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Western Animation / Barbie of Swan Lake

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"You're braver than you think."

Barbie of Swan Lake is a Barbie adaptation of Swan Lake. It is the third installment in the Barbie film series, releasing in 2003 in between Barbie as Rapunzel and Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper.

Much like other fairy tale adaptations in its series, this version expands the plot. Odette, a shy baker's daughter, is lured into a magic forest by a talking unicorn named Lila. While there, she frees the Magic Crystal from its placement in a tree, and is told by the Fairy Queen that the one who takes the Crystal is the one chosen to defeat the evil sorcerer Rothbart.

Odette thinks there's been a mistake, as she's not particularly brave or powerful, but soon finds herself with no choice but to confront Rothbart when he appears and turns her into a swan. Protected by the Crystal from magical harm, but unable to return to her human form except at night, Odette must find a way to break the curse and save the forest—and perhaps fall in love with the spirited Prince Daniel while she's at it.

This movie provides examples of:

  • Actionized Adaptation: The movie adds a sequence where the heroes help a captured troll escape from Rothbart's manor, defeating his guards along the way.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Rothbart didn't just turn Odette into a swan; he cursed many others with different animal transformations and threatens a magic forest and a fairy queen.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The prince's name goes from Siegfried to Daniel.
  • Adaptational Ugliness: In the original ballet, Rothbart's daughter Odile is a beautiful vamp whom he transforms to appear as Princess Odette. Here, Odile is a sallow and unpleasant-looking Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Rothbart went from transforming Odette for no vaguely defined reason to being out to kill her, hence the creation of the Magic Crystal so he wouldn't be able to do so instantly.
  • Adaptation Species Change: Odile is called the "Black Swan" in the ballet, implying she turns into one. In this movie, she turns into a vulture like her father.
  • All There in the Manual: The other forest animals are only named in the toy line.
  • All Trolls Are Different: Erasmus is a bit absent-minded, but he's friendly.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Rothbart's the main villain of the movie and the Fairy Queen (who also happens to be his cousin) explains to Odette that, even when they were children, he was always very ambitious and really wanted to become the ruler of the Enchanted Forest.
  • Animorphism: Rothbart turns Odette into a swan, and also turned many of the forest's children into animals. The Fairy Queen was able to counter the curse to an extent, allowing them to regain their human forms by nighttime, but during the day, they're stuck in their animal forms.
  • Ascended Extra: Odile, who usually only appears at the ball in the ballet, is a major character throughout the movie.
  • Barrier Warrior: The Magic Crystal protects Odette from all magical harm by forming an invisible barrier that stops it before it can touch her. During her first meeting with Daniel, Odette exploits this to protect him from Rothbart's wrath.
  • Big Good: The Fairy Queen, ruler of the Enchanted Forest and Rothbart's kind-hearted cousin.
  • Big "NO!": Rothbart lets out two of them when he is being destroyed by the magic crystal because of Odette and Daniel’s love and sacrifice for each other.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Odile is unappreciative of her father's gifts and demands he give her more jewels and a crown even when she has a box full of them.
  • The Call Knows Where You Live: Rothbart intercepts Odette as she tries to leave and transforms her.
  • Canon Foreigner: Odette's sister Marie, the Fairy Queen, the other forest animals, and Erasmus are not in the ballet Swan Lake.
  • The Chosen One: Odette is chosen by the Magic Crystal to eventually defeat Rothbart.
  • Clashing Cousins: Rothbart and the Fairy Queen are cousins and certainly come into conflict with each other, with the former being the Big Bad and the latter being the Big Good.
  • Daddy's Girl: Odile is adored by her father and he showers her with gifts, even if her whining does annoy him.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: Odile shares her father's ambitions to take over, and plans to be the most stylish creature in the Enchanted Forest.
  • Dance Party Ending: Everyone from the Enchanted Forest and Odette's village gathers together to dance and celebrate at the end after Odette and Daniel's love conquers all.
  • Dark Reprise: A rather intense and tragic version of the Swan Lake theme plays as Odette is flying through the forest to the castle to warn Daniel.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Lila and Odile often make snarky comments about the situation, particularly Lila.
  • De-power: The magic crystal will lose its power if "the true love pledges love to another", so Rothbart makes Odile appear to Daniel as Odette to do so. Subverted in the climax, when the crystal suddenly regains its power to destroy Rothbart because of the true love between Odette and Daniel being stronger and more powerful.
