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4.8 out of 5 stars
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 13 November 2008
My daughter is 5 and she loves all the Barbie movies. We have them all on DVD and she watches them a lot. Sometimes kids films are hard for an adult to enjoy but the Barbie ones are all so well done and written that I don't mind watching them with her. This is a re-telling of the Charles Dickens story and they have adapted it for young girls. There is no grim reaper style spirit and they don't show the character's death so it is much nicer. Heartwarming tale about the true meaning of Christmas. Any little girl would love this movie.
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on 11 November 2008
I am a massive fan of Christmas and was planning on keeping this DVD wrapped up for my daughters Christmas Pressie but I couldn't resist a sneak peak! The film is fabulous, Barbie plays a fantastic Diva, Eden Starling, (the traditional Scrooge character), a far cry from her usual roles which results in some great comedy. With the Christmas Carols and festive look I am even more in the mood for Christmas! This film should have great family appeal and I highly reccomend it!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 December 2008
This latest Barbie video, a gender-reversed version of Dickens' story "A Christmas Carol", has all the high production values and beautiful animation of the recent films, put together with a wicked sense of humour and with some delightful performances of many favourite Christmas Carols.

I'm not quite sure whether to describe this as a homage to Charles Dickins' original story, a spoof/parody, or something in between. Although most of the Barbie videos have included a few jokes and references which were obviously aimed at any adults watching with their daughters, and some of which were quite amusing, this one IMHO is far and away the funniest Barbie video to date. Maybe it just particularly hit my sense of humour, but in spite of the fact that I'm forty years older and the wrong sex compared with the target demographic, this film repeatedly had me laughing out loud.

Rather more importantly my seven year old twins also enjoyed this film and laughed at many of the jokes, and although he now feels obliged to protest when we put a Barbie video on, I noted that my son was laughing as much as my daughter.

It's also a really good Christmas family film if you have small children, and one which will probably become part of my family Christmas until the children are too old to appreciate it.

The story is bookended on Christmas Eve in modern America, with Barbie trying to enthuse her little sister Shelley with the Christmas spirit. They are due to go out to a charity auction for a hospital, and Shelley is not happy at the change to her routine. Barbie gives her a snow globe which contains three fairies dancing in the snow and plays "We wish you a merry Christmas." Barbie explains how this globe is connected with the story of how one girl learned about the Christmas spirit more than a hundred years ago in Victorian London ...

Eden Starling (who is the Ebenezer scrooge figure) was the most successful opera singer in Britain and ran her own theatre. She was beautiful and had the voice of an angel, but was also ruthless, selfish, and very self-centred. She had been raised by her Aunt Maria (the Marley figure) to work hard to further her career and ignore the needs of everyone else on the basis that "In a selfish world, the selfish succeed."

At the start of the story, also on Christmas Eve, Eden is refusing to allow the staff of her theatre to take any holiday over Christmas, and warning them that any who fail to come in and rehearse over the holiday, even on Christmas Day, will face the sack. The only living thing for which she shows any concern is her snooty cat, Chuzzlewit, and she treats even her childhood friend Catherine Beednall with cruelty and contempt.

But that evening she gets a visit from the ghost of her Aunt Maria. In Dickens' original story, the selfishness which corrupted Scrooge, Marley, and others took the form of greed for financial security, represented by gold: in this version it mainly takes the form of vanity and ego, and so instead of chains linked to boxes of gold, Aunt Maria's chains are linked to mirrors in which she is reflected.

Aunt Maria tells Eden that the philosophy of selfishness she had taught Eden in life was wrong, and that three spirits will come to her that evening to show her why. These turn out to look just like the figures in the snow globe which Barbie had given Shelley in the opening scene of the film and which, it transpires, Eden had been given by Catherine when they were both little girls.

The gender-reversed presentation of the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future is hysterical. Christmas Past looks like a fairy but talks like a cockney barrow-girl, also happens to be a huge fan of Eden Starling and cannot conceal the fact. Christmas Present is rather like an enormous Essex or Kent farmer's wife, similar to Pam Ferris's character Ma Larkin in "The Darling Buds of May". Christmas Future, rather than the sinister hooded figure of the original, is a dignified society lady.

Between them they remind Eden both of the warm-hearted person she used to be, and how and why that spirit was crushed out of her, and warn her of how her cold and ruthless egotism threatens to destroy her.

Instead of Tiny Tim we have Tiny Tammy, one of the orphans for whom Catherine is organising a christmas show, but who like the rest of these orphans faces an uncertain future.

