Step into the vibrant and empowering world of Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, where cotton candy pink meets thought-provoking introspection. This Margot Robbie starrer takes the iconic doll beyond her ‘fantastically plastic’ image, unraveling a deeply human and complex journey of self-discovery. As Barbie ventures out of her utopian ‘Barbie Land’ and confronts the 21st-century patriarchal world, she becomes a powerful symbol for women navigating a world designed by and for men. This live-action wonder is a joyful ode to all women, giving them a voice and visibility, reminding us that we’re all Barbies at heart. If you loved the feminist charm of Barbie, get ready to be uplifted by a selection of movies that celebrate girl power, including Reese Witherspoon’s Legally Blonde, Sandra Bullock’s Miss Congeniality, and Gerwig’s own Little Women. Let’s dive into a weekend binge fest of female-centric brilliance!
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
“The Wizard of Oz,” released in 1939, stands as a cinematic masterpiece that revolutionized the film industry with its innovative use of Technicolor, fantastical storytelling, and unforgettable music score. Dorothy’s quest down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the Wizard resonates deeply with Barbie’s own journey of self-discovery and transformation. As we delve into the enchanting world of Dorothy and her companions, it becomes evident how “Barbie” draws inspiration from this timeless tale.
The parallels between the two stories are evident in the “Barbie” trailer, where eagle-eyed viewers have spotted Easter eggs that hint at a modern-day retelling of the classic fable. Just like Dorothy, Barbie ventures beyond her familiar surroundings, leaving her utopian “Barbie Land” to explore the complexities of the real world. Both heroines embark on courageous journeys, facing challenges and learning valuable life lessons along the way.
“The Wizard of Oz” and “Barbie” share a profound theme of self-discovery and embracing one’s true identity, making them both empowering tales for audiences of all ages. These iconic films remind us that, no matter the fantastical or real-world obstacles we encounter, the journey of discovering ourselves is a timeless adventure worth embarking on.
Little Women (2019)
Step into the captivating world of “Little Women” (2019), as Greta Gerwig masterfully reimagines Louisa May Alcott’s timeless tale of strong women coming of age. Led by the brilliant Saoirse Ronan and an ensemble of talented actors, the film beautifully depicts the transformative journey of the March sisters as they navigate the complexities of womanhood and seek their rightful place in society. Just like Barbie, these characters embark on a profound quest of self-discovery, learning invaluable life lessons along the way, and cherishing the unbreakable bonds of female friendship.
Gerwig’s adaptation resonates with modern audiences, weaving a tapestry of emotions, dreams, and aspirations that transcend time and connect us to the universal experiences of growth and empowerment. As the March sisters face challenges and triumphs, they inspire us with their resilience, intelligence, and unwavering spirit. Like Barbie’s empowering message, “Little Women” celebrates the strength and potential of every woman, leaving us with a profound sense of unity and hope for the future.
“Clueless,” the timeless cult-classic teen comedy, flawlessly fuses high fashion with the lives of Beverly Hills teenagers. Like Barbie, the film’s iconic protagonist, Cher Horowitz, is a fashion-forward and renowned figure, embarking on a transformative journey of self-discovery that unveils the delicate intricacies of relationships. Notably, “Barbie” draws inspiration from the immaculate production and exquisite costume design of “Clueless,” proving how the film’s visual brilliance resonates with modern pop culture.
Amy Heckerling’s 1995 gem serves as a captivating time capsule, reflecting the zeitgeist of an era while maintaining its timeless appeal. Cher Horowitz, much like Barbie, possesses an impressive array of outfits, making her an accessible style icon for audiences of all ages. As Cher navigates the complexities of adolescence and personal growth, the film strikes a perfect balance between social commentary and lighthearted humor, resulting in a powerful and influential cinematic experience.
In “Barbie,” Gerwig artfully infuses elements of “Clueless” to elevate the story’s resonance with contemporary audiences. The film’s tribute to “Clueless” is a testament to its enduring legacy, inspiring filmmakers and creatives to embrace the boundless creativity and aspirational allure of the world of fashion. With a shared celebration of girl power and a passion for self-discovery, “Clueless” and “Barbie” stand as defining examples of how cinema can empower and entertain audiences for generations to come.
Paddington Dualogy (2014, 2017)
Step into the heartwarming world of the “Paddington” films, where the lovable bear comes to life through boundless imagination and enchanting magical realism. Much like “Barbie,” these movies go beyond the family movie genre, leaving a lasting impact with their delightful storytelling and impeccable aesthetics.
The “Paddington” dualogy, comprising the films released in 2014 and 2017, brings everyone’s favorite bear to the big screen in a spectacular display of creativity and heart. Director Paul King weaves a spellbinding narrative that combines humor, warmth, and a touch of whimsy, making it a joyous experience for viewers of all ages.
