HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Barbie in Rock'n Royals
HTS Overall Score:71
While we have tons of material for the 6 and under crowd, and generic animated films for both sexes, there is very little in terms of quality entertainment for the single digits female crowd. The Barbie name brand has been synonymous with little girls for the better part of the century. We have the dolls, the comic books, the coloring books, the graphic novels, the TV show, and of course the movies. The Barbie movies aren’t going to win academy awards, and they unfortunately don’t live up to the quality of the “Tinkerbell” movies, but they’re passable entertainment with decent values to teach young girls (even if sometimes they go a bit too overboard on the whole “we’re ALL winners” scenarios). “Barbie: Rock’n Royals” is a passable little story with lots of glitz, glamour and plenty of catchy pop/rock tunes to keep the girls singing along.
“Rock’n Royals” is basically a retelling of “The Prince and the Pauper”, with a giant mix up causing Princess Courtney to be sent to Camp Pop (a singing camp for the pop rock crowd), while Rock star Erika Juno is accidentally shuffled off to Camp Royal (a competing camp on the same island, but naturally for royalty). It’s your classic fish out of water story, with the two girls having to adapt to the different lives of the other’s social status. Erika learns that the Royal side of the island is focused much more on making things a harmonious experience in the musical world, which puts the pop/rock star out of her comfort zone as a solo artist. On the other side of the island Princess Courtney is learning to “slum” it with the rockers of camp pop, and having to deal with speaking up for herself and actually learning how to let her talents shine instead of just being “one of the group”.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=53465[/img]Both Lady Anne, headmistress of Camp Royal, and Pops Finn, head of Camp Pop, are involved in a years long feud that has both camps at each other’s throats. Lady Anne wants to get rid of camp Pop and has been trying to buy out Pop Finn for years, but Pop has no desire to sell, so in a twist of genius, Lady Anne challenges Pop Finn to sing off competition, and the person who comes out the loser has to close their doors. Falling for the bait, Pop agrees and both sides buckle down to mix their unique styles in a jam off that will define the future.
As I mentioned before, “Rock’n Royals” is a retelling of “The Prince and the Pauper”, but ironically is the THIRD title in the series to do so. 2004’s “The Princess and the Pauper” came first, and then 3 years ago we had “The Princess and the Popstar”, and now we have ANOTHER retelling of the same basic story. Two girls get mixed up, and have to live a few days in the life of another, each learning from the situation. It’s not a horrible thing to re-do a classic, but I’m actually surprised at the receptiveness of having the same story retold 3x in the last decade. This little outing should more than satisfy the little kiddies though. There’s lots of pretty blues, pinks and tons of sparklies to along with the jazzy pop/rock songs, and plenty of girl power to boot.
Not Rated by the MPAA
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=53473[/img]“Barbie: Rock’n Royals” is on par for the rest of the series, with a stable 1080p encode that overflows with bright and shiny colors, mixed with a simplistic CGI animation style. Fine detail is good enough, and takes advantage of every bit of leeway that the cheap CGI allows. You can see creases and curves on the girl’s outfits, and even a few wisps of hair that show some good definition. Colors are bright and cheerful, mainly consisting of very bright and saturated primaries, including neon red, blue, and pink. Black levels are acceptably dark and inky, and the only real flaw that I can see on the disc is some intermittent and mild banding that shows up here or there. Otherwise, a very nice looking image.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=53481[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is just as solid as the video, giving a front heavy experience for the most part, but when the musical bits start up the whole soundstage is in full gear. Dialog is crisp and clear, with good vocal separation, and the pop/rock score is more than ample in depth and clarity. The energy pulses throughout the movie with wonderfully rich songs that are balanced well and thankfully don’t require the changing of the volume dial once during the hour and twenty three minute run time. LFE is punchy and tight, adding some nice weight to the songs, and even a few thumps here or there (such as when Pop Finn and Lady Anne are dropped in the glass cage). “Barbie: Rock’n Royals” does everything it’s asked to with ease, giving a nicely layered audio track for the kids to sing along with.
• "What If I Shine Remix" - Music Video
• "Raise Our Voices" - Music Video
• "What a Day" - Motion Comic
If you’ve let your daughters (or sons, I don’t discriminate) watch the “Barbie” movies in the past then you really know what you’re in for. There’s lots of team building exercise and the message that working out your problems and doing your best means you’re a winner no matter what. Basically a solid spirit building movie for the single digit female audience and the producers know exactly have to get the little ones dancing to the music. This one is actually a bit more focused on the musical bits than others of the series, and I almost hate to say that I was toe tapping along to a couple of the songs myself. “Rock’n Royals” is passable entertainment that won’t be too offensive or torturous for the adults, even if you’re pretty much guaranteed that most adults will try and tune it out anyways. However, the young ones should be more than entertained by all the music and pretty colors, so if they’ve enjoyed previous films in the “Barbie” series, rest assured that this one will act as a suitable babysitter for an hour and a half (and hopefully a bit longer if they like the music enough for a replay).
Starring: Kelly Sheridan, Nicole Oliver, Jordan Kane
Directed by: Karen J. Lloyd
Written by: Marsha Griffin
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian, Portuguese DTS 5.1
Runtime: 83 minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: September 8th 2015
Buy Barbie: Rock'n Royals On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: For the little princesses everywhere
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