Barbie deserve an Oscar. Maybe two. Living in her Barbie world, Margot Robbie’s take on this iconic character exists in a world made of plastic, and it looks absolutely convincing as such. The roads, the homes, the props, the vehicles – it’s all exquisite to see, and this in addition to a carefully considered imbalance in scale; Barbie appears slightly too large for her surroundings, as is accurate to the toy line.

Like the Lego Movie before it, Barbie has numerous lines to tread. Being a grandiose, mega-studio produced toy commercial comes first, and with a deft hand, spoken by an angry teenager, Barbie handles this head on. The script isn’t averse to the realities of what this movie is, going beyond just standard self-awareness to fully engage with the brand, mock it, and criticize it to make a point.

Humor is the great equalizer of which Barbie wholly understands

Yes, what Barbie does as a social commentary is obvious. Walking into the Mattel board room in the midst of a Barbie design meeting, it’s a room full of men. Barbie’s world is upended by a Ken (Ryan Gosling) who becomes self-aware as to his masculinity, ruining the balance. This is all presented visually as ludicrous, stupid nonsense, yet never to a stage of decaying the central thesis about gender imbalance, and how we can be what we want regardless.

Barbie carves into social norms, mocking corporate insincerity, the male drive to conform, and multiple crisis faced by women in these situations. It’s careful, cautious as to dim its preachy, socio-economic and political side with mountains of gags, which in turn casts light on the most aggressive among us seeking equality. The message isn’t against men or women, but rather to understand Barbie represents anything and anyone; it’s just her form happens to be feminine.

To feel threatened by this as a male is preposterous, even shameful, as if Barbie isn’t playing up stereotypical truths so we can laugh at one another rather than shout bile. Humor is the great equalizer of which Barbie wholly understands, finding a practical center point to call out idiocy, but through a veil of overwhelming, surreal stupidity. Barbie exists in two worlds, hers and our reality, both featuring utterly nonsensical, hyper exaggerated perspectives on social issues. And, they both work, to a point of bizarre genius, representing a brand’s contemporary focus to satisfy investors, but more notably speak to a generation changing the way society does things.


Barbie is a 4K beast. Really. Shot digitally at full 4K, the clarity is unusually pure. No specks of noise, banding, or other fault impedes on these visuals; it’s completely pure. Glossy, pristine, and sharp to the sharpest degree.

By design, Barbie isn’t inherently textured. That’s by design. These are after all plastic people, but detail does squeeze through, and things like hair and costumes excel in their definition. Special credit goes to the sets too, flawlessly full of glitter, smooth surfaces, and other elements to appreciate. Once into the real world, texture elevates.

Pink, pink, and pink dominates the palette obviously, but that doesn’t mean a loss in flesh tones or other primaries when the opportunity presents itself. It’s gloriously saturated, and boosted by intense HDR. Whether it’s sun reflecting off sequins or the sun itself. Peak brightness doesn’t let up. Flatter tones appear once into reality, limiting saturation intentionally and it’s still gorgeous.


Dolby Atmos does fantastic work on the soundtrack. It’s bouncy, rich, and wide. Firm low-end supports the bass fully. While not a bombastic action movie, Barbie feature a few scenes of note, including a car chase with vehicles sweeping through the soundtstage and thumping cars. Channel separation impresses where possible. That’s not often, but crowds send voices all through the soundstage. Heights barely factor in.


Six generic EPK featurettes, and they’re on both the 4K and Blu-ray discs.

  • Video
  • Audio
  • Extras


Rarely is something so successfully self-aware, hilarious, and intelligent as Barbie.

User Review
3 (3 votes)

The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 47 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD:

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