Mattel Television to Premiere New Barbie® Musical Event, “Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” 

By Christopher Keenan, Co-Writer and Executive Producer, “Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” (and Senior Vice President, Creative, Mattel Television)

July 13, 2021 – Barbie has been inspiring, empowering, and entertaining kids for decades. With 36 television specials, and countless episodic and YouTube series behind her, we’ve seen Barbie evolve from a fashion doll to a cultural icon and, in recent years, emerge as a relatable character and role model, sharing her own story and unique, perspective with the world. Whether traveling to exotic islands in “Barbie™ in Rock 'N Royals” or to the Swiss Alps in “Barbie™ & Her Sisters in a Pony Tale,” Barbie is always off on a new adventure of discovery. And now, she’s headed for the bright lights of Broadway!  

Following the success of this spring’s, “Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday™” and last year’s musical “Barbie Princess Adventure™,” today we are announcing the latest chapter of the Barbie content story… “Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams,” premiering in September on Netflix in the U.S. and with a long list of streaming and linear television partners across the globe to be announced.   

This new musical adventure follows Barbie Roberts as she says goodbye to the familiar beaches of Malibu and says hello to the hustle and bustle on New York City’s Times Square. She’s enrolled in a prestigious and highly competitive summer program at the Handler School for Performing Arts and, upon arrival, meets a fellow student named… Barbie Roberts! That’s right; Barbie meets Barbie and, while they have much more in common than just their names – like their shared dream of making it on Broadway – the two girls really bond over their complementary differences.

They become fast friends and quickly adopt nicknames inspired by their beloved hometowns, Malibu and Brooklyn, for their many new friends to distinguish them when together. Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts is fearless, smart, and a loyal friend. A New York native with an exuberant and infectious personality, she is a triple-threat singer, dancer, and musician who is confident and optimistic. She dreams big and believes in the limitless possibilities of life.

Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts is classically trained, while Barbie ‘Malibu’ Roberts is self-taught, highlighting that there is more than one way to succeed, as long as you bring your best and share it with the world.  The story of “Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” is one of perseverance, mastery of a craft, and multiple paths to success, a story we felt important to tell as we continue our core purpose of inspiring the limitless potential in every child through all our content.

As the two Barbies compete for the program’s coveted, once-in-a-lifetime Spotlight Solo, the new friends discover that competition isn't only about winning; it's about striving to be your best while bringing out the best in your competitors.

“Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” will feature the following:   

  • New Characters & Fierce Friendships – Joining Barbie ‘Malibu’ Roberts and Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts on their big adventure in New York City, we introduce a cast of characters including:
    • Emmie – Sweet, shy and completely humble, Emmie is the high-voltage popstar you wouldn’t expect. She was Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts’ childhood best friend and also attends the summer program at the Handler Arts Academy in disguise in order to study without being recognized.
    • Rafa – An aspiring costume designer and self-proclaimed fashionista, Rafa quickly becomes BFF with both Barbies. He’s a whiz at creating inventive costumes, and is often the source of great advice for his friends. Quick with one-liners, this creative whirlwind has a soft spot for Barbie “Malibu” Roberts and Barbie “Brooklyn” Roberts -- AND his dog, Gato – the true love of his life.

And, spoiler alert:  Many of these new characters will be seen in additional content in the future… Stay tuned!

  • Stage-Worthy Music and Choreography – Music has always been a key element of Barbie content and we are continuing that tradition here with original music written by Emmy Award nominee Alison McDonald  (“Roots,” “An American Girl Story: Love Has to Win,” “Friends for Life”) and multi-platinum songwriter and music producer Matthew Tishler (“High School Musical: The Musical - The Series” and “Descendants 3”). The duo worked with choreographer Jamal Simms (“Aladdin,” “Step Up All In”) who choreographed dance sequences to ensure our animated performances had a realistic, theatrical look and feel, thoughtfully incorporating Barbie ‘Brooklyn’ Roberts’ passion for ballet and Barbie ‘Malibu’ Roberts’ love of contemporary dance.
  • A Fresh Location in New York City – Believe it or not, Barbie ‘Malibu’ Roberts has never travelled to New York, and both Barbies turn the city into their very own playground, exploring everything it has to offer from Central Park to Times Square and everything in between!

To complement this new musical event, Mattel will introduce a line of dolls, playsets and accessories, also launching this fall.

“Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” is directed by Scott Pleydell-Pearce (“Bob the Builder,” “Blaze and the Monster Machines”) and written by yours truly, along with up and coming screenwriter, Kate Splaine. I am also the Executive Producer on the film, along with Fred Soulie (Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mattel Television) and Adam Bonnett (Executive Producer, Mattel Television). “Barbie: Big City, Big Dreams” was produced by Ron Myrick (“Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?,” “Loonatics Unleashed”). Animation services are being provided by Mainframe Studios.

This has been a labor of love for all involved with the development and production of this very special film and we hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it!

 

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