Updated On: November 09, 2023 by Raghda Elsabbagh
Since the release of the official trailer of the long-awaited Barbie movie, the world is counting down to 21 July. Are you ready to become a Barbie Girl this summer?
Since her creation 60 years ago, Barbie has become more than just a toy. With her flawless beauty and sleek, fashionable outfits with the Barbie signature, she has become an iconic figure, a symbol of perfection and inspiration for generations of young girls worldwide, making the new Barbie movie an eagerly anticipated cinematic event.
The Barbie movie trailer promises a visual feast for the eyes; Barbie‘s filmmakers have woven together a tapestry of enchanting filming locations that will transport the audience to extraordinary realms from the candy-hued pink Barbie world to the vibrant and lively streets of Los Angeles.
If you have yet to see the trailer, watch below for a sneak peek of what’s in store.
Here is a quick overview of the plot, cast and directing before immersing in the movie’s setting.
“I’m a Barbie girl in a Barbie world! Life in plastic, it’s fantastic! Come on, Barbie, let’s go party!“
The iconic Aqua song’s lyrics have forever been engraved in our minds and souls, and the movie’s beginning revives those vibes with a more modern take on our favourite plastic heroine.
The trailer starts with Margot Robbie, as Barbie, inviting Ryan Gosling, Ken, for a giant blowout party in the glamorous, vibrantly pink Barbie world, where we also see other versions of Barbie and Ken. The few seconds showcasing the enchanting, pink-bombed scenes in Barbie world ought to leave you captivated and charmed.
From dazzling parties to dreamy castle settings, living in a Barbie world is a fantasy come true where everything is meticulously perfect. With the first few scenes, you will embrace nostalgia and relive the magic of childhood when imagination knew no limits and dreams were as tangible as the doll in your hands.
However, the pressure to maintain perfection can lead to an existential crisis and a sense of emptiness. As the trailer goes on, we see Barbie being forced to leave her magical world for being a less-than-perfect doll to embark on a thrilling quest to the human world in search of happiness and self-purpose. Once again, we will see how Barbie has always been more than just a beautiful face. She embodies the spirit of resilience, curiosity and fearlessness, unveiling her inner strengths on her journey.
The movie features a huge, star-studded cast led by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. We will also see Will Ferrell, well-known for his comedic talent, who will play the CEO of Mattel, the toy company manufacturing Barbie dolls. Other prominent actors include Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, Michael Cera, Kate McKinnon, America Ferrera, Ariana Greenblatt, Alexandra Shipp, Nicola Coughlan, Rhea Perlman, and many more. Honestly, we cannot wait to see all the interactions between the stars and their characters!
Barbie was co-written by the talented Greta Gerwig and Oscar nominee Noah Baumbach and directed by Gerwig. With Gerwig at the helm, the movie promises to have a feminist edge and carry a message of female empowerment, highlighting the idea that women can dream and achieve anything.
In an interview with Vogue, Margot Robbie hinted that the movie would defy expectations and challenge assumptions about Barbie’s character. She acknowledged that Barbie movies usually carry preconceived biased notions. Yet, with Gerwig’s involvement, the film has already sparked intrigue and shifted perceptions.
The Filming Locations
Let us dive deeper into where exactly Barbie‘s magic was captured on camera and the mesmerising filming locations that brought our beloved doll’s story to life. Barbie shooting started in March 2022 on the premises of Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, in the UK. Shooting resumed in Los Angeles, California, USA and ended in July 2022. Two of the most exciting cities in the world have united to bring out a cinematic masterpiece.
Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden, UK
Barbie‘s on-set filming kicked off here. Barbie Land is a computer-generated imagery (CGI) world created at Warner Bros. (WB) Studios. Located in Watford, Hertfordshire, in Southeast England, Leavesden Studios, owned by Warner Bros., is a film media complex converted from the historic Leavesden Aerodrome, an aircraft factory used during World War II.
The studios offer vast flexible space, including stages and an extensive backlot spanning 32 hectares; the location provides an uninterrupted horizon ideal for exterior sets. After a significant refurbishment costing over £110 million, the studios are now considered one of the largest and most technologically advanced filmmaking facilities globally.
While Warner Bros. owns the studios, they are also available for rent to other productions. The studio was home to the shooting of the timeless Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In addition, the site features a popular public attraction called Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, which welcomes thousands of visitors daily.
