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Western Animation / The Barbie Diaries

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The eighth entry in the Barbie direct-to-video film series, it's Barbie meets Mean Girls with a touch of vaguely defined fantasy in this installment, an odd-movie-out in Barbie's usual fantasy oeuvre. It was released on May 9, 2006, in between Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia and Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses.

In this one, Barbie and her friends are a Garage Band; the main action takes place at her school. The three have started their sophomore year and Barbie looks forward for everything to change for her.

And, as in any American high school, there is the Alpha Bitch, who is in this case named Raquelle. As the movie opens, Barbie receives the position of Raquelle's official toady for the school TV news show. And, as usual, Barbie has a crush on Raquelle's boyfriend, Todd, who she thinks is her Secret Admirer. Luck turns to Barbie's side for once when she receives a mysterious diary which can only be unlocked with its included charm bracelet, and Todd not only breaks up with Raquelle, but also hooks up with Barbie in the same day; Barbie soon discovers the diary is magical, and whatever she writes in it is coming true. This leads to a rise in popularity for Barbie and she effectively dumps her own friends in favor of developing a Girl Posse with members stolen from Raquelle. But when Raquelle steals the bracelet, Barbie feels like she lost all her magic until her friends come together.

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Of course, it turns out okay when it turns out the Secret Admirer is her childhood friend Kevin, and she makes up with her friends to finish the movie with a song.


This movie contains examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Raquelle is the resident catty, bullying popular girl who goes out of her way to make Barbie miserable. Barbie herself realizes she's verging on this when she leaves her friends behind to hang out with Raquelle's Girl Posse.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The diary, or more specifically the bracelet that holds the key to it. It comes from a mysterious girl at a shop, is what Barbie writes in about all her troubles, and at the end the bracelet somehow snags on Raquelle's dress, forcing her to take it off so it can then be returned to Barbie.
  • Betty and Veronica: Shallow Jerk Jock Todd versus friendly Childhood Friend Kevin. In the end, when Barbie finds out Kevin was the one behind the love letters, she chooses him.
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  • Breaking Old Trends: This is the first Barbie film to not be adapted from previous works of literature and instead has an original plot. It is also the first film to feature Barbie as a protagonist in a modern-day setting rather than a fantasy setting.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Raquelle stealing Barbie's bracelet which is used to unlock the diary means she cannot access it anymore, and with that, she also lost all her magic and is forced to make amends.
  • Canon Immigrant: Raquelle makes her first appearance in this movie (and it's accompanying toyline), and was later added to the main toyline (but with a different hair color; see Evil Redhead later in the article).
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Barbie and Kevin are mentioned to have been best friends since they were kids, and at the end Barbie realizes he, not Todd, is the guy for her.
  • Continuity Snarl: Along with the My Scene movies, it's the only Barbie movie not made by Mainframe / Rainmaker Studiosnote , so good luck fitting it in with the current Barbie canon.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: The opening song "This Is Me" is presented as a girly music video, with pink and white visuals.
  • Double-Meaning Title: The episode title is an alternate method of saying "The Barbie Chronicles", which showcase Barbie's sophomore year, but it also refers to the magic diary Barbie receives which she uses to make anything she wants come true.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The movie qualifies for this in the overarching Barbie franchise as, aside from the acquiring of the bracelet/diary, the film mostly deal in a realm with no magic, has relatively low stakes (no princesses or fancy ball gowns here, just teen angst) and is driven purely on character choices and the developments they cause.
  • Evil Redhead: Downplayed; Raquelle is the resident Alpha Bitch rival to Barbie and has reddish strawberry blonde hair (in contrast to all her later appearances, where she has black hair).
  • Former Friend of Alpha Bitch: Barbie and Raquelle were best friends, until Raquelle got popular and started to bully her.
  • Genki Girl: Courtney. She describes herself as "exciting" and has a spunky personality. In fact, one of her powers is her joyfulness.
  • Girl Posse: Dawn and Regen serve as this for Raquelle, being her cronies who follow her around everywhere. They're portrayed slightly more sympathetically than is usual for the trope, as Barbie briefly befriends them and them calling her out for using them as part of her news story against "the populars" is portrayed as them being in the right, as Barbie later realizes she's been becoming as shallow as Raquelle and needs to reconcile with her friends after briefly deserting them for popularity.
  • High-School Dance: The ending of the movie takes place at a dance, where Barbie and her friends perform as a band.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: At one point, Barbie imagines dumping water from a carboy on Raquelle's head as retaliation.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dawn and Regen may be snobby bullies who are a part of Raquelle's Girl Posse, but they're right to be angry that Barbie befriended them simply to do a defamatory news story about them. Regen is especially right to argue that Barbie's actions aren't any different from what "the populars" do.
    Regen: So...you wanted to show the world how terrible populars are for pretending to be friends with people when all they really wanna do is gather dirt. Why does that sound familiar?
  • Jerk Jock: Todd is the football quarterback and Raquelle's boyfriend. He isn't an outright bully like she is but is rather shallow and fickle, immediately dumping Barbie to go back to Raquelle when she shows interest in taking him back solely to spite the former. A Hilarious Outtake shows him being distracted by his reflection in a locker mirror and obsessively preening over his hair.
  • The Little Shop That Wasn't There Yesterday: A variant: In this case, it's not the shop but the girl behind the counter, although Raquelle does know her name.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: Barbie thinks her secret admirer is Todd, but it turns out to be Kevin.
  • MacGuffin: Barbie's diary, and the bracelet required for it to open.
  • Merchandise-Driven: Obviously, but the bracelet and diary stand out, as does the playset of Barbie's room.
  • Power Trio: Barbie's two best friends are Tia and Courtney, and thus form this with her. She also briefly befriends Raquelle's own friends, Regen and Dawn, but that ends when she has a Heel Realization about her association with them.
  • Pretty Butterflies: Butterflies are recurring motifs throughout the movie, from the cover of Barbie's diary and her bedroom to the title logo itself. It might have something to do with the Butterfly of Transformation theme, as the plot is about Barbie nearly becoming an Alpha Bitch.
  • Token Minority: Japanese-American Genki Girl Tomboy Courtney and African-American Black and Nerdy Tia are the only characters of color in an otherwise all-white cast.
  • Token Trio: Barbie is white, Courtney is Asian, and Tia is Black.
  • Tomboy: Courtney.
  • Toyless Toyline Character: Despite playing a significant part in the movie, Kevin wasn't produced.
  • Unabashed B-Movie Fan: Barbie and Kevin have a marathon of movie nights where they only watch movies with genre titles that start with a different letter of the alphabet for each night, with snacks of the same theme naming to match. Barbie notes it's hard to find snacks that start with the letter "Z" for watching zombie movies.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Each of the main trio was given four to five outfit changes, and even Raquelle and her friends got at least a second outfit.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Near the end, Dawn and Regen call out Barbie for talking about the secrets they confided in her live on air to the school, with the former even arguing it makes her no better than the popular kids she was working to expose. Later on, Tia and Courtney are similarly angry with her for leaving them behind and gossiping about Tia with Dawn and Regen. Realizing that she really is on the verge of being an Alpha Bitch like Raquelle, Barbie makes amends by publicly apologizing on air and reconciling with her friends.
  • Wish-Fulfillment: The diary does this for Barbie, as she writes about her fantasies in it.

 
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This Is Me

The opening to The Barbie Diaries.

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