Come On Barbie, Let’s Go Party!


Image courtesy of Seattle University.

A staple in the children’s toy world since her launch in 1959, Mattel’s Barbie has transcended her role as a doll: she is a cultural icon. From Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” song—which introduced the notable “Come on Barbie, let’s go party” phrase—to her appearance in movies like “Toy Story 3,” Barbie has been the ‘it-girl’ for generations of kids. 

While Barbie has starred in her own line of animated movies like “Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper,” “Barbie in the Nutcracker” and “Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses,” she is making her first splash on the big screen in Greta Gerwig’s live action “Barbie,” which is set to premiere July 21.

A calling sign to all the folks yearning for the nostalgia of Barbie, Warner Bros dropped a teaser inspired heavily by “2001: A Space Odyssey” for the upcoming movie Dec. 16, 2022. It was recently followed up with the first full-length trailer April 4, which showcased more of the star-studded cast, colorful set designs and snazzy fits.  It left fans like Maddy Corteway, a fourth-year psychology and criminal justice double major at Seattle U, even more excited about the film. 

“The outfits already look so good, there’s good actors, the plots seems good. It’s all around great,” Corteway said. “Michael Cera is in it; My life is complete.” 

With a $100 million budget, the movie has room to pay for the array of A-list actors gracing the screen, with Margot Robbie taking the helm as Barbie herself and a himbofied Ryan Gosling providing back-up as Ken. But they aren’t the only actors playing Barbie and Ken: “Insecure” star Issa Rae, Marvel superhero Simu Liu, SNL’s Kate McKinnon and “Sex Education” actors Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Mackey are all making appearances as variations of the character. 

The uproar around the highly anticipated film has come from more than just the release of the trailers. The movie’s Instagram account also released a series of posts announcing the characters and their actors, which took social media by storm. Stars like Viola Davis, Zooey Deschanel and Seattle U’s very own Rudy the Redhawk posted their own takes on the meme. 

“The memes are great. I feel like the advertising for it has been really [effective],” Corteway said. 

Social media users have also been debating the viewing order of “Barbie” and Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” which are both set to release on July 21. There was some confusion about whether the “Oppenheimer” premier was being pushed back, but it has since been confirmed that they will both be opening in theaters together. This interesting combination of movies releasing on the same day led to creative content on sites like Twitter and TikTok portraying fans’ transition between viewing the two movies. 

Barbie has found a special home in the hearts of the LGBTQ+ community, and one thing is abundantly clear, even before the release of the movie, “Barbie” is for the girls and the gays. Eleanor Golden, a fourth-year creative writing major at Seattle U, is excited to see the turnout for the film, especially with the special place Barbie has held in her heart since childhood. 

“I enjoyed playing with Barbies when I was young, and I think they’re part of why I’m gay now,” Golden said sarcastically. 

Because of Barbie’s huge fandom and notoriety, there is worry that the doll’s first live-action won’t live up to the high expectations of fans. But don’t worry folks, “Barbie” is in good hands with Greta Gerwig, the director and writer who is behind the critically acclaimed movies “Little Women” and “Lady Bird,” according to Marley Foote, a fourth-year psychology major at Seattle U. 

“She can do no wrong in my eyes,” Foote said. “I adore ‘Lady Bird,’ so I’m excited to see what she does with something as iconic as Barbie.” 

While fans will have to wait until summer for the movie, it gives them ample time to rewatch any of the dozens of Barbie movies that might have dominated their childhood. Some of these many animated films and shows, like “Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse,” recently became available to view on Netflix, and there is always the hilariously unhinged “The Most Popular Girls in School” series on YouTube. With the high levels of anticipation, “Barbie” is already a key watch in the Barbie discography.