HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Barbie & Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase
HTS Overall Score:70
“Barbie” is the little girl equivalent of “Transformers” for boys and “Monster High” for this generation. Created in 1959 by Mattel corporation, the franchise was (and is) an excuse to sell toys, videos, dollhouses, and a myriad of other things with Barbie’s name plastered across it. The name “Barbie” is almost a cultural phenomenon, as everyone knows the name of the famous doll and her tons of different outfits. There has even been huge backlash over her “more than perfect” physique and some crowds trying to foist body shaming on Mattel. I’m not exactly the demographic for the dolls or the movies (even as child being that I wanted my childhood toys to have guns and the like), but I have to readily admit that Universal’s line of “Barbie” movies have created some humor filled fluffy fun for preteen girls everywhere that is really just harmless fun. “Barbie & Her Sisters in a Puppy Adventure” is not the crème de la crème of the “Barbie” world, but it is a decently entertaining film for the little ones nonetheless.
The name Barbie is almost like a reverse James Bond. She seems to be a different character from film to film and instead of being played by different actors with one name, she’s seemingly different people all with the same name. In one film she’s a super spy. In another she’s travelling through outer space to become an intergalactic princess hero, and in another she’s just a young girl with a lot of sisters and a handful of puppies. If you’ve been paying attention to the franchise, Barbie (Erica Lindbeck) and her sisters adopted a set of 4 puppies in “Barbie & Her Sisters In the Great Puppy Adventure”. This continues that particular story point (which is rare for the “Barbie” series) and has her, the sisters, and the 4 pups heading off to Hawaii for youngest sister Chelsea’s (Alyssya Swales) dance competition. Poor Chelsea is out of her mind with worry about the competition, and is nervously practicing all she can before her recital that night.
Barbie decides that the girls need a bit of a break from just worrying about dancing, so she, her sisters and the 4 pups head out to the middle of the island to check out a cadre of dancing horses. This naturally gets Chelsea’s mind off the competition, but in the process the 4 pups end up wandering off and getting lost in the process! Seeing their dogs getting accidentally transported away in the dancing horse’s trailer, Barbie and crew immediately try to flag them down, but accidentally ruin their little bitty transportation in the process, stranding them on the island. Now the girls have to work together to get back across the island to rescue their dogs, AND get Chelsea back to her competition in time to shine.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=83241[/img]“Barbie & Her Sisters In a Great Puppy Chase” is a bit of an overstuffed films for the 75 minute runtime. There just seems to be quite a few sub plots that intertwine with the regular plot, and the end result feels a little too fragmented vs. one solid plot with a few dalliances. We have Chelsea and her dance competition. 4 talking pups who have their OWN adventure with getting lost. Barbie, Chelsea and the rest of the girls getting across the island. A whole subplot with the dancing horses themselves (who can also talk), and their owners all coming together for one big dance off at the end that is wince worthy even for the series.
That’s not to say these plots are all bad, but I personally felt they could have trimmed out two of them and fleshed out the others just a little bit more. But, as with all these movies, the morals of the story are there to teach young girl’s self-esteem and have some fun along the way with sparkling colors and good old fashioned sister girl power. Chelsea learns a valuable lesson about not worrying yourself to death, and the rest is you classic story of teamwork to get back across the island while doing your best. Simple and uncomplicated, it works well as pre-teen entertainment while giving just a little boost to a young girl’s growing self-esteem.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=83249[/img]Colors colors colors! That is, and always has been, the crux of the "Barbie" films. Lots and LOTS of bright and shiny colors that make the little ones go "ooooo" and "ahhhhh"!. "Barbie & Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase" is no different, just changing up the scenario. This time its the luscious and green filled world of an exotic island. Lots and lots of green foliage dot the landscape while the blue of the ocean and the brightly colored outfits of the girls (and the horses) compliment the natural looking picture. the animation for the films have never been amazingly sharp, but they do a good job with the cheap digital animation for the girls, and there is more than enough fine detail to go around. Blacks are deep and inky and I really couldn't see any major artifacting to speak of. Banding is just about nonexistent and while the animation doesn't lend itself for razor sharp clarity, It holds itself on par with the rest of the franchise as a nice looking Blu-ray disc.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=83257[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA experience is very similar. It’s a fairly dynamic and immersive track that just isn’t AS dynamic or powerful as a higher budgeted release. Vocals are always strong and directionality is quite nice for a DTV film, with the horses dancing and prancing all around in the initial show, as well as the finale with everyone making their special dance skills known. most of the film is fairly dialog heavy (and naturally front heavy), but there is also a LOT of synthesized pop music to fill out the track all around and give a fairly vibrant surround boost when needed. Low end is mainly used to compliment the musical numbers, giving a nice pop in the mid bass department, but also adds a little bit of weight to the golf cart crash and the landing of the airplane at the airport when needed. It's a DTV Barbie movie, but it uses the simple tools at its disposal with admirable results.
• Live in the Moment Music Video
• Barbie Dreamtopia: Wispy Forest
• Barbie Dreamtopia: Rainbow Cove
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. The “Barbie” movies are not exactly something I sit down with and invite the guys over to watch. I’m a 30 something year old male and while my tastes in film are heavily eclectic and include a variety of differing styles, this is NOT one of them. However I do have young female family members who love the series and I have to put on my “12 year old girl” cap and sit down with them and view it through their eyes for just a little bit. “Barbie & Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase” is not the best of the Barbie series (and not even best in the “Barbie & her Sistes” subset), but it is still just harmless girl focused entertainment that works wonders for a TV babysitter. If your daughters (or sons, I don’t discriminate) have enjoyed the previous outings, I see no reason why this won’t do just as well. For the young Girl
Starring: Erica Lindbeck, Alex Barima, Kathleen Barr
Directed by: Conrad Helten, Michael Goguen
Written by: Kristopher Fogel, Kacey Arnold
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, French Spanish DTS 5.1
Runtime: 75 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: October 18th 2016
Buy Barbie & Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Low Rental
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