Barbie World

First Barbie Movie Trailer References Kubrick, Is Delightfully Bonkers

Will our kids love it? Unclear. But this looks like it will rule.

Originally Published: 
Margot Robbie as 'Barbie'
Warner Bros

For those of us who played with Barbie dolls as children, there’s a surreal, almost science-fiction quality to the bizarre universe implied by Barbie, Ken, and all their allies. And, it appears director Greta Gerwig has tapped into that otherworldly quality in crafting the highly-anticipated live-action Barbie movie. The movie hits theaters in July 2023, but the first trailer is so bonkers we want this beamed into our brains right now.

In an homage to Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, the creation of Barbie is depicted as a kind of alien-induced first step in the evolution of dolls as playthings for kids. But, once Barbie descends to Earth, the little kids who only played with “baby” dolls before, destroy those dolls with a kind of Lord of the Flies sadistic zeal. Watch it here.

Barbie movie 2023 trailer

From there, we get a glimpse at what looks like an episode of Black Mirror, but without the cynicism or last-minute twist. Starring Margot Robbie, Barbie will also feature Ryan Gosling as Ken, Marvel-star Simu Liu as another Ken, as well as SNL veterans Will Ferrell, and Kate Mckinnon. Rounding out the cast are Kingsley Ben-Adir, Michael Cera, incoming new Doctor Who Ncuti Gatwa, and Insecure’s Issa Rae.

Ben-Adir, Ryan Gosling, and Ncuti Gatwa in Barbie.

Warner Bros

Directed by the brilliant Greta Gerwig, who has possibly never made a bad movie, Barbie looks like it could accomplish the impossible: Satirize the bizarre aesthetic of this iconic doll, while also unabashedly celebrating the absurdity of Barbie’s ludicrous alternate dimension of camp.

Finally, a movie that seems to understand the right way to approach nostalgia: A bit of reverence and a ton of batshit creative liberty. If we’re lucky Barbie could do for this doll brand what Tim Burton did for Batman in 1989.

Barbie hits theaters on July 21, 2023.

This article was originally published on