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The NEW! Barbie "Swan Lake"

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[i'm adding a Prologue. Several people have commented that they think this is one of Our Little Jokes. No, it is, as far as I know, gen-u-ine.]

A press releasefrom Mattel. Comments welcome:


World's No. 1 Girls Brand Continues its Commitment to Expose Children to the Arts With a Modern Adaptation of a Classic Fairytale

Barbie® doll will enchant and delight audiences everywhere as she steps into the limelight with the fall premiere of Barbie™ of Swan Lake, a stunning computer-animated movie that combines storytelling with exceptionally beautiful ballet choreography performed by dancers from the world renowned New York City Ballet to Tchaikovsky's unforgettable music. Based on the classic 19th century German fairytale, but reinterpreted for today's girl, Mattel's screenplay stars Barbie* as Odette*, a brave young girl who is trapped in an enchanted forest and through an exciting adventure with her new friends, discovers that with confidence and determination each of us has the power to transform the world. The story of Barbie™ of Swan Lake will be brought to life with an array of beautiful merchandise. With more products and expanded categories than Barbie® doll's first two movies, the world of Barbie™ of Swan Lake will boast an array of fashion dolls, a plush line, accessories, software, and licensed products.

"Barbie™ of Swan Lake weaves a magical tale with beautiful dance and music, engaging girls in the arts and encouraging self-expression," said Jamie Cygielman, Vice President, Mattel. "Girls love make-believe and transformation themes and the world of Barbie™ of Swan Lake provides them with a new and exciting way to participate in Barbie® doll's world as we expand our entertainment property with a larger selection of products girls can use to play out this unique story."

Barbie* of Swan Lake Video and DVD Launch Building on the past two years' successful, top-selling movies "Barbie™ in the Nutcracker*" and "Barbie™ as Rapunzel," Barbie™ of Swan Lake brings the arts to girls again with classical dance and music. In 2001, Barbie® made headlines with the award-winning, top-selling debut video in Barbie™ in the Nutcracker* where she introduced girls to classical ballet. In 2002, Barbie® returned to the spotlight and exposed girls to the world of visual arts in Barbie™ as Rapunzel, the #1 children's movie for six consecutive weeks.

Barbie™ of Swan Lake is set for release on September 30, 2003, and is sure to become the perfect addition to the growing library of the Barbie® entertainment collection. A modern interpretation of the classic fairytale, Barbie™ of Swan Lake will have Barbie® captivating audiences as the brave heroine Odette* - a young girl who finds herself trapped in an enchanted forest after an evil wizard casts a spell on her. Created by

Mainframe Entertainment, Barbie® of Swan Lake features some of the most advanced CGI (computer graphic imaging) animation ever created.

From reality to fantasy, the story is enhanced with magical ballet

sequences choreographed by New York City Ballet's Ballet Master in Chief, Peter Martins, and is danced by several New York City Ballet dancers via a motion sensor technology that mirrors the real-life movements of the dancers. New York City Ballet Principal Dancer, Maria Kowroski, will once again help dance life into Barbie* as a prima ballerina as she did in Barbie™ in the Nutcracker*. Set to the original Tchaikovsky score and performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, this modern adaptation

brings the Swan Lake characters to life in a manner and in settings that are visually spectacular.

"I am delighted and, perhaps more important, my daughter is thrilled that we are putting Barbie* back in pointe shoes," said Martins. "We share with Mattel an appreciation for what ballet can mean in a young girl's life, providing a graceful, athletic experience that builds self-esteem. We hope Barbie™ of Swan Lake will introduce many more girls to the beauty of classical ballet, and entice them both to dance and to see dance in performance."

