If you have young children, you’ve probably seen the animated movies starring Barbie with classical soundtracks based on famous orchestra works such as Dvorak’s New World Symphony. The first release came in 2001, when Owen Hurley directed an intelligent, charming adaptation of E. T. A. Hoffmann's story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King with music from Tchaikovsky’s ballet.
But it was all downhill from there.
Barbie as Rapunzel came next, and there followed a string of disjointed, syrupy features (Swan Lake, 12 Dancing Princesses, The Magic of the Rainbow, etc.) that mix classical music and ballet with the winsome doll and her super-cute friends. Not surprisingly, each movie’s release coincides with an avalanche of new character-based toys.
I must admit that I very much enjoyed watching Barbie in Mermadia, the 2006 sequel to Fairytopia. You just haven’t lived until you’ve seen her pet puffball Bibble sing Mozart’s "The Queen of the Night” aria.
Now Barbie’s on tour, in “a children's animated classical music experience, Barbie™ at the Symphony based on the best-selling Barbie™ 'Princess movies.'" Arnie Roth arranged and conducts these live performances, recently described in British newspaper The Independent as “cheesy” and “weird.”
Cheesy, weird, and brilliant.
You can read the Independent article here: http://arts.independent.co.uk/music/features/article3319378.ece
Or, skip right to Barbie’s pet puffball, Bibble: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e31Kps6sI4g
In this clip, he/she/it? is eating magic berries and singing. This is, unfortunately, not “The Queen of the Night” aria.