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Barbie: From $3 Doll to Multi-Million Dollar Franchise with A-List Cast and Album!

Do you feel your heart rate quicken with anticipation and exhilaration filling your bones? Our blood no longer runs red as pink becomes the only colour that takes over our life. Why? Because Barbie is coming to the big screens on 20 July 2023, and for the first time ever, she’s coming in live-action form! Our beloved childhood doll leaps off the shelves and onto the silver screen in an enchanting film that carries on the Barbie legacy in a new light!

Today, we’re talking everything about Barbie the Movie and why this film has the whole world holding its breath for its release – the A-List cast, the star-studded line-up of artists for Barbie: The Album and its spectacular tracks, and the incredible storyline that continues the legacy of our darling Barbie doll.

The team has intentionally kept the plot of Barbie under wraps, so, of course, we’ve got many questions about this no-doubt blockbuster. So follow us as we unpack the trailer, delve into Barbie: The Album, and marvel at the jaw-dropping brand partnerships Barbie has embarked on. Everything we know is right here.

Directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Margot Robbie as our darling Barbie and Ryan Gosling as our handsome Ken, the celeb-packed cast of this film has increased anticipation tenfold and has had all of us waiting for its release with bated breath. Featuring alongside Margot and Ryan are Simu Liu, Dua Lipa, John Cena, Scott Evans, Emma Mackey and many, many more! Did someone turn up the heat in here, or is it just me?

In this dazzling production, Barbie sheds her plastic confines and emerges as a live-action, multi-dimensional character, breathing life into a story that will resonate with both young and old. Just as Barbie always has, she will continue to represent empowerment, resilience, and endless possibilities.

If you watched the trailer, I’m sure a gazillion thoughts raced through your mind – “Barbie went out into the real world!”, “Barbie Land is gorgeous!”, “There are so many Barbies, all looking so different!”, “Was that Dua Lipa’s song?”, “And was that Nicki Minaj’s voice at the end?”. So much is happening! 

In this movie, Barbie and Ken head out into the real world, leaving their safe haven, and we accompany our childhood-favourite duo on this journey of self-discovery. And yes, there are many different Barbies, and each looks different from the pink-loving, blonde Barbie we’ve all grown accustomed to. 

In fact, this was actually what made Margot Robbie say yes to the movie – she and Greta Gerwig wanted to have multiple Barbie characters, which would emphasise how Barbie’s image cannot be confined to one specific body type, personality, or gender identity, all without dishonouring the legacy of Barbie herself. That’s the true evolution of Barbie, with everything this cherished doll stands for, but taking it a step further with modernisation.

And now, the music. I can’t be the only one whose jaw was touching the ground by the time I finished reading the incredibly long and glamorous list of artists joining the creation of the Barbie soundtrack album, or Barbie: The Album, released on 21 July 2023!

Rolling Stone revealed the artists, and a little heads-up: your head will spin at all these huge names coming together for this groundbreaking project. The singers participating in Barbie: The Album are Ava Max, Billie Eilish, Charli XCX, Dominic Fike, Dua Lipa, Fifty Fifty, Gayle, Haim, Ice Spice, Kali, Karol G, Khalid, Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, PinkPantheress, Ryan Gosling, Sam Smith, Tame Impala, and the Kid Laroi.

Seriously? Nicki Minaj? Dua Lipa? Lizzo? Billie Eilish! Sam Smith! This feels unreal. And no one can doubt our hearts’ superstar, Ryan Gosling! He sang, danced, and played piano in the Oscar-winning La La Land, so this is just so exciting! He’ll be singing a song called, ‘I’m Just Ken’

Another notable song is ‘Barbie World’ by Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice (with Aqua). It’s out, and it’s already everything you could ever imagine. Nicki and Ice Spice are spitting bars in this one, along with the most mic-drop-worthy line you heard in the trailer: “It’s Barbie, b****, if you still in doubt”. Yes, Nicki queen! 

But as you listen, you will also hear in the background the most iconic Barbie song in history, originally sung by Aqua – ‘Barbie Girl’. Sing it with me! 

I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world
Life in plastic, it’s fantastic.
You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere.
Imagination, life is your creation.

We sure wish Aqua could have been a more significant part of the album with an all-new Barbie anthem for the occasion, but we’ll take what we get!

Another song on this album is by one of the TBA artists. Surprise, it’s Billie Eilish! Her song on the album is called ‘What Was I Made For?’ and it’s probably the saddest, most tear-jerking, sob-inducing song I’ve heard in 2023. It was released on Thursday, 13 July 2023, when Billie dropped the song with a self-directed music video. 