With celebrity voices that help bring the characters to life,

Barbie™ of Swan Lake features two incredibly talented comedic actors. Kelsey Grammer brings a deliciously evil performance to the role of Rothbart, the mad wizard who casts a spell on Odette turning her into a swan. It is only with the help of true love and friends, as well as Odette's own bravery, confidence and determination that she is able to master Rothbart's evil spell and break free from the forest. The role of Rothbart's spoiled daughter Odile is voiced by Maggie Wheeler, best known for her long-running guest stint on "Friends" as the lovingly annoying


Barbie™ of Swan Lake also features a friendly supporting cast with Ken® as Prince Daniel*, Teresa® as the Fairy Queen*, Lila* unicorn, and a variety of animals that live in the forest, including Ivan the porcupine*.

Barbie™ of Swan Lake Dolls and AccessoriesThe magic of Barbie™ of Swan Lake is brought to life with a world of dolls and accessories that allow girls to play out the storyline and artistry from the movie.

Barbie® as Odette

Girls can continue the magic of Barbie™ of Swan Lake with their

very own Swan Princess. Barbie® as Odette captures the beauty and enchantment of Odette in the movie, allowing girls to play out the inspirational tale over and over again. Barbie® as Odette is dressed in an elegant, Swan-inspired gown fit for the silver screen. Last year, girls were enchanted with the longest hair ever on Barbie® as Rapunzel. This year there are two transformation features they are sure to fall in love with; magical Swan wings that light up and a special crown that transforms into a mask.

Ken® as Prince Daniel

The romance between Odette and Prince Daniel can be brought to life by girls with the help of Ken® as Prince Daniel. Dressed in the same regal, elegant costume seen in the movie, Prince Daniel comes with a small swan so girls can recreate Odette's transformation into a swan and back.

Teresa® as Fairy Queen

Building on the successful sales of the world of Barbie™ as

Rapunzel, the Brand has increased its line of fashion dolls for the first time to include a third fashion doll, Teresa® doll. Marking Teresa® doll's debut into the world of Barbie® Entertainment, she stars as the magical Fairy Queen who helps Odette. Teresa® wears a beautiful fairy-inspired gown and carries a magical wand. She even comes with a gift for girls - a special necklace that lights up, just like the Swan Princess's wings.

Kelly® & Tommy® Dolls

A $100 million mega-brand of its own, Kelly® doll and her friends'

pixie-sized magic add sparkle and adventure to Barbie™ of Swan Lake's playtime fun. The dolls are available in an assortment of six fun friends. As the baby swan, Kelly® doll is beautifully dressed in a blue and pink swan-like party dress, complete with wings. Marisa™ doll is the playful fawn and wears a purple and white spotted dress with deer antlers. Dressed in an adorable pink and black dress with mouse ears and tail, Jenny™ doll makes the perfect little mouse. Liana™ doll plays the red fox and dons an orange dress with ears and tail. As Carlita™ the Skunk, Maria™ is appropriately outfitted in black and red hair to match her black and white-striped outfit and furry tail. Finally, Tommy® doll stars as "Ivan™ the Porcupine" and is dressed in a brown porcupine costume.

Barbie™ of Swan Lake Plush Line

Continuing to build on the Barbie® Brand's successful entry into

the plush category and the popularity of "Penelope™ the Dragon" in Barbie™ as Rapunzel, the world of Barbie™ of Swan Lake features more soft, cuddly animals - most notably Odette's best friend the spirited unicorn, Lila. Because the Barbie® Brand knows girls love animals and plush toys, Mattel has increased the category this year by including three animal characters in three different scales of plush.

My Size Barbie® of Swan Lake

With the help of their My Size Barbie® doll, girls no longer have

to just play princess...they can actually be a princess, too. The My Size Barbie® of Swan Lake comes dressed just like Odette in a beautiful princess gown, complete with a crown and magical wings. The dress and accessories are all "wear and share" and are made to fit almost any girl.

Barbie™ of Swan Lake Musical Fantasy Castle

Every princess deserves a fantasy castle - and this is the largest

castle Barbie* doll has ever had. With the Swan Lake Musical Fantasy Castle, girls can pretend to play out the enchanting scenes within the magical castle in Barbie™ of Swan Lake. Featuring a dramatic center staircase with lights and music that Barbie* doll magically ascends to meet her guests, this castle is fit for any princess to enjoy.


