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Western Animation / Barbie and the Three Musketeers

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Barbie and the Three Musketeers is a 2009 Direct to Video movie and part of the Barbie film franchise, releasing in between Barbie Presents Thumbelina and Barbie in a Mermaid Tale. As the title suggests, it's The Three Musketeers, done with Barbie in the main part.

In this version, Barbie (voice of Kelly Sheridan) plays Corinne, daughter of D'Artagnan and Constance. Corinne wants to become a Musketeer, like her father, but she's a woman. Undaunted, she sets off for Paris, where her letter of recommendation is instantly stolen and she is forced to work as a maid in the castle. She gets her chance, however, when she's forced to reveal her training after an attempt on the Prince's life goes awry. Along with fellow maids Aramina, Renée and Viveca, Corinne works to counter the plot of an evil chancellor (voice of Tim Curry) who wishes to usurp the throne.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Action Girl: Corinne is a capable fighter, as are Renée, Aramina, and Viveca. This particularly shows at the climax, when the four of them defeat a large group of assassins and rescue the castle guards (who were captured and tied up before the fighting even started) for good measure.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the end, Corinne, Aramina, Renée and Viveca are called to help against a new threat against the now King.
  • Assassination Attempt: Philippe makes three on Louis over the course of the movie. Louis survives the first by sheer luck, but the latter two are only foiled thanks to Corinne and her friends.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Madame Bosse is constantly getting on her employees' cases over the smallest amounts of dirt and dust. At the end, she gets demoted and Helene, the new housekeeper, tasks her with cleaning up the massive mess left over from the coronation.
    Helene: Not a speck.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Madame Bosse is rude and demanding of her employees, getting on their cases for missing the smallest spots of dirt or dust, threatening to fire them for arriving late without even waiting to see if they have a reasonable excuse, and berating Corinne for merely accepting the Prince's apology after he bumps into her.
    • Philippe threatens that one of his underlings might be the next person to have an "accident" if he fails to assassinate the Prince again.
  • Bait-and-Switch: After the incident with the chandelier, Bertram reports to Philippe that he doesn't know what went wrong. Philippe responds with annoyance — not because they don't know why the chandelier fell, but because he dropped it on purpose in a failed attempt to kill Louis.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The girls correspond to this, with Corinne being the Blonde, Viveca and Renee the Brunettes, and Aramina the Redhead.
  • Berserk Button: Do whatever you want, just never say a girl can't be a musketeer in front of Corinne. note 
  • Casting Gag: Tim Curry previously played Cardinal Richelieu in a more proper version, as well as the Mouse King in Barbie in the Nutcracker.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The four main characters always wear the same colors, making it easy to tell them apart even when they're in disguise: Corinne dresses in pink, Aramina in teal, Renée in blue, and Viveca in purple.
    • At the Masquerade Ball, all the men loyal to Philippe wear red masks, making it easy to identify them as the bad guys.
  • Combat Hand Fan: A pair of these is Aramina's weapon of choice.
  • Contrived Coincidence: It just so happens that Corinne, Viveca, Renee, and Aramina have all been training to be Musketeers prior to meeting each other.
  • Conviction by Contradiction: Philippe deflects Louis's questions about why he's in the castle rather than at his chateau by claiming he returned as soon as he heard about the assassination attempt at the masquerade. He forgets that he revealed his presence at the ball earlier by blaming Corinne for that attempt. Unfortunately for Louis, he doesn't spot this inconsistency until the two of them are alone and deep in the secret passages.
  • Cool Mask: The girls have masks that also double as Cool Crowns when worn up in the hair.
  • Cool Old Lady: Helene, the old servant who trains the four girls. Though she's clearly not as spry as she used to be, she's far more skilled than the girls, easily besting them all when they first demonstrate their skills for her.
  • Die or Fly: Both defied and invoked. Louis plans to make multiple tests with his full-size hot-air balloon firmly tethered to the ground before making a real flight. However, when Bertram sabotages the ropes holding it down, Louis's first test turns into a full-on test flight, with him as an unwilling passenger. Fortunately, thanks to Corinne he's able to make a safe landing.
  • Distressed Dude: The Prince. His Evil Uncle spends most of the movie trying to assassinate him so he can become king. Naturally, it falls to the girls to protect him and foil the plot.
  • Dub Name Change: In the French dub, Bertram is renamed Bertrand.
  • Easily Forgiven: Viveca, Renee and Aramina forgive Corinne after spending half a day with her, resolving the brief conflict they had previously. Downplayed in that they first exact retribution by leaving Corinne to scrub the floor of a massive ballroom by herself with only a tiny brush.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Corinne makes her introduction while dueling with a scarecrow and proudly declaring herself a musketeer.
    • Viveca is making a cape for herself, establishing her as The Fashionista.
    • Aramina is dancing, smelling roses, and reciting poetry. She also manages to dodge both the cat and dog before finally being knocked over by Corinne, showing that she's a bit of a dreamer but also the most graceful and agile of the girls.
