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Why Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse is the best Barbie TV show ever

Updated: Jul 13, 2023

Barbie, voiced by Katie Higgins, is the star in Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse. The show is also on Netflix.
Barbie, voiced by Katie Higgins, is the star in Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.

WITH Greta Gerwig's star-studded Barbie movie about to shimmy elegantly into cinemas expectations are high this will be the plastic icon's best screen outing. But to do so it will have to fill the preposterously steep and glamorous stilletoes currently worn by Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse.

Dreamhouse is a webtoon series featuring 75 mini episodes which were first aired on the toy’s official website and Youtube in 2012. It enjoyed a sustained life on Netflix after it being spliced together into a several dozen 23-minute-long shows. I first came across it when my daughters watched it on hard repeat and as a self-confessed nerd and dutiful dad, I always took an interest in their viewing habits. Much to my surprise, this little show stood out from the steady stream of bland children’s TV because it was genuinely laugh aloud funny.

Margot Robbie as Barbie, a film directed by Greta Gerwig and also stars Ryan Gosling.
Margot Robbie is playing the titular role in Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie.

Trailers for the new blockbuster hint its tongue will be firmly in its beautifully made-up cheek as it makes fun of the world’s most famous doll and her plastic pals. But this intensely glittery vein had already been mined comprehensively by Dreamhouse. Rather than pretending the characters are real, its trick is that they know they are toys living in their own fictional Malibu, which leads to a slew of knowing japes at the expense of Barbie and her coterie of cuties. Using reality TV as a format, the show gently but hilariously poked fun at the toy line down the years, while slapstick and absurdist humour delivered belly laughs aplenty. While the influence of Toy Story and The Simpsons is evident, it also skewered the Kardashian-esque culture that young women are subjected to.

It will be intriguing to see Margot Robbie bring Barbie to life on the big screen and how writers Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach handle the thin line between toy advert, entertainment and art. But for the new movie to be crowned best Barbie content ever, it will have to surpass the perkily perfect animation which blazed a trail first.


Further Reading

More info about Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse can be found on its wiki page.

IMDB’s page about Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse

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