Home Films Surprising Facts About The Barbie Movie That Most Fans Don’t Know

Surprising Facts About The Barbie Movie That Most Fans Don’t Know

Darren July 20, 2023

For some fans, the Barbie movie is one of the highlights of this year. They can’t wait to enter this insanely pink world and immerse themselves in the universe. Director Greta Gerwig ensured that the film is cheesy in the best possible way. She also assembled the best cast she could, with Margot Robbie in the titular role and Ryan Gosling starring as Ken.

So today we’re going to look at some amazing and fascinating facts about Barbie. that most fans don’t know. They show how much the cast committed themselves to bringing this iconic character into real life. From the making of the film to how fans can interact with it today, it’s full of fun facts that will make the Barbieverse shine even brighter!

Barbie Airbnb

One of the most striking sets in the Barbie movie is her incredible Malibu Dreamhouse. This vivid pink mansion is one of the most ridiculous home designs ever. When Barbie goes away, Ken puts his stamp on it. Now the real house is on Airbnb and guests can stay there with their friends.

Harper’s Bazaar

Airbnb’s official website shared this exclusive ‘interview’ with Ken. They wrote: “We all have dreams, and Barbie is lucky enough to have a house full of them,” said Ken. “But now, it’s my turn, and I can’t wait to host guests inside these one-of-a-kind – dare I say, one-of-a-Ken? – digs.” That’s incredibly exciting for Barbie fans because they can make their dreams come true.

Margot Steps Up

One of the most iconic Barbie moments occurs when she removes her heels and exaggeratedly arches her feet. We all know that real Barbie dolls can do this but it’s very difficult for a human to replicate it. Nonetheless, Margot Robbie insisted on trying because she wanted to be as authentic as possible (via TODAY).

Warner Bros

Furthermore, Greta Gerwig refused to use CGI unless necessary. Robbie said that it took eight takes for them to finalize the scene. She also held onto a bar so that she could correctly arch her feet. This made some fans gasp with astonishment because it looks impossible. Others criticized it because they think it promotes unhealthy beauty standards.

The Mattel Effect

Mattel’s Ruth Handler designed the original Barbie doll in 1959 and it became a global sensation. The toy company is also responsible for Hot Wheels but Barbie was their first runaway success. Warner Bros worked with Mattel on set design because they wanted to capture the franchise’s original feeling.

AI Bees

This was the first time that Mattel worked on a live-action Barbie movie. They’ve collaborated with animators previously but never with real-life set designers and directors. It’s exciting news for fans because it will lend the movie an extra feeling of authenticity (via BBC News).

Pink Paint Shortage

Typically, Gerwig uses a subtle color palette but she threw this out the window when she started making the Barbie movie. She used so much pink paint that it depleted Rosco’s reserves. The company provides paint ofr most of the entertainment industry but they had low stockpiles because of the global health crisis.


A Rosco VP said: “There was this shortage, and then we gave them everything we could. I don’t know if they can claim credit. They did clean us out on paint.” One look at the trailer shows how they used it because Barbieland is vividly pink. It’s over-the-top, but that’s why fans love it (via L.A. Times).

New Film Ratio

Greta Gerwig receives a lot of credit because she’s one of Hollywood’s most original female directors right now. Movies like Frances Ha and Ladybird won her significant acclaim. However, the Barbie movie marks a departure for her in several ways. Gerwig usually shoots her films in the 2:1 aspect ratio.

Hollywood Reporter

For the first time in her career, Gerwig is using the 1.85:1 ratio because she wanted the frames to appear taller. It’s a fascinating technical detail that shows how much thought the director put into the movie. She wants to make Barbie perfect so she’s leaving nothing to chance (via Kodak).

2001 References

The Barbie movie includes many fun Easter Eggs and pays tribute to some iconic movies. It’s much smarter than many critics think as the trailer shows. In the official trailer, Barbie rises like a monolith in high heels and a swimsuit. This instantly evokes images of the sci-fi classic 2001: A Space Odyssey.


This is one of the greatest movies ever and it shows that Gerwig knows her cinematic history. It’s a tongue-in-cheek moment that will go over the heads of many casual viewers. But hardcore cinephiles loved this reference because it’s an excellent homage. We loved seeing Barbie engage with some iconic scenes from past cinema (via Space).

Career Ender

Gerwig admitted that she was afraid that the Barbie movie could destroy her career. It marked a major departure from her previous indie films. Yes, she has worked with big stars in the past but she hasn’t made a picture on this scale before. Nonetheless, the risk excited her and that’s why she accepted the job.


The director told The Hollywood Reporter: “Where do you even begin, and what would be the story?’ And I think it was that feeling I had knowing that it would be really interesting terror. Usually, that’s where the best stuff is, where you’re like, ‘I am terrified of that.’ Anything where you’re like, ‘This could be a career-ender — then you’re like, ‘I should probably do it.'”

Transgender Barbie

Margot Robbie is the face of the Barbie movie but she’s not the only Barbie actress. There are many in this exciting picture including Hari Nef, who plays a transgender version of the character. In 2022, Mattel made their first transgender Barbie as part of their Tribute series as they honored Laverne Cox (via Fox News).

