49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely return to basics from Barbie, fun, classic, great dancing, September 30, 2006
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
A nice return to good Barbie movies. This is (loosely) based on the fairy tale of the 12 dancing princesses. Rewritten and remodelled for a Barbie-style ballet movie.

Genivieve is the 7th of 12 princesses. Her father calls for the Duchess Rowena to look after them as his wife is dead. The duchess has plans of her own, and with her strong-man servant and her monkey, she works to take over the kingdom and get rid of the 12 daughters. She starts by taking all the fun and colour out of their lives, trying to quash their spirit.

Genivieve, however, discovers a secret magical kingdom below the floor of their bedroom where the princesses can escape at night and dance the night away until morning. They have their dancing shoes from Eric, the Cobbler who also happens to be extremely gorgeous and nice - and not a little in love with Genivieve. When Rowena discovers the secret stairwell she seeks to trap the princesses down there forever. But toghether they escape, and rush to save their father who Rowena is attempting to kill.

It is a lovely movie, there is lots of dancing which is beautifully done given there are twelve characters it is easy to form nice chorus lines etc. 3 are little Kelly sized girls, there are 2 teenagers and the other 7 are adult sized. There could be some confusion, luckily they are named alphabetically from A to L according to age - unfortunately many have very un=princessy names like Lacey, Hadley and Courtenay.

The animation is lovely although there is an odd piece of oddity in the filming. For some reason near the end when Genivieve is luring Desmond away from his post she seems to go out of focus slightly, it might be my particular player.

There are some nice extra features, the making of the movie is excellent and my children were fascinated by it.

I really like the toning down of colours. The castle and environs looked colourful without the overwhelming brightness of some of the earlier movies.

Overall this is a great fun movie which my children have enjoyed a number of times and I also enjoyed. It can be watched many times and still find something new. I just hope that the Barbie makers will be working on another singing movie. the Princess and the Pauper still rates as the top Barbie movie ever - the songs were inspired and fun. My only real gripe on this movie is the enormous number of merchandise from this - 12 characters!
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming take on the children's story, October 26, 2006
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
Before we first rented one of the Barbie videos for my daughter, I was expecting them to be trite, over-commercialised, and over-sugary. However, I have been pleasantly surprised.

Yes, they do have a lot of commercial spin-offs and a high saccarine count, but the quality of the Barbie films we have subsequently bought or rented, including "12 Dancing Princesses," was significantly higher than I had expected. They have not just kept my children engrossed for hours - including my son as well as my daughter - but introduced them to some beautiful stories and truly wonderful music. On more than one occasion I have been listening to a CD of a classic such as Beethoven's pastoral symphony, or The Queen of the Night's aria from Mozart's magic flute, and my daughter has recognised and expressed appreciation of the music, and correctly remembered which Barbie film had used it. ("Magic of Pegasus" and "Mermaidia" respectively.)

The soundtrack to "Twelve Dancing Princesses" is mostly adapted from some of Mendelsohn's best work, including "A Midsummer night's dream" and the Scottish and Italian symphonies. It also includes a lullaby sung to the King by the 12 princesses which was based on a 16th century anthem by Byrd, the recording of which was sung beautifully by Melissa Lyons and the Women's Occidental Glee club.

The story is loosely based on the children's story. "Barbie" plays "Princess Genevieve", the seventh of 12 daughters of a widowed King (e.g. seven young women, plus a pair of twins who appear to be about 11 and a set of triplets who appear to be about 6.) Like the original, the story is about 12 princesses who having been banned from dancing, sneak off every night through a magic passage and take a magic barge to a special island where they can dance all night. However, in this version the killjoy who tries to stop them dancing is not the King their father, who loves them very much, but his cousin, Duchess Rowena, who he has brought to the palace to be their tutor. At first even the princesses do not realise quite what a bad mistake this was ...

As with many of the Barbie films, comic relief is provided by talking animal companions of some of the principal characaters. In this case Princess Genevieve has a pet cat, and the evil Duchess Rowena has an equally evil pet monkey, Brutus. The hero, who in this version is the royal cobbler, Derek, has a pet parrot, who for some reason talks with a greatly exaggerated Indian accent. (That's Indian from the subcontinent, not native American.)

Those people who enjoy criticising what the Barbie franchise represents will not have much difficulty finding things in this production to sneer at. If you, or more importantly your kids, are allergic to an excess of twee sweetness, then this film and the Barbie videos generally may not be for them. And the female characters are all on the thin side of plausibility: I'm not worried that watching this is going to give my daughter anorexia as she likes food too much and has a good sense of the difference between fantasy and reality, but if you are worried that your children may be forming an unrealistic idea about how thin a healthy body shape is, that is a concern with this film.

But on the plus side: it is beautifully made, it will hold the attention of most small children for long enough for the typical exhausted parent to clear the mess they have made in several rooms of the house or collapse for an hour's rest after doing so. Alternatively there are enough more sophisticated jokes thrown in that you won't be completely bored to death if you decide to watch it with your offspring. And best of all, the soundtrack is almost worth buying the film for on it's own.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really fun!, September 23, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
This movie is very nice.I like all the sisters,my favorite ones are Genevieve,Fallon, and Lacey!Twyla looks cute when she's dancing.:)I liked the part when they go into the magical world, and seeing it outside, that was really cool! I also liked the preview for Barbie Princess Collection; and Barbie Fairytopia: Magic of the Rainbow. I'm looking forward to buying it! ( But I have to wait a whole year. sigh. ) Anyway,I really like the Shine music video. The game on the disc is really short,I got bored of it. I really love the dvd,and the song the sisters sing to the triplets on their birthday! PS.I think Mattel should make 2 more musicals. Princess and the Pauper was so good!I don't want the first musical to be the last musical! PS.Please vote on my review!PS.The monkey Brutus,was SO rude. :(
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We loved it!, September 20, 2006
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
My 3 yr old, my 9 month old and myself have been eagerly awaiting the release of "The 12 Dancing Princesses" and now that we've seen it, we all three love this movie!!!

