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The best of Barbie
on 21 September 2005
Let's get the perspective clear from the start: I grew up despising Barbie in all her guises - her only discernable use was as legitimate target practice for my action man. I resisted all things Barbie until my daughter was introduced to her via this exposition at a friend's house and Santa caved in on her fourth Christmas. Seen through the eyes of a parent, this film does terrible things to Tchaikovsky's masterpiece - cutsie animals, lavender unicorns and a changed ending but my daughter was captivated by this, the best of the series. By that magic ability that six-year-old girls possess that enables them to wrap fathers round their little fingers, she has since added most of the others, though this remains the favourite.
If you can bear to be in the room whilst it's on, there are positives - the animation is remarkably good, particularly in the dance scenes and, of course, the music remains as one of the best ballet scores ever. Another plus is that she couldn't wait to see the real thing on stage and had a much better understanding of the plot and music than she might otherwise have had. Much as it sticks in the craw to recommend anything Barbie, if you have pink-flavoured offspring aged four to eight with any interest in ballet this is an investment that will give you hours of peace and will probably exceed your expectations in all respects.