Top positive review
16 people found this helpful
A huge hit with my children
on 21 May 2007
Having rented all three of these films individually for my children, with whom they were immensely popular, I will be buying this triple set.
At the moment we are renting the most recent film "Magic of the Rainbow" which if my judgement were what mattered is the weakest of the three, but my son and daughter absolutely love it and I have lost count of the number of times they have watched it in the past week.
If I were rating thre three films in the "Fairytopia" sequence individually I would give them:
Fairytopia - four stars
Mermaidia - five stars
Magic of the Rainbow - three stars.
Before we first rented one of the Barbie videos for my daughter, I was expecting them to be trite, over-commercialised, over-sugary and over here. In general, however, I have been pleasantly surprised.
Yes, they do have a lot of commercial spin-offs and a high saccharine count, but the quality of the Barbie films we have subsequently bought or rented, including all three "Fairytopia" films, was significantly higher than I had expected. They have not just kept my children engrossed for hours - including my son as well as my daughter - but introduced them to some beautiful stories. Several, and Mermaidia is one of these, also introduced my children to some truly wonderful music.
On more than one occasion I have been listening to a CD of a classic such as Beethoven's pastoral symphony, or "The Queen of the Night's aria" from Mozart's opera "The Magic Flute", and my five year old daughter has recognised and expressed appreciation of the music, and correctly remembered which Barbie film had used it. ("Magic of Pegasus" and "Mermaidia" respectively.)
My main reason for being disappointed with the third film in this set, "Magic of the rainbow" is that it did not continue this tradition: no great classics this time, the musical score is just competently written filler.
All three films tell the story of a Barbie as a good fairy, and her "puffball" companion, as they seek to protect the land of the fairies (Fairytopia) from being taken over and ruined by the evil Laverna.
During her adventures Barbie has to earn her wings, travel to the land of the mermaids, and then take part in the ceremony which brings the Spring.
Those people who enjoy criticising the way Mattel operate the Barbie franchise will not have much difficulty finding things in these films to sneer at. If you, or more importantly your kids, are allergic to an excess of twee sweetness, then these DVDs and the Barbie videos generally may not be for them.
All the female characters are all on the thin side of plausibility: I'm not worried that watching this is going to give my own daughter anorexia as she likes food too much and has a good sense of the difference between fantasy and reality. And after all, the characters in this story are fairies, complete with wings, or mermaids, complete with tails! However, if you are worried that your children may be forming an unrealistic idea about how thin a healthy female body shape is, it is not quite impossible that this product may contribute to it.
But on the plus side: these films are beautifully made, and will hold the attention of most small children for long enough for the typical exhausted parent to clear the mess they have made in several rooms of the house or collapse for an hour's rest after doing so. And there are still a few more sophisticated jokes thrown in, so you won't be completely bored to death if you decide to watch it with your offspring.
As mentioned, having rented the titles individually to try them out, I will be buying this triple set for my children, and would recommend it to any parents of little girls who enjoy tales of magic, playing with barbie dolls, or both.