The quality of the animation of this DVD is so good that much of the humour is presented in the expressions and movements of the characters, though there are a few very good lines. For example, as the spirit of Christmas Past is flying with Eden and Chuzzlewit through a sort of extra-dimensional tunnel which is taking them back in time, she tells Eden how big a fan she is of her music and adds that for her to be such a huge fan of Eden's must seem very strange. Eden looks around at their supernatural surroundings and replies with dry understatement that for the spirit to be a fan of hers was not the part of this experience which is strange.

Chuzzlewit the cat also provides some slapstick comic relief throughout the film, with several running gags such as his propensity to jump on anything which looks like food, such as decorations on the elaborate dress worn by the spirit of Christmas Present which look like sweets.

Throughout the DVD there is a string of Christmas music, composed and arranged by Arnie Roth, with delightful performances of carols including "Deck the Halls", "We Wish you a Merry Christmas", "O Tannenbaum", and "Jolly Old St Nicholas."

DVD extras on the disc include a medley of the christmas carols on the disc with words on the screen so that the viewer can sing along, a number of Christmas games, and a "secret scene" from the previous Barbie DVD, "The Diamond Castle" in which the two puppies, Lily and Sparkles, are painting the ballroom of the castle pink.

As usual, those people who enjoy criticising what the Barbie franchise represents will not have much difficulty finding things in this production to sneer at. If you, or more importantly your kids, are allergic to an excess of twee sweetness, then this film and the Barbie videos generally may not be for them. As usual the the female characters are mostly on the thin side of plausibility.

Barbie is often accused of reinforcing gender stereotyping, but I don't think the charge is entirely fair. In the case of this film, in which almost all the characters are female and taking on roles which were male in the original, this criticism is just not applicable.

Different people have different senses of humour, so it may be unrealistic to expect that all adults will enjoy this as much as I did, but I'm quite certain that the vast majority of little girls will love this film, and most other people will not find it any hardship to watch it with the little girls in your family, especially at Christmas.
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on 17 July 2013
I've bought this for a stocking filler for Xmas. This was advertised a lot cheaper than I could buy it in the shops. It arrived well within the times stated, packaged well & for that I would recommend both product & seller.
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on 29 August 2013
Was bought for kids to watch as they love animated Barbie films.
Was really good to watch with family and to have to watch whenever we choose is good to.
Have recommended to friends and family
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on 19 December 2012
Im looking forward to watching this withe my Grandaughters on Sunday when they come, So I will re write this review after Christmas. we have finally watched this film and my grandaughters loved it kept them glued to the television.
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on 29 June 2013
Bought for my daughter's 5th birthday - in June!! This was the only film in the Barbie series she hadn't seen so she was desperate to get it, and has watched it several times already- a big hit. Not one of my favourite Barbie films but any girl who's a fan will love it!
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on 25 December 2010
Yet another lovely variant of the Christmas Carol, well.. with only slight references to the original story but still (reducing most of the scenes with the ghosts to one or so scenes from the original), a beautiful Xmas tale that brings many a tear to the eyes. Not a keen fan of the 3D rendering but it was still a very enjoyable Xmas Barbie tale and a totally recommended purchase.
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This latest Barbie video, a gender-reversed version of Dickens' story "A Christmas Carol", has all the high production values and beautiful animation of the recent films, put together with a wicked sense of humour and with some delightful performances of many favourite Christmas Carols.

I'm not quite sure whether to describe this as a homage to Charles Dickins' original story, a spoof/parody, or something in between. Although most of the Barbie videos have included a few jokes and references which were obviously aimed at any adults watching with their daughters, and some of which were quite amusing, this one IMHO is far and away the funniest Barbie video to date. Maybe it just particularly hit my sense of humour, but in spite of the fact that I'm forty years older and the wrong sex compared with the target demographic, this film repeatedly had me laughing out loud.

Rather more importantly my seven year old twins also enjoyed this film and laughed at many of the jokes, and although he now feels obliged to protest when we put a Barbie video on, I noted that my son was laughing as much as my daughter.

It's also a really good Christmas family film if you have small children, and one which will probably become part of my family Christmas until the children are too old to appreciate it.

The story is bookended on Christmas Eve in modern America, with Barbie trying to enthuse her little sister Shelley with the Christmas spirit. They are due to go out to a charity auction for a hospital, and Shelley is not happy at the change to her routine. Barbie gives her a snow globe which contains three fairies dancing in the snow and plays "We wish you a merry Christmas." Barbie explains how this globe is connected with the story of how one girl learned about the Christmas spirit more than a hundred years ago in Victorian London ...

