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Western Animation / Barbie: Mariposa

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"The most beautiful thing you can be is yourself."

Barbie: Mariposa (also billed as Barbie: Mariposa and her Butterfly Fairy Friends) is a side-story to the Barbie Fairytopia trilogy. It is also the twelfth installment in the Barbie film series, releasing in 2008 in between Barbie as the Island Princess and Barbie & The Diamond Castle.

Mariposa is a butterfly fairy who loves to read and dream about the world outside her home in the land of Flutterfield. Flutterfield is kept safe from the vicious, fairy-eating Skeezites by Queen Marabella's magical lights. When the Queen's attendant, Henna, poisons her in a bid for the throne, the lights begin to go out one by one. Mariposa and her friends must journey beyond Flutterfield to save the Queen before the lights go out for good.

A second Mariposa movie, Barbie: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess, was released in 2013.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Rayna and Rayla, who constantly demand Mariposa do their hair and dresses, send Willa off to get thistleburst which grows only in a stinky swamp, and obsess over looks and marrying the prince. They won't even do something as simple as ringing a bell when Mariposa's hands are clearly full, because it's her job. They grow more selfless over the course of the adventure.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Skeezites, a race of hideous, grotesque flying monsters which prey on butterfly fairies.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Henna poisons the Queen because she wants to be Queen instead of the Queen's attendant.
  • Badass Bystander: A pink Flutterpixie helps Mariposa recover the antidote from Henna. She isn't named, but it's her contribution to the fight that helps save the Queen. She was also shown receiving a crown in the ceremony scene next to Willa due to her part.
  • Be Yourself: The Aesop is "the most beautiful thing you can be is yourself".
  • Big Bad Friend: Henna acts warm and encouraging to Mariposa and also seems to be on good terms with Lord Gastrous. She's also poisoning the Queen, putting the entire population of Flutterfield in danger from the Skeezites.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Henna seems to be just another sweet and harmless butterfly fairy, but she's the one who poisons the Queen and puts Flutterfield in danger of being invaded by Skeezites.
  • Blinded by the Light: The Skeezites can't invade Flutterfield because they can't stand Marabella's lights.
  • Bookworm: Mariposa and Prince Carlos both like reading.
  • Character Name Alias: Not wanting to reveal his true identity after Mariposa doesn't immediately recognize him, Carlos tells her his name is Andreas—the same name as the hero of the book they're both reading. Mariposa lampshades it, but doesn't catch on.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Mariposa reading the stars turns out to be important in the climax, where she has to pick the star that holds the antidote.
  • Cowardly Lion: Willa may hate going into danger, but she will if it's to protect the kingdom, and she always comes through when it counts.
  • Darkest Hour: The antidote is ruined, there is no more thistleburst, and the last light goes out, meaning Flutterfield is completely vunerable to the Skeezites.
  • Deflector Shield: The Queen's lights, which protect the fairies from the vicious Skeezites. When she is poisoned by Henna, the lights begin to go out.
  • Don't Wake the Sleeper:
    • When trying to retrieve shells for the mermaids, Mariposa, Rayna and Rayla have to be very careful to not wake up the mermaid babies who are using them as pillows. They successfully manage to switch two of the shells with handmade pillows from kelp, but one baby sneezes on an unfinished pillow, causing all the babies to wake up crying, and that wakes up the sea beast.
    • The final obstacle before the cave where the antidote is hidden is a cave full of sleeping Skeezites. The fairies have to sneak through the middle of the cave and pray the Skeezites don't wake up. Two Skeezites do wake up, but Zinzie is able to distract them with the pebble-throwing trick she used against the fairies earlier.
  • Dwindling Party: Happens in the Cave of Reflection, as one person must stay behind as they travel until only one is left to complete the test.
  • Eat the Camera: The Skeezites do this frequently when chasing the fairies, as does the Sea Beast.
  • Evil Chancellor: Henna, the Queen's attendant, poisons her to try to become Queen herself.
  • The Fair Folk: The Cave Fairy has shades of this, as she tasks Mariposa with selecting one star out of hundreds and says she'll meet up with her friends if she succeeds.
  • The Final Temptation: Henna asks Mariposa to join her, since she's never fit in with the others. Henna goes on to promise that everyone would have to adore and love her. Mariposa acts like she's going to accept, but only as a distraction so the flutterpixie hovering behind Henna can take the antidote back.
  • Find the Cure!: Mariposa, Rayna, and Rayla journey to find the cure for the Queen.
  • Fish out of Water: Mariposa likes reading, stargazing, and exploring outside of Flutterfield, unlike everyone else in the city.
  • Fisher King: The status of the lights guarding Flutterfield depends on the Queen's health.
