This summer is all about Barbie’s dreadful, horrible, no good, very poor day, Alexander, so quit whining and move aside. Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig, is one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the summer because of its stellar ensemble, vibrant technicolor palette, and several dance routines.
A new teaser for the movie shows Barbie (Margot Robbie) confronting some real challenges, including the (gasp!) flattening of her perpetually arched feet and the all-consuming philosophical crisis of ultimate death. The movie’s initial trailer leaned into all the gloriously unsuspecting fun Barbie Land has to offer. Toys are just like us!
In the brand-new teaser, which made its debut today at CinemaCon, Barbie is overcome by thoughts of passing away. As if things weren’t awful enough for Barbie already, she takes a cold shower, which is a brave apartment dweller’s medal of valor.
Barbie formally needs a miracle as she falls from her roof, tragically flattening her feet in the process. Fortunately, when she tells a group of Barbies about her recent string of bad luck, a helpful Barbie Land citizen has a tip about where to find spiritual support and suggests Barbie visit Weird Barbie.
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In this teaser, Kate McKinnon’s split-happy, 1980s-styled Barbie receives a larger portion of the attention. Weird Barbie, who is described as a “Barbie who lives in a weird house and “smells like the basement,” ends up being more of a guru for Robbie’s Barbie than her chaotic vibe initially suggested, giving Barbie a crucial choice between wearing high heels or Birkenstocks (apparently, the latter choice is what sends her into the real world).
Barbie’s most recent teaser also provides a little bit more context for her escapades in the real world, namely that they are against Mattel rules, building on the happy “Hi, Barbie!” silliness of the first teaser. It turns out that Will Ferrell’s company, Mattel, intends to prevent all toys from leaving Barbie Land. As soon as their inspiration enters the real world, the toy manufacturer shows they aren’t fooling around by arresting her.
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Barbie Land’s aggressive policing, existential angst, and obvious lack of worker’s rights all point to the fact that the title doll is far more complex than the typical wonderful bit of plastic. Perhaps Donald Glover’s odd and melancholy Saturday Night Live news intern has a point.
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