cat named Chuzzlewit. …Random Dickens reference is random, but okay.
“Where’s my tea and crumpets?”
Oh good, she’s British ,i was worried that with that accent she was French!
We cut to some of the other theater people as they are getting ready for Christmas, and one guy wants to ask out this one girl. But of course they are interrupted by Edin barging in and ruining their fun.
Being A Christmas Carol, Edin wants them to work on Christmas ans they don’t like that. Also, one of these guys is French, because the bad British accent was not enough.
Edin’s closest friend whose name I forgot, tries to change her mind but she won’t budge. Honestly, the accent is becoming a problem. She would be way more enjoyable horrible if she sounded natural.
We get a couple minor hints of humanity mixed in with the horrible stuff, so at least the writer knows how to hint on what may developed later as her part of her growth. Also, I love how she was petting her cat like a Bond villain.
Oh, she said the line!
So after making everyone miserable because she feels like it, Edin goes home to get some sleep. Barbie is then visited by the ghost of her Aunt Marie, who is covered in chains.
…Well, that was fast. And Barbie has no reaction to see a ghost just pop up out of nowhere.
“They’re the chains I’ve formed in life.”
Unless Statlor and Waldorf sing about it, I’m not interested.
Aunt Marie is the one who taught her that being selfish is good, but now she wants her to change. She says seeing Edin made her realize how wrong she was, which is fair, I guess. Although you think the chains would have bothered her more.
Edin gets mad, saying the real Aunt Marie wouldn’t say that and only now does she question the ghost thing.
As expected, Marie says she is sending three spirits to help her realize the error of her ways. Well, our story has now begun. Will the rest manage to be as gripping as the original?
…Doubt it, but let’s move on anyway.
Sure enough, later that night Barbie is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, who looks like a slightly younger girl ….How creative. And of course, she is voiced by Tabtihia St Germain. Can’t have a Barbie movie without ponies!
Barbie doesn’t really have a chance to react as she is taken to her Christmas past.
“I’m a huge fan of yours!”
Oh great, the Ghost of Fangirls past.
They bring the cat long for some bad comedy that ruins the moments. We quickly see that as a little girl, Edin was pretty much bossed around by Aunt Marie and didn’t have much of a Christmas.
So yeah, we’ve now established that it’s someone else’s fault she hates Christmas. Ot quite as interesting as all the crap Scrooge went through…
Also, we do sometimes pop back in with Kelly as she pretty much exclaims how the audience should feel. Great writing, right there.
Moving on, we see more of Past Barbie’s troubles as she was forced to work on Christmas, and tried to visit a friend. Also, even though no one can see or hear them, this dog tries to attack the cat.’
Guess even Barbies buys into the dogs see ghost theory.
“People can’t, animals are more sensitive”
You win this round, Barbie. Also, that dog is very dead eyed.
We then get more padding with the cat, then padding with Young Edin and the friend doing some show thingy they did every year. Something the ghost is waaay too excited about it.
I swear, she freaks out or makes weird Robin Williams noises every 5 seconds she is on screen.
This part starts to have a point as Edin realizes how happy her talents made everyone, and how she did it for that reason instead of just being famous. Could have done it without making it feel padded.
Of course, Marie pop up to take her home. We jump back to the present as Barbie can just tell us what happened instead of having us experience it. This whole thing helped turned Edin into the Scrooge she is today.
Eh, a nice try but I do feel it’s a bit forced and lady to just some evil chick rub off on her. Can’t say I expected anything better, though.
After all of that, Edin wants to get some sleep but The Ghost of Christmas Present (voiced by Kathleen Barr) pops in. She is a big woman who has a lot of instruments floating around. A bit better but still nothing special.
Edin doesn’t have time to protest as they go through a portal….to get to the present. Even ghosts are too lazy to just fly nowadays!
Of course, they visit her worker people who are ….not too pleased about having to work for Christmas. My guess is this section will be a bit more typical as Edin sees how miserable her workers are, and how especially bad her closest friend has it.
Because nothing interesting is happening with the workers, they head outside and see said closest friend, Catherine talking to a friend about Edin. She says Edin drives her crazy but she calms down when she remembers all the good times they have had.
“I can get mad at her, but I can’t hate her’
Ah. the Lars excuse. She was nice in the past, so you can’t get rid of that idea no matter what she does. Just…don’t fire her eat fire donuts.
Because we need to show her as nice, Catherine gives presents to Orphans. It’s as forced as it sounds. To drive point home, we are told the Orphanage might close down. Will Hulk Hogan save them, or it will it be puppies or some shit?
After a bit of that, the present segment is done. …Well, that was short but that’s typical for this kind of story. We already know the present is weak, Scrooge just needs to quickly see just how messed up things are with him like this. So I can forgive it this time.
Then we waste no time as The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come pops right after. It’s as quick as I’m saying it, seriously.
