What Barbie and the Diamond Castle Got Wrong (Part Two)

Guess what? I’m back with this rant! I realized that after I posted part one that I hadn’t quite gone through all of the reasons why I hated Barbie and the Diamond Castle so much. In fact, there were still several reasons I completely missed in my rant, and I just had to get them out of my system. Well, this post today is here to remedy that.

If you’ve yet to read Part One, I would highly recommend reading that first, as there may be parts in this post that may not make sense. I should have written it all as one post, but go ahead and blame a tired mommy. When you have three kids, it’s hard enough to make a reasonably coherent sentence, let alone a whole blog post.

Well, enough introduction. If you’re all caught up, let’s get into it!

[Attention: Some spoilers may occur. You have been warned.]

The Lazy Animation

We’ve seen plenty of animators hit their lazy streak. Disney did it with Robin Hood, and there are probably countless other lazy animation bits I could point out if I thought long and hard enough. So, why am I ranting about lazy animation if we’re used to seeing it — even from the king of animation, Disney? To be quite frank, it’s because Barbie even got the lazy animation wrong.

Here’s the thing. When lazy animation is used, it is meant to be an easy bit that doesn’t distract from the story. Disney reused their Snow White dancing footage to make Maid Marion dance in the same way. But they didn’t copy and paste Snow White. Barbie has used lazy animation plenty of times before, the most notable in my mind being using a handful of the Twelve Dancing Princesses as background characters in Barbie as the Island Princess. But that’s the thing: they’re background characters. They fit fairly well into the background, and I even think it’s plausible for Ashlynn, Delia, and the others to have been invited to Prince Antonio’s ball (even if there are like three copies of them around every corner). Even poor Julian’s dupe (Julian as featured in Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper) pops up in random places in several Barbie films. But he typically doesn’t distract from the main characters of the film.

Diamond Castle is lazy animation gone wrong because the copy-and-paste characters aren’t background characters. They’re featured extras, meaning they get their moment on the big screen, maybe a line if they’re lucky. But the audience gets a good shot of their face. Barbie slipped in not only Queen Arianna but also Queen Danielle as featured extras in the tavern scene. This broke the story for many Barbie fans, as we all know the characters behind their faces, and it makes absolutely NO sense for the two queens from Island Princess to be brawling in a common tavern. And yes, I say brawling since they’re some of the crowd throwing mashed potatoes and revenging themselves against the aforemetioned loathsome twins. Additionally, both queens are old enough to have children the same age as the twins (those children being Prince Antonio and Princess Lucianna), and the thought of Arianna and Danielle interacting and flirting with Jeremy and Ian is nauseating.

Barbie… just don’t. Or at least change the character enough so that it isn’t a copy-and-paste replica of the original character. Coloring their dresses differently DOESN’T COUNT.

The Backstory

Liana and Alexa live together in a beautiful little cottage in the woods. They grow flowers, eat bread and jam for their meals, and sing and dance their troubles away. Do you know one thing they never discuss during the entire course of the film?

HOW THEY GOT THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

If they’re just friends, and not sisters, then how did they meet? Where are their families? Are they orphans? Where did they come from? How did they come to own a cottage together in the woods? What drove them to grow and sell flowers for a living? Barbie, you can’t just plop people somewhere without any explanation! Alexa and Liana got into that cottage somehow. I doubt they were born there; or, at least not both of them. If would be more plausible if they were sisters living in their parents’ cottage, but then that would ruin the whole friendship plotline. Oops. A flower-selling business might not bring in enough capital to buy the cottage. Well, if they happened upon the cottage vacant, I really want to know what happened to the previous owner. Or did they kill him to get the cottage? Little dark for Barbie. I NEED to know.

The Magic

Diamond Castle does with its particular brand of magic one of the things that I hate most about magic in most fantasy stories. There are no rules, so nothing makes sense.

The magic of Lydia’s flute is mostly consistent. When she plays it, she is able to hypnotize people and/or basically petrify them, or turn them to what appears to be stone. The only time the flute’s magic doesn’t work is when Liana and Alexa are protected by the heart-shaped stones from the Diamond Castle. Which is explained in the movie, so it all makes sense. Actually, I can go one step further and say that the theme of music being magic is fairly consistent, but even that isn’t always explained.

For example, how is Slider able to sense Melody’s location while she’s singing? Slider is only mentioned to be Lydia’s henchman/serpent, and he has no connection to anything related to music. He shouldn’t be able to pick up on Melody’s music, then. Maybe Lydia programmed him to sense her music? Maybe the race of flying serpents is actually inherently musical, and that’s how Slider can sense when she sings? I mean, there are explanations out there; we’re just not given one.

Remember when I said Lydia’s flute was mostly consistent? Well, when Lydia goes into the whirlpool to fetch her flute, she finds that the instrument is full of water and won’t work. She is therefore caught in the whirlpool and then disappears in a puff of magic. We’re thinking maybe she drowned? Nope, wrong there. She transported herself back to Slider so they could regroup and watch Alexa and Liana from a distance and wait for them to find the Diamond Castle. But… how did she transport herself? We know music is magic, but isn’t her flute a dark magic that hypnotizes people? Now she can transport herself? Uhhh, okay? And in the last climatic battle, the girls’ song of “Believe” overpowers Lydia’s flute and petrifies Lydia and Slider… which is what her flute was supposed to do. But their song did. *scratches head* If you ask me, she should have drowned in the whirlpool. Nobody needed that last “battle.” Nobody.

Also, why does the troll have the easiest and DUMBEST riddle to answer in order to cross his bridge? In a movie all about singing, why NOT have the answer be your voice? *chokes on the stupidity and obviousness*

The Dialogue

Barbie doesn’t always have the most perfect script. We know this and we’re forgiven them some rough lines. But this one is particularly bad. I’m not going to rant about it, but I am going to give you the one quote that always makes me wince.

ALEXA: Don’t even talk about food, my stomach has been rumbling for miles.
MELODY: Ah! So, that’s what I was hearing. I thought it was thunder.
LIANA: Or stampeding horses.
ALEXA: Enough.
MELODY: Or jump roping elephants.

Barbie, what you’re saving in lazy animation please put toward paying new script writers.

And I just realized how I never got into how unrealistic and un-puppylike those puppies were. *shrugs*

Okay, now I think I’m done. Did I miss anything, in your opinion?

Leave me a comment! I haven’t seen most of the Barbie films after this one was released (so about 2010 and onwards). Are there any that are worse than this one? Feel free to rant below!

2 thoughts on “What Barbie and the Diamond Castle Got Wrong (Part Two)

  1. I think the last time I watched a Barbie movie was over a decade ago and I was sick. So my poor dad endured watching “The Twelve Dancing Princesses” with us.

    Honestly, the type, or perhaps quality would be a better term, of animation for this movie is enough to drive me away. I’ve always been wimpy when it comes to animations–even now (and I’m definitely not a child), and if something freaks me out, I hastily put distance between it and myself. That picture of the lady playing the weird flute thingy… *shudders*

    Needless to say, I won’t be watching this movie. XD

    Like

    1. Yeah, the lady and the flute are pretty creepy. But I understand what you mean — I tend to shy away from things that freak me out, too. I’m not always very forgiving when it comes to my animated movies (hence these ranting posts). Honestly, the low quality of this film all around should be enough to drive everyone away. You’re not missing anything, I can promise you that.

      Liked by 1 person

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