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Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess(2013)
Mariposa becomes the royal Ambassador of Flutterfield and is sent to bring peace between her fairy land and their rivals, the Crystal Fairies of Shimmervale. While Mariposa doesn't make a great first impression on their King, she becomes fast friends with his shy daughter, Princess Catania™. However, a misunderstanding causes Mariposa to be banished from the fairy land. As Mariposa and Zee return to Flutterfield, they encounter a dark fairy on her way to destroy Shimmervale. Mariposa rushes back and helps Princess Catania save her fairy land and together, the two girls prove that the best way to make a friend, is to be a friend.
For more about Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess and the Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray release, see Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on August 27, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Starring: Kelly Sheridan, Maryke Hendrikse, Tabitha St. Germain, Kathleen Barr, Mariee Devereux, Alessandro Juliani
Director: William Lau
» See full cast & crew
Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray Review
If you believe, clap your hands! Or don't. Some fairies should be put out of their misery...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, August 27, 2013
The free market breeds competition and innovation, but it also breeds shameless pillaging. Blatant pilfering. Grand theft franchise. There's no denying the runaway success of the Disney Fairies empire, or its dead-eye demographic aim and merchandising success. There were bound to be contenders to the throne. Alas, there were bound to be imitators too. Mariposa & the Fairy Princess -- the latest entry in the computer animated Barbie series -- begs, borrows and outright steals from Tinker Bell's direct-to-video movies. (The image I keep coming back to is that of Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal Lecter wearing a flayed human face as a mask.) But while Tink and her friends are positively charming pixies full of life and laughter (not to mention a bit of history), Mariposa's plastic sprites traipse through a tiresome tale with stiff wings and stiffer storytelling... which might be easier to overlook if it weren't for the spiritless characters and even more spiritless world they inhabit.
Mariposa (Kelly Sheridan) and her furry friend Zee (Tabitha St. Germain) return in Barbie: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess. In this magical adventure, Mariposa becomes the royal Ambassador of Flutterfield, and is sent to forge a lasting peace between her fairy land and their rivals, the Crystal Fairies of Shimmervale. While Mariposa doesn't make a great first impression on their King (Russell Roberts), she becomes fast friends with his shy daughter, Princess Catania (Maryke Hendrikse). However, a misunderstanding causes Mariposa to be banished from the fairy land. As Mariposa and Zee return to Flutterfield, they encounter a dark fairy on her way to destroy Shimmervale.
The latest Barbie misfire is more horrifying than the last, with a fairy kingdom full of glassy-eyed, rheumatic-armed, porcelain-skinned dolls that look as if they've lumbered out of a horror movie rather than a quaint adventure for little girls. Their magical creature-companions are even more unnerving, with plodding My Little Pony rejects (crowned with what appears to be dollops of cupcake frosting) and bizarrely expressive floating heads with T-Rex arms that resemble multi-colored hairballs, while Shimmervale is teeming with flowers, mushrooms, enormous blades of grass, castles and, most notably, zero imagination. Tink's Never Land feels fully realized, lived in even. Barbie's fairy realm is an amalgamation of the most remedial pixie tropes ripped straight out of children's cartoons. Worse, the script and voice acting are more rigid and mechanical than Barbie and her friends' wooden butterfly wings, making for a painfully sloooooow death knell that's about fifty-five minutes too long.
And the pink... oh God, the pink. The purple. The pinkish purple and the purplish pink. Preschoolers and early elementary girls will squeal with delight, I'm sure -- most every scene looks as if the Toys R' Us Barbie aisle threw up all over itself -- but older kids, starting in, say, the third grade, will find it to be a bit much. Moms and dads? Kindly uncles and aunts? Grandparents even? If you're brave enough to watch with your daughters, neices or granddaughters, brace yourself for a migraine or, if you're lucky, something as mild as severe eye strain. In the immortal words of Dr. Jones: "Marion, don't look at it! Shut your eyes, Marion! Don't look at it, no matter what happens!" Mariposa & the Fairy Princess is brimming with grand aspirations, but it's merely another Barbie movie rushed through the assembly line. My advice? Stick with Tink and Pixie Hollow. Disney's got a good thing going.
Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray, Video Quality
"It burns! It burns us! It freezes! Nasty elves twisted it. Take it off us!" Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess sears the retinas with a viciously vibrant 1080p/AVC-encoded video presentation. Pinks, purples, blues, greens and, well, that's the extent of it... colors are overbearing and contrast even more so, although it looks exactly as it's intended. At least black levels are inky and detail is as crisp and clean as the source allows. Unfortunately, legions of anomalies invade the image. Macroblocking, banding, intermittent softness, aliasing and other unsightlies pop up every so often. Admittedly, each instance amounts to a minor blemish on a decent encode, and many of the aforementioned issues trace back to the movie's original digital animation, but together, it all wreaks havoc. Will little girls enthralled by the fairies' adventure notice? Not a chance. You will, though. Not that it's going to affect your purchasing decision. I suspect if you add this one to your cart, you're adding it whether you want to or not.
Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Mariposa's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track is flat, front-heavy and largely uneventful. Not that it could be anything more. The movie's sound design is two-dimensional, even when the sounds of Shimmervale are actively recruiting any and all speakers available. The LFE channel is unremarkable but more than up to the minimal labor required of it. The rear speakers don't offer anything special either, although dainty directional effects, light ambience and musical flurries give them something to do from time to time. Dialogue is clean and clear at least (albeit rather floaty), and the soundfield is relatively engaging, despite its less-than-enveloping sonics. Still, this is Mariposa & the Fairy Princess as it was meant to be. Even the most vehement detractors will find it difficult to complain about the mix if it's being approached and evaluated with complete objectivity.
Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack Contents (Subject to Change): The initial combo pack release of Mariposa & the Fairy Princess features a slipcover (with the original pressing), a BD-50 disc (feature film and special features), a standard DVD copy of the movie, and an UltraViolet digital copy (download via redemption code, expiration unspecified). The UltraViolet digital copy is also iTunes compatible.
Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Go with Tinker Bell instead. That's almost all that really needs to be written about Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess. It's just that bad, and worse, is little more than an Asylum Entertainment-esque rip-off of the Tinker Bell direct-to-video series. Ah well. Video and audio are decent, respectively flawed and underwhelming though they may be, and the supplemental package is either woefully small or mercifully short. I can't decide whether more or less content should be the measure of greater value. I can't reiterate it enough: go with Tinker Bell instead.
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Barbie: Mariposa & the Fairy Princess Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Barbie: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess Blu-ray - June 5, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced it will release Barbie: Mariposa and the Fairy Princess via a Blu-ray/DVD/UltraViolet Combo Pack on August 27th. The animated adventure follows Mariposa as she works to bring peace to the kingdoms of her land.
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