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Barbie in
The 12 Dancing Princesses

Since Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses is definitely not a title aimed at this Fanboy, it seemed appropriate to take this down a generation. After viewing the DVD and consulting her copy of Aristotle's Poetics For Children, my daughter Adaline happily stood by me and told me what to type.

This was really cool, really funny and also really wicked. Wicked because the King's cousin Rowena is trying to poison him. She's very mean to the girls, smashing all their stones in their room and taking all the pretty stuff.

Then they find a magical land their mom left for them. The King's cousin finds it after the Prince - wait, maybe he's not a prince, but his name is Derek - discovers it. Rowena's evil monkey sees him dancing the magical moves that opens the gateway to the land. The bad monkey shows Rowena what to do on purpose.

Rowena looked like someone from one of the other Barbie movies. Little Lucy has healing water, and the daughters do come back to save their father.

It was really good and so funny, but the monkey was mean. It also had a very wise tiger that looked like a kitten. And twelve beautiful dancing daughters.

It also has a Merry Memory Ballet Game. You have to remember the dance moves and repeat them. Lucy wanted to know the moves so that when she grows up she can be like her sister Genevieve. The Ballerinas all have different colors and different moves. This was really fun.

Back to me. Right now, this is Allie's favorite Barbie movie, even more than Fairytopia, which had ruled our house for several months. Her mother chimed in that it's still not as good as The Princess and the Pauper, but that one had really good songs (and singing Barbies in the stores). This despite having music adapted from Felix Mendelssohn and choreography by the New York City Ballet.

Let's face it - they put a lot more effort into these movies than they have to, and that should make parents grateful. Girls get exposed to a little more culture, and the movies provide clean-cut moral lessons without being too treacly.

It's not just for girls, though. Two-year-old Luke loved it, too, and tried to duplicate the dance moves. However, the monkey bothered him by being so mean.

All in all, today on the playground, Allie will be recommending this movie to everyone in her class - mostly princesses, but a few princes, too.

Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses

Derek McCaw


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