The Ghost of Christmas Future is a kindly old lady, and stop right there. I’m cool with her being a woman and talking but…kindly? Did you just miss the entire point of this segment right off the bat?
I know this is for little girls, but come on, she should be at least a little scary. If she takes her on a coaster ride, I’m out. As they go through the portal, she says that every little choice can change the future, and this is just the most likely on.
Well, you’re already answered of the whole “will be, or may be” question. Good going.
In the future, Edin fires her workers and everything goes downhill from there. We finally see the ultimate future, and of course she’s all alone. Eh, I can see why they didn’t want to show her dead.
Although she doesn’t look much older. Having her be much older would have made this hit harder. Future Edin finds out that Catherine has become success, so she visits her …only to find she is now as bad as she was. Yikes.
Catherine makes way for a way more fun Scrooge than Barbie, by the way. This does an okay job at showing how bad Edin was, so I’ll give them a point here. Although the Orphanage stuff if still a bit over the top.
To cap it all off, the cat leaves Edin for Catherine. NO, NOT THAT CAT! I can take the bitchy-y Catherine, and the orphanage being shut down, BUT MUST YOU TAKE THE CAT?!
Catherine throws him out, thank god. I don’t I could live without that furball in Edin’s life. So her big moment that make Edin want to change, is seeing her poor itself walk away as a her best friend is a bitch.
Eh…fine enough I suppose. It’s about as good as it’ll get in a Barbie movie, really. But even a kids movie could have this be scarier with the ghost, come on.
With that, she begs for another chance and wakes up on Christmas morning. She doesn’t ask a kid what day it is, but she does want to go shopping. Hmm, this whole change was a bit rushed even for a barely hour long film, but whatever, we’re almost done.
She arrives at work and gives her workers presents, as well as the day off. We have our scene of her being very nice and showing how she has learned her lesson, and she goes to see the Orphans sing or whatever.
“God Bless us, everyone!”
I don’t know if I should snark about how of course that in there….or be shocked that god is mentioned in a Barbie movie.
Everyone is beyond happy to see Edin make a change for the better, especially Catherine as she gets to see her family for Christmas. Also, that one guy asks her out. Glad that pointless bit was resolved.’
This is dragged out to make up for the rushed bits in the rest of the film, which I suppose is okay. It at least shows us the change in the character and how she learned to love Christmas and all that.
Then the ghosts pop in a snow globe to sing us an ending song. …Okay. Also, the Ghost of Christmas Future now sings. Ugh.
Of course, this songs gives us a nice bit to end, on, showing the progression, the ghosts, and the Christmas stuff. How does this have a better ending than must movies I I cover?
Hell, it captures the spirit more than Santa Buddies ever could. …Although it’s not quite the ending cuz….yeah we have Kelly to deal with. Almost forgot about her!
Kelly has learned for the 1000th time not to be a brat, but now she has Christmas Spirit on top of that. Barbie and Kelly leave for their thingy, as we get the OMG IT’S REAL bit with the ghosts.
And that’s the end. I must say, the Kelly stuff was even weaker than usual. I don’t think we needed. The way I sum this up makes this film sound a bit rushed….and it is despite being roughly an hour and 12 minutes, but whatever, we’re done.
(Also, Deck the Halls plays in the credits just so they can say that the word Gay is in a Barbie movie. And yes, we have another Barbie quote at the end. She never even said any of these things!)
Honestly, of all the Barbie movies I’ve done, this was the objective best, as it’s the closest to reaching it’s intended point. Now, it’s not good at all, but it’s mostly just…meh. Very average, which is a problem and a good thing.
First off, the animation is a bit better than some of the other ones, but the movements are really wonk-y. Still ,it looks passable.
. The voice acting isn’t quite as good as the other ones, and they couldn’t bother to either have Kelly Sheridan do a British Accent, or get an actual British VA. I almost made a joke about me seeing Starlight time travel twice in a one week, but nope, they didn’t have her be the lead.
This one tries a bit harder to capture it’s source materiel, and to be honest, sometimes it’s not too bad. There are a few bits where it really tries to be nice and capture that Christmas feeling.
However, it could have been better. The wrap around stuff is pointless, and some segments are too rushed and don’t give the weight that section needed. The ending makes the development stronger than anything in the main story.
They gave it a nice try but it could have been paced and written. I know they want stick to the original to be respectful, but you should either do something crazy and different, or write it perfectly.
This don’t either, so it’s just very forgettable. They gave it a good try, but as it is I won’t remember this thing when I’m done. While it is the least flawed Barbie movie, I would actually rather watch something like Princess Power because it’s at least funny with it’s flaws.
This one is just boring. Not bad, but nothing special either. Meh.
Well, I am officially done with Barbie forever. But I must say I am disappointed. That wasn’t as bad, nor even as funny as I thought it would be. I need something that will actually be bad…
…Yeah, Swan Princess Christmas should do the trick. Pray for me.