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Barbie -- die Magie der Delfine (Barbie: Dolphin Magic)
Canada 2017

Opening 2 Nov 2017

Directed by: Michael Douglas, Conrad Helten
Writing credits: Kacey Arnold, Jennifer Skelly
Principal actors: Erica Lindbeck, Shannon Chan-Kent, Kazumi Evans, Claire Margaret Corlett, Alyssya Swales

Barbie and her younger sisters, Skipper, Stacie, and Chelsea, have arrived at a sea resort to visit their friend Ken, who is working as an apprentice for Marlo, a marine biologist. They are excited to view rainbow dolphins, which appear only once a year. Slowly, they learn through their new friend Isla that the dolphins are in extreme danger of being packed up and sent off for exhibit by this very same Marlo. How can they save them?

I’ll admit that I was a Barbie film novice and expected the worst. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised how good this film is. Barbie and her sisters are four girls in ages approximately 18 to 6, so that (girl) viewers of all ages can identify with at least one. It is only 60 minutes long, an acceptable length for small children (open for three and older, but probably best for five and older). Isla is a mermaid, so we experience much water as she swims with the dolphins. However, she has magical gifts, one of which is to sprout legs for walking on land, so that she and Barbie become friends. The colors are beautiful; the dolphins have names like Ruby, Topaz, and Amethyst.

The press information says that the story is supposed to encourage girls to consider careers offered by sea life and adds, “Since Barbie appeared in 1959, she has ‘worked’ in more than 180 different careers, all set up to encourage girls to be everything they desire, to believe in their own capabilities.” I am encouraged to check out more Barbie films, starting with the first one which appeared in 2001 (Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World) and work my way up to this one, which is number 36. (Becky Tan)

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