Movie Review: Barbie Princess and the Pauper


Lucy Larson, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Created in 2004 and directed by William Lau, Barbie Princess, and the Pauper has become one of the most beloved movies in the Barbie franchise.

Based on the Mark Twain story of the same name, the plot revolves around two girls: Annelise, a princess who would rather study in the library than attend to her duties, and Erika, an indentured servant working at a dress shop to repay her parent’s debt.

“Princess and the Pauper made me want to become a pauper. The idea of being a literal servant and paying off debts to an awful boss has never sounded so appealing,” sophomore, Brecklyn Thomas, says.

The girls meet by chance in a busy market where they realize how alike they are and they share similarities in that they both want something that is just out of their reach: Freedom.

While this is all happening, The Queen’s trusted adviser Preminger has been stealing gold from the mines, leading the kingdom near bankruptcy. He learns that the Queen is planning on marrying off Annelise to secure the kingdom more money so Preminger decides to kidnap Annelise and pretend to rescue her, securing her hand in marriage instead of her suitor.

That night, Preminger abducts Annelise and forges a note saying she ran away. Annelise’s tutor and secret love interest, Julian, discovers the note, but doesn’t believe that she left it. He asks Erika to impersonate the princess to keep the betrothal intact while he goes searching for Annelise.

The real Annelise escapes, but is mistaken for Erika and gets locked in the dress shop. She tries sending a message of her whereabouts, but it gets intercepted by Preminger. She gets abducted again and is imprisoned along with Julian, who was also captured. Meanwhile, Erika has fallen in love with Annelise’s suitor, Dominick. Preminger unmasks Erika as an imposter and she gets put in the dungeons. She escapes by singing and runs into Dominick, who went looking for her.

Annelise and Julian discover a geode mine, solving the kingdom’s financial problems. The two confess their love for each other. After they escape the jail, Annelise proves her identity to the palace and unveils Preminger’s whole plan and he and his henchmen get arrested.

Annelise and Julian reveal their love to each other in front of the queen and are granted permission to get married. Because of the crystal mines, prosperity is returned to the kingdom. Erika, having paid her debts, travels the world as a renowned singer. She reunites with Dominick after realizing that her heart wants to be with him.

The two couples have a double wedding and together they ride off in a carriage, living happily ever after.

The Princess and the Pauper contain themes of hope and chasing your dreams. With hard work and determination, Annelise and Erika were able to break out of their duties and follow their hearts.

Many people’s love for the movie is rooted in the music and songs. Whether it be Preminger’s mineshaft ballad or the girl’s marriage sequence, the songs are some of the most beloved in the Barbie universe.

“I love when Preminger sings in the mine. So funny. I also love when the girls sing I am a Girl Like You. Literally iconic,” sophomore, Allie Simon, said. 

“I love Princess and the Pauper. The music is just the best. Literally on my playlist,” sophomore, Emma Madsen, says.

Barbie Princess and the Pauper teaches young kids that anything can happen if you have the strength to achieve. Duty is important but you mustn’t forget to follow your heart once in a while.