  • Disney Death: Odette and Daniel were almost murdered by Rothbart's magic ring, but their true love for each other destroys him and breaks all his spells, and they eventually wake up.
  • Emerging from the Shadows: Erasmus does this, and is revealed to be much smaller than his shadow.
  • Evil Sorceror: Rothbart uses black magic with a powerful ring.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: Discounting the Framing Device and the ending scene, where it's unclear how much time has passed, the entire movie takes place over around three days.
  • Flat World: Daniel receives a map of the world at one point, which is shaped like a cube.
  • Forced Transformation: Happens to Odette, the forest animals, and Rothbart and Odile at the end. Odette is turned into a swan, the elves are turned into various animals, and Odile is turned into a pig and Rothbart into a cuckoo clock.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: More like second date marriage. Two days after they met and had their first date, Daniel asks Odette to marry him during the royal ball.
  • Framing Device: The movie is told by Barbie to a homesick Kelly at her sleepover camp.
  • Giggling Villain: Odile laughs in almost every scene she's in.
  • Gorgeous Garment Generation: Odette's dress is magically transformed twice, once into a pink gown for her evening with Daniel and again into a sparkly swan feathered gown.
  • The High Queen: Daniel's mother, as well as the Fairy Queen. Both are kindhearted monarchs who want what's best for their people.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • A downplayed example early in the movie: while Lila is running from the villagers, one manages to throw a lasso around her neck and pulls it tight. Lila takes advantage of a nearby axe to cut the rope. The sudden loss of tension makes the unfortunate man lose his balance and fall into a crate full of fruit, much to the amusement of nearby onlookers.
    • Rothbart takes the Crystal for himself after tricking Daniel into removing its powers. However, when Daniel and Odette die while trying to protect each other from his magic, their love restores the Crystal's power and it destroys him.
  • I Want Grandkids: The Queen really wants to see her son get married and have children of his own, and be able to spend time with her (potential) future grandchildren once Daniel eventually takes the throne.
  • Large Ham: Lila all the way. Venus Terzo had a ball when playing her. Special mention goes to this line after she is reprimanded by the Fairy Queen for going to the village.
    Lila: It's all over. I'm done for. [scoffs] Goodbye, world. [Lila faints]
  • Lean and Mean: Rothbart and Odile are both tall, thin, and evil.
  • Leitmotif: Odette has the swans' theme, Rothbart has the track used when Odette is in despair, and Carlita has the Spanish dance.
  • MacGuffin: The Magic Crystal, which is the only thing that can block Rothbart's spells.
  • Malaproper: Ivan gets in a pretty amusing one, that Carlita has to correct. Very much justified, considering he's apparently five.
    Ivan: We thank you from the hearts of our bottoms!
    Carlita: "Bottom of our hearts", Ivan.
  • Morphic Resonance: All of the transformed creatures, when human, display some animal-like qualities until the curse is fully lifted.
  • Mythology Gag: The Magic Crystal protecting Odette and the villain being out to kill her hearkens back to the original 1877 version of the ballet, where Odette's magic crown protected her from her evil stepmother, who was out to kill her.
  • Near-Villain Victory: After rendering the Magic Crystal powerless, Rothbart blasts Daniel and Odette with his magic, killing them both. He even gloats that he's won just before their love and sacrifice destroys him.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Most promos and TV spots feature a scene of Odette and Daniel dancing in the ballroom. In the actual film, Daniel is actually dancing with Odile, who is under a spell to make her look like Odette to Daniel so he can pledge his love to her.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Lila spends the initial part of Rothbart's first confrontation with Odette boasting about how the appearance of The Chosen One means he's doomed. While Rothbart probably wasn't going to let Odette escape unharmed in any case, Lila's taunting certainly doesn't help the situation.
    • Daniel falls for the false Odette (actually Odile in disguise) hook, line, and sinker and promises to marry her. This betrayal makes the Crystal lose its protective power, leaving the real Odette vulnerable to Rothbart's magic.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • When Odette first learns that she's The Chosen One, she thinks there must be some mistake and decides to go home, reluctantly leaving the residents of the Enchanted Forest to their fates. Then Rothbart shows up and transforms her into a swan, essentially forcing her to defeat him if she ever wants to return to a normal life.
