Barbie 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 269, September/October 2023

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
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Suggestive references and brief language
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Greta Gerwig
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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The Synopsis for "Barbie" is short. To live in Barbie Land is to be a perfect being in a perfect place. Unless you have a full-on existential crisis. Or you’re a Ken. (Gary Reber)

Special features include six featurettes: "Welcome To Barbie Land" (HD 12:01), "Becoming Barbie" (HD 06:29), "Playing Dress-Up" (HD 07:27), "Musical Make-Believe" (HD 09:11), "All-Star Barbie Party" (HD 04:57) and "It’s A Weird World" (HD 05:03) and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.

The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 4K Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a VIZIO Quantum X P85QX-JI UHD/HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa 65 camera system and sourced from a 4K Digital Intermediate. Imagery-wise, there are two distinctive worlds: the extreme colored world of Barbie Land and the real world centered on Mattel and Los Angeles locations. In both worlds, sharpness and clarity are supported with fine textural detail exhibited in the colorful design patterns of the clothing, facial features and hair, and object textures. In Barbie Land pink is the dominant color with additionally a wide range of pastels and fluorescent shades. Colors are bright and nicely saturated. Primaries are strong. While in the real world, Barbie and Ken's bright leotards and Western wear pop against the normal backgrounds of buildings and landscapes. The color palette reveals nuanced shading of hues throughout. HDR contrast is excellent. Black levels are solid, shadows are revealing, and white levels support the overall brightness of the picture. This is a superb picture experience that exhibits a vivid color palette and excellent sharpness and image detail. Fans of Barbie will be thrilled. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel ear level soundtrack is dynamic sounding and supportive of the dialogue focused sound element. The soundtrack should not have been credited as Dolby Atmos as there is but two or three very minor extensions. Atmospherics enhance the various location segments. Sound effects are sparse but effective. Foley sound effects are precise. The orchestral score and music is dynamic with a solid bass foundation that provides weight to the proceedings. The music occupies a wide and deep soundstage with aggressive extension to the surround channels. The dance party scene at Barbie's with its beat-throbbing rhythm is wonderfully choreographed to the music. The soundtrack includes an impressive roster of today’s hottest music artists, including Lizzo, Dua Lipa, Nicki Minaj & Ice Spice with Aqua, Charli XCX, KAROL G feat. Aldo Ranks, Tame Impala, Dominic Fike, HAIM, The Kid LAROI, Khalid, PinkPantheress, GAYLE, Ava Max, FIFTY FIFTY and more. Surround envelopment is good, both in Barbie Land and "the real world." Still the soundtrack is focused on the front channels with the dialogue the major element. The dialogue is ADR or close-miked with a forward presence.

The Immersive Sound element is virtually non-existent except for a brief moment of tweeting birds and and a brief sound effect. Otherwise there is nothing in the height layer, not even an extension of the music. This is really just an ear-level Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack.

This is well crafted holosnic® ear level soundtrack that is well produced and enveloping with a fun music score that will pleas fans of Barbie. (Gary Reber)