Out Magazine

Gerwig took this further when she made her movie because she wanted it to represent all of the Barbies.”Later, trans actress Nef said: As much as there’s a celebration of femininity and being a girl, I think there’s also an encouragement of letting go of the checklist we ascribe to living and living your life and being in your body your way, on your own terms.”

Ken’s Underwear

The Barbie movie trailer excited millions of people across the world. Margot Robbie is stunning and perfect for the role but Ryan Gosling arguably stole her thunder. His bleach-blonde hair and manic smile instantly won the hearts of Barbie fans. But there was one detail of his costume that amused many of them.


His underwear band is visible above his jeans in the trailer. Fans loved that designers branded it with ‘Ken’ in the style of Calvin Klein. Reportedly, this was Gosling’s idea and the costume designers immediately agreed. It’s fantastic to see these great actors investing themselves in the project (via People).

Sorry Saoirse

Saoirse Ronan is one of Gerwig’s favorite actress and the duo have collaborated several times. The Irish movie star is a four-time Oscar nominee and won acclaim for her work with Gerwig. Her leading roles in Ladybird and Little Women made her one of the most respected actresses of the modern era.


Fans will notice that Ronan doesn’t appear in Barbie, but she intended to. She agreed to make a cameo because it was a childhood dream. Unfortunately, her schedule didn’t line up and this forced her to withdraw. It’s unfortunate because she wanted to be in the film and it would have been fun for her fans (via Into More).

Wizard of Oz

Greta Gerwig loves The Wizard of Oz as she proved by leaving plenty of easter eggs in the Barbie movie. There are at least three obvious references to the iconic 1939 film. In one scene, Barbie wears a pink gingham dress that bears a startling resemblance to Judy Garland’s famous blue costume.


That may seem like a reach but there are more! Barbie also cruises down a pink road that is very similar to the yellow brick road. Then there’s an on-the-nose reference when she passes a cinema that is playing The Wizard of Oz. Remember, Barbie is experiencing a new world so there is a thematic similarity too (via E!).

No Writing

One crucial aspect of Barbieland is its innocence. A close look at signs in the movie shows that there’s no decipherable writing in Barbie’s universe. “There’s no actual writing in Barbie Land,” Margot Robbie told Architectural Digest. “It’s just scribbled the way kids kind of write endless amounts of, you know, nothing. But it’s all very beautiful (via Gizmodo).”


Meanwhile, there are no elements either. When Barbie showers or turns a faucet there’s no water. Nor is there fire either because it’s all about being in a make-believe world. Another detail is that all of the buildings are slightly smaller to resemble real doll houses. The detail and thought behind every part of this film is incredible.

The Vietnam Ban

Vietnam shockingly banned the Barbie movie because one scene appears to depict a map with the controversial ‘nine-dash line.’ This represents China’s illegal territorial claims in the South China Sea and includes the Spratley Islands. Vietnam banned the movie because they feel it insults their sovereignty, while the Philippines also censored it for its content.


A Warner Bros spokesperson responded to the crisis. “The map in Barbie Land is a child-like crayon drawing,” they told Variety. “The doodles depict Barbie’s make-believe journey from Barbie Land to the ‘real world.’ It was not intended to make any type of statement.” Nonetheless, China represents billions of dollars because of its massive population and huge economy.

Original Outfit (1959)

The level of detail in Barbie is incredible because they’ve done their due diligence. Check out one of Robbie’s most striking costumes in the movie. She wears a beautiful zebra-stripe swimsuit that turned heads for several reasons. Firstly, Robbie looks amazing as ever but there’s another good reason why it’s interesting.

Hindustan Times

This is one of Barbie’s original outfits from 1959. Gerwig wanted to pay homage to the iconic doll’s beginnings and did so by delving into its history. This is such a nice touch and one that told Mattel that their brand was in good hands. Now it’s set to become one of the season’s most popular fashion pieces (via Women’s Health).


Nobody can say that Ryan Gosling didn’t commit to his role in the Barbie movie. The celebrated actor is giving it everything on the film’s press tour. Some people initially criticized him because they thought he was too old to play Ken. But he has won hearts across the world with his dazzling performance.


Furthermore, he produced laughter when he explained what Ken’s job is. The reality is that Ken doesn’t work because the movie lists his occupation as ‘beach.’ Gosling responded to this and explained: “His job is beach. For 60 years, his job has been beach. What the f*** does that even mean? (via BuzzFeed).

Meet the Maker

There’s a gorgeous moment in the Barbie movie trailer that shows the star talking to an older woman on a bench. This lady says: “Humans get one ending. Ideas live forever.” Most fans won’t recognize her but this is a massive Barbie Easter Egg. That’s because she is none other than Barbara Handler, the daughter of Barbie’s original creator.


We already mentioned that Mattel’s inventor Ruth Handler created Barbie in 1959. This came after she received inspiration from German dolls and decided to make a US version. Ruth named Barbie after her daughter Barbara while she named Ken after her son, Kenneth. It’s a beautiful throwback and one that Gerwig deserves a lot of praise for including (via Forbes).

