It is very easy to meet the 'Barbie' films with a lot of dislike and
scorn and they are all very lowly rated here (despite some favourable
reviews). It is understandable to take issue with the dialogue (a fair
few are ropy in this regard), the predictability of the stories, the
odd annoying character, the animation in a few (not all are well
animated) and whether there is enough for adults to keep interest.
Despite not being the main target audience, to me they are mostly
better than given credit for, easy to take them for what they are and
don't deserve to be dismissed as baby-ish and for little girls only (a
very narrow minded generalisation). Are they animation masterpieces?
No. Are they among the best films ever made? Again no. Are they worth
watching if taken for what they are? Absolutely for most of them. Most
of them look good if not having the polish of studios specialising in
computer animation (Pixar for one), often great music, good lessons and
messages, a good deal of charm, have their heart in the right place and
have entertaining characters well voiced (some had actors of
considerable calibre like Tim Curry, Anjelica Huston, Martin Short and
Kelsey Grammar, all of them terrific in their respective outings Curry
especially) and a likable title character that particularly young girls
can relate to.
There are better 'Barbie' films ('Nutcracker', 'Diamond Castle',
'Island Princess', 'Pink Shoes'), but 'Barbie: Star Light Adventure' to
me is one of the better later 'Barbie' films and much better than the
likes of 'A Fairy Secret', 'A Fashion Fairytale' and 'Princess and the
Popstar'. Like what was said with 'Barbie and her Sisters in the Great
Puppy Adventure', given a chance without prejudice, some are very
likely to be surprised that due to the sugar, glitter and princess-y
nature of a lot of the films in the series being toned down and instead
going the spy/secret agent route (a fairly mature subject for a
'Barbie' film) that this film attracts a wider audience than most
Not a great film strictly speaking, with the same faults with the
previous three entries ('Rock 'N' Royals', 'Great Puppy Adventure' and
'Spy Squad'). The dialogue is simplistic and at times forced, even for
somebody who doesn't expect a script in a 'Barbie' film to be good. The
story is yet another that sees the viewer a step or two ahead of the
film in how things are headed with even the messaging at times being a
bit repetitive this time round. The characters do lack depth beyond
neatly black and white and the ending does lack lustre and doesn't feel
particularly well rounded off.
However, the animation is quite nice with the lack of the
original/traditional look that in general appeals much more than the
modern one not being a bother whatsoever. There are some beautiful
bright colours (never excessive here), handsome and imaginative
backgrounds and the character designs and movements have natural
freedom rather than being stiff. It's not exactly imaginative and it's
not as polished as Pixar, but when you have computer animation that
makes you physically ill like the entire output of Video Brinquedo and
Spark Plug Entertainment and the sequels to 'The Swan Princess' (the
CGI ones) and 'Alpha and Omega' it's very clear which is better than
them and this.
Music is upbeat and fitting, enough to put children and adults alike in
a good mood. Nothing generic or too loud or intrusive here.
Regarding the story, it is predictable but it is full of energy,
cuteness and charm with its heart in the right place the entire time
(nothing at all mean spirited). It flies by and the action is very much
eventful and rarely repetitive, plus it doesn't feel anywhere near as
much of a Hodge Podge of tired ideas like a few of the recent 'Barbie'
films have been. Throughout, 'Barbie: Star Light Adventure' is
fun-loving and well-intended.
Characters, even with the lack of depth, are engaging and carry the
film well. Barbie is likable and resourceful as ever, as well as smart,
serving as a good role model for young girls especially. The chemistry
between the characters is great too, as is, beyond the repetition and
samey nature of the messages themselves (important messages but have
been covered many times previously in the series) the positive
messaging that was delivered with the right amount of making-its-point
Voice acting is pretty good and done with a lot of spirit. One may miss
Kelly Sheridan, but the new voice actress is a worthy replacement.
In summation, good fun. 7/10 Bethany Cox