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I recently watched Barbie, where there's a pivotal scene involving men arriving in 'Barbieland' with the intention of bringing two women back to the real world. This moment raised a question for me about the plot's stakes and implications.

Was there a particular reason that made their return crucial? The film seemed to suggest that there were serious consequences tied to their decision, but I didn't quite grasp what these were. Was there a particular reason that made their return crucial?

I'm seeking an explanation or interpretation that could shed light on this aspect of the story.

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2 Answers 2

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Unimaginable, weird things — but not a podcast or a choir

In the same way people playing with Barbies in the real world is shown to affect Barbieland, what happens in Barbieland is shown to affect the Mattel brand in the real world. And all the Mattel CEO wanted was for that to return to the status quo.

This is the start of the relevant dialogue from the movie:

  • They’ve gone to Barbie Land.
  • Oh, no.
  • And she’s brought humans there with her.
  • This could mean extremely weird things for our world.
  • Like what?
  • Nothing any of our collective imaginations could ever dream up.
  • A podcast hosted by two wise trees.
  • Or a choir of 2,000 young fathers.
  • Not even close. We’ve got to get to Barbie Land.

A little later:

  • [Mattel CEO] Give it to me straight. How weird is it?
  • Whoa, boss, these Mojo Dojo Casa Houses are literally flying off the shelves.
  • The kids are clamoring for them. Ken is on T-shirts, mugs.
  • It’s the number one tattoo.
  • [Mattel CEO] Oh, no.
  • Warner Bros. have started auditions for the Ken movie, which is already a blockbuster hit. [laughs]
  • It’s happening. That thing we could never imagine.
  • If we don’t get my words lady…
  • Executive Assistant.
  • My Executive Words Lady and someone who’s probably her daughter back here and close the portal, our worlds could be altered forever.
  • Well, what does it matter if it’s Barbie or Ken? The money is pouring in.
  • Shame on you, Executive Number Two. You think I spent my entire life in boardrooms because of a bottom line? No! I got into this business because of little girls and their dreams. In the least creepy way possible.

This shows that what the Kens were doing was affecting the real world. And humans are even less predictable than dolls, so the CEO wasn't sure what exactly they would do in Barbieland. (After all, it was Gloria's actions that put all of this in motion in the first place.)

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I don't believe the Mattel executives entered Barbieland because they thought that Sasha and her mother would never return to to the real world. Rather, the executives needed them to return on the executives' terms, as, if Sasha and her mother came back to the real world without being controlled, they might reveal to the world the well-kept secret that Barbies exist in a strange otherworld that influences the real world.

The other reason the executives went in was to try to thwart the Kens' influence that was causing Mojo Dojo Casa Houses and other insufficiently girl-focused toys to become bestsellers. Though they didn't try very hard at that.

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