55 Thoughts I Had Rewatching "Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses" as an Adult
I have a confession to make: I think I only saw this movie once during my childhood. By the time this film was released, I had already begun to outgrow my Barbie fandom.
But if TikTok is any indication, Barbie in the Twelve Dancing Princesses is a fan favorite among Barbie movie connoisseurs. What could be better than one dancing princess Barbie? Twelve dancing princesses Barbies, of course!
Naturally, I have high hopes going into this movie. Here are my moment-by-moment reactions to what many consider to be the *absolute zenith* of Barbie ballet movies.
1. Apparently Universal Studios made all of these Barbie movies. Could we potentially see a Barbie-themed area in a Universal Studios theme park one day?
2. Unlike the other dance-heavy Barbie films, this one is not based on a Tchaikovsky ballet. Does this mean the plot will make even less sense?
3. This theme music is an absolute jam. Tchaikovsky wishes he wrote such a bop.
4. Once again, choreographed by Peter Martins. Get out of my childhood movies, Peter Martins!
5. I kind of miss the Barbie frame narrative. This time we’re jumping straight into the main story.
6. Mattel was onto something brilliant with this movie. Twelve different princesses, each with different hair and outfits? Imagine the merchandise potential.
7. King Randolph seems like a cool dad.
8. Oh, I get it. The daughters are named in alphabetical order! That’s a cute vibe.
9. The cat is named Twyla! Please tell me that’s a Twyla Tharp reference slipped in for the dance fans.
10. Genevieve has the most Main Character Energy out of all the sisters. She gets her own hairstyle *and* a fancier fit.
11. “They’re just shoes!” Cue the horrified gasps.
12. To be fair, I was equally excited for my first pointe shoes.
13. Derek the royal cobbler is going to be our love interest. But he’s *different* from other brown-haired love interests in Barbie movies! He has a talking parrot.
14. So, these shoes are kind of pointe shoes but not? They don’t seem to have ribbons, but the princesses still dance en pointe.
15. Derek just pulls a recorder-type instrument out of thin air and proceeds to lay down the sickest beat the 12 princesses have ever heard.
16. And the princesses whip out some perfectly in-synch choreo, on the grass no less.
17. A whole castle is available and yet these princesses still have roommates. Major “The Bachelor” vibes.
18. The evil duchess has a monkey. This might be a record number of animal sidekicks.
19. A LITERAL JUMP SCARE in a Barbie movie?! Why is this monkey so menacing omg.
20. Props to Duchess Rowena for showing up at the castle with carbon copies of each girl’s dress in grey. That’s some forethought.
21. Never mind, King Randolph is not exactly winning father of the year. He let Rowena come into his own castle and turn it into a joyless prison because his daughters were…too quirky? Okay, hater.
22. Oh, she is absolutely going to poison him with this tea.
23. More instruments coming out of thin air! And a bop of a birthday song and dance.
24. Dancing is forbidden! Cue Footloose.
25. This magical self-steering gondola would make a good theme park ride…cough cough Universal Studios.
26. I’m a little less impressed by the choreography in this movie so far, compared to the other Barbie movies. Lots of waltz steps, and the développés look kind of funky.
27. As I suspected, the king is sick and Rowena is acting sus. She’s clearly hoping to dispatch the king and all the princesses in order to take the throne.
28. The princesses are going to heal the king with the power of…lyric-less choir singing. Sure.
29. If you’re going to dump out the medicine, Rowena, maybe wait until the doctor has at least left the hallway.
30. I love the implication that Derek’s only job and source of income is to make shoes for the princesses. These secret midnight dance sessions must be good for business.
31. It was kind of Rowena to leave the princesses with their signature color hair accessories, or I’d have no idea who’s who.
32. Gosh Genevieve, stop hogging the magic dance steps. Maybe one of your sisters wants to open the portal this time.
33. “What should we dance to first?” “We love ballet!” Is ballet a music genre?
34. “I wish we had ballet music!” Apparently, the answer is yes.
35. It wouldn’t be a ballet-centric Barbie movie without the ribbons tied all the way up the knees.
36. These ballet outfits are cute. I’ll make allowances for the hilariously large donut buns.
37. Okay, this choreo is fun. Lots of tour jetés and some seriously impressive Italian pas de chats.
38. I feel like if you actually tried to do pirouettes from 5th on grass you would drill a hole into the ground.
39. The princesses are dancing en pointe, but the ball and heel of their shoes are completely worn out. No amount of Jet Glue will fix those dead shoes.
40. Okay, but even if Rowena poisons the king, wouldn’t the princesses take over the kingdom? I’m not following her plan here.
41. Derek, aka Sherlock Holmes, spots shoe polish footprints on the magic steps. Meanwhile I’m left wondering what kind of pointe shoes need to be polished.
42. Well, that answers my question about Rowena’s master plan. Rowena has no reservations about locking the princesses away forever.
43. Nooo Randolph, you dummy. Stop drinking the tea!
44. “You have to dance together! Oh, how romantic!” Took the words right out of my mouth…*checks notes* Princess Fallon.
45. While some of the sisters definitely suffer from lack of character development, Derek is one of the more interesting love interests from these movies. I’m very here for this dance scene he has with Genevieve.
46. He makes shoes, plays the recorder, and can dance? Derek is the Barbie renaissance man.
47. They’re dancing on air! And the cat can dance too! This is amazing, I have nothing funny to say, I love this movie.
48. I’m glad the princesses get to keep their magical ballet outfits for the final showdown with Rowena.
49. And Derek can swordfight with a fire poker. What a man.
50. Lacey to the rescue! Big or small, there’s a difference only you can make.
51. And so the evil duchess is hit with her own curse and dances into the night. That’s another theme in these movies: The villain being taken down by their own curse.
52. Now the princesses are riding a carriage big enough for all twelve of them. First off, that would be *the most* coveted Barbie carriage if Mattel actually made it. And second, I knew we weren’t getting through this movie without a pretty carriage turning up.
53. Genevieve and Derek are getting married! Why am I so emotional?
54. First up in the credits are Charles Askegard, Maria Kowroski, Tiler Peck, and Abi Stafford from NYCB. I’m loving that they’re listed before any of the voice actors.
55. The credits song is another *bop* and a perfect end to another cinematic masterpiece.