    • Renee is playing the violin. After Corinne knocks her over, she makes a straightforward declaration of vengeance, unlike the other girls, establishing her as the most down-to-earth member of the group.
    • Louis appears while enthusing over a miniature hot-air balloon he made, and is so busy watching it that he walks right into Corinne.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: A week passes between Corinne's arrival in Paris and the climactic Masquerade Ball, during which two attempts are made on Louis's life and the girls undergo a training regimen that vastly improves their skills. And after this, they still have time to uncover Philippe's plot, get fired for trying to expose it, and make the disguises and weapons they use at the ball.
  • Evil Uncle: Played with. Philippe, the Big Bad, is really Louis's cousin, but he's old enough that their dynamic is more like this. Phillipe has been serving as Louis's regent until he's old enough to become King, but secretly wants to keep ruling the kingdom and is trying to assassinate Louis so the throne will go to the next person in line — namely, himself.
  • Eye Patch Of Power: Downplayed. Bertram is a skilled musketeer and is quite intimidating, but in the end he - along with the rest of the antagonists - is defeated and outsmarted by four girls.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Louis is so excited over the success of his miniature hot-air balloon that he doesn't realize Corinne is there until he bumps into her. Likewise, despite Louis loudly enthusing over said balloon, Corinne doesn't realize he's heading her way until the collision.
  • Falling Chandelier of Doom: Louis's Evil Uncle first attempts to assassinate him with one of these. Luckily, the chandelier doesn't actually hit anyone, though the girls still have to use their secret musketeer training to protect themselves from flying debris.
  • The Fashionista: Of the four girls, Viveca cares the most about her appearance. She's also the one responsible for making the fancy ballgowns the girls wear for the Masquerade Ball.
  • Flynning: Naturally, all of the fight scenes rely on this, complete with plenty of flips, cartwheels, and twirls from the girls.
  • Gold Makes Everything Shiny: The lining in the girls' capes is gold.
  • Hero of Another Story: Helene never explains where she learned to fight, but given that she confirms attitudes toward women were much the same when she was young, it must be quite a tale.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Philippe of Orléans, Regent of France from 1715 to 1725, was a polarizing figure, especially for his scandalous private life, but most sources agree that he was utterly devoted to the realm and to his first cousin twice removed Louis XV. At least, there is no evidence or hint that he ever meant to claim the throne for himself.
  • Improvised Weapon: The girls use their cleaning supplies (a broom, a duster, and a rag) to protect themselves from flying debris when a chandelier falls. Later, when the girls are surrounded by Philippe's men, Viveca fends them off by spraying them with liberal amounts of perfume while the girls get their ballgowns ready for fighting. Helene also takes down two of Philippe's men with a broom.
  • Ironic Echo:
    • When Corinne first comes to Paris, one of the musketeers tells her to "leave the musketeering to the big boys." When she finds him among the guards who've been captured and tied up by Philippe's assassins, Corinne quips that "the big boys" seem to need some help.
    • Philippe dismisses Corinne's attempt to speak to Treville by claiming that a girl could never possess the proper skills to be a musketeer. After she out-fences him at the climax, Corinne takes the opportunity to throw those words back in his face.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Treville rejecting Corinne as a musketeer can come across as more misogyny, thanks to how her last few attempts to explain her dream to people have gone. However, he does make a valid point when he says that most people who become musketeers have years of experience, which Corinne lacks, and have performed some sort of heroic deed that proves they're qualified for the job, which she hasn't.
    • Madame Bosse is understandably upset when three of her employees come to work late and noticeably disheveled. However, she then proves she's a Bad Boss by threatening to fire them without waiting to hear if they have a reasonable excuse, only letting them stay because she needs every worker available to prepare for the Prince's birthday masquerade.
    • Though their collective reaction might be considered out of proportion, Viveca, Renee and Aramina do have a good reason for being upset with Corinne. She bumped into them while chasing her cat and accidentally damaged the items they had with them. Renee especially had a good reason since Corinne got her violin bow stuck on the fountain.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Downplayed and justified. The girls' dresses have to pass muster at a royal ball, but they're designed with fighting in mind. As such, the long skirts detach to reveal shorter skirts that won't get in the way underneath, their necklaces can be used as slingshots with jewels for ammunition, the fans they carry are capable of deflecting swords, and their crowns double as masks to hide their identities.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Madame Bosse spends the movie being a Bad Boss. At the end, she's demoted, and Helene (who she threatened to fire for petty reasons) is promoted to take her place.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: Zig-zagged. Corinne does this for the Masquerade Ball, but then sweeps her hair back up into a bun when the action starts. Then, at the end, all four girls wear their hair loose for their promotion to musketeers.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Downplayed and played with Corinne and the Prince. The Prince is a bookworm who tends to become a Distressed Dude during any physical conflict. Corinne aspires to become a musketeer, a strictly male profession at the time, and has the fighting skills to reflect that. However, she isn't afraid to show her feminine side.