Barbie™ of Swan Lake" Lila™ Unicorn and Carriage

Capitalizing on one of the most-popular Barbie® features - hair

play girls can play happily ever after with Lila™, a unicorn that

features beautiful, long hair that girls can brush and accessorize with fairy-themed barrettes. The carriage seats two dolls and has a delicate fairy on the back. With the unicorn and carriage, girls can continue to play out the fun of Barbie™ of Swan Lake as Odette and Prince Daniel travel through the countryside in the back of the carriage or take a solo on the unicorn.


Barbie™ of Swan Lake CD-ROM: A Creative Adventure

As the number-one, girl-themed interactive property, Barbie® doll

will take her magic as the Swan Princess from the television screen to the computer screen. Girls can join Barbie® ™ of Swan Lake on a creative adventure as she tries to break a spell that has ruined the enchanted forest and turned her into a swan.

Barbie™ of Swan Lake Licensed Products and Accessories Based on the $150 million success of Barbie™ as Rapunzel, which included dolls and accessories as well as licensed products, Barbie Consumer Products is infusing even more magic into the world of Barbie™ of Swan Lake by increasing the number of related licensed products. The expanded product line includes 12 categories of consumer products, such as apparel and accessories.


Barbie™ of Swan Lake on Barbie.com

Girls won't need to travel far - except in Cyber Space - to find out

moreinformation about Barbie™ of Swan Lake, they'll simply need to log onto the World Wide Web at Barbie.com. As the number one girls Web site with 22 million monthly users, Barbie.com will expose millions of girls around the world to the classical ballet and music.


Barbie Cares Supporting Children in the Arts™

The Barbie® Brand understands the important role that arts education plays in a child's development and last year debuted an extremely successful $2 million worldwide cause-related program called "Barbie Cares Supporting Children in the Arts™" dedicated to supporting arts education for children. As part of its initiative, the Barbie® Brand has committed to creating innovative and relevant product that will continue to leverage the Brand to engage girls in the arts. Barbie® of Swan Lake supports the

Brand's initiative to engage girls in the arts by introducing girls to

classical music and dance. Worldwide, all Barbie® products will be marked with an official "Barbie Cares Supporting Children in the Arts" seal, clearly identifying the Barbie® Brand's ongoing support of arts education for children.


>About Mattel Girls Brands

Since the Barbie® doll's launch in 1959 as a paper doll inspired

friend, she has firmly established herself as the most popular fashion doll ever ntroduced. For more than four decades, Mattel has maintained Barbie® doll's popularity by adapting her look, lifestyle and fashions to meet changing times while evolving her world into an overall lifestyle brand for girls. While the Barbie* Brand represents Mattel's initial roots in girls' toys, Mattel Brands has several best-selling girls brands including My Scene™, Polly Pocket!® and ello™. A natural extension of the brands to the online world, Mattel Interactive Group provides girls of the 21st century a new way to interact with their favorite toys through web sites and licensed Mattel-branded interactive software and video game titles.

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I think it is fantastic that they want to expose more people to classical music and dance, and that they want to give young girls a positive self image. But must they mangle Swan Lake's story line and choreography to do it? There must be another way, preferably without involving Peter Martins' choreography:rolleyes: :eek:.

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Did anyone watch the Barbie Nutcracker video? The story was NOT exactly Nutcracker. I suspect the Swan Lake story will be similarly "altered" (?butchered). I would be more enthusiatic if I were not so cynical. This is TO SELL MORE BARBIES. PERIOD. And I suspect lots of little girls will one day grow up and go to see a performance of Swan Lake and exclaim: "this is not the real Swan Lake. They have changes the story all around."

Is any portion of the sales at least going to "the arts?"

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Originally posted by nlkflint

Is any portion of the sales at least going to "the arts?"

I can't imagine that NYCB would go to all the effort of participating if it were not getting a piece of the pie.

This puts the Calvin Klein issue ("The Selling of ABT" http://www.balletalert.com/forum/showthrea...&threadid=11152 )into a whole new perspective, doesn't it?

