Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper
Voice of Barbie
Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper is a 2004 direct-to-video computer animated Barbie film, and the first musical in the Barbie film series. It is directed by William Lau and stars the voice of Kelly Sheridan, who has been voicing Barbie in all the CGI films to date, as both Anneliese and Erika. The story is loosely inspired by the Mark Twain novel The Prince and the Pauper, but it is unrelated to the 1939 film The Princess and the Pauper. It is the first movie not to be told by Barbie but instead narrated by her.
Songs for the film are written by Amy Powers, Megan Cavallari and Rob Hudnut, who also executive produced the film Mattel meets Mark Twain in this animated musical based on the classic The Prince and the Pauper and starring the immortal blonde dress-up doll Barbie. Taking the artistic liberty of switching the main characters' gender, Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper finds Princess Anneliese and her poverty-stricken look-alike secretly switching identities. Includes a total of seven original songs.
In an unnamed kingdom, a blonde princess and a brunette pauper are born simultaneously. The princess, Anneliese, craves freedom from her royal duties, especially when she is informed by her widowed mother, Queen Genevieve, that she must marry the wealthy king of a nearby kingdom because their royal treasury is nearly bankrupt. The Pauper, Erika, craves a different sort of freedom as she is an indentured servant at the Madam Carp's Dress Emporium to work off her parents' debt, but dreams of becoming a singer.
Unbeknownst to the royal family, the royal advisor Preminger has been having his minions Nick and Nack steal gold from the royal mines for some time. Preminger plans to announce his newfound wealth to Queen Genevieve, which he believes will allow him to marry Princess Anneliese. When Preminger learns that Queen Genevieve has approached King Dominick of Dulcimia to marry Anneliese, Preminger orders Nick and Nack to kidnap Anneliese, so that Preminger can stage his "rescuing" her, hoping that Queen Genevieve will give him Anneliese's hand in marriage.
Anneliese and her tutor, Julian, are in love with one another, though they are unaware of the other's feelings. To cheer her up, Julian decides to take Anneliese into town. The princess crosses paths with Erika and the girls are shocked to see how identical they are, the only differences between them being their hair colour and the crown-shaped birthmark on Anneliese's right shoulder. The girls become friends.
On the same night, Anneliese is kidnapped and a fake letter is left on her desk stating Anneliese "ran away" to avoid marrying King Dominick. Julian suspects she was kidnapped by Preminger, so he asks Erika to impersonate the princess until he can rescue the real Anneliese. Erika agrees to the temporary ruse, and surprises Preminger when she arrives to welcome King Dominick. Dominick and Erika fall in love, despite Erika's fear of being thrown into prison when revealed that she is an imposter.
Anneliese manages to escape from Preminger's men, but after a series of events ends up being recaptured by Preminger and thrown into the mines with Julian, who had been following Preminger. Upon returning to the castle, Preminger exposes Erika as a fraud and claims that she had conspired with Julian to kill and replace the real princess. Erika, unable to prove her good intentions, is locked away in a small cell by the queen. After convincing everyone that the princess is dead, Preminger persuades Queen Genevieve to marry him to save the kingdom. Erika manages to escape from her cell and bumps into Dominick, who reveals that he doesn't believe that Preminger is telling the truth. Elsewhere, Anneliese and Julian confess their love for each other and work together to escape the mines.
At the queen's wedding, Anneliese arrives in time to stop the marriage and reveals Preminger's deceit. After confessing to her mother that she loves Julian and does not wish to marry King Dominick, Anneliese presents to the queen a solution to the kingdom's gold shortage: the rocks discarded by the miners actually hold amethysts and the mine is full of them.
Dominick confesses his love for Erika and asks if she would marry him. Erika, freed from her debt to Madam Carp thanks to Anneliese, chooses not to accept marriage just yet so that she achieve her dream of singing all around the world. After several months, she realizes that the place she would really like to sing is among her friends, and returns to marry Dominick while Anneliese marries Julian in a double wedding.
- Kelly Sheridan as the Narrator, Anneliese (speaking), and Erika (speaking)
- Julie Stevens as Erika (singing)
- Melissa Lyons as Anneliese (singing)
- Mark Hildreth as Dominick (speaking)
- Mark Luna as Dominick (singing)
- Alessandro Juliani as Julian
- Martin Short as Preminger
- Ellen Kennedy as Queen Genevieve
- Pam Hyatt as Madam Carp
- Kathleen Barr as Serafina
- Ian James Corlett as Wolfie
- Lee Tockar as Ambassador Bismark
- Brian Drummond as Nick
- Jan Rabson as Nack and Midas
Originally released in 2004, "Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper" employed computer animation.
- Director: William Lau
- Writers: Elana Lesser, Cliff Ruby, Mark Twain (original story)
- Producers: Jesyca C. Durchin, Shelley Tabbut
- Music by: Arnie Roth
This film is the first musical in the series of Barbie CGI films. The entire soundtrack (including popular duets and the opening orchestral theme) can be found on the "Barbie Sings! The Princess Movie Song Collection" CD, released by Mattel in 2004.
The songs in the film are, in chronological order, as follows.
- Free - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
- How Can I Refuse? - Performed by Martin Short (Preminger)
- Written in Your Heart (opening) - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika)
- I am a Girl Like You - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
- To be a Princess - Performed by Alessandro Juliani (Julian) & Julie Stevens (Erika)
- The Cat's Meow - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika)
- If You Love Me for Me - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Mark Luna (Dominick)
- Written in Your Heart - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
- I'm on My Way - Performed by Sara Niemietz
DVD Verdict called it "wholesome entertainment" with "sweet songs tunefully sung" though lacking in grown-up humor. Entertainment Weekly scored it a B+, noting a generally "feminist" story, and DVD extras including seven sing-along tracks. TV Guide scored it 2.5/4, praising the "peppy score" and classic story as distinguishing an otherwise "ordinary Mattel-icized version of the classic tale".
For Game Boy Advance exists a jump in run video game of the same name,it was released in 2005.The plot closely follows the general plot of the movie and players must thwart Preminger's attempt to take over the kingdom by marrying Anneliese. Players control four characters: Anneliese, Erika, Serafina, and Wolfie in four levels with four stages and a minor boss-level each to undo the damage. They operate as pairs in the different stages of the levels: the two girls, the two pets, Anneliese with Serafina and Erika with Wolfie - each character has its special ability. The boss-levels are fought by one character alone and when all levels are completed, every character once fights Preminger until he's defeated. Progress is saved with a password, the player has an infinite number of lives.