DVD Review: Barbie in A Mermaid Tale (with video trailer)

Although the plot is formulaic and cliche, it would be helpful to remember that the target audience for this video is not middle-aged cinephiles, it's for little girls who are still wearing water wings while they swim in the shallow end of the cultural and historical reference pool. The only questions that truly matter are: 1. Will it keep my child's attention long enough for me catch a nap? and 2. Is there anything in the movie that will damage my child? I watched this movie with my six year old and it held her attention the entire time. She liked the bright vibrant colors, cute animal friends, and two or three pop tunes interspersed within the show (think Hannah Montana music and you get the idea). As for whether the movie causes damage, I have to admit I wasn't crazy about the vapid, soulless characters in the movie — just about everyone who isn't Barbie — but it's hard to get too bent out of shape at the idea of characters in a Barbie movie caring about little else besides fashion because after all … it's FREAKING BARBIE!!!

In the end, the animation is certainly passable, and the music didn't cause me to clean out my ears with an ice pick. Barbie in A Mermaid Tale is not a movie you would put on for the whole family, so choose your audience carefully. But if you have a little girl who is 8 years old or younger, there is a strong chance that she'll enjoy Barbie in a Mermaid Tale.

If you are the parent of a little girl, odds are good that you have a straight-to-DVD, Barbie-themed movie or two in your house. If you have seen a single one of these, then you have already seen Barbie in a Mermaid Tale. If you have seen any of these movies and don't have a little girl in your house, then you are probably in need of serious help and may pose a danger to yourself or others. Please turn yourself in to the first cop you can find.

Barbie in a Mermaid Tale uses the same conceit as all the other Barbie stories: Barbie is a real celebrity and is the lead actress in her movies. In Mermaid, Barbie (actually voiced by Kathleen Barr) plays Merliah, a Malibu surfer who discovers that she is half-mermaid and that her real mother is a mermaid queen named Calissa who has been deposed by her evil sister Eris. Merliah travels to Oceana where she makes friends with the valley girl mermaid owners of a clothes boutique who help her. To defeat Eris and free her mother, Merliah must go on a quest to obtain three magic items and then use them to confront Eris and save Oceana.

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