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Review: Barbie and the Three Musketeers

September 6th, 2009 (10:06 am)
Tags: ,

current mood: pleased

Yesterday I took E to the discount kids' movie, which was showing Barbie and the Three Musketeers. I was expecting to hate it, of course, but it was actually fairly good.

Barbie is Carinne, who starts out homologous to D'Artagnan: a relatively poor Gascon who comes to Paris to be a Musketeer, with a letter of introduction to M. Treville. Everybody she sees says girls can't be Musketeers, except M. Treville, who just tells her he can't make her a Musketeer unless she proves herself first.

Carinne goes off dejected into the streets, makes three enemies, accidentally gets a job as a maid at the palace, and discovers her coworkers are the three enemies. She winds up making friends and moving in with them, not in that order. A while later, it turns out that all four of them want to be Musketeers; they train in secret, get fired, foil a plot to assassinate the Crown Prince, and become Musketeers.

It's all as plausible as a lemon meringue anvil, but it's quite a positive story. The four girls are not of Barbie proportions, they don't get rescued by men, and they don't go mooning after boys.

The historical accuracy was stuffed away in a box, of course. The servants don't live in the palace; instead, they share an enormous apartment in town, with high ceilings, four-poster beds, and vast tracts of window glass. Nobody has smallpox scars, servants don't get beaten, and nobody is shocked that Carinne is wearing pants. Oh, and the Crown Prince is inventing the balloon.

The animation is pretty mediocre; the humans are oversimplified and have very wooden facial expressions. I'm not sure, but I expect a decent videogame these days could do better. And there were severe digital artifacts in places—e.g., a rippling effect every time we pan past a tile roof. I suspect it wasn't meant to be viewed on the big screen; it seemed like they just took a DVD and projected it.

But it was fun. E. wants to learn swordfighting now.


Posted by: Siderea (siderea)
Posted at: September 7th, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)

Huh! Good to know!

as plausible as a lemon meringue anvil

Lovely turn of phrase; saving for future use...

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: September 8th, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)

Lovely turn of phrase; saving for future use...

Thank you. :-)

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