2023’s Barbie Movie is Coming To the Big Screen


Danica Ward '25, Staff Writer

The doll little girls have known and loved for generations. The doll that has had every job imaginable, and can pull off any outfit, anywhere. The doll that has also been known as, “Ken’s girlfriend.” The perfect girl, society’s ideal woman. But what happens when she’s no longer viewed as perfect and is expelled from Barbieland? 

Set to be released on July 21, 2023, Barbie stars Margot Robbie as the titular character, with Ryan Gosling playing her leading man, Ken. The promotion for the comedy film has been fairly sparse, but already has the masses intrigued. It’s even become trending on Instagram. One trailer has been released, and it has been liked by 366,816 viewers on Instagram so far. Viewers have also been quick to point out Easter eggs, or hidden messages in the trailer. 

References to different kinds of Barbies and different department and clothing stores in the background of clips have been noticed by many. One specific homage has been highlighted as a possible plotline for the film. Margot Robbie is seen wearing a gingham dress, just as Judy Garland does in her leading role in The Wizard of Oz. Barbie fans have learned that the film’s basic storyline revolves around the fact that Barbie is expelled from Barbieland and has to travel to the human world to do some soul-searching. Dorothy Gale, the main character of The Wizard of Oz, is famous for leaving her home in Kansas to go on a journey to the Land of Oz and then to the Emerald City to find her way back home and help new friends in the process. 

One of the delightful details about the movie is that there are many different characters named Barbie, not just the well-known original played by Margot Robbie. There are several different versions of Barbie with her variety of jobs played by actresses of different races, backgrounds, and sizes, as well as different Kens. The Barbie toy has been criticized before for not being inclusive enough, and it is nice to know that this movie will expand what people knew to be Barbie, in more ways than one. 

The film’s cast is star-packed. Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings) and Ncuti Gatwa (Doctor Who, Sex Education) also both play versions of Ken, and Emma Mackey (Sex Education) plays “Physician Barbie.” Issa Rae (Insecure) plays the president of Barbieland, also named Barbie, and SNL alum Kate McKinnon plays a gymnast Barbie. Nicola Coughlan (Bridgerton, Derry Girls) plays “diplomat Barbie”, and there is also a Pulitzer Prize winner Barbie played by Ritu Arya (The Umbrella Academy) and a highly esteemed-author Barbie played by Alexandra Shipp (Love, Simon, Tick, Tick… Boom!). Pop singer Dua Lipa also cameos as a blue mermaid Barbie. To round out the Barbies and Kens, Michael Cera (Superbad, Arrested Development) plays Allan, a character unmentioned in the movie’s trailer. 

As stated on the movie’s Instagram page, America Ferrera (Superstore), Ariana Greenblatt (Stuck in the Middle), Connor Swindells (Sex Education), and Jamie Demetriou (Cruella, Stath Lets Flats) will play “The Humans” who Barbie is destined to interact with when forced into the human world. Comedy icon Will Ferrell is also set to play another human, the CEO of a Toy Company, and Dame Helen Mirren will play the film’s narrator. 

The lack of information about the film’s plot is leaving people who have already become fans even more excited for the release. The film is nostalgic for many, and fans are saying it will be a defining movie of the generation, and a cultural reset, if you will. Directed and co-written by Greta Gerwig, who also made Little Women and Lady Bird, the movie is expected to be a smash hit.