The fantasy comedy in pink shades “Barbie” had its box office release on July 21.
To build up to the excitement, the movie’s creators had been delighting us with various promo videos, thematic photo shoots, and interviews about the process of working on the picture.
We’ve compiled the most intriguing details about the long-awaited new release below.
Barbie Learns to Embrace Who She Is
The new Barbie movie stars Margot Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. The movie is set in “Barbieland,” a colorful society filled with Kens and Barbies. The plot revolves around Barbie deciding to leave her sheltered life in Barbieland and venture into the real world.
Ken, portrayed as a bit of a doofus, stows away and joins Barbie on this journey. The film explores themes of imperfection and self-discovery as Barbie navigates the real world.
How the Barbie Movie Finally Happened After 60 Years
The idea for a Barbie movie originated from the iconic doll herself. Barbie was created in 1959 by the American toy company Mattel, forever changing the children’s toy industry. For many young girls and boys who admired the slender, blonde doll and her tanned, athletic boyfriend Ken, they became aspirational role models.
Unfortunately, this led some children to feel insecure about their body image, as they strived to emulate the dolls’ unattainable proportions. In 1963, Barbie dolls were even sold with a controversial “Don’t Eat” diet book, further impacting kids’ self-esteem. Any psychologist, doctor, parent, or essay writer free from prejudice will confirm that children often try to imitate their idols, for better or worse.
Over the years, Mattel explored bringing Barbie’s story to the big screen. They first developed a project with Universal in 2009. In 2014, Mattel restarted development with Sony Pictures, but the movie stalled. The rights were later transferred to Warner Bros in 2018, finally moving the long-gestating project forward.
In 2019, the film’s script was written by real-life couple Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, acclaimed writers and directors in their own right. Gerwig brought her signature “joyful feminism” to the project, crafting a multiverse story where Barbie learns to embrace herself, break stereotypes, and inspire kids.
Star Margot Robbie praised the script, saying “I was thrilled by how good it was. I thought it would never get made.” But thanks to Gerwig’s vision, the movie is now becoming a reality.
In 1959, the American company Mattel changed the children’s toy industry forever by creating its first Barbie. And with that, girls and boys who admit.”
Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling Lead All-Star Cast as Barbie and Ken
Amy Schumer and Anne Hathaway were considered for the role of the lead Barbie at various times. However, in 2019, Margot Robbie was confirmed. By the way, Ryan Gosling was always seen in the role of Ken Gerwig. Rumor has it that the stars received $12.5 million each.
The other Barbies were played by Issa Rae, Hari Nef, and Emma McKay from “Sex Education,” who is referred to online as Robbie’s “doppelganger” because of her external resemblance. In addition, actress and Saturday Night Live comedian Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera (“Dorky Betty”), and even singer Dua Lipa have been announced as part of the cast.
In May this year, Margot Robbie revealed that she offered to become another Barbie to Gal Gadot. However, the actress declined due to her busy schedule. In addition to Gosling, Ken’s cast includes Simu Liu (“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings”) and Shuti Gatwa (“Sex Education”). And in the role of Mattel’s CEO is comedian Will Ferrell.
A small fan fact: Sim Liu had to wax the whole body to play a smooth Ken. After the procedure, he had a lot of respect for women who go through this every month.
Jacqueline Durran: Crafting Signature Style for Barbie and Ken
Acclaimed costume designer Jacqueline Durran faced a unique challenge – adapting the iconic looks of Barbie and Ken into modern, stylish fashion. With two Oscars already under her belt for period films like “Anna Karenina” and “Little Women,” Durran proved she was up for this modern assignment.
The footage from the film shows Durran brilliantly brought the dolls’ signature styles into 2022. Margot Robbie rocks flashy cowboy hats and neon roller skating outfits, while Ryan Gosling dons bold printed suits fitting of Ken’s preppy aesthetic.
Durran skillfully reimagined the dolls’ retro vibe for today, keeping their essence while giving their looks a contemporary twist. Her costumes let Barbie and Ken seamlessly transition into the modern world, delighting fans eager to see the duo on the big screen.
Bringing Barbie’s World to Life: Constructing the Film’s Vibrant Sets
Director Greta Gerwig sought to build an immersive Barbie world with a true sense of artificiality. Rather than rely heavily on CGI, she favored tangible sets crafted by hand for a tactile feel, believing “toys are things you first touch.”
Gerwig had artists manually paint the backdrop skies and mountains, eschewing digital effects. Barbie’s iconic Dreamhouse was brought to life by production designer Sarah Greenwood and set designer Katie Spencer. Their London team drew inspiration from mid-20th century Palm Springs modernism, using Richard Neutra’s Kaufmann House as a reference point.
To capture nuances, the designers ordered a vintage Dreamhouse on Amazon. The original 1962 Dreamhouse, a rare property owned by a single female doll, embodied Barbie’s progressive feminism. Greenwood and Spencer replicated the whimsical proportions, making characters feel big yet viewed small.
Staying true to the original, the Dreamhouse had no walls or windows, only a water slide staircase. In constructing this vivid world, the team actually bought up the global supply of fluorescent pink Rosco paint.
Through meticulous hands-on craftsmanship and an eye for design details, the sets captured the essence of Barbie in all her aspirational artificiality.
Assembling a Fittingly Fun Barbie Soundtrack
Oscar and Grammy winner Mark Ronson executive produced the Barbie movie soundtrack, bringing his signature retro-modern sound. The renowned British DJ behind hits like Shallow and Uptown Funk compiled an all-star lineup.
The album features Lizzo, Nicki Minaj, Khalid and Fifty Fifty, plus a song newly written for the film by Dua Lipa after she was cast. Lipa recently released a music video for her dance track Dance the Night with footage starring Greta Gerwig.
Even Ryan Gosling got in on the music, recording I’m Just Ken about the challenges of being Ken in Barbieland.
With Ronson’s cred and star power combined, the soundtrack promises to be as playfully stylish as the film itself. The cherry-picked artists give the Barbie vibes an edgy modern twist.