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Western Animation / Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale

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"Life is a fairytale."

Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale is a 2010 Barbie movie. It is preceded by Barbie in a Mermaid Tale and followed by Barbie: A Fairy Secret.

This movie features Barbie as an animated actress (and later director) playing characters in movies (all previous Barbie movies, maybe). This one begins with Barbie in her latest movie, The Princess and The Pea, but has some creative differences with the director of the movie. He promptly fires her, sells the story to the Gossip Blogs, and then Ken breaks up with her.

When Grace and Teresa suggest that she take some time away from it all, Barbie decides to spend the last few weeks of summer vacation visiting her mom's older sister, Millicent, who lives all the way over in France. Barbie explains to her friends that her aunt's a fashion designer with her own fashion house in Paris, France—Barbie remembers how much she loved visiting her aunt's studio as a little kid and how much she's always looked up to her Aunt Millicent.

But after arriving at the fashion house (which is called "Millicent's") and meeting her aunt's assistant, a French teenager named Marie-Alecia (or "Alice" for short), Barbie learns some very distressing news: Millicent's business hasn't been doing so well, so she's planning on shutting down her fashion house and moving to the countryside. Not wanting Millicent to give up her passion/business, Alice tells Barbie the legend of magical creatures that have helped fashion designers over the years. They complete the ritual to summon them and discover that the Flairies (as they're called) get their power from the fashion house itself—if it's torn down, they lose their powers. So Barbie and Alice team up with the Flairies to design new pieces and hold a fashion show in order to save Millicent's business.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Ken's "break up" with Barbie was orchestrated by her rival, Raquelle—Grace and Teresa tell Ken that if he wants Barbie back, he has to go to France and make a "grand romantic gesture" to her in person. Ken does just that, but he gets into some rather...interesting situations along the way.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Flairies are varying shades of pink and purple.
  • An Aesop: Sometimes pursuing your passions is difficult, but you shouldn't give up on the things you love.
  • Animated Actors: Played With. Barbie has always been animated, but this movie explicitly portrays her as an actress and alludes to her having starred in previous Barbie films in-universe.
  • Art Evolution: The most different and pseudo-realistic style yet.
  • Bilingual Bonus: All of the French.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Raquelle is shown acting nice and a bit flirty with Ken, but is quickly cemented as this when it's revealed she committed Relationship Sabotage by faking a breakup phone call from Ken to Barbie. She then tries to brush it off as a harmless prank when he confronts her, much to the disgust of everyone involved.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: The opening scene and the argument between Barbie and the director seems to reflect the writers' opinion on the sudden shift from fairy-tale stories to modern settings and themes (which was certainly ordered by Mattel). The obnoxious director is shown distorting a fairytale beyond recognition by randomly throwing in popular modern elements without telling anyone beforehand, then fires Barbie when she tries to explain that the point of the story is getting lost under all the "hip" effects.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Right after she's fired and her fans turn against her, Barbie gets a call from Ken, who announces he's dumping her. Barbie decides to block him and go on vacation to Paris to get over things, but the very next day, her friends learn that Ken's phone call was really a nasty prank staged by Raquelle using recorded lines. Ken then makes it his mission to get to Paris so he can explain the situation to Barbie and prove he really does care about her. Barbie is deeply touched that he came all the way to Paris for her and they promptly get back together.
  • Butt-Monkey: Ken spends most of the movie as this, due to being a constant victim of Finagle's Law as he tries to travel to Paris and clear up the misunderstanding between him and Barbie.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Teresa, who believes the internet is run by Underground Mind Control Experts.
  • Continuity Nod: Barbie once filmed the Three Musketeers.
  • Completely Different Title: the Greek title for the move is Barbie: the Queen of Fashion.
  • Costume Porn: A Barbie standard, but in this film it extends to everything.
  • Determinator: Ken will make it to Paris to talk to Barbie and clear up Raquelle's nasty prank, no matter how many things go wrong along the way.
  • Didn't Think This Through:
    • Raquelle combines this with Oh, Crap! when Grace and Teresa confront Ken and she realizes that using lines Ken recorded with her yesterday to fake a breakup call wasn't the smartest idea. Sure enough, Ken has a Spotting the Thread moment in short order and calls her out.
    • Jacqueline made herself famous by ripping off Millicent's designs. When Millicent closes down because Jacqueline is stealing her business along with her designs, Jacqueline belatedly realizes that without her rival around, she won't have any new designs to copy and is also at risk of going out of business.
    • Jacqueline kidnaps the Flairies, intending to make them beautify her newest designs... then remembers she doesn't have any new designs and has to resort to pulling out whatever she has on hand.
  • Dumped via Text Message: Played with. Ken does deign to call Barbie, but only to bluntly inform her that he's breaking up with her before hanging up. Turns out this is because it wasn't Ken at all — it was Raquelle, who took lines she recorded while reading dialogue with him and played them through the phone.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: The Flairies' powers are all about taking inspired fashion designs to the next level... by coating them with lots of sparkles. Downplayed by Glimmer, who discovers she has the power to transform designs into something completely new, though they still tend to be sparkly.
