We’ve seen glimpses of what Barbie has in store for us already. And we knew we were in for some kind of journey through the absurd and entertaining. Of course, with Greta Gerwig at the helm, a straightforward movie about a cheery doll was not in the cards. But we could not have expected the deep meditation on the meaning of Barbie that Barbie‘s trailer offered. Nor could we have expected the homage to the opening scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Barbie meets sci-fi? Hand it over.
Take a look at the first teaser trailer for Barbie, below:
Given that Barbie‘s trailer emulates Kubrick, it brings us many layers of meaning. In the opening of 2001: A Space Odyssey, early man was greeted by a mysterious monolith that they began to worship. Though this encounter freed them from the mercurial whims of nature, it made them servants of something else. The monolith awakened insatiable aggression and greed in man. In the Barbie trailer, Barbie herself takes the place of the monolith. And she awakens something furious in the young girls quietly playing with their baby dolls.
We suppose this teaser trailer offers a meditation on how the figure of Barbie gives some kind of power to those she touches with her perfect, plastic presence and also brings something ugly out in them all at once… In 2001, the monolith also appears as a very masculine presence, whereas, in Barbie, Gerwig has evolved the concept for the feminine. And that feels like an interesting thematic start. Based on this trailer, we smell a coming-of-age in a cruel world narrative just around the corner for Barbie and co.
But we suppose we’ll have to see the movie. In addition to its 2001: A Space Odyssey portion, the teaser trailer for Barbie does offer us a quick montage of some of the more fun aspects of the movie. We get to Barbie waving at her city of Barbie Dreamhouses. Ryan Gosling as Ken appears with, potentially, other Kens in absurd ’80s aerobics wear. And the Barbie trailer also features lots of dancing, sequins, and pink. We already know this movie will also likely go in and out of Barbie‘s world, with Will Ferrell playing the CEO of Mattel. So we expect nothing but shenanigans.
In all, our brains our spinning. But one thing feels certain. If the teaser trailer for Barbie can bewilder and delight us in this way, we can’t wait to get the entire movie. Barbie releases in theaters on July 21, 2023.