Mattel and Lions Gate Family Ent. announced two new 2006 Barbie direct-to-DVD titles, THE BARBIE DIARIES and BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA MERMAIDIA, with LGFE being awarded domestic distribution rights.
Moving beyond the fantasy worlds of princesses and fairies for the first time, THE BARBIE DIARIES will feature Barbie with a new look living everyday high school experiences with her best friends. LGFE will also release the first franchise sequel, BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA MERMAIDIA, following the enormously successful 2005 release of BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA. This brings the total number of BARBIE-branded releases distributed by LGFE to eight films.
For the first time in a BARBIE movie, THE BARBIE DIARIES features Barbie in the real world with a new toon-shaded CGI animated look and a contemporary soundtrack. As the new school year begins, Barbie is hoping her sophomore year will bring some exciting changes. With a special diary and charm bracelet, Barbie finds the courage to truly be herself and learns valuable lessons about friendship, self-confidence and even romance. The DTV premieres on DVD in January 2006. In addition, THE BARBIE DIARIES release will be supported with an entire line of dolls, electronic toys and consumer products all at retail in early spring.
"BARBIE is one of those magical properties that is able to cut through the clutter and reach its core demographic," said Lions Gate's Anne Parducci, evp, family entertainment and marketing. "Young girls have felt an association with Barbie for decades and we believe the timing is perfect to set this latest title in the BARBIE video franchise in a real world setting. Fans have become accustomed to seeing her as a positive influence in a host of fantasy worlds, and with THE BARBIE DIARIES, her ability to deliver positive messages will continue in an all-new setting."
BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA MERMAIDIA marks the first sequel in the BARBIE video franchise and picks up where the first movie leaves off. This new film stars Barbie as Elina, a young fairy who must sacrifice her newly-won wings for a mermaid tail during her quest to save the underwater prince. The new movie premieres on DVD in March 2006, the same month that the all-new live, theatrical stage show, BARBIE LIVE IN FAIRYTOPIA, begins its U.S. tour. A complete, all-new line of dolls, other toys and consumer products based on the movie will be in stores in late 2005.
"BARBIE FAIRYTOPIA was a resounding success for us and the entire franchise will receive even greater exposure now with the launch of the title's live stage show and the anticipation of this new adventure," said Parducci.
"We're excited to grow our Barbie Ent. franchise with LGFE, who has proven to be a tremendous partner, and, with THE BARBIE DIARIES, introduce Barbie in a new format placing her in the real world with her high school friends and their dreams and aspirations," said Steve Ross, Mattel's svp of worldwide entertainment and business development.
Since 2000, Barbie films have collectively sold more than 13 million units domestically and more than 26 million worldwide. Universal Pictures International distributes to international markets. Most recently, LGFE and Mattel Ent. released the fifth animated film in the Barbie Princess franchise, BARBIE AND THE MAGIC OF PEGASUS, which hit stores on September 20, 2005.
Lions Gate is the premier independent producer and distributor of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content. Its library is a source of stable and recurring revenue, and it serves as a foundation for the growth of the company's core businesses.
Mattel Inc. (www.mattel.com) is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of toys and family products. With worldwide headquarters in El Segundo, California, Mattel employs more than 25,000 people in 42 countries and sells products in more than 150 nations throughout the world.