Barbie expelled from perfect doll world in new technicolor dystopian nightmare movie

Originally published at: Barbie expelled from perfect doll world in new technicolor dystopian nightmare movie | Boing Boing


Well then, if you like that you should check out Life in the Dreamhouse… a weirdly subversive season of Barbie stuff that somehow made it through the Barbie corporate branding machine. Here’s an episode with a killer AI closet:

The rest of it is all in the same tone as that movie… This is one of those moments where you’re stuck watching something with your kids and you’re suddenly like “waitasec…”


Um, isn’t a trailer supposed to make people want to see a movie? This one didn’t.


Youre Wrong Schitts Creek GIF by CBC

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I watched those with my kiddo back in the day. They were fun!


So many good comedic actors and a director with a good track record (albeit a short one)?

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Right? It looks like the right amount of tongue in cheek while not shitting on the culture of little girls…

[eta] I mean… this is perfect


I would like to say that i’m surprised by that plot point but Mattel has been trying to tie emotional intelligence into the Barbie brand for years


We’re huge Life in the Dreamhouse fans in our house…and our 5 and 7yo daughters are starting to warm up to it too :slight_smile:. It’s an amazing job of needle threading with the characters and tone. The embracing of them as toys is great, and it’s just top notch slapstick. They tried to pull some of the physical comedy into Dreamhouse Adventures, but that show remains pretty dull and generic in contrast.


One of my good friends used to be a brand manager at Mattel, and she managed overseas manufacturing for Barbie.

Talking to her about Barbie was interesting! Mattel is actually pretty serious about pushing it into weird and new places, and they have been since the early 90s. All the new stuff you’ve seen lately like diverse versions of Barbie or computer scientist Barbies, have come from this effort.

Their main barrier has been the customers. They get hate mail from midwestern housewives every time they try to give Barbie a job or a Black friend. So they’ve basically been “sneaking” diversity into the marketplace. When they release a new scientist Barbie, for example, they advertise her in online tween forums, but not store end caps where the parents will see them. That sort of thing.


To be fair, that’s not their actual customers, who are the children of such women.


It’s those mothers that actually buy the dolls though.


Those women generally are the ones spending the money though. They either have to be on board with what the kid is getting, or not know about it. Marketing of toys is done to both parents and kids for different reasons and in different ways.


You beat me to it. I was mesmerized by that series… nice bonding experience with my daughter when she discovered it. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Well, if that’s the case that only adults count as “consumers” because they control the pursestrings, and if these are “true” housewives (not working outside the home, one family income, presumably by the men), then it’s really the men who are the actual consumers here, right? Because they “earn” the money that is being spent…

But I’d argue that consumerism is related to who is doing the physical spending. So, even if the kid’s income is an allowance, they are still the consumer here. That’s generally how it’s understood in the history of youth consumerism - the person doing the spending is the one considered the consumer. Hence kids and teenagers (which has only been a thing since the post-war period, really) become a key demographic in consumption in the postwar period. And sure, some of the marketing is aimed at parents, but mostly it’s aimed at the kids/teens, because they are seen as a key demographic… And kids have had more leeway in how they can consume since the post-war period, and I’m guessing that’s only increased with the internet, too.

See my argument above…


And I find it and add it to my kids collection :wink:

On the original topic as a Dad who has been coerced into watching every adventure of Barbie Roberts that Netflix has to offer I am intrigued by this movie as a comedy for me to watch.

But the more recent cartoons are far better in their portrayal of Barbie as an intelligent and caring role model. My young kids definitely wont be seeing this film.


Every time I see Barbie stuff these days I’m reminded of the summer I worked as a temp for Mattel on the floor that was evenly split between Barbie design & marketing (a sea of pink to left side of the stairwell) and Hot Wheels (a sea of blue to right side of the stairwell).

Whenever I’d walk through the Barbie section I’d see rows of little doll heads on sticks lining the edges of cubicles. I believe they were there because some toy/fashion designers were trying out different hairdos but it still kind of felt like a warning posted on the castle walls by some pink plastic warlord.


I now know where I want to work if I grow up!




Now imagine someone carefully braiding and pinning back Sean Bean’s hair and you get the idea.