The Barbie main trailer has finally arrived – and it finally gives some insight into Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach’s weird and wonderful take on the iconic doll. The basic premise seems to be that Margot Robbie’s Barbie is living a perfect life in Barbieland when things start to go wrong… One day there’s no water, her feet are flat, and she’s started considering her mortality ("Do you guys ever think about dying?" – Yes, Barbie. We really do). Her issues see her head to the Real World to find some answers, with Ryan Gosling’s enthusiastic Ken in tow.
Not only does the trailer give us some plot details, but it’s also full of fun references and Easter eggs. From a potential nod to a rival doll company to a lot of tiny moments at poor Ken’s expense, there are so many fun hidden parts of the Warner Bros. trailer to explore. We’ve taken a forensic dive into every frame of the latest trailer to pick out some of the best ones we spotted below, in order of appearance.
The World Map
Early on in the trailer, Barbie pays a visit to Weird Barbie to try and work out what is going on with her feet (among other things). In the background, her world map can be seen, hinting that Kate McKinnon’s character has a bit of an obsession with the Real World. There are some fun tidbits in there, including that England has a crown and Australia is upside down, clearly riffing on it being 'Down Under' (and given Robbie’s involvement in the movie, this feels like deliberate...).
Weird Barbie’s Look
Interestingly, McKinnon’s Weird Barbie might be one of the most authentic dolls in the movie. As one fan points out, the dolls that many of us grew up with usually ended up with some odd (and heartbreakingly irreversible) hairstyles. "Kate McKinnon is the Barbie that has been abused and coloured on and had her hair cut," wrote the fan on Reddit. "That’s how we really played with Barbies!"
The Pink Brick Road
While the second Barbie trailer featured loads of references to The Wizard of Oz (including its poster in the cinema window), there are only a few here. Namely, the pink brick road that Barbie drives along makes an appearance, and is, of course, a nod to the Yellow Brick Road. Many have pointed out the plot similarities between the two movies already, with its main character being a fish-out-of-water in a new place, and it clearly seems the movie will be a big reference point for Gerwig’s version.
The Different Worlds Barbie Travels
On her way to get to the Real World, Barbie and Ken travel through several different worlds which seem to be nods to classic Barbie sets. There’s the Barbie Dream Boat, Barbie Space Discover, the Barbie Dream Camper, and Winter Sports Barbie too. The only one we can’t locate is the tandem bike being driven through a tulip field, but given the attention to detail throughout, we’re sure it’s got a place in Barbie lore somewhere.
Gosling’s Ken is definitely going to be the butt of the joke throughout the movie, and we’ve already seen some fun references to this so far. Our favorite in the trailer is when Barbie and Ken have their mugshots taken. While Barbie’s one says her name, his has the addition of "And Ken". Poor Ken, he's nothing without Barbie – which Helen Mirren sums up in the voiceover, "Barbie has a great day every day. Ken only has a good day if Barbie looks at him."
Everything Is Barbie-Themed In Barbieland
We get another, closer look at Barbieland in the new trailer too, and it's clear that everything will have a Barbie-themed twist on it there. In some of the early shots, the airport is called 'BAX' while you can see a Barbie Statue of Liberty in the beach scene too. Then in another, where Ken is playing the drums on the beach, 'Barbiedales’ can be spotted in the background, which is clearly a nod to the department store Bloomingdale's.
Warner Bros. Discovery Tower
Speaking about things in the background, in the board meeting at Mattel headquarters where Will Ferrell is complaining about Barbie making it into the Real World, a familiar name can be seen in the background. There’s a skyscraper that has 'Warner Bros. Discovery' written on it in a nod to the studio producing the movie.
Bratz Doll Comparison
As soon as the Barbie trailer was released, fans on Twitter started speculating that it might contain a cheeky nod to doll rivals the Bratz dolls. A group of girls, featuring Ariana Greenblatt, tell Robbie’s character that they haven’t played with Barbie dolls since they were younger. But, some people noticed that they look quite similar to the main four Bratz dolls, Yasmin, Cloe, Jade, and Sasha. "This was clearly a reference to the Bratz, which has always been a competitor to the Barbie, and which many children have come to prefer as they get older," wrote one Twitter user. "I'm speechless, EVERYTHING is purposeful in this movie and has a greater meaning."
The Mysterious Ruth
At one point, a voiceover is attributed to a character called Ruth, who says: "Humans only have one ending." It’s not clear who is saying this, or who the person narrating it is, but could this be a nod to Ruth Handler, the creator of Barbie? Handler invented the doll in 1959 and served as the first head of Mattel, so a reference to her would definitely not be out of place.
What’s Going On With The Kendom?
Now this one might be a bit of a spoiler… So if you want to go in fresh to the movie, skip this entry. But, it seems there’s something fishy going on in Barbieland while Robbie’s character is away. Early on in the trailer, you can see her driving away, and it reads 'Barbieland' in the rainbow in her rearview. However, later on, some other characters, which seem to include Micheal Cera’s Alan, are in a car where the sign has been changed to 'Kendom'. Could this mean the Kens have been trying to take over?
Aqua’s Barbie Girl
Last, but definitely not least, the trailer ends with a sample of Aqua’s 'Barbie Girl', which is literally music to our ears. After its omission in the trailers so far, we know now that the iconic song will make a remixed appearance. Let's hope we get to hear it stat...
Barbie releases in theaters on July 21, 2023. For more upcoming movies, check out our breakdown of all of the 2023 movie release dates.