Just like “Barbie” celebrates the power of imagination and self-discovery, the “Paddington” films enchant audiences with their sincere portrayal of compassion, acceptance, and the importance of family bonds. Ben Whishaw’s endearing voice performance as Paddington, coupled with outstanding visuals, creates a world that feels both magical and familiar.
Whether you’re a child or an adult, the “Paddington” dualogy is a delightful reminder of the magic that exists in everyday life. Much like “Barbie,” these films prove that storytelling has the power to touch hearts, inspire imagination, and leave a smile on our faces long after the credits roll.
Toy Story Quadralogy (1995-2019)
The “Toy Story” quadralogy, spanning from 1995 to 2019, holds remarkable parallels with “Barbie,” especially in its second film. Delving into profound themes of aging and transformation, the beloved toys in the series embark on an introspective journey, mirroring the essence of “Barbie” as she grapples with her own existential questions. Pixar’s trailblazing animation in the “Toy Story” franchise not only revolutionized the world of animated films but also paved the way for modern classics like “Barbie.”
In “Toy Story 2,” Barbie assumes a significant role, further cementing the connection between the two franchises. The characters confront the realities of growing older and wrestle with the eternal question of whether it’s better to preserve their cherished past or embrace the uncertainties of change. With heartfelt messages about cherishing the present and acknowledging the inevitability of transformations, “Toy Story” and “Barbie” resonate deeply with audiences of all ages.
The authenticity of emotions and the enduring appeal of relatable characters in both series exemplify the magic of storytelling. Pixar’s unparalleled storytelling prowess, evident in the “Toy Story” saga, has undoubtedly influenced the heartfelt and rich narrative of “Barbie,” making both series a cornerstone of animated cinematic excellence.
The Truman Show (1998)
The Truman Show (1998) served as a profound inspiration for the conceptualization of “Barbie.” Jim Carrey’s captivating portrayal of Truman Burbank, a man whose entire life is unwittingly broadcasted as a reality show, left a lasting impact on Greta Gerwig’s vision. The film’s exploration of self-discovery and the revelation of a meticulously constructed reality found resonance in Barbie’s own quest for meaning and identity in Barbieland.
Just as Truman begins to suspect the facade surrounding his life, Barbie too questions her existence within the confines of a seemingly perfect world. The satirical brilliance of “The Truman Show” aligns with the introspective journey of Barbie, as both characters grapple with the complexities of their environments and their roles within them. This thought-provoking masterpiece beautifully captures the essence of Gerwig’s film, where the quest for truth and self-awareness takes center stage, making “The Truman Show” an indispensable influence on the empowering narrative of “Barbie.”
Released in 2000, “Life-Size” stands as a delightful Disney film that not only reflects on the cultural impact of dolls like Barbie but also delves into the timeless theme of inner beauty transcending superficial appearances. The heartwarming story revolves around a young girl named Casey Stuart (played by Lindsay Lohan), who, in an attempt to bring her deceased mother back to life, accidentally brings her toy doll to life instead. As the story unfolds, Casey learns valuable lessons about the importance of embracing one’s true self, highlighting the enduring message of inner beauty that resonates across generations.
Despite the passage of time, “Life-Size” remains relevant and significant, serving as a fascinating time capsule of the evolution of showbiz and entertainment. It reminds us of the strides made in portraying meaningful themes and empowering young audiences to look beyond societal norms and embrace their uniqueness. While the film may have aged, its underlying message about self-acceptance and the true essence of beauty continues to inspire and uplift viewers of all ages.
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
Transport yourself to the enchanting world of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964), a French musical film that served as a major inspiration for Greta Gerwig and her crew during the creation of “Barbie.” The movie’s textured spatiality and vibrant palette captivated them, infusing their own project with a similar visual allure.
Directed by Jacques Demy, this experimental masterpiece defied conventions by presenting the entire dialogue in sung form against picturesque backdrops. The result was a cinematic experience that transcended the boundaries of traditional storytelling, paving the way for modern musicals to follow suit.
With its timeless charm and thematic richness, “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” remains an influential gem that continues to inspire filmmakers and captivate audiences. Gerwig’s choice to draw from this French classic speaks to her commitment to creating a visually stunning and artistically profound film like “Barbie.” Embrace the allure of this enchanting musical and embark on a journey that celebrates the boundless creativity and innovation of cinema.
“Barbie” finds a kindred spirit in the delightful fantasy romance “Splash” (1984), where a young man’s heart is captured by the enchanting allure of a mermaid. This endearing connection becomes evident through the inclusion of mermaids in Greta Gerwig’s film, a nod to the influence “Splash” has on its aquatic-themed storyline. Directed by Ron Howard, “Splash” boasts a magical blend of romance and fantasy, expertly balancing its heartfelt emotions with a touch of whimsy.
