Barbie and her sisters discover everything's better when you do it together in this splashy, sun-kissed adventure! After the girls and their pets arrive at an island paradise for Chelsea's big dance competition, they decide to make a quick side trip to see the nearby Dancing Horse Festival. But when their furry friends go missing at the event, it's up to the sisters to find them before Chelsea's show. While the puppies are out having an adventure of their own, the girls must use their imaginations and work together to find their furry friends in this tail-wagging good time!
Don't even try to hide from it. The 'Barbie' movie franchise is here to stay as more and more 'Barbie' films are being released each year in animated feature format. Remember back in 1959, when Barbie was just a doll. Simpler times, right? Since then, Barbie is a mega empire the likes of 'Star Wars', complete with more dolls, accessories, books, music, home furnishings, and of course television and film. Luckily for the film and television fans, these 'Barbie' films as of recent haven't been awful. In fact, they have been rather enjoyable for what they are for the kids and adults alike.
Don't get me wrong, these films aren't on the level of Pixar or Disney by any means, as far as voice talent, animation, or story, but they get the job done just right for the small demographic these films are intended for. Not only that, these films will mostly allow adults to not want to stab themselves in the eyes or ears while watching with their kids, due to some great movie references and comedy throughout these movies. In this particular film titled 'Barbie and her Sisters in a Puppy Chase', all of the usual safe and sound messages for kids are here to teach them nice life lessons as they grow up, such as friendship, loyalty, family, trust, and believing in yourself.
Barbie is the older one of the bunch here as she takes her three younger sisters to Hawaii so that her youngest sister Chelsea can attend a dance competition. The four girls all bring each of their own puppies with them to Hawaii so they can all play together. Before the competition starts, Barbie wants to bring her sisters and puppies to watch the dancing horses rehearse, which is on the other side of the island. But as fate would have it, the puppies get separated from the girls and go on an adventure of their own, which they meet a snooty show dog who shows them the ropes. Meanwhile, as the girls try and find their puppies and get back to the dance competition, they are met with many island obstacles, such as flat tires, running out of gas, rain storms, blocked roads, and more.
The girls must trust each other and learn to work together to make it to the dance competition in time. Again, everything is highly predictable and there are some mild thrills with comedy. There are some nods to other films and some good wholesome life lessons here that the young ones will appreciate, along with the bright colors of the animation and quirky characters they can relate to.
The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats
'Barbie and her Sisters in a Puppy Chase' comes with a 50GB Blu-ray Disc that is Region A locked along with a DVD copy of the film and a digital download. There are a couple of inserts that cover other Barbie products and the download code. Everything is housed in a hard, blue plastic case with a cardboard sleeve cover.
'Barbie and her Sisters in a Puppy Chase' comes with a 1080p HD transfer and is presented in 1.78:1 aspect ratio. With all of these 'Barbie' films, you can expect bright, vivid, sparkly colors throughout each scene, and it's no different with this particular movie. The colors pop right off screen with tons of pinks, purples, reds, blues, and greens, which is for sure to keep the little ones entertained.
Each color seems to go the extra mile in brightness with all of the flowers lining the tropical island standing out as the girls drive their bright pink vehicle. Detail is decent with the dog's fur and horse's manes, but don't expect Pixar or Disney quality here. Palm tree leaves can be seen easily as well as background objects here. The animation is smooth and crisp with the girl's faces looking more plastic than a real person. Still, the image looks good, despite the minor aliasing and banding.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix and sounds excellent. For these being low budget animated Barbie films, the sound presentations are top quality and provide a fully immersive experience. Sound effects and ambient noises are full, robust, and pack a surprising punch. Whether it is rain storms, nature sounds, insects, or cars passing by, the noises are all well-balanced, loud, and has great directionality. The rear speakers flow with sound throughout as well.
The music number is a highlight, and even though it is bubble gum pop, the kids will like the full sound, making them feel like they're in a concert hall. The bass kicks in during the high energy scenes as well as with the scenes with music, bringing a full scale sound to the mix. The dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, hiss, or shrills, leaving this audio presentation with great marks.
Oddly enough, the Dreamtopia shorts here are the same exact shorts from 'Star Light Adventure', which if I were a kid, I'd be upset that there weren't different cartoons.
Music Video (HD, 3 Mins.) - Music Video of 'Live in the Moment', which is in the film.
Bloopers (HD, 2 Mins.) - Faux gag reel of the animated characters flubbing lines and missing spots.
Barbie Dreamtopia Shorts (HD, 13 Mins.) - Here are a couple of small animated shorts that involve Chelsea and Barbie. One is about prepping for a part, the other is about finding a magical rock. Episode titles are 'Wispy Forest' and 'Rainbow Cove'.
'Barbie and her Sisters in a Puppy Chase' isn't a great film, but it delivers a lot of genuine life lessons for the kids, while being fun, entertaining, and full of color and music. The young ones will sure like this and the adults won't have a terrible time either. The video and audio presentations are both quality and the extras will sure satisfy the kids, even though they imported the same extras from previous releases. Recommended!
Portions of this review also appear in our coverage of Dunkirk on Blu-ray. This post features unique Vital Disc Stats, Video, and Final Thoughts sections.