The Barbie Movie's Original Barbie Design Would Have Ruined The Film

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The stuff of nightmares, really.

Summary SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT Among the many elements of Barbie that have been widely praised by critics and viewers is the design of Barbieland and all the Barbies and Kens, but had the production crew gone with their original Barbie and Ken designs, the movie would have been completely ruined. Greta Gerwig’s Barbie went from being one of the most anticipated movies of 2023 to one of its most successful ones, both with critics and viewers.

Barbie follows Stereotypical Barbie , who has an existential crisis after going through sudden changes, such as having flat feet and questioning her own mortality. After asking Weird Barbie for help, Barbie, along with Stereotypical Ken , travels to the human world to find the girl playing with her and fix the portal between Barbieland and the human world.

This “realistic” design for Barbie, Ken, and all of their variants would have completely distracted the audience from the movie’s themes and messages about patriarchy and feminism, and it wouldn’t have really been creative. Barbie has been praised for its visual style and production design, but plastic Barbies and Kens wouldn’t have allowed viewers to truly appreciate the rest of the movie’s design and would have inevitably fallen into uncanny valley territory, which is never a good thing.

The Barbie Movie Reflects How Women Are Supposed To See Themselves In The Doll In that same interview, Primorac explained that Barbies are beautiful in every child’s mind, and the fake, plastic image they created wasn’t beautiful, so they completely changed their design. Primorac added that what’s most beautiful “is each person being the best they can be”, and that’s what they ultimately wanted to reflect through the design of the Barbies and Kens, which they definitely achieved.

However, Barbie has also become an image of what the “perfect” woman is supposed to be, which is something that is also addressed in the movie, and having Barbie look like a human fits this theme. Barbie’s final design allowed the characters from Barbieland to smoothly transition to the real world, which would have had the complete opposite effect had they looked like they were of plastic, and would have definitely traumatized everyone around them.


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