Australian Council on Children and the Media

Barbie in 'The Pink Shoes'

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Short takes

Parental guidance is recommended under 7 due to some scary scenes and characters

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Barbie in 'The Pink Shoes'
  • a review of Barbie in 'The Pink Shoes' completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 21 March 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Parental guidance recommended due to some scary scenes and characters
Children 7 and over OK for this age group, but may lack interest for older children and those not interested in Barbie or ballet.

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 'The Pink Shoes'
Classification: G
Consumer advice lines: None
Length 82 minutes minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This is the latest animation featuring the doll character Barbie – this time in the role of Kristyn Farraday, an aspiring ballerina.

Kristyn (voice of Kelly Sheridan) is a hard-working young ballet dancer but the lead roles always go to Tara (Ali Liebert). While Kristyn is rehearsing for the showcase performance, Madame Natasha (Tabitha St. Germaine) berates her for not following instructions perfectly, which upsets Kristyn and makes her feel like a failure. Feeling sad and needing new ballet shoes, Kristyn visits the wardrobe mistress, Madame Katarina (Lori Triolo) who gives her a pair of bright pink ballet shoes. When Kristyn puts on the new shoes they transport her and her friend Hailey (Katie Crown) the seamstress, to a fantasy land of classical ballet sets.

Kristyn finds herself dancing the parts of both Giselle and Odette from Swan Lake and is pursued by Albrecht and Prince Siegfried who both want to marry her. She is also pursued by the wicked Snow Queen (Tabitha St. Germaine) and the evil Rothbart (Bill Mondy).

When Kristyn and Hailey finally return to reality, Kristyn has learnt the importance of following your own heart, particularly when it comes to dancing.

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.

Fantasy; good versus evil; ballet

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 mild violence and accidental harm in this movie including:

  • Kristyn falls during practice
  • Tara’s father tries to intimidate Madame Natasha
  • Albrecht and Hilarion fight over Giselle.
  • The Snow Queen turns people she doesn’t like into statues, including Hailey.
  • Albrecht and Hilarion shoot arrows Kristyn and Hailey disguised as swans.
  • The swans start attacking people at the ball.

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:

  • Kristyn and Hailey are transported into a magical fantasy land where Kristyn becomes Giselle.
  • The Snow Queen is an evil, scary woman.
  • Rothbart is an evil and scary lookinglooking man.
  • Rothbart casts a spell over Kristyn and Hailey with swirling black dust which turns them both into swans.
  • Rothbart transforms his daughter into Odette.
  • The land where the Snow Queen lives is a very eerie, dark and frozen land with people turned into statues everywhere.

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.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Hailey describes how Giselle dies in the ballet with a sword in her heart and how ghosts come out of their graves.
  • The Snow Queen lifts Albrecht and Hilarion into the air by magic and they fall to the ground.
  • The Snow Queen makes Hailey do 100 pirouettes and laughs evilly. She also controls Kristyn like a puppet but Kristyn manages to break out of the spell. This causes the Snow Queen to disintegrate into a puff of smoke.

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.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

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.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed in or associated with  this movie:

  • The Barbie brand and associated merchandise

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Mild romance between characters and several marriage proposals.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • some name-calling such as ‘jerk’.

In a nutshell

Barbie in ‘The Pink Shoes’ is an animated fantasy involving the Barbie character playing the role of Kristyn, a young ballerina. It touches on some classical ballets including Giselle, Swan Lake and the Snow Queen. There are some scary scenes and characters which might worry under sevens, but these are handled fairly lightly, making it suitable for most children with some guidance. It is likely to particularly appeal to girls who are interested in ballet or in Barbie as a character.

The main messages from this movie are that you should follow your heart and that good wins over evil.

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

  • loyalty
  • friendship
  • being true to yourself

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the pressures of being and looking perfect, particularly for young girls.

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