The Existential Ending of Barbie Explained, Plot, Cast and Trailer

Barbie 2023, steps into the enchanting world of this whimsical fantasy comedy, where Margot Robbie portrays Barbie on an extraordinary journey of self-discovery.
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Barbie, a 2023 American fantasy comedy film, marks a significant milestone as the first live-action adaptation of the beloved Barbie fashion dolls by Mattel. Directed by Greta Gerwig and co-written by Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, the movie embarks on a new and exciting journey after numerous computer-animated direct-to-video and streaming television films centered around Barbie.

Starring Margot Robbie as the iconic Barbie and Ryan Gosling as her equally famous companion, Ken, the film delves into a captivating narrative of self-discovery sparked by an existential crisis. Alongside Robbie and Gosling, the ensemble cast includes renowned talents such as America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell.

The journey to bring Barbie to the live-action big screen began back in September 2009 when Universal Pictures announced the project with Laurence Mark as the producer. However, it was in April 2014 that Sony Pictures acquired the film rights, setting the stage for the development process.

Several changes in writers and directors occurred over the years, with names like Amy Schumer and later Anne Hathaway initially considered for the lead role. Eventually, in October 2018, the film rights were transferred to Warner Bros. Pictures.

In 2019, the casting of Margot Robbie as Barbie brought renewed excitement to the project. Then, in 2021, Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach were announced as the director and co-writer, respectively, breathing fresh creativity and vision into the movie. The remaining talented ensemble cast was unveiled to the public in early 2022, adding to the anticipation surrounding the film.

Filming took place primarily at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, England, and at the Venice Beach Skatepark in Los Angeles from March to July 2022, capturing picturesque locations to complement the fantastical elements of Barbie’s world.

Finally, after much anticipation, Barbie had its grand premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on July 9, 2023. The movie’s theatrical release in the United States followed on July 21, 2023, presented by Warner Bros. Pictures. In a unique and exciting marketing move, it was released simultaneously with the film Oppenheimer, leading to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon on social media, encouraging audiences to experience both films as a double feature.

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The film was met with widespread critical acclaim, praising its imaginative storytelling and the outstanding performances of the cast. Additionally, Barbie has been a massive box office success, grossing an impressive $382 million worldwide, solidifying its place as a cherished addition to the Barbie franchise and a remarkable achievement in live-action adaptations.

The Existential Ending of Barbie Explained 

Barbie approaches Ruth with a heartfelt revelation, expressing her desire to undergo a significant transformation and evolve. In response, Ruth raises a crucial question, asking Barbie whether she truly comprehends the implications of embracing humanity fully.

Ruth points out that returning to Barbieland, where she exists as an eternal idea, would be a simpler and safer option. In Barbieland, she wouldn’t have to face the challenges, vulnerabilities, and limitations that come with living as a human.

However, Barbie is resolute in her decision. She no longer wishes to be confined to the realm of abstract ideas; she longs to experience life as a genuine human being. This signifies her desire to embrace all aspects of existence, both the joys and the hardships that accompany it.

In essence, this scenario portrays a deep philosophical and existential dilemma. Barbie’s choice represents the classic struggle between embracing a life of permanence and security but lacking the fullness of human experience versus embracing the impermanence and unpredictability of life as a human, with the potential for personal growth, connections, and meaningful experiences.

By wanting to “evolve,” Barbie seeks personal development and growth, likely desiring to engage in the human condition and explore the complexities of emotions, relationships, and self-discovery. This quest for self-realization and authenticity shows a willingness to embrace the transient and vulnerable nature of human life.

Ruth’s questioning of Barbie’s decision serves to highlight the significance of the choice at hand. By challenging Barbie to consider the consequences of her desire, Ruth encourages her to be fully aware of what she is stepping into and to weigh the advantages and disadvantages carefully.

Overall, this dialogue prompts us to ponder the nature of existence, the pursuit of self-awareness and authenticity, and the significance of embracing the challenges and limitations of human life to experience its true essence. It’s a contemplative reflection on the longing for genuine existence and the willingness to face the unknown in the pursuit of a fulfilling and meaningful life.