  • Masquerade Ball: The final assassination attempt on Louis takes place at one of these. Both the heroes and the villains take advantage of this; the girls hide their identities because they've been banned from entering the castle, while Philippe's men all wear red masks so they can identify each other without being recognized by the guests.
  • Meaningful Name: The bossy woman in charge of the castle's maids is named Madame Bosse.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Corinne's father is D'Artagnan, the protagonist of the original book by Dumas.
    • Corinne meets her three friends by angrying them after bumping into each while she was in a hurry. In the original book, this is also how D'Artagnan meets Athos, Porthos and Aramis in order.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Helene, the elderly, hunched-over servant, is also a highly skilled and capable fighter. Despite being well past her prime, she easily defeats Corinne and her friends while assessing their skills. Some of Philippe's mercenaries learn this lesson the hard way when they ignore the old servant woman sweeping the floors, only for her to knock them down with her broom so quickly they don't realize what hit them.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: Renee gripes about Corinne to Viveca and Aramina seconds before Corinne walks in and gives Renee her violin bow, having retrieved it from the fountain for her. Renee is mollified and tries to apologize, but Corinne is already asleep due to being worn out by the difficult job the girls gave her earlier.
  • Pimped-Out Cape: The girls in their musketeer outfits have capes that are gold-lined, and have a short cape over the long capes.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The girls wear these for the ball.
  • Pink Means Feminine: Corinne, who is feminine, but not the demure kind.
  • Punny Name: The names the girls give at the ball. (Barbie Q., Ivanna Party, Abby Birthday, Hedda Lettuce)
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Treville, captain of the musketeers, proves to be one. He hears Corinne out instead of laughing her off like his men, and his refusal to accept her as a musketeer is based off of the valid concern that she lacks the necessary experience. Once she and her friends gain that experience by saving the Prince's life (and rescuing him and his men in the process), he doesn't appear to make any objections to their promotion.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Philippe's Musketeers wear mainly black with red masks.
  • Redhead In Green: Aramina, the redhead of the group, always wears dresses in shades of teal.
  • She-Fu: To an almost ridiculous extent, to the point of Unnecessary Combat Roll.
  • Ship Tease: Corinne and Prince Louis have some clear romantic chemistry in their scenes together, and in the final scene, he asks her out on a balloon ride. However, Corinne declines in favor of her new duties as a musketeer, implying they're going to stay Just Friends.
  • Shout-Out: A minor one - a maid, who gets fired just before Corinne enters the castle to take her place, is named Constance. Corinne's mother, as a matter of fact, is the original Constance.
  • Showing Up Chauvinists: Corinne comes to Paris to become a musketeer, but finds her dreams mocked or dismissed at almost every turn. By the end, she and her friends not only completely defeat the same musketeers who laughed at their dreams earlier, but are personally appointed as musketeers by the newly-crowned King.
  • Straw Misogynist: The townsfolk mock Corrine for wanting to be a musketeer since she's a woman.
    • Downplayed with Philippe. Though he uses the rhetoric that girls are inherently unfit to be interfering in musketeer business to discredit them, when push comes to shove he treats Corinne and her allies as a serious threat to his plans and has no problem with fighting them.
  • Tempting Fate: When one of the ropes tethering his balloon snaps, Louis decides that this is a good time to bail out. Cue the other two ropes snapping, which knocks him over the side and leaves him dangling upside-down from the ladder while the balloon floats away.
  • Training Montage: The girls go through one of these in the old musketeer training grounds after Helene demonstrates that their skills are still very lacking. Then it's subverted when it's revealed that the montage was a single training session, which ends with the girls exhausted and sore and Helene declaring that they'll do it all again tomorrow.
  • Transformation Sequence: As per usual for a Barbie film. In this case, there's no magic involved: it's just the girls hastily removing the long overskirts of their gowns and pulling out their weapons amid a shower of glitter from Viveca's perfume.
  • Unplugged Version: The movie begins with an unplugged version of "All For One".
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Louis expresses disbelief at the idea of a girl being a musketeer even though Corinne, a girl, has just saved his life and they're floating through the sky in a hot-air balloon he built despite being told it was impossible. Corinne is quick to call out his hypocrisy before storming off in a huff.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Phillippe has no qualms about raising his rapier against Corrine.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: D'Artagnan lived his original adventures under the reign of Louis XIII; the real man was born between 1611 and 1615. Knowing that the movie takes place in the later years of the Regency, in the mid-1720's, and assuming that Corinne herself is around 20, that would mean that D'Artagnan fathered her at about 90. Granted, that is not impossible, but the ongoing tenure of Captain de Tréville, who was already middle-aged in the 1630's...

True courage is pursuing your dream, even when everyone else says itís impossible.


All For One unplugged

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