Unlock the door to music, magic and friendship.

“Where’s Barbie?!”

So exclaimed my four-year-old daughter she was watching a movie called Barbie and the Secret Door. I have to say: she kind of had a point. When you’ve got “Barbie” in your title there is a certain level of expectation that goes along with it, especially for a pre-K audience member.

Regardless of Barbie’s AWOL status, this is still a solid piece of kids’ entertainment. My daughter, after getting over the initial betrayal, enjoyed it.

The story: Princess Alexa (played by Barbie — oh, I see what they did here; still, that’s way too meta for someone who can’t add yet) stumbles upon a magic door that opens up into a magic land. There she meets a mermaid and a fairy and discovers that the crazy new world gives her magic powers as well (the Krypton effect I’m guessing).

Anywho, this land is under the thumb of a spoiled brat named Malucia, who, to be fair, had no other recourse in life with a name like that. Together Barbie as Alexa and her new friends sing songs about friendship and fly around with fairy wings and sing songs about flying around with fairy wings.

It’s all standard-operating-procedure here: low-impact, inoffensive CGI fare with some lively dance numbers and enough pastel colors to saturate your eyeballs to the point of exhaustion. The story is about as straightforward as you’d expect, with the focus on these attractive little fairy princesses working together to usurp a whiner.

As a dad, I’m okay with that. And the animation is actually pretty good; those are some of the finest dance numbers done by faux-plastic dolls I ever borne witness to.

Universal’s Barbie and the Secret Door (Blu-ray) offers up a nice package for the family. The 1.78:1/1080p HD transfer is bright and vibrant, delivering a nice, saccharine visual treatment. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track is a worthy deliverer of bubblegum pop cacophony. Extras include a pair of music videos, outtakes, an episode of Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse, plus a DVD and digital copy.

THE VERDICT
Not guilty. I have nothing further to add.

 

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