  • For Your Own Good: Prince Carlos is locked in the castle for his own protection after the Queen is poisoned.
  • Framing Device: Elina, from Fairytopia, is telling Bibble a story so he can be brave.
  • Friendship Moment: Mariposa, Rayna, and Rayla have these moments after their encounter with the mermaids.
  • Genki Girl: Willa is very excitable and always seems to be in a hurry.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Mariposa sleeps through a party early on.
  • Hidden Depths: Though they're initially selfish alpha bitches who jump on the chance to win Prince Carlos's heart by saving Flutterfield, Rayla and Rayna prove themselves to be clever and brave as the journey wears on. They even give up their chances to find the antidote because they know Mariposa has a better chance of succeeding.
  • The High Queen: Queen Marabella is a competent and benevolent ruler, as well as the one whose lights protect Flutterfield from the Skeezites.
  • Honorary Princess: Queen Marabella. She was not a queen when she filled the trees with lights. But, as she found the solution to protect Flutterfield, the butterfly fairies then proclaimed her as their queen.
  • Hope Spot: Subverted. The pink Flutterpixie recovers the near-destroyed antidote from Henna and gives it back to Mariposa and successfully gets it to Marabella, but she only breathes in about three seconds of it before Henna steals it back and plucks off all the petals, rendering it useless. However, only three seconds was just enough to heal the queen, and she comes back to life minutes later.
  • Intelligence Equals Isolation: Mariposa likes reading about the stars and faraway places, unlike almost everyone else. As a result, she feels that she doesn't belong.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rayna and Rayla, who start out selfish and become selfless on the course of their adventure, and are key to negotiating with a pair of mermaids.
  • Just Between You and Me: Henna properly explains herself when she and Mariposa are alone.
  • Karma Houdini: Henna escapes with the Skeezites after vowing revenge. That is, if you don't believe that Henna's scream means that they eat her off-screen.
  • Living MacGuffin: Queen Marabella's lights are powered by her life force. If she dies, the lights that protect Flutterfield from the Skeezites will go out, so Mariposa has to find the antidote and save her.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Henna believes this about Mariposa, who has never fit in due to her introverted nature and love of reading.
  • Magic Antidote: Queen Marabella is seconds from death when she smells the antidote. It suffices to make her recover completely.
  • Manipulative Bitch: Henna hides the fact that she's the one who poisoned the Queen, and persuades Lord Gastrous into not looking for an antidote.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Mariposa means "butterfly" in Spanish.
    • Poor Lord Gastrous was named after his ample stomach.
  • Meet Cute: Mariposa and Prince Carlos meet this way, bumping into one another when they're both lost in the same book.
  • The Man Behind the Monsters: Henna controls the vicious, dimwitted Skeezites to serve her whim and attack Flutterfield.
  • The Man in the Mirror Talks Back: The reflections of those in the Cave of Reflection are sentient, and try to tempt their host in the wrong direction.
  • Miles Gloriosus: Lord Gastrous. He talks of exciting battles, but according to Henna, the only thing he's ever fought over is what to have for dinner.
  • Mind Control: Henna is able to control the Skeezites with a potion.
  • Mood Whiplash: Just as Mariposa gets the antitote to the queen, Henna steals it back and destroys it completely; outside, the other Butterfly Fairies have run out of thistleburst to fend off the Skeezites, and the last lights go out, meaning Flutterfield is completely vunerable and all is lost... but then the last lights come right back on and the queen wakes up, reigniting all the lights.
  • Motive Rant: Subverted. Henna is about to explain herself to Mariposa—until she sees she has the antidote, and stops midsentence, commanding the Skeezites to eat her.
  • Motor Mouth: Willa talks very fast, especially when excited—which is a lot of the time.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Just as Mariposa gets the antidote flower to Queen Marabella, Henna steals it back and plucks all its petals off, making it useless, and the last lights go out, coming within two seconds of killing Queen Marabella, becoming Queen herself and letting the Skeezites invade Flutterfield, but then the lights come back on and the queen awakens, showing she breathed in enough of the antidote to come back to life and foil her plans.
  • Never Say "Die": Queen Marabella is in danger of dying throughout the movie, but they generally refer to it as her life force fading.
  • Non-Standard Character Design: The cave fairy is the only fairy that is tiny, the rest are human-sized. Also, she has a glowing body, where the rest have detailed outfits.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Lord Gastrous, though well-meaning, is more hindrance than help thanks to listening to Henna's advice for most of the movie.
