Movies, Pop Culture

Ranking Our Top 10 Nostalgic Barbie Movies From the Early 2000s

barbie movies from 2000s

This article was written by The Zillennial Zine’s senior fall editorial intern Maggie Lardie. Find her on Instagram at @maggielardie. If you would like to share an article with The Zillennial, send us an email at

Since her recent live-action debut, Barbie has made an incredible impact on pop culture (as if she wasn’t a prominent figure already). A large part of Barbie’s success is because Mattel and Warner Bros. secured an insane amount of brand partnerships to promote the movie and create further anticipation. The soundtrack of the 2023 Barbie movie also did its part, bringing in 52 million streams during opening weekend alone and catapulting the iconic doll further into the spotlight. While we absolutely loved 2023’s Barbie and its message of empowerment, we’re definitely not about to forget Barbie’s past in the film industry. If you grew up as a Barbie fan, you definitely know what we’re talking about! The first animated Barbie movie was released in 2001 (perfect timing for us Zillennials). From there, the franchise developed into the 44 films that we know it to be today. While we’re sure each Barbie movie has something different to offer, let’s keep things real. There’s nothing quite like those original, nostalgic, early-2000s films. The only question is: which one is the best? Here’s our ranking of the top 10 Barbie movies from the 2000s.

10. Barbie: Fairytopia

We’re starting off this list strong with the movie responsible for creating Bibble. The plot centers on Elina, a wingless fairy who lives in a meadow with her friends (and Bibble, of course). When an evil enchantress puts a curse on the land that causes the fairies to lose their ability to fly, it’s up to Elina to put an end to it.

9. Barbie as Rapunzel

The second movie to be released, Barbie as Rapunzel has a really beautiful score. Taking inspiration from the fairytale, Barbie stars as Rapunzel, an art-loving princess who’s locked away in a tower by Mother Gothel. When Gothel destroys all of Rapunzel’s painting supplies, Rapunzel’s hairbrush magically transforms into an enchanted paintbrush, taking Rapunzel to the destination she paints on her wall.

8. Barbie Fairytopia: Mermaidia

Yet another Bibble film, Mermaidia is the sequel to Fairytopia and was released only a year later. The plot once again revolves around Elina, who must stop Laverna, the evil enchantress from Fairytopia. Laverna kidnaps the prince of the merfolk, causing Elina and mermaid Nori to go on a mission to rescue him.

7. Barbie of Swan Lake

Based on the Tchaikovsky ballet of the same name, Barbie plays Odette, a girl who one day discovers an enchanted forest. During her time there, an evil sorcerer places a spell on Odette that turns her into a swan during the day. Odette soon realizes that all the animals in the forest are human as well, and together (with the help of a prince) they work to stop the sorcerer.

6. Barbie in the Nutcracker

While we’re discussing Tchaikovsky ballets that were adapted into Barbie movies (oddly specific), we figured we should mention the film that started it all, Barbie in the Nutcracker. Barbie plays Clara, a girl who is gifted a wooden nutcracker for Christmas. Later that night, the Nutcracker comes to life to protect Clara from the Mouse King and his army. During the fight, Clara gets shrunk down to the Nutcracker’s size, leaving the two no other option but to search for a way to reverse the spell.

5. Barbie and the Three Musketeers

In this movie, Barbie plays Corrine, a young girl who dreams of living in Paris and working as a Musketeer. Unfortunately for her, she is laughed at and dismissed by the male guards upon her arrival to the palace. Corrine befriends three girls and joins them as a maid in the palace, where she learns of a plot to kill the king. Realizing that the four of them share the same dream, the girls work out a plan to stop the plot.

4. Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper

Inspired by Mark Twain’s The Prince and the Pauper, this Barbie movie is the first that doubles as a musical! The plot focuses on two girls: Princess Annelise and peasant Erika. Meeting one day by chance, the two girls realize how similar they look and agree to switch roles for a bit, since they’ve always longed to be free of the life they were given. It’s then they discover that the Queen’s advisor, Preminger, has developed a plan that will give him all the power. The two girls must work together to stop him.

3. Barbie and the Magic of Pegasus

This is one of the more underrated ones on our list, but we think it’s one of the best! Barbie stars as Princess Annika, a talented ice skater whose kingdom is cursed by sorcerer Wenlock. With her polar bear cub, Shiver and her pegasus, Brietta, Annika must defeat Wenlock and save her kingdom.

2. Barbie and the Diamond Castle

Another musical, this movie tells the story of music-loving best friends Liana and Alexa. After finding a girl trapped in their handheld mirror, Liana and Alexa are thrust into a world of diamond castles and evil spells, where they learn just how powerful music and friendship can be. 

1. Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses

Barbie plays Princess Geniveve in this story, who loves dancing with her 11 sisters. Afraid that his daughters aren’t being properly raised without their mother, their widowed father sends for his cousin, Duchess Rowena, with the hope that she’ll help the princesses prepare for royal life. Instead of helping the princesses, however, Rowena takes everything the girls love, planning to take the throne for herself. Through the power of dance, the 12 sisters discover an enchanted world, where they gain the power to save their father and stop Rowena. This movie is not only our favorite because of the story, but the music as well!

Do you agree with our ranking? Which Barbie movie from 2000s is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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