  • Expy: Lilianna Roxelle's basically just a nicer version of Wilhemina Slater.
    • Barbie, after a point, starts to sound like Sora with the inspirational speeches.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Millicent manages to design, sew, and successfully market an entirely new fashion line in less than a week. Millicent even lampshades that this is an Impossible Task, but it's made possible in this instance by the Flairies' magic.
  • Fan Dumb: In-Universe, Barbie’s fans.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: Ken is introduced reluctantly agreeing to let Raquelle record him reading lines with her, and mentions it's not the first time this has happened. Guess who's really behind Barbie getting Dumped via Text Message?
  • High School: In this movie, Barbie and her friends are established as being teenagers who're still in high school.
  • Idiosyncratic Wipes: Several of these occur throughout the film.
  • Jerkass: The director and Raquelle.
  • Karma Houdini: Aside from being called out by Ken, Raquelle faces no consquenses for faking a breakup phone call and then trying to brush it off as a harmless prank. However, it is implied she got chewed out by Grace and Teresa off-screen.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Alice is a capable designer in her own right, but she deeply admires Millicent and is inspired by her employer's designs. When Millicent draws new inspiration from Alice's designs, she's thrilled, and when she learns that the fashion line she jointly created with Millicent has just become the newest thing in fashion, she looks like she might faint.
  • Large Ham: The Flairies like to use Calling Your Attacks whenever they use their powers, but Glimmer takes it completely over the top when she finally uses her power successfully and transforms Barbie's dress on the runway.
  • Le Parkour: Shows up briefly as one of Millicent's hobbies.
  • Madness Mantra: Ken’s ‘Grand Gesture’ starts to sound like this, especially since he keeps it up even after everything starts going wrong for him and most people would have given up.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Discussed by putting zombie peas in a Princess and the Pea adaptation.
  • Orbital Kiss: Barbie and Ken have one near the end.
  • Our Fairies Are Different: These ones help make clothes and also don't have wings (but are still able to fly).
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Several of the designs are fancy dresses.
  • Poor Communication Kills:
    • Poor Ken could have avoided a lot of trouble and confusion if Barbie had just been willing to talk to him about their "breakup". In fairness to Barbie, "Ken's" phone call was deeply hurtful and came right after she'd been fired and her fan base turned against her, so it's not unreasonable that she'd want some space to deal with everything before talking to him again.
    • That said, the above doesn't explain why Barbie's friends don't explain to her that the breakup was really Relationship Sabotage after learning the truth, which would have saved Barbie a lot of heartache and Ken a lot of needless trouble on his journey to Paris. They even explicitly reject the idea of doing this when Ken brings it up.
  • Product Placement: Twitter is used in the film.
  • Relationship Sabotage: The movie's B Plot kicks off when Raquelle uses recorded lines over a phone call to convince Barbie that Ken dumped her. It works, and Barbie blocks Ken and goes to Paris to get some space. When Ken finds out, he decides to also go to Paris so he can explain the situation to Barbie in person. Though he did try borrowing Grace's phone to just call her and explain first.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Rule of Three: The Flairies are a group of three.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: Jacqueline and Delphine, they wouldn’t be out of place in Final Fantasy XIII.
  • Running Gag: Before she, Barbie and Alice are able to save the fashion house, Millicent tries finding a new hobby to occupy her time (the first is rollerblading, the second is paddle-boarding and the third is Parkour).
  • Spotting the Thread: When Barbie's friends confront Ken over dumping Barbie by phone, Ken is confused ...until he recognizes one of the quotes they throw in his face as a line he recorded for Raquelle the previous day.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When Ken learns about Raquelle's Relationship Sabotage, he asks Grace for her cell phone so he can call Barbie and explain the situation, but Grace insists that Barbie deserves better than that, kicking off Ken's arduous journey to Paris.
  • Thematic Theme Tune: Get Your Sparkle On.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Millicent never got a doll, and many of the dresses shown in the movie were never made available, which is particularly odd considering the movie revolves around fashion.
  • Transformation Sequence: Barbie ends up having one when Glimmer discovers her power to change an object's appearance.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Barbie has it pretty rough at the beginning of the movie. In the first ten minutes, she loses her job, her former boss sells the story to tabloids, her "fans" flood the internet with nasty comments about her, and Ken breaks up with her over the phone. Then she arrives in Paris hoping to have some time to relax and finds out her aunt's fashion house is closing down.
  • Truth in Television: The fashion industry tends to jump on the bandwagon of any potential trend considered cool in the moment, and calls whatever isn’t ‘in’ at the particular time, out (as in, out of fashion) even if it’s good.
  • What the Heck Flairies?: Hanging around in a store with one wall entirely made of windows so the entire world could see them.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Each day is marked by a new outfit for every character apart from Ken (Which is justified since he hasn’t had time to change since the beginning of the movie).

Magic happens when you believe in yourself.


Video Example(s):


Jacqueline and Delphine

Millicent's rival and her ditzy sidekick.

How well does it match the trope?

3.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / FrenchJerk

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