In June 2022, Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling were shooting on-set in Los Angeles wearing matching bleach blonde hair, western outfits, pink for Barbie and black for Ken, white-heeled cowboy boots and white cowboy hats.
Even Will Ferrell was also witnessed donning roller skates with a pink shirt, pink tie and a black-suit combo during the shooting in Los Angeles. A photograph revealed a group of men, including Ferrell, skating together, accompanied by British comedian Jamie Demetriou and actor Connor Swindells.
Here are some of the places the actors were spotted in:
The Regency Village Movie Theatre, Los Angeles, California
The Regency Village Movie Theatre, located in Westwood Village at UCLA in Los Angeles, California, is a prominent filming spot seen in the Barbie movie, where Barbie walks past.
The theatre has been an iconic destination for movie premieres, film festivals, and red-carpet events, thanks to its grand architecture and art deco design. It has been featured in numerous TV shows and blockbuster films, including Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, and Margot Robbie. The theatre’s rich history and central location make it a favoured choice for Hollywood filmmakers.
You can explore the theatre, learn about its filming legacy, and imagine yourself walking the same red carpet as renowned stars, where you can witness the glamour and excitement of the film industry.
Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California
After watching the trailer, we have all spotted Ryan Gosling and the platinum-hued Margot Robbie roller skating in matching neon psychedelic outfits, complete with visors. Accessorised with neon yellow skates, neon protective gear, a neon fanny pack for Gosling and neon hoop earrings for Robbie, their outfits were strikingly eye catchy. In this scene, we know that Barbie shooting has made its way to the vibrant world-famous Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California.
With its eclectic boardwalk, sandy shores, and diverse range of activities, Venice Beach, hands down, has offered an exciting shooting set for the cast and crew. In the scene, Barbie and Ken were grinning, mesmerised by the “real world”, wondering why people stared at them as they rolled down the Venice boardwalk.
A fortunate coincidence occurred during the filming at The Venice Hotel, situated at Venice Boardwalk and Westminster Ave. The hotel happened to be hosting a live stream, and as a result, the film shooting process was broadcasted. The live stream video showcases moments as the production team worked its magic, allowing viewers to immerse themselves in the behind-the-scenes energy up close. The captivating footage highlights Venice’s unique iconic atmosphere and artistic spirit, making it an enticing experience for those interested in the film industry.
For Real-Life Barbies and Kens: Best Things to Do in Venice, Los Angeles
Venice was established by Abbot Kinney in 1905 as a seaside resort town. It remained an independent city until its annexation by Los Angeles in 1926. Now, Venice is a lively coastal neighbourhood in Los Angeles, offering a mix of upscale commercial areas and residential pockets.
If you are in Los Angeles, you should take advantage of the vibrant energy beating in Venice’s neighbourhood. Let us point out some famous landmarks and activities to indulge in Venice.
Get Sun-Kissed on the Pacific Venice Beach
First things first: head to Venice Beach. Find a spot on the beach, lay your towel on its pristine sandy shoreline, soak up the California sun and relax. Unwind as you enjoy the ocean breeze tickling the tip of your nose and brushing through your hair. Lose yourself to the panoramic vistas of the horizon on the Pacific.
Take a refreshing splash in the chilly ocean, play beach volleyball with your travel companions, or simply enjoy a peaceful beachcombing session along the water’s edge. For some adrenaline rush, why not take your first surfing lesson? With multiple surfing classes and instructors on the beach, you will definitely add a signature activity to your itinerary.
Visited daily by nearly 28,000 to 30,000 people, the iconic Venice Beach is one of the most popular destinations in the area. Thus, the Department of Recreation and Parks manages it and organises a wide range of activities, including basketball, paddle tennis and handball tournaments on the beach. The beach also features a fishing pier and two children’s play areas. These amenities, which are open to the public daily, keep all culturally diverse visitors exhilarated.
Venice Beach’s appeal also extends to the film industry, with productions frequently choosing this highly spirited location for shooting. All year round, filmmakers take advantage of the sports courts, skate plaza, pier, pristine beach stretch and other facilities offered by Venice Beach to bring their visions to life.
