The Barbie Movie: Should You Bring Your Kids?

Barbie is the hit of the summer, but is this toy movie for kids? Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures
Barbie is the hit of the summer, but is this toy movie for kids? Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures
8/11/23 - By Cait Sumner

The Barbie Movie is taking the world by storm, but the question on the mind of many parents remains-- can I take my kids to see it? The iconic toy is loved by kids and adults alike, but whether or not your kids will actually enjoy the movie sort of depends on a couple of things. So, should you take your kids, or should you call the babysitter?

We talked to a bunch of parents of kids of various ages to get their take on the hottest movie of summer! Read on to see what they're saying.

And if you're looking for a great movie for family viewing at home, check out our Guide to the Best Movies and TV Shows for Kids and the Whole Family.


Sign up for our FREE newsletters to get posts like this delivered to your inbox.

The Barbie Movie has been a total box office blockbuster, bringing in over $1 billion worldwide! We've all seen the pictures of adults in Barbie cosplay flooding theaters. But Barbie is a toy. Should be a kids' movie, right? However, the PG-13 rating has left some parents confused and wondering if the film is intended for adults and kids alike, or if it's just nostalgia fuel for adults.

Barbie's PG-13 Rating

As far as the rating goes, there's really not a lot of language to worry about, no violence or gore, and the only sexual situations are heavy innuendos. Content-wise it is a very kid-friendly movie on the surface. The PG-13 is there for suggestive references (those innuendos I mentioned) and brief language, but there's nothing that's going to offend most kids or parents. As far as rating alone goes, I honestly would have been fine with my 8-year-old and 6-year-old watching this movie. That said, there's a bit more to it than that...

The music in Barbie is amazing! Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

The music in Barbie is amazing! Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

Thematic Elements in the Barbie Movie

The rating might be overkill, and the movie might not be offensive, but there are some BIG themes in this movie. This is where I was glad I didn't bring my kids. There are a lot of references to thoughts of death and mortality that many adults are all too familiar with, but might be too intense for kids to understand or handle. In addition, while I'm all about smashing the patriarchy, the heavy theme of patriarchy, which drives the whole plot of the movie, might go way over a lot of kids' heads leaving them feeling a bit bored. Trust me, you certainly won't want to have to miss the movie because your kid isn't feeling it.

I polled a bunch of other parents, and have gotten the same feedback from everyone—there weren't many young kids in any theaters, and the few that there were, were rather vociferous in their boredom. A friend reported hearing a little boy (probably about 5 or 6 years old) exclaim "This is not a fun movie for me!"Weird Barbie steals the show. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

Kate McKinnon as Weird Barbie steals every scene. Photo courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures

What Ages Will Enjoy the Barbie Movie?

While the rating might seem superfluous given the actual content of the movie, it's pretty accurate for what age is going to actually enjoy the movie. If your kid has some essential understanding of what patriarchy means, understands the concept of death, and knows what Barbie is, they'll totally dig this movie.

However, for adults this movie is definitely best enjoyed with other adults who will feel the kind of nostalgia you're going to feel watching this movie. You're going to laugh, you're going to cry, and you're going to want to send your tweens and teens to get dressed up and see it with their own friends. Then you can talk about Barbie, patriarchy, beaching off, and Kenergy at family dinner.

One last quick note: I've heard parents ask if boys who are old enough to see it will like it. From what I've heard, boys like it almost more than girls! The Kens, the dance-off, and Allan are every bit as funny and thought-provoking as Barbie.

So, get that babysitter, put on your pinkest attire, and grab a ticket and some popcorn for a great date night!

And if you need something Barbie to enjoy with your youngest kids who are catching Barbie-mania, check out the Barbie YouTube Channel, which is packed with pretty fun and funny shorts and short episodes.