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Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper
Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper poster.jpg
DVD/VHS Cover
Directed by William Lau
Produced by Jesyca C. Durchin
Jennifer Twiner McCarron
Written by Cliff Ruby
Elana Lesser
Narrated by Kelly Sheridan
Starring Kelly Sheridan
Mark Hildreth
Alessandro Juliani
Ian James Corlett
Kathleen Barr
Martin Short
Music by Arnie Roth
Editing by Greg Richardson
Studio Mainframe Entertainment
Mattel Entertainment
Distributed by Lions Gate Home Entertainment
Release date(s) September 28, 2004 (2004-09-28)
Running time 85 minutes
Country Canada
United States
Language English

Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper is a 2004 American-Canadian direct-to-DVD computer animated musical fantasy film, and the first musical in the Barbie film series. It is directed by William Lau and stars the voice of Kelly Sheridan as the Barbie protagonists, Anneliese and Erika. The film is loosely inspired by the 1881 Mark Twain novel The Prince and the Pauper, but unrelated to the 1939 film The Princess and the Pauper. It is the first Barbie classic film that completely excludes fantastic elements (fairies, magic, mermaids, etc), which were a usual part of Barbie franchise.

Songs for the film are written by Amy Powers, Megan Cavallari and Rob Hudnut, who also executive produced the film.

Plot

In an unnamed kingdom, a blonde princess and a brunette pauper are born at the same time. Several years later, Princess Anneliese is betrothed by her mother, Queen Genevieve, to the wealthy King Dominick to save the nearly bankrupt royal treasury; however, she is in love with her young tutor Julian. The Pauper Erika is an indentured servant, working off her parents' debt at Madame Carp's Dress Emporium, but dreams of becoming a singer and seeing the world.

Unbeknownst to the Queen, the reason behind the kingdom's bankruptcy is her adviser Preminger has been stealing gold, emptying the royal mines. Upon learning from his henchmen, Nick and Nack, that the Queen has arranged Anneliese's marriage to King Dominick, he decides to make Anneliese mysteriously disappear, which will cancel the engagement; after which Preminger can pretend he has found the Princess, earning her hand in marriage, and allowing him to accede the throne and become king.

Julian takes Anneliese for a day out into the kingdom so that she can be free for once; there, she witnesses the poverty caused by the kingdom’s bankruptcy. Anneliese hears Erika, who is performing in the street to earn money for herself, but Madame Carp collects it as part of her debt. Anneliese and Erika meet and learn they are identical, apart from their hair color and the crown-shaped birthmark on Anneliese's shoulder. The two bond over their shared troubles and become fast friends. That night, Anneliese and her cat Serafina are abducted by Nick and Nack, who leave a forged letter saying she ran away.

Julian, doubting the letter, asks Erika to impersonate the Princess, saving the engagement while he investigates Anneliese's disappearance. Preminger is surprised when Erika, disguised as Anneliese, presents herself at the palace. King Dominick introduces himself to the disguised Erika; over time, the two fall in love, but Erika worries about what will happen if she is found out.

The real Anneliese escapes Nick and Nack, but is turned away from the palace because the guards think the Princess (Erika) is already inside. Mistaking Anneliese for Erika, Madame Carp forces Anneliese into her shop and locks her inside. A suspicious Julian follows Preminger to the house where Anneliese was being kept and overhears Preminger's plans, but is discovered and captured.

Anneliese has Serafina take her ring and a tag from the dress shop so someone can find her; unfortunately, Preminger and his dog Midas intercept her. Preminger takes Anneliese to the mines where she is imprisoned with Julian after Nick and Nack cause a cave-in. Preminger returns to the palace, where he exposes Erika as a fake and has her imprisoned. Preminger convinces the Queen that Anneliese is dead and that they must marry to save the kingdom; with no other options, she reluctantly agrees.

Erika escapes the dungeon by singing a lullaby, causing the guard to fall asleep, and taking his keys. She bumps into King Dominick who tells her that he doesn't believe Preminger's claims about her. Meanwhile, Anneliese and Julian find out how to restore the kingdom's resources with some geodes filled with crystals; the two then confess their love for each other. Erika's barking cat, Wolfie, unearths a mine shaft and the group escapes by flooding the room and floating towards the surface in a barrel.

At the Queen and Preminger's wedding, Anneliese arrives, proves her identity with her birthmark, and reveals the truth about Preminger. After a brief chase, Preminger is arrested along with Nick and Nack. Anneliese tells her mother that she wants to marry Julian and that they can help save the kingdom. Soon after, the kingdom’s prosperity is restored thanks to the crystals in the mine. Madame Carp goes out of business; and—with her debt finally paid—Erika leaves to become a renowned singer. After touring the world, Erika realizes where her heart is and decides to return home to marry Dominick. Anneliese and Erika have a double wedding and they and their husbands ride off in a carriage together.

Voice cast

  • Kelly Sheridan as Princess Anneliese / Erika / Narrator
    • Melissa Lyons as Princess Anneliese (singing voice)
    • Julie Stevens as Erika (singing voice)
  • Alessandro Juliani as Julian
  • Mark Hildreth as King Dominick
    • Mark Luna as King Dominick (singing voice)
  • Martin Short as Preminger
  • Kathleen Barr as Serafina / Bertie
  • Ian James Corlett as Wolfie
  • Ellen Kennedy as Queen Genevieve
  • Pam Hyatt as Madame Carp
  • Brian Drummond as Nick
  • Jan Rabson as Nack / Midas
  • Colin Murdock as the Royal Scheduler
  • Janyse Jaud as a Palace Maid
  • Lee Tockar as Ambassador Bismarck
  • Garry Chalk as Herve
  • Roger Monk as the Minister

Soundtrack

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.

  1. Free - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
  2. How Can I Refuse? - Performed by Martin Short (Preminger)
  3. Written in Your Heart (Prelude) - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika)
  4. I Am a Girl Like You - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
  5. To Be a Princess - Performed by Alessandro Juliani (Julian) & Julie Stevens (Erika)
  6. The Cat's Meow - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika)
  7. How Can You Refuse? - Performed by Martin Short (Preminger)
  8. If You Love Me for Me - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Mark Luna (Dominick)
  9. Written in Your Heart (finale) - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
  10. I'm on My Way - Performed by Sara Niemietz

Video game

A video game for Game Boy Advance, PC, and Macintosh was released in 2004 by Vivendi Universal Games. In the Game Boy Advance title, the plot follows that of the movie: players must thwart Preminger's attempt to take over the kingdom by marrying Anneliese. Players control four characters: Anneliese, Erika, Serafina, and Wolfie.

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