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Mattel, Cartoon Network cement Barbie relationship

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MUMBAI: CGI animation, magic, ballet. These are the ingredients of Mattel Entertainment's new film Barbie of Swan Lake. The film airs on Cartoon Network on 5 October at 12 pm and 8 pm. It has been dubbed in Hindi.

 

This is the third film in which the doll positioned as every girl's best friend stars. Tchaikovsky's classic music is there in full glory in this modern reworking of the 19th century German fairytale. Barbie plays Odetta a girl trapped in an enchanting forest who learns about friendship, courage. The basic message is that with enough self-confidence everyone has the power to change the world. There is the handsome prince played by the Ken doll and the villain memorably voiced by Frasier's Kelsey Grammer. Funny moments come courtesy a variety of animals like Carlita the Skunk and Ivan the Porcupine. The film was created by Mainframe Entertainment and the music is played by the London Symphony Orchestra.

At a special preview of the film this afternoon Mattel Toys India's VP marketing Nanette D'sa said, "There were two previous movies before this - Barbie in The Nutcracker and Barbie as Rapunzel. The Nutcracker film we only released on VCD and DVD. Last year we aired Rapunzel on Cartoon Network. It emphasised the art of creative expression through drawing and painting. Barbie Rapunzel dolls flew off the shelves. The film was released in 59 markets across the world and translated into 35 languages.

"This time around the theme is visual arts and self-expression. The themes of all the Barbie films are very universal which any girl can easily relate with. Our new Barbie range allows girls at home to bring the film to life. The new range has been designed in such a manner that every character of the Swan Lake movie is brought to life. We are capitalising on the fact

that girls love make believe and transformation themes."

While Mattel and Nickelodeon have a strong relationship in the US and UK the company chose Cartoon Network as the channel partner because of its reach. "We decide on the partner country by country. Cartoon Network is a premium channel and not just a local channel. It reaches 22 million homes. The latest content is always present. Barbie is not just another doll. It is a world where girls have the opportunity to explore passion, friendship, fun and fantasy. All

of this is reflected in the film.

"While the film is the main focus in our attempt to further increase the immense popularity of the doll in India we will also be having increased in-store visibility in around 2500-3000 retail outlets across the country. In those stores patrons will get details of a contest Be A Princess. The written contest will culminate in 'Meet The Princess'. One girl will be dressed in Barbie clothes and of course there will be

plenty of Mattel giveaways.

"The contest is related to the theme of Swan Lake so that the child will learn and automatically respond. There will be an element of luck here. They have to write on something special they have done in life that could be compared to what Barbie does in the movie. We will also be airing television commercials promoting the Barbie range. The marketing campaign will run from October to December."

Mattel Toys India brand manager Chhavi Topa added, "The Barbie is always trying to help the child grow in some way. For instance one area of growth is understanding social activities. So a child can change the dolls dress and arrange the way she looks. In this way these skills are honed by the child as she grows up. The dolls role-play is to make the child

understand what it means to be grown up and responsible. We will however not be using Barbie in a storyline of any of Cartoon Network's shows. She will always appear through advertising or the cinema. She has an aura and a personality and one cannot see her as a cartoon figure."

Elaborating on the new collection D'sa said, "There are seven different types of items. The highlight is the Swan Lake Playset. It recreates the forest setting so that girls can play out the romantic dinner scene from the film. There is a tree slide pond, tree trunk tables with chairs and eating accessories for Princess Barbie and her animal friends. There is also Barbie as Oldetta. She is dressed in an elegant swan inspired gown. This continues from last year when girls were

fascinated by Barbies long hair as Rapunzel. Ken who plays the prince in the film sports the same regal outfit."

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