  • Odd Name Out: Prince Carlos and Lord Gastrous are the only named butterfly fairies whose names don't end in A. Zinzie is another major character whose name doesn't fit this convention.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Henna's reaction when the last of the lights come right back on right after going out, knowing Queen Marabella breathed in just enough of the antidote to be healed and her plans have failed.
    • Mariposa's reaction earlier when Henna takes back the antidote right when she is healing the queen, and it becomes useless.
  • The Only One: Prince Carlos tasks Mariposa with saving the Queen, as she's the only one besides himself who can read the map.
  • Race Against the Clock: Mariposa has to find the antidote and heal Queen Marabella before she passes away and Flutterfield becomes fully vulnerable to the Skeezites. The countdown timer isn't a clock, it's the queen's lights.
  • Rascally Rabbit: Zinzie is introduced by bopping acorns off the fairies' heads for fun, and she enjoys tricking people for the fun of it.
  • Rich Language, Poor Language: All the upper-class characters in the film (Rayna and Reyla, Queen Marabella, and Prince Carlos) speak with Spanish accents, while lower-class characters (Mariposa, Willa, and Henna) speak with American accents.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Zinzie is an adorable rabbit with a pink belly and floppy ears tied in bows.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The correct star that leads to the antidote is all by itself, just like Mariposa.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Flutterfield is beautiful, especially when the lights are lit.
    • Ditto for the underwater realm, especially the tunnel that leads to it.
    • Also the Cave of Reflection and its magic walls.
  • Secondary Color Nemesis: Henna's primary color is purple, an early hint that she's not as nice as she appears. Subverted with the friendly Willa, whose color is also purple.
  • Ship Teasing: Between Mariposa and Carlos, but also Willa and Carlos; both parties get scenes alone to themselves, where they bond.
  • Similar Squad: The two mermaids are similar to Rayna and Rayla, who even point this out.
  • Small, Secluded World: As a whole, Flutterfield's residents are too scared to leave their city because of the Skeezites, and are happy to forget the world outside.
  • Spark Fairy: The fairy in the Cave of Reflection initially appears as this, until one gets a closer look at her.
  • The Stoic: The fairy in the Cave of Reflection is stoic and to the point.
  • Suicidal "Gotcha!": Henna does this, leaping off the castle balcony only to rise up on the back of a Skeezite and commanding an army of them.
  • Super-Senses: Willa either has unusually excellent hearing or unusually excellent sight. In one scene, she's trying pass on a message from Mariposa to Prince Carlos, and she's able to either hear him whisper through glass so thick she had to shout for him to hear her, or she's able to read his lips despite the glass being frosted and him being a far enough distance away from her that most people would have trouble reading lips without anything obstructing their vision.
  • Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Rayna and Rayla, who want to marry the Prince and think his being locked away is romantic.
  • The Trickster: Zinzie thinks tricking people is funny, and she's introduced by throwing acorns at the fairies to get them angry at each other.
  • Valley Girl: The mermaids are obsessed with fashion and completely ignore Mariposa's attempts to ask them about the antidote. When Rayna and Rayla offer to bargain with them by giving them rare combs, they're much more interested.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Henna poisons the Queen with intent to kill her, then talks to the Skeezites and agrees to let them eat as many fairies as they want on the condition that she be allowed to stay ruler. She also manipulates Mariposa and almost everyone else, and isn't played for comedy at all. The rest of the movie is typical of lighthearted Barbie films.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: Henna isn't suspected at all until Prince Carlos tells everyone the truth.
  • Weakened by the Light: Skeezites are scared of light, which is what protects Flutterfield.
  • We Can Rule Together: At the climax, Henna tells Mariposa that they can rule Flutterfield together, but a pink Flutterpixie recovers the antidote and Mariposa promptly refuses.
  • What You Are in the Dark: The Cave of Reflection scene plays like this; Rayna could go on instead of Mariposa, but chooses to let her go ahead.
  • Wham Shot: The last of the lights turning right back on only seconds after the antidote flower becomes useless, showing the queen breathed in enough of the antidote to be healed.
  • World-Healing Wave: When the queen awakens and the Flutterfield lights reignite.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Rayna and Rayla are convinced Prince Carlos will love them based on looks.
  • You Are Too Late: Henna says it word per word when she takes back the antidote right when Mariposa is healing the Queen, destroying it completely and leaving it useless.

The most beautiful thing you can be is yourself.


Video Example(s):


Queen Marabella awakens

The instant Queen Marabella awakens after being healed by the antidote, all the Flutterfield lights reignite in a flash.

How well does it match the trope?

2.6 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / WorldHealingWave

Media sources: