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Western Animation / Barbie in the Pink Shoes

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"Listen to the beat of your heart and keep on dancing."

Barbie in The Pink Shoes is a member of the Direct to Video Barbie filmography. It was released in 2013, preceded by Barbie as the Princess and the Popstar and followed by Barbie: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess.

Pink Shoes adapts popular ballets such as Giselle and Swan Lake while telling its own original story, loosely based on the fairy tale of The Red Shoes. It also borrows inspiration from The Snow Queen.

Kristyn is a ballerina with big dreams, but her teacher, Madame Natasha, criticizes her free spirit and improvised choreography. When she slips on a dazzling pair of pink ballet shoes, she and her best friend Hailey are whisked into a magical world of ballet.

With the shoes, Kristyn is able to dance everything perfectly—but she dances so well she doesn't want to take them off. And when she goes off the stories' rails, the evil Snow Queen begins a hunt for her in a desire to make everything perfect...

This movie contains examples of:

  • The Ace: Tara is the school's star ballerina, and Madame Natasha often wishes Kristyn were more like her.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Hilarion's a Nice Guy in this version, while in the ballet he's an ambiguous figure.
  • Adaptational Nationality: The Snow Queen, who was Danish in the original story. Here, she speaks with a Russian accent.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Kristyn and Hailey see Albrecht as a jerk, and at first they're right.
  • Almighty Janitor: In the final moments of the film, we see that the humble costume designer Madame Katerina has an enormous collection of pink shoes, revealing that she sent Kristyn and Hailey on their adventure.
  • And You Were There: People Kristyn knows appear as characters in the ballet worlds.
  • Animal Stereotypes: Rothbart's design evokes a skunk, with his gray streak and stink-like smoke clouds that transform women into swans.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Kristyn always wanted to dance like Giselle or Odette, and once she enters the ballet worlds, she does.
  • Award-Bait Song: "Keep on Dancing."
  • Ballet Episode: One of several Barbie movies to include ballet dancing, but this is the first that's explicitly about ballet.
  • Be Yourself: The Aesop.
  • Big Bad: The Snow Queen is this overall, as all the other ballet villains report to her, and Rothbart is this in Swan Lake, as he's the main villain of that ballet.
  • Canon Foreigner: In-universe. Hailey, once in the ballet worlds, does not have a canon character assigned to her. This gets her taken captive by the Snow Queen.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • At the Prince's ball, Odile is wearing black shoes while Kristyn's are pink.
    • The Snow Queen's control over others is blue, while Kristyn's free dancing is pink.
  • Control Freak: In the real world, Madame Natasha is overly meticulous about her students' footwork and berates Kristyn for breaking with the choreography. Her equivalent in the ballet world is even worse: the dreaded Snow Queen, who freezes the life out of any "imperfections" she finds in the stories.
  • Cool Crown: There are several of these, such as Odette's tiara and the tiara Kristyn wears when in the pink ballerina dress.
  • Cue the Flying Pigs: Hailey says this about them being in a ballet world, as it's just that hard to believe.
  • Daddy's Girl: Tara is spoiled by her father and loves the attention and stardom.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Odile is also spoiled by her father, as Tara is her counterpart.
  • Damsel in Distress: In the climax, Hailey gets kidnapped by the Snow Queen and is held hostage as a frozen statue in her palace, and Kristyn has to go off with Albrecht and Hilarion to rescue her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Hailey has a confused or snarky comment for just about every situation.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: Seen with Albrecht and Hilarion attempting to marry Kristyn/Giselle. When told she's 17, they say that just because she's a little old doesn't mean they can't marry.
  • Die or Fly: Literally. After being turned into swans and realizing their only hope is getting to the castle before Prince Siegfried proposes to the wrong woman, Hailey is unsure if she can fly. She quickly figures it out when Hilarion and Albrecht arrive with their bows and arrows.
  • Fairy Tale Free-for-All: Kristyn and Hailey experience the plots of Giselle and Swan Lake (apparently, Prince Siegfried and Duke Albrecht are cousins), and there's a brief scene depicting the characters from The Nutcracker. The antagonist is the Snow Queen, from an in-universe ballet based on the Hans Christian Andersen story. Oddly, it has very little to do with The Red Shoes, where its title seems to come from.
  • Forced Transformation: As you'd expect from Swan Lake, Rothbart changes unfortunate young women, including Kristyn and Hailey, into swans.
  • Fractured Fairy Tale: Kristyn and Hailey's interference in the ballet worlds causes the stories to go awry.