In the video, she’s dressed like a young girl with a very Barbie-looking ponytail, sorting through her doll-sized wardrobe. She carefully places them on their miniature hangers as she unveils outfit after outfit, each inspired by her past red carpet appearances. However, her peaceful moment is abruptly interrupted by the uncontrollable forces of nature – gusts of wind, pouring rain, and even an unexpected earthquake – causing her to gather up the scattered pieces frantically.

The lyrics are so beautiful in the way they reference scenes we witness in the trailer but are so much deeper than they seem as we grapple to answer questions about ourselves. 

Takin’ a drive, I was an ideal
Looked so alive, turns out I’m not real
Just somethin’ you paid for
What was I made for?

In the trailer, we see Barbie taking a drive in her hot wheels, feeling like her life is perfect and she is happy. Although Barbie and Ken seem lifelike in their appearance and characteristics, they are ultimately not real, which proves difficult for her to comprehend, just like how Billie appears to question her identity and existence. 

Billie Eilish 'What Was I Made For' Music Video
Billie dressing up like Barbie with her doll-sized wardrobe is a visual we never knew we needed.

This track seems to be a representation of Billie coming off her creative high as she struggles to understand her artistry and her existence in this industry that has been such a massive part of her life from a young age, as echoed in these lines:

I used to float, now I just fall down
I used to know, but I’m not sure now
What I was made for
What was I made for?

Remember the scene in the trailer where Barbie would float from her bedroom and into her car because when we played with our Barbies, they would never walk? They would float their way around in our hands. It seems that Billie sees herself in Barbie, and it’s so special how this shows the impact of Barbie on all our lives.

Billie shared on Instagram, “in january greta showed me and finneas a handful of some unfinished scenes from the film; we had nooooo idea what to expect at ALLL… we were so deeeeeply moved.. that the next day we were writing and COULDNT shut up about it lolll andddddddddd ended up writing almost the entire song that night.” 

Her voice is magic when delivering such heart-tearing, soul-wrenching emotions. So much power in her very controlled voice gives us the feeling of euphoria as the song plays in our ears.

Music is so beautiful, and coming together with the power of Barbie is a collaboration the universe could never see coming. 

Other songs from Barbie: The Album that were out prior to the release date include Dua Lipa’s ‘Dance the Night’, PinkPantheress’ ‘Angel’, Karol G’s ‘Watati’ and Charli XCX’s ‘Speed Drive’! The rest of the album has been released on 21 July 2023, so get your speakers and headphones out for a euphoric listening sesh that will give you the whole Barbie experience.

Isn’t it so lovely how our Barbie experience went from playing with the dolls as kids to watching cartoons as we got older, to now a full-blown live-action version, complete with music that complements our Barbie experience, to make sure you feel every feeling at a new level? 

Everything about this film feels so surreal and insane, kind of like the journey Barbie has been on from being a cherished $3 doll to the star of a multi-million dollar franchise and now getting her own live-action film for the first time in history. 

The marketing this film has been through deserves a whole page of its own, but just to give you a taste – Mattel (the toy company that created Barbie) has worked on over 100 brand partnerships to promote the film! 

Some of our favourites include Airbnb (stay in Barbie’s Malibu DreamHouse), OPI (nail lacquer in Barbie pink and other shades), NYX Cosmetics (eyeshadow palettes and mini lip glosses), Aldo (Barbie pink classic high heels, low heels and trainers) and so many more!

Oh, Barbie! The journey you have been on is in itself such an inspiration. We can’t wait to see what you bring to us on the silver screen – your story, your fashion, your life lessons and your healing smile that brightened all our lives as kids. Your cinematic debut has shattered boundaries and sparked our imaginations, leaving an indelible mark on the history of entertainment. 

Take a taste yourself in a theatre near you, as Barbie comes to shake up your world.

The release of this long-awaited masterpiece calls for the birth of a new era where Barbie’s legacy continues to shine brightly, empowering generations to come. May your legacy live forever, and may the magic of Barbie continue to ignite in us forevermore.

Barbie the Movie

Release date: 20 July 2023
Release date of Barbie: The Album: 21 July 2023
Cinemas: Golden Village, Cathay, Shaw Theatres, Filmgarde Cineplexes and WE Singapore Cinemas (do check ticket availability first)

Stay tuned to everything Barbie on Barbie the Movie’s Instagram and Facebook socials!

Visuals courtesy of Universal Music Singapore.

Baani Kaur

Aspiring to achieve great heights like every human in the world, but till then, enjoy the most dramatic and sarcastic person you will ever read from.

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