Barbie Cast 



BarbieMargot Robbie
Barbie (Various)Kate McKinnon
Barbie (Various)Issa Rae
Barbie (Various)Alexandra Shipp
Barbie (Various)Emma Mackey
Barbie (Various)Hari Nef
Barbie (Various)Sharon Rooney
Barbie (Various)Ana Cruz Kayne
Barbie (Various)Ritu Arya
Barbie (Various)Dua Lipa
Barbie (Various)Nicola Coughlan
Barbie (Various)Mette Narrative
Barbie (Various)Marisa Abela
Barbie (Various)Lucy Boynton
KenRyan Gosling
Ken (Various)Simu Liu
Ken (Various)Kingsley Ben-Adir
Ken (Various)Scott Evans
Ken (Various)Ncuti Gatwa
Ken (Various)John Cena
Ken (Various)Rob Brydon
Ken (Various)Tom Stourton
GloriaAmerica Ferrera
AllanMichael Cera
SashaAriana Greenblatt
Young SashaGenvieve Toussaint
Ruth HandlerRhea Perlman
NarratorHelen Mirren
CEO of MattelWill Ferrell
Aaron DinkinsConnor Swindells
CFO of MattelJamie Demetriou
MidgeEmerald Fennell
SkipperErica Ford
“Growing Up” SkipperHannah Khalique-Brown
Woman on the benchAnn Roth
Young Mattel employeeWill Merrick
Mattel warehouse employeeAsim Chaudhry
Anxiety MomAnnie Mumolo
Time MomLauren Holt
Gloria’s husbandRyan Piers Williams
Dan at the FBIRay Fearon
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Barbie Plot 

In the fantasy world of Barbieland, Stereotypical Barbie (“Barbie”) resides with a diverse group of fellow Barbies in a matriarchal society, where women are independent, self-assured, and accomplished. While the Ken counterparts spend their time enjoying leisure activities at the beach, the Barbies hold prominent positions as doctors, lawyers, and politicians.

Amid this backdrop, Beach Ken (“Ken”) longs for a closer relationship with Barbie, but she prioritizes her independence and female friendships, rejecting his advances. During a dance party, Barbie is suddenly overcome by thoughts of mortality.

The next day, she notices physical changes, such as flat feet and cellulite. Wise but unconventional, Weird Barbie advises her that the cure lies in the real world, where she must find the child playing with her. Along the journey to the real world, Barbie discovers Ken hiding in her convertible, and with reluctance, she allows him to accompany her.

Upon their arrival at Venice Beach, the duo finds themselves in various misadventures, leading to their arrest and catching the attention of the Mattel CEO, who wants them captured. Barbie eventually locates her owner, a tween girl named Sasha, who criticizes Barbie for perpetuating unrealistic beauty standards.

Barbie’s existential crisis stems from Gloria, Sasha’s mother and a Mattel employee, who projected her own concerns onto the Barbie doll during her identity crisis. Together, Gloria, Sasha, and Barbie thwart the CEO’s plans and return to Barbieland.

Meanwhile, Ken learns about the patriarchal system and experiences acceptance for the first time. Back in Barbie’s land, he convinces the other Kens to take control, leading to the subjugation of the Barbies into submissive roles. Barbie’s attempts to restore the balance are initially met with rejection, leaving her despondent. However, Gloria delivers an empowering speech about womanhood, inspiring Barbie to take action.

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With the support of Sasha, Gloria, Weird Barbie, Allan, and other discontinued dolls, the Barbies rise against the Kens, using their wits to outsmart them and reclaim their rightful positions of power. Recognizing the flaws in their previous societal structure, the Barbies opt for a more egalitarian society, offering equal treatment to the Kens and all marginalized dolls.

Barbie and Ken reconcile and acknowledge their shortcomings. Ken realizes that he needs to find his own identity and purpose beyond his relationship with Barbie. Meanwhile, Barbie, still uncertain of her own identity, receives guidance from the spirit of Ruth Handler, the co-founder of Mattel and the inventor of Barbie. Ruth reminds Barbie that her story is ever-evolving, surpassing her original roots.

Determined to embrace her humanity, Barbie decides to return to the real world. In time, Gloria, her husband, and Sasha accompany “Barbara Handler” (as Barbie now goes by) to her first gynecological appointment, symbolizing her journey into a new chapter of life as a human.

Where to Watch Barbie?

The highly-anticipated live-action Barbie film is set to hit theaters on July 21, 2023, as confirmed by Warner Bros. The movie’s duration has been disclosed to be 113 minutes, equivalent to one hour and 54 minutes.

As for its digital release, no specific date has been announced yet. However, based on the studio’s previous practices, it is likely to become available digitally approximately 45 days after its theatrical release. This pattern aligns with the typical release schedule followed by the studio.

Hence, audiences can expect to have the opportunity to watch the Barbie movie online around September 2023. It’s important to note that these plans are subject to change, and any alterations made by the studio could impact the digital release timeline. Fans are encouraged to keep an eye out for official announcements from Warner Bros. regarding the digital release date.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

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