  • Genre Savvy: Hailey, who's very much aware of how Giselle and Swan Lake end.
  • An Ice Person: The Snow Queen rides around in a frozen chariot pulled by reindeer, and breathes on people to change them into icy statues that she can control.
  • Ice Queen: Madame Natasha is cold, distant, and harsh to her ballerinas. She's also unusually comfortable with the excessive air conditioning. Not surprisingly, she becomes the villainous Snow Queen in the ballet world.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tara and Prince Albrecht are both much nicer than they appear at first. Tara encourages Kristyn to do her best, and Albrecht eventually decides to help Kristyn when she needs it.
  • Laughably Evil: Rothbart, who carries over Tara's father's sycophantic personality.
  • Love Dodecahedron: Kristyn finds herself at the center of two of ballet's most famous Love Triangles: Giselle, Albrecht, and Hilarion in Giselle and Odette, Siegfried, and Odile in Swan Lake.
  • Marionette Motion: Seen when the Snow Queen makes Hailey dance the Dance of the Doll from Coppelia.
  • Massively Multiplayer Crossover: Kristyn enters the worlds of Giselle and Swan Lake, altering the stories in the process. She also encounters the Snow Queen.
  • Misplaced Accent: Madame Katerina has a posh British accent, even though her sister Natasha is has a Russian accent.
  • Mythology Gag: Barbie had an adaptation of Swan Lake before; in this version, however, it mentioned the tragic ending that the Barbie version didn't have. Odile's personality is also similar to the previous adaptation.
  • Never Say "Die": Hailey has to communicate that they can't stay in the story of Giselle because of the inevitable tragic ending, without informing the child audience that Giselle commits suicide in the proper story, either by dancing herself to death or stabbing herself with Albrecht's sword.
  • The Not-Love Interest: Hailey to Kristyn. Their bond forms the core of the movie, and the climax of the film is Kristyn charging in to rescue Hailey from the Snow Queen.
  • Off the Rails: Kristyn and Hailey cause the stories to go off-course.
  • Only Sane Man: Hailey often has to bring Kristyn back down to reality as her friend gets caught up in the adventure. Hailey's the first to figure out that the pink shoes themselves have brought them to this world, and all Kristyn has to do is take them off to get home, but Kristyn is too excited about the fantasy adventure to listen to reason.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Prince Albrecht doesn't even try to hide his royal armor when masquerading as a peasant.
  • People Puppets: Anyone who falls outside of the Snow Queen's vision of perfection has the life frozen out of them and she puppeteers them as a "proper" ballet troupe.
  • Pink Means Feminine: The titular pink ballet slippers, as well as the pink romantic tutu that Kristyn wears in the end.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: As Odette and Giselle, Kristyn's hair is arranged in this style and when she breaks free and dances as herself, it's in a more elaborate up-do, and for the finally, she wears it down in cascading curls.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: Prince Albrecht and Hilarion are this, respectively, to Giselle.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Madame Natasha is strict and stern, while her sister, Madame Katerina, is kind and optimistic.
  • Sissy Villain: Rothbart uses magic instead of fighting himself, and he's held at bay by two newly-transformed swans.
  • Stage Mom: Gender-flipped with Tara's father, who pesters Madame Natasha endlessly about giving his daughter more to perform to show off in front of the ballet scouts. His ballet world counterpart has a similar attitude about getting his daughter Odile to marry the prince.
  • Squick: In-universe. This is Hailey's reaction to finding out that Swan Lake is made of the tears of the swans' parents.
  • Stern Teacher: Madame Natasha, who is adamant that every ballet step be perfectly choreographed and allows no room for creative ideas.
  • Straight to the Pointe: Subverted. Hailey, who isn't even a dancer, is made to pirouette en pointe by the Snow Queen. The instant the Queen isn't holding her up, however, she collapses from the strain.
  • Swans A-Swimming: Subverted. The swans definitely look graceful and elegant, but Kristyn and Hailey find ways to wreak havoc in their feathered forms.
  • Those Two Guys: Albrecht and Hilarion appear as a comedic double act throughout the story, frustrating each other with their very different worldviews as they try to find Giselle.
  • Truer to the Text: This is Barbie's second take on Swan Lake, and it's considerably more faithful to the ballet than the first. The prince is named Siegfried, Rothbart turns all of his victims into swans, and Odette's story is supposed to end in tragedy.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Prince Albrecht, who uses coin flips to decide anything. Or rather, to get his own way, since the coin is two-headed.
  • Variable Mix: When Kristyn uses her own choreography, the music changes to a poppier remix.

Listen to the beat of your heart and keep on dancing.