Photo: Barbie

Ever since her 1959 release, Barbie has taken the world by storm. Her brand has adapted over the years to fit the trends of the current time period. Being around for so many decades has allowed Barbie to make a name for herself and build an exciting franchise. She’s even gotten her own movies and shows in the past, but nothing as big as Greta Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’. Audiences are captivated by the movie, and couldn’t wait for the July release.

From dolls to movies, Barbie’s made quite the empire for herself. Who knew that one little toy would go on to change the world. Barbie went against the grain of baby dolls by providing girls with the doll of a woman. Instead of girls mothering a toy baby, they were able to live vicariously through a doll of a woman. Barbie is a form of free expression, she allows and motivates children to be whatever they want to be. How impactful will Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ be on the franchise? Stratospherically, as proven.

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Beginnings Vs. Modern Day
The first ever Barbie doll was the start of an era. She wore a black and white swimsuit, white sunglasses, and had her hair pulled back in a ponytail with her bangs curled. If this sounds familiar, it’s because this doll is referenced in the new film. The original Barbie dolls had smaller, narrower eyes, and more serious faces. There’s no doubt that she’s adapted over time. Over the years, Barbie’s appearances have been altered not only to fit the current trends, but to please their targeted audience. Barbie’s today are a lot more diverse than they used to be. They now come in different heights, body sizes, and hair types. There’s even some disabled Barbies! Now, not only can Barbie be anything, Barbie can be anyone.

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While the iconic blonde we all love is still the face of the franchise, the brand is branching out towards other appearances. It’s great that kids today can grow up with these varying types of Barbie dolls, allowing them to see that there’s different kinds of people that exist in the world. Not every woman is skinny and blonde with blue eyes, so allowing different types of Barbies lets children find dolls they look more similar to and be empowered by their heritage.

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Advancing

Barbie’s been known for not only her dolls, but also her very iconic animated movies. Over the years, Barbie has been in 40 animated films alongside some animated shows. Lots of fans grew up watching her movies, and feel a strong sense of nostalgia and connection towards the films. While the animation doesn’t hold up to today’s standards, the stories are still well loved amongst the fandom. In most Barbie stories, she’s playing a character of a different name. This allows for Barbie to live many adventures without them needing to connect to one another. But, because Barbie’s telling the story of another girl, we don’t get to see the type of life Barbie lives, other than Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse. The girl who has and does everything hardly has any stories about her own life.

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What kind of life will Margot Robbie’s Barbie have? Part of why the new movie looks so exciting is because it’s about Barbie herself and the world she lives in. She’s surrounded by other Barbie dolls and merchandise, but wants something new for a change. Without providing any spoilers, we finally get to see the life of the girl herself and what it’s like to be a doll in her universe.Are the people in this universe all living dolls, similar to Toy Story? Or are they all humans who have this doll-like way of life? Whatever the answer is, one thing’s for sure. This movie is going to bring Barbie to life in a brand new way and breathe life back into the franchise.

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Today

For the past couple of years, Barbie’s fame has been declining. There’s been several other dolls that have been put on the market that have rivaled Barbie’s success, such as Bratz, Monster High, Rainbow High, and LOL Surprise dolls. Even though Barbie is still a classic, beloved icon, she wasn’t doing as well and she used to. Each of these other franchises offers something different and unique to their dolls, making them worthy competitors. Gerwig’s ‘Barbie’ has the opportunity to revive the franchise for older, nostalgic fans and create interest within newer ones. While the movie is striking excitement among teenagers and young adults, will it be enjoyed by children as well?

So Far

From every current promotion for the movie, it’s looking like it’ll be a hit among fans. With stars like Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, and Michael Cera, the casting is looking pretty good. It’s been made clear in the promos that Barbie is everything, following the trend that Barbie can quite frankly do anything and be anyone, due to her vast career experience and appearance changes. Ken is depicted as just being Ken, which some people have been confused about or acted like that seems hurtful. There’s nothing wrong with Ken just being Ken. In the Barbie franchise, Barbie is a girl who can and does anything she wants with no limitations, but Ken is just Barbie’s supportive boyfriend. It’s Barbie’s world and Ken is just living in it. Ken is allowed to be just a guy that exists in the universe without being equally matched to Barbie. He’s Barbie’s trophy boyfriend that everyone loves, and saying he’s “just Ken” is supposed to be taken comedically, not as a critical insult.

Anticipation

Looking forward to the film? You should be. Obsessed with the film? You should be. It has become teh hit fun movie of the summer, and could possibly be an iconic cinematic masterpiece that people will love and cherish forever. Greta Gerwig is the most profitable female film director ever. Enough said.

By Veronica Waddell

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”

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Author

  • Veronica Waddell is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in English and a passion for writing as well as film. She loves seeing what story each film has to offer and dissecting them to critically analyze all they have to offer. Veronica never bases her thoughts on rumor or gossip in hopes of getting views, which she loves about The Hollywood Insider. She’s an honest, positive girl who bases all her arguments on truth and fact, and tries to see the good in everything in order to build things up. While she enjoys entertainment of many kinds, she’s fond of children’s media because of how light-hearted and fun it is, and that’s what she enjoys reporting on most. It is her goal to work in children’s media to help entertain them today and create a memorable childhood for them in the future. 

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