We all remember where we were when the paparazzi photos of Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling rollerblading in matching neon ‘80s workout gear made their rounds on the internet. It was our first “behind-the-scenes” peek at the highly anticipated Barbie movie. Ever since Warner Bros. Pictures announced they were working on the film, the public has had a burning question: what is this movie going to be about? Everything about this movie’s plot has been kept tightly under wraps…until now. The teaser trailer was finally released on December 17th and it’s safe to say people are excited. The 75-second teaser leaves a lot to the imagination–it shows us only a glimpse into the world of Barbie, with Margot Robbie as the titular character. She is joined by a truly impressive star-studded cast and, of course, director Greta Gerwig at the project’s helm.
The teaser opens with an almost shot-for-shot recreation of the opening scene in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. But, instead of apes, there are little girls playing with baby dolls, and instead of an alien monolith touching down on their land, it’s Barbie towering over them. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that she is wearing the same black and white striped bathing suit as the very first Barbie doll released in 1959. The teaser then transitions into a burst of shots from the movie that give us just a taste of what the film will look like. There’s a wide shot of Barbieland, Gosling’s Ken in a fringed leather vest and ‘80s rocker hair, Issa Rae leading a cheer in what appears to be an all-pink courtroom, Simu Liu looking like he is in the middle of a Grease dance number, and finally, Robbie as Barbie in a sparkling jumpsuit and a groovy ‘70s ‘do. The trailer suggests, of course, that when Barbie arrived on the scene, the world changed forever. And perhaps it did.
We still know very little about the actual plot of the movie, but based on what we know about Greta Gerwig, it will be anything but a surface-level depiction of the Barbie we all grew up with. Gerwig is known for her feminist storytelling with films like Ladybird and Little Women launching her into the spotlight and garnering her a cult following. Fans of her work are eagerly awaiting her take on the iconic Barbie–a character who has been associated with controversy in the past. The toy, invented by Mattel, has faced criticism on and off over the years for inspiring unrealistic beauty standards and materialistic values in young girls, among other things. However, the company has made efforts to make Barbie a more inclusive toy in recent years. Based on the teaser, we can expect the same very pink, vibrant, and “girly” Barbie that most of us are familiar with, but with a meta, feminist twist.
The film is set to release on July 21st, 2023.
Top photo: screenshot from "Barbie" movie teaser trailer on YouTube
Zoë is a writer and journalist from Minnesota currently based in Chicago. In her free time she likes to watch TV but she usually lies and says her favorite hobby is reading. She is working towards a career that combines her passion for comedy and journalism to create a more informed and equitable world.