Stroll Along the Venice Beach Boardwalk
One of the quintessential experiences on Venice Beach is taking a stroll along the famous Venice Beach Boardwalk, also recognised as The Ocean Front Walk. This bustling promenade, spanning about 4km, is lined with street performers, vendors, fortune-tellers and artists. It offers a glimpse into the colourful and bohemian culture of the area. Its bohemian spirit is unique; it is the second most-visited destination in Southern California, luring over ten million visitors annually.
Fantastic artworks, from sculptures to colourful murals, dot this stretch of the boardwalk adorning the city’s street walls. The Venice Art Walls will be a haven for your free spirit if you are an artist. Located right on the boardwalk, the Venice Art Walls are free canvases accessible to any artist, beginner or expert. Since painting on walls is considered vandalism, you must get a permit, usually offered on-site. If you do not have the art skills but still appreciate art, you can sit back and watch the experts weave their masterpieces.
As you leisurely wander, soak in the sights and sounds of this iconic place, enjoy its lively atmosphere, browse through unique shops and boutiques, and indulge in foodie hot spots and cafes.
Running alongside the Boardwalk is the Venice Beach Bike Path. If you would rather breathe in nature than wander in the crowds, rent a bike and hop over to the bike path treating your soul to the lively energy of the boardwalk and treating your eyes to the breathtaking beach scenery on your ride.
Visit the Skate Park and the Muscle Beach Outdoor Gym
For those seeking a more active outdoor experience, take advantage of the chance to roll down the lane of Venice Beach Skate Park and work out in Muscle Beach Gym. Venice Skate Park is a public facility considered the birthplace of modern skateboarding and significantly contributes to the development of the sport.
Skateboarding initially developed in the 1940s, but the sport started blooming in the 70’s when a drought left Venice Beach engraved with empty pools. Skateboarders used these pools as their training playgrounds— living proof of finding opportunities in problems. It was in the early 2000s that local skateboarders, led by Jesse Martinez, initiated the skatepark’s construction.
If the park is too challenging for your skill levels, you can watch the expert skateboarders and BMX riders showcase their talents and perform art. Brace yourself to get wowed by their tricks and moves.
Muscle Beach Outdoor Gym is the home for bodybuilding. It is considered the birthplace of some of the most recognised bodybuilders, including Franco Columbu and Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can either work out to the beats of the pulsating rap music or only be a spectator witnessing impressive feats of strength and agility, where bodybuilders perform awe-inspiring routines.
Explore the Venice Canals
Venture away from the beach and discover the charming Venice Canals. This architectural masterpiece pays homage to its namesake in Italy. Initially designed by Abbot Kinney, these artificial canals offer a tranquil escape from the lively beach scene. Floating along the picturesque canals is a must-do. You can rent a canoe or schedule a private tour. Admire the beautiful modernist homes and gardens nestled amidst the canals, and soak in the serene ambience of this hidden gem.
Indulge in the Local Cuisine
Let your taste buds party with all the delicious foods from food trucks, seaside cafes and trendy eateries along the boardwalk. Since the beach is a melting pot of different cultures, you will stumble upon a diverse culinary scene.
What is so interesting is the Food Trucks Galore event on the first Friday of every month on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Food lovers, this event is a party for your palate! As you walk down the boulevard, grab some bites and treats. The menus and trucks change monthly, so expect new adventures for your taste buds each time.
Treat Your Eyes to the Vividly Adorned Mosaic Tile House
If you are an art buff, a photographer or simply enjoy all that is bizarre and new, you would want to attend the Mosaic Tile House. Located on Palms Boulevard, it is a one-of-a-kind multicoloured folk art masterpiece.
Initially, it was a dull, lifeless house bought in the 1940s by a loving couple, Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran, who happened to be artists. With their love and out-of-this-world creativity, they transformed it into a giant artistic masterpiece, covering every inch in colourful, vibrant mosaic tiles. The couple started from the bathroom and crawled slowly to the rooms, walls and cabinets until the entire house was covered with colour-popping mosaics. The tour will be nothing less than breathtaking. The house walk-through tours are only open on Saturdays and require online booking, so make sure you schedule in advance.
In a nutshell, there is one thing we are sure of this summer. The Barbie movie will definitely be a blockbuster hit! Brace yourself for a cinematic experience that promises a roller coaster change of settings from a glamourous, pink, magical world with pink shores to the vibrant-spirited streets and golden sandy beaches of LA with its unique blend of arts, culture, and lively entertainment. So mark your calendars for 21 July and get ready to dance and dream with Barbie!