This is a nice movie for little girls. My four year old absolutely loves it. Of course it has Barbie and fairies so it was an instant hit. As any mom who has to watch movies over and over again I appreciate quality in children's movies and look for movies my daughter will love and I will not go crazy watching reapeatedly. My daughter truly enjoys the movie. It was a let down for me.
The movie is 70 minutes long (compared to 78 min for Nutcracker, 83 min for Rapunzel, 83 min for Swan Lake, and 85 min for Princess and the Pauper) and seems to be meant as a set-up for a series of Fairytopia movies and to sell fairytopia dolls. (if you see the feature in called Meet New Friends, or something along those lines, it shows many of the products related to the line, which is one the most shameless promotions I've seen for the series. No inspirational true life stories of girls achieving their goals or anything of the sort in this one, unlike some of the previous movies which did include some nice extras).
The movie introduces a lot of characters that are not at all developed and has a very flimsy story. I guess that is why I am not giving it 5 stars. I've seen what Barbie movies can be, and this one was not the best. The previous four Barbie movies based on classic stories are wonderful. I can watch them with my daughter every time and do not get tired of them. They are extremely well developed for this kind of movie. They used well known voice talents that brought a certain credibility to the movies which I had not expected when I first saw them advertised. This one is not in the same level as the previous four. It is sort of like the difference between Disney's Aladdin and the two sequels. The sequels were not bad, but they just were not as well produced as the first one. While the first four Barbie movies were almost flawless within their category of little girl movies, and actually raised the bar in quality animation and storytelling within said category, Barbie Fairytopia is just one more movie for your child's collection. Not really one to stand out.
After all is taken into consideration, Barbie Fairytopia is a cute movie with a nice message. Little kids will more than likely want to see it again and again. Little girls will probably want to dress up as Barbie - Elina for Halloween this year and want Fairytopia birthday parties. It is deffinitely not a waste of money. It is just not as good as the previous Barbie movies.
I just hope that Barbie's next movie, Barbie and the Magic of Pegassus (scheduled for fall 2005 release), is more like the kind of movie we have come to expect from the franchise.