Monday, March 7, 2011
Barbie ought to be in pictures - and she is
Lately, I've been nurturing my inner child and catching up on the old Disney movies and classics. Pursuing the library, a pink DVD came into view. Barbie (TM).
As a baby boomer, I was perhaps the first generation to grow up with Barbie (TM). She was the "perfect" girl next door with a figure to die for and a fantastic life limited by our imagination.
This fashion doll became a hit and a billion dollar franchise was born. More than 50 years later, she is still going strong. Barbie dolls, all her friends, accessories, clothes, cars, houses, pets, ... Just check out Walmart. Since 2001 thanks to computer animation, she has starred in many movies.
I checked out one of these available Barbie DVDs - Rapunzel. (I had just seen the latest Disney princess movie, Tangled, in the 3D in the movie theatre and wondered how this version would compare.)
I was skeptical, but figured if the Barbie movie was so sweet that it would make me gag, not much was lost, except for some time. So much for prejudice. I was pleasantly surprised. I actually liked the animated movie... very much ... even better than many Disney movies.
So I checked out more. The Nutcracker - as in the Tchaikovsky ballet. The Princess and the Pauper (based loosely on Mark Twain's - The Prince and the Pauper.) The Magic of Pegasus. The background music was terrific, classical music (like Beethoven) performed by such renowned groups as the London Symphony Orchestra.
It seems so many cartoons out there aren't so uplifting. Just check out the prime time animation on TV on Sunday night. They may be a hit in the ratings, but the humor and the story lines often appeal to the basest in human nature. Yet, the sample of Barbie stories I viewed reinforced good character and family values.
With a strong female in the leading role, the plots did not fall into the male bashing trap of misandry as in so many comedies. Each story reinforced a positive message so lacking in these seemingly sophisticated, cynical times.
I saw the heroine far from the helpless damsel in distress in Victorian fairy tales. She consistently showed courage, perseverance, initiative, and many positive characteristics: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. The fruits of the Spirit.
Barbie's inner beauty outshone her perfect 10 "Barbie doll" figure. So, move over Disney, you have some serious competition here.
Photo from Wikipedia: Barbie Fashion Model