Ken, You Believe It?

Ryan Gosling is already winning plaudits after he brought Ken to life in the Barbie movie. But he had doubts about the role and almost didn’t take it. However, he claims that a freak encounter with one of his daughter’s dolls changed his mind. He told Jimmy Fallon this ludicrous story that we hope is true.


“I walked out in the backyard and you know where I found Ken? Face down in the mud next to a squished lemon.” Then he allegedly sent a message to Greta Gerwig: “I shall be your Ken,” he wrote in the message. “For his story must be told.” Now some fans are saying that he should win an Oscar for his performance (via Yahoo! Movies).

Daughters’ Doubt

Gosling is fiercely protective of his family and keeps his private life away from his cameras. However, he has two children with his partner, Eva Mendes. His daughters, Esmeralda and Amada, introduced him to the Barbie universe because he never played with dolls when he was a child.

Glamour UK

But they don’t understand why he wanted to be Ken because they don’t care about him. Gosling said: “My kids were my introduction to Barbie. I think they’re confused as to why I would want to play Ken. They have no use for Ken (via Marie Claire).” Maybe their daddy will change their minds about the iconic doll.

The Matrix

The iconic red pill/blue pill scene is one of the greatest moments in The Matrix (1999). It’s not the first or last movie to deal with concepts of existential crises but it did it perfectly. Barbie pays tribute to the Wachowski sisters’ classic sci-fi picture with a new interpretation of the scene (via CBR).

The Hashtag Show

Barbie faces a choice between staying in BarbieLand or going to the flawed world where people live. She meets Kate McKinnon’s Weird Barbie who offers her a choice between a Birkenstock or a heel in place of the pills. It’s a perfectly crafted moment that recalls the original in a brilliant parody.

Barbie Wears Chanel

Oscar-nominated Jacqueline Durran is one of the best costume designers in Hollywood today. She won acclaim for her work on Little Women but Barbie offered her new challenges. Durran’s team created many of the outfits in the Barbie movie but she revealed that one legendary fashion house lent a hand.

Glamour UK

She told Vogue: “If Margot wears anything that we didn’t make, it’s pretty much Chanel. They’re very interested in supporting cinema and in helping us find looks that will work in the story.” It’s also worth noting that Robbie has been an ambassador for the Fench label since 2018. That’s great because they have an excellent working relationship.

Pink Day

Robbie and Gosling developed a close working relationship during the project. However, Gosling had some wry comments about his co-star when he went on the press circuit. He told the media that Robbie mandated that everybody wear pink on a designated day once a week. She also refused to compromise about this.


Gosling told People: “Margot had this pink day once a week, where everyone had to wear something pink. If you didn’t, you were fined. She would go around collecting the fines, and she would donate it to a charity.” This seems like a fun way to create a more immersive experience. At least the money went to a good cause.

Barbie Girl Song

Aqua’s Barbie Girl is one of the cheesiest songs ever and remains a popular favorite today. However, Robbie feared that it wasn’t going to be the movie. She begged Gerwig to include it because she felt it would be a missed opportunity if she left it out. In the end, Gerwig bowed to her wishes and agreed.


Robbie told Rolling Stone: “I was like, ‘Greta, we can’t do a Barbie movie and not have a nod to Aqua’s Barbie Girl. It has to be in there.’ And Greta was like, ‘Don’t worry, we’re going to find a cool way to incorporate it.'” This will be music to the ears of Barbie fans because it’s so iconic.


Producers and movie executives are notoriously conservative when it comes to taking risks. They invest millions of dollars in films and they want to guarantee a return. They don’t like it when directors want to take a franchise or a character in a different direction because they think it could cost them.

Eclectic Pop

Mattel President Richard Dickson even traveled to London because he wanted to shut Gerwig down. He believed one scene was off-brand for Barbie and threatened the future of the character. However, he changed his mind after Gerwig and Robbie performed the scene for him. That shows the power of the duo and the impressive script (via Time).

Margot Says Yes

It will shock many people to learn that Robbie wasn’t the original choice to play Barbie. This may seem crazy because she is physically perfect for the role. It’s even wilder when they hear who the original pick was: Amy Schumer. The polarizing comedian had the role and was going to direct but she backed out.


Schumer allegedly didn’t think Barbie was a feminist character and this turned her off. Then, Anne Hathaway almost took the role before walking away. In the end, Robbie accepted. She said she loved the writing: “I didn’t want to pick up another script where I was the wife or the girlfriend — just a catalyst for the male storyline. It was uninspiring (via Harper’s Bazaar).”

Barbie Bootcamp

It’s not shocking that Mattel wanted to protect the integrity of the Barbie brand. After all, the doll remains their most profitable product and they don’t want a movie director to mess up decades of consistency. That’s why Gerwig attended a ‘Barbie Bootcamp’ before she started making the film.


This took place before the pandemic and showed her that she had to take it seriously. Meanwhile, the cast attended sleepovers and animated Barbie screenings to understand the Barbieverse. Everybody poured themselves into this project to ensure that it was as good as it could be (via Slash Film).