I have not watched the Barbie Nutcracker, but have been in NYST Lobby while it was playing. Truly dreadful.

Originally posted by Alexandra

Mattel's  screenplay stars Barbie* as Odette*, a brave young girl who is trapped in  an enchanted forest and through an exciting adventure with her new friends, discovers that with confidence and determination each of us has  the power to transform the world.

Barbie/Odette as Joan of Arc?:confused: :eek: :D

Alexandra, I can't find the screaming "smiley." I've needed one with increasing frequency this season.;)

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I teach preschool gymnastics, and one of my lessons involves playing CDs for the children while they dance with scarves. I use music from Nutcracker routinely. Several years ago, many of the children could identify the music as simply "Nutcracker", but nowadays, when I play it, I usually get, "Oh! I know this one! It's Barbie Nutcracker!"

Eek is right.

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I really, really like the Joan of Arc idea. Complete with matches and pyre, of course!

If you read the press release carefully, you'll note one or two changes to the story, including the fun parts where strong woman Odette plays with her friends.

But cheer up. Just think, Tchaikovsky is up there, armed, waiting for them....

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Why stop with Joan of Arc?

Here are a few more that could work:

Barbie as Mary Magdelene

Barbie as Queen Victoria

Barbie as Queen Christiana--in a remake of the Garbo classic

Barbie as Amelia Erhart

Barbie as Violetta Valery or as Camille--another Garbo role

And in the next big tie-in, Mattel and the Beyreuther Festpiele announce:

The Barbie Tristan und Isolde



King Marke...Tommy


Kurwenal..... Ivan the Porcupine

Conducted by Carlita appropriately outfitted in black and red hair to match her black and white-striped outfit and furry tail.

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Mattel and the estate of Kurt Jooss announce:


Yes, Barbie® conquers German Expressionism next, with a few improvements to the story.

"Little girls know that everything Barbie® owns is pink, so we changed the color of the table." a spokesman for Mattel announced.

Another small improvement is that the character of the Profiteer has been eliminated. "Our focus groups objected."

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Yes, Swan Lake was originally a German tale--thus Siegfried, now changed to Daniel, played by Ken. (This is so strange. Ken and Barbie are real, and play fictional characters.) I really had hoped you made this up, Alexandra, but I suppose you did not. I know this is a ballet board, but may I be forgiven, in the circumstances, for suggested that Barbie as Martha would be swell? You know, Barbie Herodiade, and stuff. That would keep Ken busy.

Changing the ballets is clever from a commercial standpoint--if you aren't doing a particular version, you don't have to pay particular royalties.

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Heck, why not give Barbie her own ballet studio...or company. Anyone want to go see the "Barbie Ballet?" Or maybe they could make some of those do-it-yourself ballet technique videos featuring Barbie.

When you think about it, it's really appropriate that Barbie would be danced by someone from NYCB--it's a miracle that either one has any achilles tendons left!

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I need a restorative tonic...and my couch....after reading all this.

At least the dancers got paid, and didn't have to travel.

I marvel that no one mentioned the miniature swan....truly, this pageant seems more of the MacKenzie ilk....

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I have to say I thought that, too, Juliet -- the perfect place for Swamp Thing and his little toy swans. And there could be Swamp Barbie -- revealing the savage in her.

I've enjoyed all of these comments -- I hope Mattel does, too. :) I'm especially fond of "The Pink Table" and Barbie in "Fall River Legend." (Complete with ax, of course -- the new Barbie tool kit. Or would it be the Ken tool kit?)

I also have to say that if NYCB, or any company involved in a project like this, gets funding from it -- good for them.

And then a question -- does Ballet Barbie have bunions?

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To answer your question Alexandra, I think that because Ballerina Barbie has such short achilles tendons and because she turns out from her knees, she must be a Balanchine dancer. Therefore, I am pretty sure she does have bunions ;). The only incongruous feature is her glued-together fingers, which suggest RAD training....

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