How beautiful the scenery and gorgeous musical score! And such a sweet story about 12 royal sisters trying to grow up in a Kingdom without their mother (it is implied she passed on years before). Their father (the King) tries his best to raise them as young ladies but feels he has fallen short so he asks his cousin the Duchess to help teach the girls to be more refined. I found several points where it was so touching, I got misty eyed! And both my daughters were completely engrossed for the entire movie! All I can say is, it's far more enchanting than any of the other Barbie movies. It seems Barbie's movies just keep getting better and better! This is a beautiful addition to any little girl's collection because it teaches how to stick together as a family, more specifically with your siblings. It is absolustely beautiful in everyway (music, animation, characters, storyline, etc)!!! :D I only wish I could give this movie 12 stars!! :D
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun for young and old dreamers, November 13, 2006
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This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
Bought this for my little granddaughters when I last visited them. The three year old LOVED it -- the music is beautiful and the dancing sequences intrigued her. She donned her own princess dresses and danced along, then wanted to see it again immediately when it was over. All the females in the house enjoyed this DVD and I would recommend it heartily. It's basically another version of the Cinderella story.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not if you want to sleep at night...., November 15, 2009
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
I purchased this movie for my little 6 year old and she had nightmares for a long time after. The premise of this movie is that the princesses have to escape the cruelty of their soon to be step mother and go to a magical land where they are free to dance all night. This movie is especially disheartening and scary to children who have a sick parent as the father is in this movie. The evil mother attempts to poison the father so she can gain control of the kingdom. This does not sound like something a 5-9 year old should be watching. I have since tapped into the Holly Hobbie dvd's and my 8 year old loves them and I love the solid family values and great role model that Holly is. The "Holly Hobbie and Friends: Christmas Wishes" is a must have for every little girl. Hope this helps - good luck!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Barbie Movie Yet, February 7, 2007
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This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
I have 3 girls, ages 3-7. They love this movie, as do I. The music and dancing are beautiful. You can't get the songs out of your head. I wish there was a soundtrack.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for a little Dancer, November 10, 2006
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This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
My 3 yr old daughter had been waiting impatiently for this movie to come out so I ordered it asap. Ever since it is high on our play list. She loves the music and the dancing and I don't mind it either which is a plus when you only have one tv! The story is predictable but when you are 3 that doesn't matter. All in all an enjoyable movie.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerizing, February 18, 2007
By 
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
My almost 4 year old daughter asked to rent this at the video store. I have been against letting her be exposed to Barbie in the past, but let her rent this. She has watched it every day and loves the dancing. She will dress in her princess clothes and dance along with it. The music is wonderful and the story isn't half bad. I find myself stopping to watch as I walk through the room. What little girl doesn't want to be a princess? I have mentioned to family and friends for her birthday that the Barbies that go along with it would be a good gift choice. I think it lets her imagination soar. Wholesome and delightful!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mattel's Masterpiece, December 17, 2006
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Barbie in The 12 Dancing Princesses (DVD)
When the VCD came out, I didn't buy it although it was 10 dollars cheaper than the DVD. I am so glad that I bought the DVD! The movie was awesome! Mattel has produced its best movie ever! The Barbie theme music was great but it could be better if they stopped repeating every few bars. And the movie had a good sense of humor too.

The movie starts off with the chief admissory of the Kingdom of Bulovia inviting the 12 princesses to a ball but the princesses snob him with rambunctious behaviour. The king decides to hire his cousin, Duchess Rowena(who is actually very evil and her goal was to take over the kingdom) to help to take charge of the Princesses' upbringing. However, the duchess made them very miserable by forbidding them to dance and sing. She also poisoned the king and made him sick but the king refuses to listen to Princess Genevieve's plea and thinks his daughters don't like Rowena and refuses to make her leave. And at the same time, Genevieve falls in love with the cute royal cobbler Derek who played music for her and her sisters to dance to. The sisters "accidentally" discovered a magical world where they danced to their hearts content away from Rowena and her rules. But Rowena found them out and imprisoned them in the magical land by smashing up the entrance. But the Princesses are smarter than her of course. Genevieve finds out that she has to dance together with "Derek her crush" to get herself and her sisters out of there. Then the sisters' combined their talents to get into the castle and save their father. the movie ends with the marriage of Derek and Genevieve.

I think on the whole this movie was excellent. although there are a few errors such as the one a previous reviewer pointed out, the part where Genevieve escaps from Desmond is a bit blurred, the rest is definitely something you DON"T WANT TO MISS. The music is great and the dancing is fantastic. After watching the movie you will feel like dancing too!

The music at the credits part , Shine, is great too and it exactly fits the movie.

OTher Barbie movies I would recommend:

Swan Lake

Rapunzel

Nutcraker

Magic of Pegasus

Princess &the Pauper

I hope this review helped!!!
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