By Ranny Levy, President and Founder of Kids First!
We all want to encourage our grandchildren to read. I have found that book-based films are a great way to attract a child’s interest in reading. Take Mark Twain’s classic, The Prince and the Pauper, which gets a glamorous modern makeover in the new DVD release from Universal Studios, Barbie: The Princess & the Popstar. While Twain contrasted two opposites – a prince, which everyone would want to be, and a pauper, which was not so attractive – Universal’s two heroines both live a life that every young girl thinks she wants. But glamour isn’t necessarily all it seems to be. As KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Cheyenne Nguyen, age 8, observes in her review, below, “There are always things that you would like to change, but accepting who you are will make you a happy person.” Viewing the film also may make you a happy person. “The dance moves are amazing and make me want to stand up and dance along with the movie,” says 7-year-old KIDS FIRST! youth film critic Morgan Bertsch, describing the music and singing as “fun and upbeat.” You can watch the video review with both girls here (link to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z9XM9Y-9ag) and read them below.
Barbie: The Princess & the Popstar
Reviewed by Morgan Bertsch
The story follows two girls, Tori and Keira. Tori is the princess who wishes she was a popstar and Keira is the popstar longing to be a princess. Interesting fact: Did you know that the original author of The Prince and the Pauper is Mark Twain of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn fame? Whoo — say that five times fast! The original story was published in 1881.
Tori, the princess, is the classic blonde Barbie who is bored of her royal life. Keira, the popstar, is the brunette Barbie who dreams of being a princess. When the two of them meet, they magically trade places. But it’s not all that it appears, as the pop star’s manager, Crider, has plans to steal the spotlight from Keira. The girls have to figure out a way to stop his evil plot and never forget the show must go on.
I’ve always been a big fan of the Barbie franchise and I love what they have done in this movie. The music and singing is fun and upbeat, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.” They have many different songs. I loved learning to sing the words. The dance moves are amazing and make me want to stand up and dance along with the movie. The live animation and the great set designs make me feel like I was really at a live concert.
If given the choice I would choose to be the Barbie Pop star. Whoops, sorry — I’d prefer to be Morgan because you learn in this story that it’s best to be who you are. Hmm, Morgan the Pretty Princess Pop Star sounds kind of fun, though!
My favorite part of the movie is when she finds a crystal diamond gardenia. Wait till you see what it can do. The dogs are the cutest. Although they can talk I would like to hear more of what they have to say. I love all the different hair colors and styles. The dresses are incredible and amazing. I wish I could twirl and just change clothes like Barbie or at least borrow that magic microphone for the day. I also love all the glitter and sparkles. No Barbie movie is complete until the glitter sparkle ending.
The ages for this movie are 4 and up or anybody who’s a fan of Barbie. This is a must-own for your collection. I give it five twinkling stars.
This DVD is scheduled to be available September 2012 in celebration of Universal’s 100th anniversary. Thank You Universal for all your great movies!
Barbie: The Princess & the Popstar
Reviewed by Cheyenne Nguyen
This movie is full of great songs and dance. Princess Tori is a big fan of Popstar Keira. They finally meet at thePrincessCastle and hit it off right away. They start talking and the princess wishes to be a popstar and the popstar wishes to be the princess for a day. Then they realized they look so much alike and try on each other clothes and pretend to each other.
Princess Tori and Keira are so much alike that they can fool a lot of people around them. Except for Princess Tori’s two younger sisters; they knew right away it wasn’t their sister. Tori and Keira share many secrets. One of the secrets is overheard by Keira’s evil manager. This is when all bad things start to happen. They must overcome a lot of obstacles in the process of getting their lives back.
The awesome songs and dances in this movie are put together like magic. All the songs are well-known songs and the dance moves so cool. It makes me want to get up and dance to all the songs. The cartoon quality is very clear, it’s like watching real-life people dancing. The details to the hair and make-up on each character are so real. Great storyline; most little girls dream of being a princess or a popstar.
This really shows the daily routine of a princess and a popstar. Only a small portion of their daily lives are good to have, the rest of their daily routines are hard work. It’s not what most people would want for their lives.
My favorite character is Princess Tori’s dog, Vanessa. She is so wise and cute.
The message of this movie is be happy with what you are. There are always things that you would like to change, but accepting who you are will make you a happy person.
I rank this movie five out of five stars. I give this an age range of 3 to 10.
Ranny Levy – Founder and President
KIDS FIRST! / Coalition for Quality Children’s Media http://www.kidsfirst.org Supporting Quality Media for Children Since 1991
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Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Robert Fulghum