Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is full of references to other types of dolls and toys released by Mattel, with one particular reference to the doll’s creator.
- The highly anticipated film Barbie exceeded box office expectations, earning $337 million in its opening weekend alone.
- Future Mattel movies will likely be self-reflective and promotional, complete with Easter eggs and references to other toys and games.
- The Barbie Movie includes references to iconic Barbie dolls like Midge, Growing Up Skipper, Teen Talk Barbie, Barbie Video Girl and more.
VIDEO SCREENING OF THE DAY SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH THE CONTENT
Greta Gerwig’s new hit movie Barbie it has several major Easter eggs and Mattel toy references. The highly anticipated film opened with a box office opening weekend that exceeded its own expectations, amassing a staggering $337 million at the worldwide box office in its few days of release alone. In a year that has been littered with box office flops and major franchise disappointments, Barbie seems to be the rare and shining exception of 2023 theatrical releases. It has a good chance of becoming the second movie of the year to cross $1 billion at the global box office.
The collective hype and box office success of Barbenheimer has led to massive performances for both films respectively, with Barbie marking the first installment in Mattel’s impending film franchise. Since Mattel has been in business for decades primarily selling children’s toys and games, their arsenal of intellectual property is extremely broad, allowing them to plan a host of movies based on their beloved products. Barbie has shown that future Mattel movies will likely be self-reflexive and promotional with their other types of toys and games, which means they’ll be full of Easter Eggs and other references like Barbie.
RELATED: Every Greta Gerwig Movie, Ranked From Worst To Best (Including Barbie)
One of the biggest references of the toy in the Barbie The film is the constant reference and inclusion of Midge. Midge is a guy pregnant with Barbie with characteristic long red hair and a purple dress. The Midge toy causes some controversy among parents for its depiction of a heavily pregnant woman, and was withdrawn from the market and reintroduced in 2013 without the pregnancy bump. Midge is played by Emerald Fennel in Barbie and is the partner of Allan, another type of Ken doll, played by Michael Cera in the film.
11 Growing Up Skipper
Skipper Growing Up is another controversial Barbie doll referenced in the film. At one point during the 1970s, the Growing Up Skipper had the function of increasing the size of the doll’s breasts by using her arm as a lever. The doll would also grow around an inch as a hybrid model that could be interchanged between a teenager and an adult. In the movie, Gloria (America Ferrara) owned a Growing Up Skipper when she was a child, which is a rarity considering the doll’s short lifespan before being replaced by updated models.
10 barbie teen talk
Teen Talk Barbie is also mentioned in the Barbie movie. This edition of the iconic doll comes with a voice box that is programmed to say one of a select few pre-recorded messages. The Barbie doll was released in 1992, but was eventually discontinued after one of her lines “Math class is hard!” sparked controversy among parents. In it Barbie movie, Teen Talk Barbie makes a brief on-screen appearance and is played by Marisa Abela, but she doesn’t get a chance to say one of her pre-recorded messages.
9 Barbie Video Girl
Barbie Video Girl is another Mattel toy reference in the Barbie film that actually makes fun of itself by questioning its design. The character was played by Mette Narrative in the film, who jokes about how she doesn’t understand why she has a TV monitor built into her back. Her doll had a camera built into her necklace that could actually record videos of up to 30 minutes. The doll was discontinued for again causing controversy among parents who did not like their children having access to a video recording feature.
RELATED: What Is Ken’s Job? Even the Barbie movie can’t answer the 62-year-old mystery
8 Sugar Daddy Ken
Sugar Daddy Ken is briefly mentioned onscreen in the Barbie film and is played by Rob Brydon. The doll is an earlier version of Ken who comes wearing a distinctive bright green blazer and a small toy dog on a leash as an accessory. The movie jokes about how the dog’s name is Sugar, making the character literally Sugar’s father and owner, even though everyone knows what the original intention was behind the Mattel doll being released for Barbie’s 50th anniversary.
7 Magic Ken Earring
Earring Magic Ken is played by Tom Stourton in the Barbie movie. He briefly appears alongside the other discontinued Sugar Daddy Ken doll in the film. Earring Magic Ken was Mattels’ attempt to make the Ken doll cool again in the 1990s by incorporating more modern influences with the doll’s overall aesthetic. The Earring Magic Ken was quickly discontinued due to widespread disapproval of some of the doll’s implied themes despite remaining one of the most popular Ken dolls ever made.
Allan is another disgruntled doll created to expand Ken’s world by giving him a best friend. Allan is hilariously played by Michael Cera on Barbie and is constantly reminded that he’s not as cool as Ken and therefore simply exists aimlessly in his shadow. The doll was intended to be associated with Midge and act as Barbie and Ken’s pair of friends, however Allan was discontinued in the 1960s.
Tanner is Barbie’s toy dog that appears in the film. The actual toy had the ability to eat and poop, making it one of the most memorable additions to Mattel’s toy line. Tanner even came with her own poop scoop, which became one of Barbie’s humblest accessories. Tanner was eventually replaced by Taffy as Barbie’s dog, but he made quite an impression on Barbie owners during the 2000s.
RELATED: Barbie 2 Isn’t Going To Be As We Expected After Margot Robbie’s Shocking Character Decision
4 Stanley Kubrick References
Barbie has a number of references to Stanley Kubrick in the film, particularly in its opening sequence with a direct parody of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The legendary “Dawn of Man” sequence in 2001 gets a modern feminist update using the same approach to depict the dawn of Barbie. Another Kubrick movie the glow it is also mentioned in the film when two characters are asked if they are “glowing” when using their minds to connect the dots.
3 The reference matrix
The iconic ‘red pill/blue pill’ scene from The Matrix is referenced in Barbie with a hilarious interpretation involving footwear. Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) gives Barbie the choice to wear the pink heel and return to the world she knew or try on the Birkenstock and never look back. It’s a fun moment in the film that encapsulates the theme and pressures of conformity through materialism and outward appearances.
2 The Wizard of Oz Reference
there is a key Wizard of Oz reference in Barbie, particularly when Margot Robbie’s Barbie is presented with a long road of pink bricks in the film. Barbie follows the pink brick road out of Barbieland and into the “real world” Los Angeles in the movie.
1 ruth controller
Ruth Handler, the first female president of Mattel and inventor of the Barbie doll, is portrayed on screen in Barbie by Rhea Perlman. Although the real Handler passed away in 2002, Barbie was able to meet her ghost in the film and receive some helpful advice on finding purpose and identity in life. Ruth explains in Barbie that the doll’s name was inspired by her daughter’s name, Barbara, which is exact from the controller in real life.