    • After tricking Daniel into de-powering the Crystal, Rothbart takes it for himself. This proves to be his downfall when Daniel and Odette are blasted with magic while trying to protect each other. Their love restores the Crystal's power, and it promptly destroys him.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Rothbart transforms Odette, then immediately tries to kill her. He succeeds in disintegrating her, but the Magic Crystal saves her.
  • Rags to Royalty: Odette is a Cinderella example of this. She's a humble baker's daughter who has only ever seen Prince Daniel from afar until they meet in the Enchanted Forest and fall in love.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Though the Fairy Queen is clearly disappointed by Odette's Refusal of the Call, she immediately admits that it would be wrong to force Odette to fight Rothbart and doesn't try to stop her from leaving the Enchanted Forest. She also shows no resentment after Rothbart forces the issue by changing Odette into a swan, instead rushing to Odette's aid and doing everything in her power to help her.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Odette's glittery, pink-and-blue swan feathered ball gown more than qualifies, along with the Fairy Queen's purple and white dress.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Rothbart does an excellent job of this. As soon as he learns that Odette has been identified as the one destined to defeat him, he tries to get her out of the way—first by cursing her into the form of a swan, and then by outright trying to kill her. When the Crystal prevents him from doing the latter, he lures Daniel to the Enchanted Forest to finish the job for him. Daniel refuses to cooperate, so Rothbart learns the Crystal's weakness and instead tricks him into stripping Odette of its protection.
  • The Power of Love: The love between Daniel and Odette is what breaks Rothbart's curse.
  • Rebel Prince: Daniel would rather explore than rule.
  • Refusal of the Call: Odette balks at being told she's the chosen one and tries to go home.
  • Revealing Reflection: Odile admiring the Magic Crystal's crown shows her Prince Daniel sneaking up on her father in the reflection, letting her alert him.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Odette's older sister, Marie, is an adventurous free spirit, while Odette herself is shy and quiet.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Rothbart has a huge nose since he is an evil wizard.
  • Smelly Skunk: Carlita the skunk. She uses this power to aggravate Odile.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike the original, Daniel and Odette don't die in the end.
  • Spoiled Brat: Odile is showered in jewels and magic, but always wants more.
  • Talking Animal: All of the transformed humans (although only Ivan and Carlita speak), as well as Lila the unicorn.
  • Technicolor Magic: Lila the unicorn and the fairy queen have purple as their signature color.
  • The Power of Love: Rothbart is destroyed by the crystal's power exploding outwards, because of Odette and Daniel's love and sacrifice for each other which is much more powerful than Rothbart's dark magic.
  • Those Two Guys: Ivan and Carlita as they are best friends.
  • Tomboy:
    • Lila is a tough unicorn who's always willing to fight Rothbart.
    • Odette's older sister, Marie, is outright called a tomboy, and she's always in search of adventure.
    • Carlita is a sassy little girl who was transformed into a skunk, and she uses her new abilities to annoy Rothbart and Odile.
  • Transformation Sequence: Occurs when Rothbart transforms Odette into a swan and during her transformations from swan to human and back throughout the day. Also when her dress is changed twice by the fairy queen.
  • Triumphant Reprise: The "Swan Lake Waltz" is heard once again in the end as Odette and Daniel celebrate their marriage and Rothbart's curse is broken for good.
  • Vile Vulture: The evil sorcerer Rothbart and his daughter Odile are the villains, as well as vultures in their animal forms.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Ivan looks like a small boy but, as voiced by Ian James Corlett, he sounds much older than he looks.
  • Voices Are Not Mental: Rothbart's spell that makes Odile appear to the prince as Odette does not change her voice to sound like Odette; therefore Rothbart reminds her, "Not a word."
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Rothbart and Odile can turn into vultures at will.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Rothbart and the Fairy Queen are cousins and, judging from the flashbacks, they appeared to be close as children. However, they seemed to grow apart as they got older and then they had a major falling out when their uncle chose the Fairy Queen as his successor instead of Rothbart.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Lila gets a good scolding by the Fairy Queen after sneaking off into the village. From Lila's reaction, it happened for the umpteenth time.
  • Wham Line: Lila when she realizes Rothbart can't win after all because of Odette and Daniel's true love for each other:
    Lila: The crystal's power isn't gone!
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: Rothbart does try this with his magic ring, but it doesn't work. It's also discussed later on, which gives him the idea to trick a human into killing Odette for him.
    Odile: Why don't you just destroy her? Any old human could do it!

You're braver than you think.