The film’s success lies not only in Howard’s adept handling of tone but also in the impeccable performances of its cast. Tom Hanks shines as the lovable lead, infusing the character with warmth and genuine affection, while Daryl Hannah effortlessly portrays the beguiling mermaid, exuding an ethereal charm that captivates audiences. The chemistry between Hanks and Hannah on screen adds to the film’s palpable romantic charm, leaving viewers mesmerized by their enchanting love story.
Just as “Barbie” celebrates the journey of self-discovery and transformation, “Splash” explores themes of love, acceptance, and the beauty of embracing one’s true self. Both films exemplify the power of storytelling in capturing the essence of human experiences, making them timeless classics that resonate with audiences of all ages.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
In the vast expanse of cinema’s timeless classics, Stanley Kubrick’s iconic sci-fi epic, “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), emerges as a profound inspiration behind the intriguing contrast between fantasy and darkly twisted reality in Greta Gerwig’s “Barbie.” While the two films may seem worlds apart, they share a profound connection in their exploration of existential questions and the quest for meaning.
Just like Barbie, the protagonist of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” questions her purpose and existence in a rapidly evolving world dominated by ever-advancing technology. Kubrick’s visionary storytelling delves deep into philosophical themes, challenging the boundaries of human understanding and pushing the limits of cinematic artistry.
The homage to this revolutionary sci-fi masterpiece in “Barbie” speaks to Gerwig’s intention of elevating the narrative beyond the surface level. By drawing inspiration from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Gerwig infuses her film with layers of complexity, allowing Barbie to evolve into a fully realized and relatable character on a profound journey of self-discovery.
As both films examine the human condition in extraordinary settings, they offer viewers a unique and thought-provoking cinematic experience. The influence of “2001: A Space Odyssey” on “Barbie” elevates the latter to a profound and intellectually engaging exploration of life, purpose, and the beauty of embracing one’s individuality.
In this fascinating interplay of cinematic brilliance, “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “Barbie” intersect as thought-provoking masterpieces that delve into the human psyche, leaving audiences captivated and contemplative long after the credits roll.
Legally Blonde (2001)
In the effervescent world of “Legally Blonde” (2001), we find resonant parallels with “Barbie” in its portrayal of a confident and determined woman stepping into a new and intricate realm. These films intertwine in their bold challenge of stereotypes and wholehearted celebration of female empowerment, all while infusing their narratives with humor and sparkling wit.
Reese Witherspoon’s iconic portrayal of Elle Woods echoes Barbie’s journey as both characters unapologetically defy the constraints of societal expectations. Elle’s vivacious spirit and Barbie’s unyielding optimism serve as powerful reminders that women need not conform to the male gaze to be successful. Instead, they carve their unique paths, embracing their strengths and discovering true power in the most unexpected places.
As Elle triumphantly excels in the demanding world of law school, Barbie ventures beyond the confines of her picture-perfect life to embrace the complexities of the real world. Both characters demonstrate that being true to oneself, embracing individuality, and defying gender norms can lead to genuine personal growth and success. Through their journeys, “Legally Blonde” and “Barbie” inspire audiences to embrace their authentic selves and celebrate the multifaceted brilliance of womanhood.
Enchanted (2007) is a delightful fantasy film that playfully subverts traditional fairy tale tropes, akin to how Barbie takes a satirical approach to her iconic image. The movie’s enchanting blend of clever humor, magical realism, and themes of self-discovery resonate deeply with Barbie’s narrative and empowering message.
In Enchanted, we meet Giselle (played by Amy Adams), a fairytale princess who finds herself transported from her animated kingdom to modern-day New York City. As she navigates the bustling metropolis, Giselle discovers that real-life situations are far more complex than the simplistic fairy tales she’s accustomed to. Similarly, Barbie ventures out of her fantastical Barbie Land and faces the realities of the world beyond her plastic perfection.
Both films explore the journey of self-discovery and growth as their protagonists, Giselle and Barbie, learn to embrace their individuality and question societal expectations. Enchanted’s humorous take on classic fairy tales mirrors Barbie’s witty and satirical approach to her own image, ultimately celebrating the power of breaking stereotypes and embracing one’s uniqueness. Just like Barbie, Enchanted encourages us to find our own paths, transcending societal norms, and realizing that true empowerment comes from embracing who we truly are.
In conclusion, “Barbie” is a celebration of girl power and self-discovery, drawing inspiration from a wide range of influential films. From classic musicals like “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” to modern comedies like “Clueless” and “Enchanted,” these movies share the same essence of empowerment, humor, and imaginative storytelling that captivated audiences in “Barbie.” So, if you loved “Barbie,” these 12 films are must-watches to continue basking in the glow of girl power on the big screen.