Eden Starling (who is the Ebenezer scrooge figure) was the most successful opera singer in Britain and ran her own theatre. She was beautiful and had the voice of an angel, but was also ruthless, selfish, and very self-centred. She had been raised by her Aunt Maria (the Marley figure) to work hard to further her career and ignore the needs of everyone else on the basis that "In a selfish world, the selfish succeed."

At the start of the story, also on Christmas Eve, Eden is refusing to allow the staff of her theatre to take any holiday over Christmas, and warning them that any who fail to come in and rehearse over the holiday, even on Christmas Day, will face the sack. The only living thing for which she still shows any concern is her snooty cat, Chuzzlewit, and she treats even her childhood friend Catherine Beednall with cruelty and contempt.

But that evening she gets a visit from the ghost of her Aunt Maria. In Dickens' original story, the selfishness which corrupted Scrooge, Marley, and others took the form of greed for gold: in this version it mainly takes the form of vanity and ego, and so instead of chains linked to boxes of gold, Aunt Maria's chains are linked to mirrors in which she is reflected.

Aunt Maria tells Eden that the philosophy of selfishness she had taught Eden in life was wrong, and that three spirits will come to her that evening to show her why. These turn out to look just like the figures in the snow globe which Barbie had given Shelley in the opening scene of the film and which, it transpires, Eden had been given by Catherine when they were both little girls.

The gender-reversed presentation of the spirits of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Future is hysterical. Christmas Past looks like a fairy but talks like a cockney barrow-girl, also happens to be a huge fan of Eden Starling and cannot conceal the fact. Christmas Present is rather like an enormous Essex or Kent farmer's wife, similar to Pam Ferris's character Ma Larkin in "The Darling Buds of May". Christmas Future, rather than the sinister hooded figure of the original, is a dignified society lady.

Between them they remind Eden both of the warm-hearted person she used to be, and how and why that spirit was crushed out of her, and warn her of how her cold and ruthless egotism threatens to destroy her.

Instead of Tiny Tim we have Tiny Tammy, one of the orphans for whom Catherine is organising a christmas show, but who like the rest of these orphans faces an uncertain future.

The quality of the animation of this DVD is so good that much of the humour is presented in the expressions and movements of the characters, though there are a few very good lines. For example, as the spirit of Christmas Past is flying with Eden and Chuzzlewit through a sort of extra-dimensional tunnel which is taking them back in time, she tells Eden how big a fan she is of her music and adds that for her to be such a huge fan of Eden's must seem very strange. Eden looks around at their supernatural surroundings and replies with dry understatement that for the spirit to be a fan of hers was not the part of this experience which is strange.

Chuzzlewit the cat also provides some slapstick comic relief throughout the film, with several running gags such as his propersity to jump on anything which looks like food, such as decorations on the elaborate dress worn by the spirit of Christmas Present which look like sweets.

Throughout the DVD there is a string of Christmas music, composed and arranged by Arnie Roth, with delightful performances of carols including "Deck the Halls", "We Wish you a Merry Christmas", "O Tannenbaum", and "Jolly Old St Nicholas."

DVD extras on the disc include a medley of the christmas carols on the disc with words on the screen so that the viewer can sing along, a number of Christmas games, and a "secret scene" from the previous Barbie DVD, "The Diamond Castle" in which the two puppies, Lily and Sparkles, are painting the ballroom of the castle pink.

As usual, those people who enjoy criticising what the Barbie franchise represents will not have much difficulty finding things in this production to sneer at. If you, or more importantly your kids, are allergic to an excess of twee sweetness, then this film and the Barbie videos generally may not be for them. As usual the the female characters are mostly on the thin side of plausibility.

Barbie is often accused of reinforcing gender stereotyping, but I don't think the charge is entirely fair. In the case of this film, in which almost all the characters are female and taking on roles which were male in the original, the charge is just not applicable.

Different people have different senses of humour, so it may be unrealistic to expect that all adults will enjoy this as much as I did, but I'm quite certain that the vast majority of little girls will love this film, and most other people will not find it any hardship to watch this with the little girls in your family, especially at Christmas.
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on 24 December 2010
Both my daughters (11yrs and 8yrs old) love the Barbie cartoon collection, so I purchased this one. Story is done in the same way as Charles Dicken's 'A Christmas Carole with Scrooge', but not at all scary.
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