Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Barbie Presents Thumbelina |
Genres: Kids & Family, Animation
Genre: Family Rating: NR Release Date: 17-MAR-2009 Media Type: DVD
Good and Bad
Shadomega | Oregon | 04/27/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is drastically different from the other Barbie movies. They are trying to do their good deed by making a movie with an environmental message. This appears to be a calculated move from a marketing standpoint, rather than genuine concern for the environment since the only effort Mattel has made is with the items associated with this movie (recylced packaging for the toys, etc.). Nothing makes blatant commercialism stand out like a sore thumb like trying to package it as anti-commercialism. We all know that the Barbie movies are commercials for their toys (like the TV cartoons we grew up with), but as parents we've tolerated it with the Barbie movies because they've so far done alright at putting good moral lessons into them and making them relatively entertaining. This movie is not on the same level as the previous movies in a few ways. The writing, particularly in the dialog department, is very weak and stilted. They have built everything around their obviously half-hearted attempt at "doing a good deed for the environment" and it shows in that every element involved in the "green theme" is poorly executed. The dialog in these parts is atrocious, cringe-worthy jargon. It sounds more like a cheap PSA than movie dialog. The premise is horribly flawed that they would be trying to build a factory so far out of the way that they have to attack a field of flowers that nobody ever goes to. That they transplant a section of the flowers from the field to Makena's room using an excavator (and apparently so quickly and cleanly that the twillerbees inside have no idea where they are or what has happened) is positively laughable. I've had more to explain to my daughters of how things wouldn't happen the way they depicted in this movie than any other Barbie movie, and we have all but the Diaries and Fairytopia ones.
The animation is not up to par on this movie either, and I suspect it is because they are trying to churn out more movies this year than any previous year. They seem to have caught on that the movies are very effective at selling toys, so they're trying to hit us with a non-stop barrage. What happens then is that they are trying to slap these things together in maybe a quarter of the amount of time they used to have. Thus now the lifelike characters move like hollow rubber tubes, and the main characters aren't even attempted to look lifelike. Oddly enough, they look like the Sweet Streets dolls from Fisher Price... I also noticed several times during the movie that the image will pixellate and become grainy, so the finish is seriously lacking. Also noteworthy is the small role Kelly Sheridan has been playing lately. She got to mostly sit out of Mariposa, Christmas Carol, and Thumbelina and only had a starring role in the Diamond Castle movie.
I guess I've been lucky about the brattiness of the girls in this movie, as my daughters have not tried to emulate them. In fact the only comment I've received so far is my oldest asking "Why doesn't she say anything other than 'Ch-ya'?" which has given me the opportunity to point out that she doesn't have anything valuable to add so she just says something stupid. I also point out at the end that her part was so insignificant that nobody is credited for her. Frankly I thought the part was hillarious as a representation of the stupid things snobby people will say when they can't just be silent, but that is beside the point since I'm old enough to not be influenced by cartoons.
All of this aside, I will say that the weird looking characters can grow on you. Usually I like the villain characters in the Barbie movies because they tend to ham things up and totally upstage the heroic characters (particularly Martin Short's Preminger- classic!), but in this one, I think Thumbelina's ditzy friend, Chrysella steals a lot of scenes. Also the construction workers (not counting the crazy foreman) provided a few good laughs, although they would have a hard time keeping a job with the way they spend most of their time eating lunch and smelling the flowers. A good crew would have had the job of blading the ground done before lunch on the first day. Poor little pixies would never have known what hit them... All in all, the depiction of construction workers was pretty bad showing them to be lazy and more than a little weak in the head, and the foreman was the primary villain. In that respect, the environmental message skews the story into the very turbulent waters of over-generalization. It reminded me of a book that was just banned from the schools for trying to generalize Loggers as evil polluting critter killers. They tried to soften it by making it only the foreman who is really trying to tear the place up, but by doing that they made doofuses out of the workers. Way to go guys. Some kids watching this may have parents who work in construction, or other relatives, and now they are going to have to explain to these kids that they don't go around trying to destroy pixie homes... Does it also need to be pointed out that there is plenty of good that can be said in favor of green practices and environmental causes without having to involve magic and make-believe situations (which only dillute the message)? Since there aren't any pixies in the homeless shelters, trying to save their habitat is kind of pointless, you think?
This movie is mildly amusing and my daughters enjoy it immensely, but I think it has the worst dumbed-down plot of all of them. The parts about understanding what true friendship is are good, and that goes back to what most of the Barbie movies are good at, self-esteem stories. They need to stick to those motifs if they're going to do rush jobs on these movies.
And if you think this one was bad, the next one features four Barbies riding horses in mini-skirts waving swords around. That ought to get all of us parents up in arms!"
Great; a nice change
jillybug | 03/21/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"My four-year-old and her friends LOVE this movie (my 2 1/2 year old, too), and while I have to agree that the snobbish attitudes of the rich girls aren't my favorite, overall, I liked the show and thought it was a nice change from the many Barbie movies that have an evil "villain" character in them. True, it's not really the story of Thumbelina, but it's a cute, refreshing story, not scary at all for little ones, and I quite enjoyed it myself, for what it is. I recommend it."
Thumbelina- very interesting.....
Melanie Lane | 04/02/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, this is from a 13- year- old who loves Barbie. I have seen the movies; I love 'em all. I like Thumbelina a lot, but I do have a few peeves with it.
1. It's very different. A change from all the princess movies. Don't get me wrong! I LOVE the princess movies, but a change is always nice.
2. It inspired me to help the enviroment more.
3. The Twillerbees are very cool- I love their home!
4. It's a good story, but there isn't any scary stuff. It's hard to have a good movie without a little bit of fright, or on-the-edge-of-your-seat stuff.
1. The animation is NOWHERE NEAR as beautiful as the older ones! It remids me of movies like Toy Story. I DID NOT like the construction Boss Myron. He looks completely unrealistic and despicable.
2. I didn't like the way the parents were portrayed as "kiss-ups." It's a way of undermining parents authority. Although you must understand, it's not that they are dumb slobs, but they are too busy and don't have time for their daughter. So they simply let her have whatever she wants. It's the classic "rich kid" case- a daughter longing for attention and getting it from her firends because it's unavailable from her parents.
3. Barbie tells the story to a redhead, brown- eyed Emma, along with a group of kids. I missed the one-on-one, heart-to-heart sister relationship between Barbie and her sisters.
4. "Ashlyn", Violet's friend, is SOOOO irritating!!! All she says is "Ch-ya!" grr....
5. I didn't like the way Thumbelina and her friends appeared to the kids at the end. I like the more mystery, where Barbie might say something like, "Maybe..." but you never see the fairy-tale people- so the kids are just left thinking.
Overall, I really like this movie. I have 4 pros and 5 cons, so I give it a 4 out of 5. I disagree with those who say that the rich girls are terrible. Violet is a brat the whole time, but McKenna makes a small sacrifice to help Thumbelina and learns that true friends aren't people to just impress and try to be better than. SHE LEARNS HER LESSON.
I think it's a good movie for kids, but I really miss the old animation. I miss Barbie's old face (have you noticed the change???) and I miss the old style. Other than that, it's good. Enjoy!"
S. Lehner | Wisconsin | 03/23/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Awful- I am glad I rented it before buying it. Not a good story about thumbelina, the daughter character is spoiled rotten, the friends are obnoxious brats, the parents are ridiculous- "we'll give you whatever you want, dear" This is not a good role model movie at all, no lessons learned other than how to act spoiled and rotten! SKIP THIS ONE- I wish I had never let my daughter, age 6 watch it."