Blu-ray
For Fans Only
3 stars
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$14.98
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Overall Grade
3 stars

(click linked text below to jump to related section of the review)

The Movie Itself
1.5 Stars
HD Video Quality
4 Stars
HD Audio Quality
4 Stars
Supplements
1.5 Stars
High-Def Extras
0 Stars
Bottom Line
For Fans Only

Barbie in Princess Power

Street Date:
March 3rd, 2015
Reviewed by:
Review Date: 1
August 14th, 2015
Movie Release Year:
2015
Studio:
Universal Studios
Length:
74 Minutes
Release Country
United States

The Movie Itself: Our Reviewer's Take

Have there really been 29 films based on 'Barbie'? Yes there has, and the 29th one is here with 'Barbie in Princess Power', which is sure to delight all of the young kids who love seeing splashes of bright colors, glitter explosions, and bubble gum pop songs set to their favorite doll. As usual with these types of animated films, specifically the 'Barbie' ones, there is only a very small demographic the filmmakers are interested in here, which are mostly kids under the age of eight I imagine. Every story plot is predictable, nor is there any real tension or suspense.

The villains of the story never meet a gruesome demise, but rather come around to the "light side" of things, complete with a ton of super poppy music to entertain the small ones, which is exactly what the filmmakers know that works. These writers and directors know their core audience to a tee, and they execute that precise formula to get the kids excited for the next 'Barbie' film, even if it looks the same to us adults. In this particular film, we have Barbie, or shall I say Kara, who is a princess who wants to build a community garden for all the people of the land to enjoy. Although, her parents would rather her turn into the stereotypical princess by learning the ways of royalty and waving in parades.

All Kara wants to do though is make the world a better place with her garden and helping people. Kara gets what she asks for when she is kissed on the cheek by a butterfly that turns her into a flying superhero named Super Sparkle, where she fights petty crime day in and day out with the help of her friends. Soon enough, her cousin Corinne becomes jealous of her superpowers and forces the butterfly to kiss her cheek too. Corinne then becomes the arch enemy to Super Sparkle, as she is now known as Dark Sparkle and the battle of pink and purple begins. Meanwhile, there is a much more evil force about with Baron Von Ravendale, who believes he's in charge of Barbie's kingdom, and now the Sparkle twins must set aside their differences to fight something bigger than their jealousy.

The story here is really only something a young kid would enjoy, and that they certainly will. There's enough loud music and adventures for them to hang onto through its 70 minute runtime without becoming bored. But if you're older than eight, you'll be bored stiff and annoyed out of your mind, thinking that this whole story could have been told and executed in under ten minutes. The kids will certainly learn life lessons here, particularly that of loyalty and friendship by the end. The animation is decent, but isn't great though, so don't expect a Pixar-quality looking movie. That being said, the very young demographic that is hyped up on sugar and love bright colors and loud pop music will get a kick out of 'Barbie in Princess Power'.


The Video: Sizing Up the Picture

'Barbie in Princess Power' comes with a very colorful 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. My eye sockets just about passed out, due to the abundance of bright pinks and purples constantly on screen. It's as if the two colors were competing against each other in a no holds barred steel cage match. Wait, they kind of were. Anywho, this CG animated Barbie film lacks the depth and detail that a Pixar movie has, visually speaking. It's not surprise though, as this film had just a fraction of the budget and talent than a Pixar movie would have.

Detail is quite sharp in certain moments, though this image looks fairly flat most of the time. There isn't really any detail in the clothes or hair, but there is some vivid detail in some of the background textures and of course the glitter. There is literally glitter everywhere at all times, and you'll be able to see each piece of it. I am not a fan of glitter by hypnosis. Colors pop brightly and vibrantly throughout, but they are limited to the simple primary colors really. The black levels are deep and inky as well. There are some minor banding throughout as well as some aliasing that crops up. For this core demographic of this film, these video issues will not be a problem.


The Audio: Rating the Sound

This release comes with a very loud lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio mix. It comes with several options for different languages as well. This audio mix is all about turning it up to eleven and hitting every piece of dialogue, sound effect, ambient noise, and music crescendo hard. Never mind layering or balancing the audio really, just turn it up full force at all times. That's more or less the gist of this audio presentation. While it may lack the depth or balance, it sure makes up for in energy and fun.

The music and bubble gum pop songs are all loud, fast, and full of cheese, though it fully immerses you in the moment with the powerful bass. Sound effects and ambient noises are robust and lively to say the least, which makes for a good workout for your speaker system and keeps you involved in the smaller sounds. Dialogue is clear as well, but not always easy to follow, since every other sound is turned up all the way, specifically in the heavier "action" scenes. That being said, this audio track is quite fun and has a very wide dynamic range. Kids will sure enjoy it.

The Supplements: Digging Into the Good Stuff

Music Videos (HD, 9 Mins.) - There are three total music videos here, containing the songs 'Soaring', 'Superhero Beat', and 'Anything is Possible'.

Outtakes (HD, 3 Mins.) - Some CG animated outtakes that the kids should enjoy.

Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse (HD, 4 Mins.) - Here is a short episode called 'Mission Impawsible' with Barbie.

Trailers (HD, 12 Mins.) - Trailers for other Barbie movies.

HD Bonus Content: Any Exclusive Goodies in There?

There are zero HD exclusives. 

Final Thoughts

'Barbie in Princess Power' is a decent animated film for kids under eight who love the 'Barbie' realm.  It has everything they ever wanted in a movie. It's bright with many colors, loud poppy music, and characters that only they would enjoy. To the rest of us, we would want to stay far away from this title. The video and audio presentations are both great and the extras will entertain the kids. Again, if you are older than single digits, this movie is not for you, although if you fall into the other category or have young members of the family, they will definitely enjoy this. 

Technical Specs

  • 50GB Blu-ray Disc + DVD + Digital Copy

Video Resolution/Codec

  • 1080p MPEG-4 AVC

Aspect Ratio(s)

  • 1.78:1

Audio Formats

  • English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
  • French: DTS 5.1
  • Spanish: DTS 5.1
  • German: DTS 5.1
  • Italian: DTS 5.1
  • Dutch: DTS 5.1
  • Russian: DTS 5.1
  • Portuguese: DTS 5.1

Subtitles/Captions

  • English, French, Spanish

Supplements

  • Three Music Videos
  • Outtakes
  • Barbie Life in the Dreamhouse Episode
  • Trailers

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