/// 14 March 2009 /// (Updated: 29 July 2009)
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The Barbie® and the Three Musketeers DVD cover (picture courtesy of ASM - click here to visit their site

As you probably already know (especially if you read about Toy Fair 2009), the next direct-to-DVD Barbie® movie is going to be Barbie and the Three Musketeers.

Here's the plot summary from Amazon.com's page for the storybook adaptation of the movie:

Barbie® stars as Corrine® [sic], who longs to join the Musketeers. When she leaves her country home for Paris, she meets three other girls who want to be Musketeers, too. But when they discover an evil plot to kidnap Prince Louis, they must all put their talents to the test to save him and the kingdom! Can Corrine and her friends save the prince in time, and will they all fulfill their dreams of becoming Musketeers? After all, with friendship on their side, it is one for all and all for one.

(Note: The character's name is actually spelled Corinne, not "Corrine" or "Corrinne".)

According to this summary, while Barbie is essentially playing the role of d'Artagnan, none of the other girls are actually Musketeers either. That means the title may not be referring to them, since

  1. None of the girls are Musketeers at the beginning;

  2. At the end, presumably all (or none) of them will become Musketeers - in which case there would be four

But the title could be referring to three "real" Musketeers - there have to be at least a few men around who can learn the big "girl power"-slash-"we girls can do anything" lesson about sexual equality.

You can read about Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers here. However, we'll have to wait to see how much this movie really has in common with the novel. (Barbie as The Princess and the Pauper doesn't have much in common with the book it was based on.)

Here's what we know about the characters:

  • Barbie®'s character is named Corinne®
  • Teresa®'s character is named Viveca® (some sources erroneously call her Rosemonde [possibly an early name for the character], and the English-language trailer [see below] calls her by another early name, Trista)
  • Nikki®'s character is named Renee® (Please note that it's Nikki, not Christie®, then note this emoticon once again expressing my displeasure about it: )
  • Summer®'s character is named Aramina®
  • The obligatory animal mascot - a cat with a rapier and hat who looks lot like Puss in Boots - is named Miette® (and it's a girl)
  • The prince the girls work to save is named Louis

We also know this:

  • The Musketeers wear skirts.
  • Skirts are not appropriate for swashbuckling.
Barbie® and the Three Musketeers Sticker Storybook

Trivia: The cat's name, Miette®, means "crumb" in French - but, it's probably really supposed to be a pun, since it sounds like "meow" with a French diminutive ending (meow + ette = "miette").

More trivia: Summer's character, Aramina, is obviously named after Aramis from the original novel. Louis may be named after Louis XIII, who appears in it as well. The fact that Nikki's character, Renée, has the same first name as the book's Aramis may be a coincidence. The other characters' names don't seem to be related to the original story.

And I just have to say - I don't understand why there still hasn't been a vector-based 2-D animated Barbie movie using the current Barbie illustration style. Look at the cover of the Barbie and the Three Musketeers Sticker Storybook to the left and tell me that wouldn't make an amazing-looking movie?

Update (13 April 2009) - A Finnish-language trailer for the movie has been posted on Youtube.

Click to see the trailer
It's Sailor Moon the Power Rangers Barbie®! (Click to view the trailer)

Is it just me, or are there serious shades of Sailor Moon? Magical transformations, dramatic poses, swirling sparkly backgrounds, unique individual weapons (if you can call a ribbon stick a "weapon" ), color-coded costumes, a cat sidekick who gets right up in the camera and then does a big backflip leap into a pose (skip to 0:20 in that clip)... Not to mention (again) the totally inappropriate skirts. (At least they're knee-length. )

However, even though Sailor Moon does lots of contortionistic gymnastics moves, I don't remember her ever doing a forward walkover while wearing a floor-length skirt like Barbie does at the end of the trailer. That's talent.

(I wonder if they're actually going to "transform" in the movie? I hope they don't have "super powers" or something...)

Update #2 (29 July 2009) - Thanks to Bubbles for pointing out that an English-language trailer was also added to Youtube!

I really like the "action" theme (gymnastics and everything), although if you haven't seen the live-action Sailor Moon series you have no idea how much this is *exactly like it* - to the point of being eerie. (Maybe somebody was a fan of the show. )

Also, this trailer does show transformation sequences. Although I love the Sailor Moon-i-ness, I really hope the girls don't have magical powers in the movie. Musketeers aren't "magic" - they're just normal guys. That's what makes them cool. It would be unfortunate to send the message that girls need magic to do what traditional Musketeers do without it. (In fact, it sounds like their clothes may be magic... BTW, the Sailor Moon characters transform with equally-stereotypical magic "make-up".)

If they do have magic they'll probably lose it at one point and have to solve a problem without it, but they really shouldn't need it in the first place. (Actually, there's a way they could make a clever commentary about the whole situation, but it would be very surprising if they did it like that... )

The A Few Good Men and Casablanca quotes after the transformations are great! ("You can't handle the truth!" ) But I wish Corinne and Viveca's quotes weren't about clothes - it's kind of anti climactic.

I can't wait to see what the movie is actually like - it definitely has the potential to be the best one yet!

(You can read about the Barbie and the Three Musketeers toys here.)

Doll Diary 14 March 2009