Australian Council on Children and the Media

Barbie in Princess Power

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Short takes

Not recommended under 4, parental guidance recommended 4 to 8 (Violence; Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Barbie in Princess Power
  • a review of Barbie in Princess Power completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 February 2015.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 4 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 4 to 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 8 and over OK for this age group, although it may lack interest for over 10s

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Barbie in Princess Power
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence
Length 74 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Barbie stars as Kara (voiced by Kelly Sheridan), a princess who would rather fly aeroplanes than attend fancy balls. One day Kara is kissed by a magic butterfly and she gains super powers. With the help of her two friends, Kara transforms into the superhero ‘Super Sparkle’ who flies around town saving the day.

Kara’s jealous cousin Corinne (Britt Irvin) learns about Kara’s secret, captures the magic butterfly and transforms herself into ‘Dark Sparkle’. The two superheroes fight to be the best in town, but when the King’s advisor, Baron von Ravendale (Michael Kopsa), threatens to destroy the royal family and the town, Dark Sparkle and Super Sparkle must learn to work together to save their friends and family.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Superheroes; crime; natural disasters; family relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Baron von Ravendale, the King’s advisor, attacks the royal family with sparkle balls and tries to kill them with lava from a volcano.
  • Super Sparkle and Dark Sparkle fight Baron von Ravendale. They attack each other with sparkle balls and throw statues at each other.
  • Super Sparkle throws a robber into a police building
  • A robber throws a police man across the street
  • Super Sparkle and Dark Sparkle push and shove each other

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • A volcano erupts and the lava heads toward the castle and the town
  • Kara’s flying machine breaks and she falls towards the ground and crashes into a tree
  • Baron von Ravendale has a scary laboratory where he makes potions. Young children may be frightened when he drinks a potion and gains magical powers
  • A construction site accidentally starts to fall apart and a man is almost crushed by a large piece of metal but is saved by Super Sparkle
  • A man is trapped in a building fire

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Some children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by the above mentioned scenes

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None

Product placement

The Barbie franchise

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern, apart from the drinking of magic potions

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Barbie in Princess Power is an easy to follow animated tale about princesses and superheroes. This film may catch the interest children under the age of ten but older children might find it boring. There are some mild scary and violent scenes in this film, so it may be too scary for under fours and parental guidance is recommended for children under eight.

The main message from this movie is that working together is better than being alone.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • working together
  • helping others
  • bravery

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the importance of respecting your parents’ wishes and not lying to get what you want.

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