Sunday, December 24, 2023

I got all dolled up and watched Barbie

  If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

OK, so I watched Barbie. 

"Barbie" took the box office by storm this year, earning more than $1.44 billion worldwide to become the highest grossing film in Warner Bros.' 100-year history; the highest grossing film ever from a female filmmaker at the domestic box office; and is the largest worldwide film release of 2023. 

It is now on Max, so I watched it with my wife. 

Barbie’s box office success has been characterized by several record breaking milestones. The movie had this year’s highest-grossing opening weekend with $162 million in gross sales in its first three days in theaters. Barbie’s performance also made Greta Gerwig the highest-grossing female director of all time in the U.S. The movie would have likely reached its milestones faster had it not been banned in a handful of countries including Algeria, Kuwait and Vietnam, the former of which pulled Barbie from theaters over objections to the movie’s gender and sexuality themes.

There is a great article here, that explains why Barbie made $1 Billion in just 3 weeks. So I won't try to write about that...

OK, here we go.... I did not love it. I did not even like it. I did not HATE it, I just did not... could not... figure out what I was watching. And now I am going to watch it again. And, I'll probably watch it more than twice between now and the New Year.

Wait, what?

The movie is loaded with so many themes and topics, Barbie is a movie that one needs to rewatch. This is not only thanks to its story, performances, and sense of humor, but to all the details throughout the movie, both in terms of visual design and narrative. There’s a lot to unpack in the Barbie movie. It has themes like gender inequality, the patriarchy, the matriarchy, the struggles of growing up and being an adult, capitalism. Barbie needs to be consumed. Viewers will find something new and interesting in every rewatch. Barbie also has a bunch of Easter eggs that require multiple views to catch them all. And now that it is on Max, you can do all the rewatching you can ask for.

The world of animated movies has always been a platform for sending messages and holding hidden values. The new Barbie movie is no exception to this concept. While it may seem like a funny, entertaining children’s film, a closer look at the movie uncovers a ton of subtle messages and themes that resound with both early and grown audiences.

One of the main themes in the Barbie movie is self-discovery. Throughout the film, it's all about Barbie’s journey of learning about who she is and her personal growth. At the beginning of the film, Barbie is insecure of herself and who she is in the world. As the story continues, she begins to embrace her individuality and abilities. This sends an influential message to all audiences watching, encouraging them to be themselves, no matter what. Barbie says, “Being different is what makes you special.” This line is one of the film’s messages about self-acceptance and embracing individuality. It teaches children and adults that they should be proud of who they are and that their uniqueness is their strength.

And with that.....

I did not know what I did not know. At first, I thought the Barbie movie was a simple children’s film, for kids. And now, I see that was NOT for kids, but for the parents. 

It holds deeper meanings and themes that resonate with both young and adult audiences. From empowerment and self-discovery to challenging gender stereotypes, promoting environmental consciousness, and celebrating friendship and collaboration, the film offers valuable life lessons and messages that can inspire and educate viewers of all ages. By analyzing the evidence from the movie, we can appreciate the thoughtfulness and intention behind its storytelling. The hidden meanings in the new Barbie movie serve as a reminder that animation can be a powerful medium for conveying important messages and inspiring positive change in our world.

Ah yes. Storytelling. From playing with dolls (G.I. Joe included) we have been doing storytelling all of our lives. 

Hey, did you know.... 

....that “GI Joe” is a household name. Originally, GI stood for “Galvanized Iron”, the primary material used to make military items, i.e., buckets. However, as the military grew and evolved over time, GI took on multiple meanings, including “Government Issue”, “General Issue”, and even “Ground Infantry”.

Also this: Barbie kicked G.I. Joe's A$$. Like, really bad. 

Weird Barbie... my favorite.

Update: I just learned that my wife only played with Skipper - who was created, along with Midge, to counteract criticism that claimed Barbie was a sex symbol. Midge's facial appearance was gentler than Barbie's, whereas Skipper was a response to requests for Barbie to have children; however, instead of having a married, pregnant Barbie, which would make her too domestic, Barbie would babysit Skipper.

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