Age recommendation: 5-8
Runtime: Approx. 81 minutes
Release date: September 13, 2011
Barbie: Princess Charm School - Story Summary
Barbie stars as Blair Willows, a hard-working girl who happily takes care of her mother and young sister. When Blair is unexpectedly chosen to attend the extremely prestigious Princess Charm School, she leaves her mother and sister in hopes of becoming a lady royal and providing a better life for her family.
At the school, Blair is introduced to the rigorous training of becoming a princess or lady royal. She has lessons in etiquette, poise, dancing and more. A cute little sprite is assigned to help her, and she makes friends with her roommates Hadley and Isla.
Unfortunately, her clumsy and common ways earn scorn from the Princess-to-be Delancy and her conniving mother Dame Devin. Blair must learn to put aside their ridicule and believe in herself, and with a little help from her friends, she becomes an elegant and charming student. However, there is more to the story than meets the eye.
It becomes obvious that there are some big skeletons in Dame Devin's closet. As Blair hears more of the stories about the past, she and her friends begin to suspect that Blair herself might be a true princess. If she can't prove her true identity and stop Dame Devin, Blair's future and the future of many others in Gardania may not be so bright.
Barbie: Princess Charm School - Guide Review for Parents
Barbie: Princess Charm School, as far as Barbie movies go, is so-so. The storyline is better and a little more appropriate for young girls than the recent Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale, and the movie contains some strong underlying messages about honesty, loyalty and perseverance. Even the animation is slightly improved, although still lacking in detail and depth compared to the CG standard that has been set by other kids' movies and TV shows.
As you can probably deduce by the name of the movie, much of the content is about being princessy. At the Charm School, Barbie must learn to balance books on her head, properly serve tea, and other similar skills. The movie is a flood of pink and purple. While some of the characters have interests outside of becoming perfect princesses, those interests take a back seat.
What I do like about Barbie movies, is how the "villain" can have a change of heart. Similar to the story in Barbie: Island Princess, Delancy's mom is the real pill, but Delancy is also quite nasty in the beginning. She has a change of heart, though, and her desire to do the right thing prevails. She shows social courage, which is good for kids to see.
So, while the movie is mediocre on animation and storyline, and full of massive amounts of the stuff that is railed against in books like Cinderella Ate My Daughter, there is still positive messages that shine through. Little girls are sure to fall head over heels for the movie, but what parents think will depend on their feelings about the overly frou-frou.
Barbie: Princess Charm School - Online and in Stores
If your child is a Princess Charm School fan, the Barbie website features Princess Charm School games and activities. The website also contains other Barbie-related information, games, videos, shopping and more.
If you are looking for gift ideas, as always there is a whole new line of Barbie Dolls out that correspond with characters in the movie. You can also find Princess Charm School play sets and assistant fairy dolls as well as related costumes for Halloween or dress-up. Visit Pricegrabber to compare prices on Barbie: Princess Charm School toys and more.