Barbie as Rapunzel

Barbie as Rapunzel is a 2002 American-Canadian direct-to-DVD computer-animated fairytale film directed by Owen Hurley.[2] It is the 2nd entry in the Barbie film series, and features the voice of Kelly Sheridan as Barbie. The film is adapted from the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Rapunzel".

Barbie as Rapunzel
Barbie as Rapunzel.jpg
DVD cover
Directed byOwen Hurley
Produced byJesyca C. Durchin
Jennifer Twiner McCarron
Written byElana Lesser
Cliff Ruby
Based onRapunzel by the Brothers Grimm
StarringKelly Sheridan
Cree Summer
Chantal Strand
Anjelica Huston
Music byArnie Roth
Edited byGreg Richardson
Distributed byArtisan Entertainment
Release date
  • October 1, 2002 (2002-10-01)[1]
Running time
83 minutes
United States


The story is told by Barbie to her younger sister Kelly, who doesn't have confidence in her painting abilities.

Rapunzel is a young woman with long, floor-length hair who lives as a servant to the wicked witch Gothel, who resides in an magically secluded manor in the woods. She grows up believing that Gothel saved her from abandonment as a baby and finds companionship in Penelope, a young dragon and Hobie, an anxious rabbit. She spends her time painting pictures of places she dreams of going when she is free one day which Gothel disapproves of, accusing Rapunzel of not appreciating everything Gothel has done for her.

One day, Rapunzel and her friends open a secret passage to the basement where Rapunzel finds a gift from her parents: a silver hairbrush engraved with a message. Penelope also discovers a tunnel underneath the floor. Rapunzel follows it, leading to the small kingdom outside. Outside the castle Rapunzel saves Princess Katrina from a pit trap with the help of her older brother, Prince Stefan. He tells her the trap was set by King Wilhelm, the ruler of an opposing kingdom who has an ongoing feud with Stefan's father, King Frederick. Rapunzel hurries off without learning Stefan's name to avoid Gothel discovering her disappearance. However, Gothel's pet ferret, Otto, who had followed Rapunzel, informs his mistress of Rapunzel meeting a man. When Rapunzel insists she doesn't know the name of the man she met when Gothel questions her, her paintings are destroyed and her room transformed into a high tower with Penelope's father, Hugo, tasked with ensuring she doesn't leave. As Rapunzel sleeps, the hairbrush magically transforms into a paintbrush.

When Rapunzel attempts to use the brush, a mural of the kingdom magically appears on her wall which she discovers acts as a portal. Rapunzel uses it to meet Stefan again, though she insists he never tell her his name for fear of Gothel. Stefan gives her an invitation to the masquerade ball that night. Afraid that her father will be punished if Gothel finds out Rapunzel has left, Penelope goes through the portal and begs Rapunzel to come back. Promising to meet Stefan again, Rapunzel paints a portal back to the tower and returns with Penelope. Back at the tower, she paints herself a beautiful costume. Unfortunately, Otto swipes Rapunzel's invitation and takes it to his mistress. Gothel cuts off Rapunzel's hair, shatters the paintbrush, and destroys the portal to the kingdom. When Rapunzel once again cannot give Stefan's name, Gothel then puts a spell on the tower to never release its lying prisoner.

With the help of her friends, Rapunzel manages to escape the tower as she never lied about not knowing Stefan's name, and Penelope flies them to the castle. At the ball, Stefan is lured outside and attacked by a disguised Gothel wearing Rapunzel's hair, while at the same moment, King Wilhelm infiltrates the castle, intending to end the feud by force. Wilhelm accuses Frederick of kidnapping his daughter many years ago - the source of the feud; Gothel arrives and reveals that she was the one who took Wilhelm's daughter, Rapunzel, due to her unrequited love for him, wanting the kingdoms to destroy each other. Rapunzel arrives and Wilhelm recognizes her as his daughter. Rapunzel tricks Gothel into running into her painting of the tower where she becomes permanently imprisoned for her lies.

Rapunzel is reunited with her biological parents and marries Stefan. The feud ends and the two kingdoms are united, as Rapunzel's dreams of freedom come true.

Kelly now feels better and begins painting after Barbie reminds her that creativity is the true magic in art.



The film makes heavy use of Antonín Dvořák's Symphony No. 9, also known as the New World Symphony - presumably a reference to Rapunzel's venture into the 'new world' of the village.


  • The film was rated a B- by Entertainment Weekly magazine.[4]
  • Moira McCormick (2002-10-05). "Barbie Returns In 'Rapunzel'". Billboard. The Barbie as Rapunzel campaign expands on many of the promotional components from Mattel's Barbie in the Nutcracker, which had a 94% sell-through rate and sales of more than 3.5 million units. Print ads started one week before street date, and Ross says they are expected to generate 260 million consumer impressions through the end of the year. TV spots also began airing on Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network in August.
  • Scott Hettrick (2002-10-11). "BARBIE'S HAIR-RAZING TALE". Sun-Sentinel. Anjelica Huston delivers an entertainingly menacing voice as evil Gothel and the producers have imbued the much more simplistic but typically dour original Brothers Grimm tale with multiple characters that kids will find engaging.
  • Chris J. Parker (2002-11-01). "'Rapunzel' Barbie trades hairbrush for paintbrush". Inland Valley Daily Bulletin. The movie is enhanced by its soundtrack, which features music performed by the London Symphony Orchestra. The computer-generated animation is still a bit clumsy, especially in this post-Shrek era. But it's watchable, especially for younger viewers.
  • Neil Buckley (2003-02-08). "Barbie's new roles play to a new audience: Making a movie star was a smart move for Mattel, says Neil Buckley". Financial Times. Her 2002 film, the 76-minute Barbie as Rapunzel, with the voice of actress Anjelica Huston as the evil witch Gothel, was a bigger success... It tied in with merchandise including a Barbie as Rapunzel doll - with the longest hair of any Barbie since her creation - dolls representing the other characters, an "Enchanted Tower" playset and a range of themed products, including denim jackets, watches, backpacks, musical hairbrushes and hair extension gift sets.


The DVD and VHS was released on October 1, 2002.


  1. ^ "Barbie as Rapunzel release". behind the voice actors. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  2. ^ "Barbie as Rapunzel". Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Barbie as Rapunzel Cast". Who's Dated Who. Retrieved 21 January 2013.
  4. ^ "Movie Review: BARBIE AS RAPUNZEL". Entertainment Weekly. 2002-10-18.

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