Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper

Not to be confused with Barbie: The Princess & the Popstar.
Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper

Directed by William Lau
Produced by Jesyca C. Durchin
Jennifer Twiner McCarron
Written by Cliff Ruby
Kyla Marie Oficial
Based on The Prince and the Pauper
by Mark Twain (uncredited)
Starring Kelly Sheridan
Mark Hildreth
Alessandro Juliani
Ian James Corlett
Kathleen Barr
Martin Short
Narrated by Kelly Sheridan
Music by Arnie Roth
Edited by Greg Richardson
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment (original)
Universal Studios Home Entertainment (re-release)
Right Entertainment (UK)
Release dates
  • September 28, 2004 (2004-09-28)
Running time
85 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper is a 2004 direct-to-video computer animated Barbie film, and the first musical in the Barbie film series.[1] It is directed by William Lau and stars the voice of Kelly Sheridan, who has been voicing Barbie in all the CGI films to date, as both Anneliese and Erika. The story is loosely inspired by the Mark Twain novel The Prince and the Pauper, but it is unrelated to the 1939 film The Princess and the Pauper. It is the first movie not to be told by Barbie but instead narrated by her.

Songs for the film are written by Amy Powers, Megan Cavallari and Rob Hudnut, who also executive produced the film.


In an unnamed kingdom, a blonde princess and a brunette pauper are born simultaneously. The princess, Anneliese, craves freedom from her royal duties, especially when she is informed by her widowed mother, Queen Genevieve, that she must marry the wealthy king of a nearby kingdom because their royal treasury is nearly bankrupt. The pauper, Erika, craves a different sort of freedom as she is an indentured servant at Madame Carp's Dress Emporium to work off her parents' debt, but dreams of becoming a singer ("Free").

Unbeknownst to the royal family, the royal advisor Preminger has been having his minions Nick and Nack steal gold from the royal mines for some time. Preminger plans to announce his newfound wealth to Queen Genevieve, which he believes will allow him to marry Princess Anneliese. When Preminger learns that Queen Genevieve has approached King Dominick of Dulcimia to marry Anneliese, Preminger orders Nick and Nack to kidnap Anneliese, so that Preminger can stage his "rescuing" her, hoping that Queen Genevieve will give him Anneliese's hand in marriage ("How Can I Refuse?").

Anneliese and her tutor, Julian, are in love with one another, though they are unaware of the other's feelings. To cheer her up, Julian decides to take Anneliese into town. The princess crosses paths with Erika ("Written In Your Heart") and the girls are shocked to see how identical they are, the only differences between them being their hair colour and the crown-shaped birthmark on Anneliese's right shoulder. The girls become friends ("I Am A Girl Like You").

On the same night, Anneliese is kidnapped and a fake letter is left on her desk stating Anneliese "ran away" to avoid marrying King Dominick. Julian suspects she was kidnapped by Preminger, so he asks Erika to impersonate the princess until he can rescue the real Anneliese ("To Be A Princess"). Erika agrees to the temporary ruse, and surprises Preminger when she arrives to welcome King Dominick. Dominick and Erika fall in love, despite Erika's fear of being thrown into prison when revealed that she is an imposter ("If You Love Me For Me").

Anneliese manages to escape from Preminger's men, but after a series of events ends up being recaptured by Preminger and thrown into the mines with Julian, who had been following Preminger. Upon returning to the castle, Preminger exposes Erika as a fraud and claims that she had conspired with Julian to kill and replace the real princess. Erika, unable to prove her good intentions, is locked away in a small cell by the queen. After convincing everyone that the princess is dead, Preminger persuades Queen Genevieve to marry him to save the kingdom ("How Can I Refuse? (Reprise)"). Erika manages to escape from her cell and bumps into Dominick, who reveals that he doesn't believe that Preminger is telling the truth. Elsewhere, Anneliese and Julian confess their love for each other and work together to escape the mines.

At the queen's wedding, Anneliese arrives in time to stop the marriage and reveals Preminger's deceit. After confessing to her mother that she loves Julian and does not wish to marry King Dominick, Anneliese presents to the queen a solution to the kingdom's gold shortage: the rocks discarded by the miners actually hold amethysts and the mine is full of them.

Dominick confesses his love for Erika and asks if she would marry him. Erika, freed from her debt to Madam Carp thanks to Anneliese, chooses not to accept marriage just yet so that she achieve her dream of singing all around the world. After several months, she realizes that the place she would really like to sing is among her friends, and returns to marry Dominick while Anneliese marries Julian in a double wedding ("Finale").

Voice cast


This film is the first musical in the series of Barbie CGI films. The entire soundtrack (including popular duets and the opening orchestral theme) can be found on the "Barbie Sings! The Princess Movie Song Collection" CD, released by Mattel in 2004.

The songs in the film are, in chronological order, as follows.

  1. Free - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
  2. How Can I Refuse? - Performed by Martin Short (Preminger)
  3. Written in Your Heart (opening) - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika)
  4. I Am a Girl Like You - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
  5. To Be a Princess - Performed by Alessandro Juliani (Julian) & Julie Stevens (Erika)
  6. The Cat's Meow - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika)
  7. If You Love Me for Me - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Mark Luna (Dominick)
  8. Written in Your Heart - Performed by Julie Stevens (Erika) & Melissa Lyons (Anneliese)
  9. I'm on My Way - Performed by Sara Niemietz

Critical response

DVD Verdict called it "wholesome entertainment" with "sweet songs tunefully sung" though lacking in grown-up humor.[3] Entertainment Weekly scored it a B+, noting a generally "feminist" story, and DVD extras including seven sing-along tracks.[4] TV Guide scored it 2.5/4, praising the "peppy score" and classic story as distinguishing an otherwise "ordinary Mattel-icized version of the classic tale".[5]

Home Media release

The DVD and VHS was released on September 28, 2004 and distributed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The re-release was released on January 5, 2010 by Universal Studios. The DVD also included the movie soundtrack.

Video game

A video game for Game Boy Advance, PC, and Macintosh was released in 2004 by Vivendi Universal. In the Game Boy Advance title, the plot follows that of the movie: players must thwart Preminger's attempt to take over the kingdom by marrying Anneliese. Players control four characters: Anneliese, Erika, Serafina, and Wolfie.


  1. "Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper". Barbie. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  2. "Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper". IMDb. Retrieved 23 January 2013.
  3. Steve Evans, "Barbie As The Princess And The Pauper" (Review), DVD Verdict, February 10th, 2005
  4. Mandi Bierly, "Barbie As The Princess And The Pauper" (Review), Entertainment Weekly, Oct 01, 2004
  5. Robert Pardi, "Barbie As The Princess And The Pauper" (Review), TV Guide

External links

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