There have been several American computer animated and motion capture-based direct-to-video films based on and featuring the doll Barbie. Since her film debut appearance in 1987’s Barbie and the Rockers: Out of this World, Barbie has been a computer-animated virtual actress starring in several feature films and short films (including a 1998 video game, Barbie: Riding Club, that contains a short film). After a fourteen-year absence, Mattel commissioned films to feature Barbie as a heroine of several princess or fairy-themed stories to accompany a franchise of related dolls and accessories. Barbie also made appearances in My Scene, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3.
Many of the Barbie movies are stand alone tales. There are several series within the overall collection. The most notable of these are the Barbie Princesses Collection series, Barbie Fairytopia series, mermaid-themed series, modern day-themed series, as well as musical and ballet series. Some films are based on the stories of E.T.A. Hoffmann, the Brothers Grimm, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Hans Christian Andersen and Alexander Dumas. Some also include music from Tchaikovsky, Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn, and Adolphe Adam.
The series is produced by Mattel Entertainment. Since 2010 (beginning with Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale), Started by Universal Studios. Mattel refers themselves as “Barbie Entertainment” exclusively for the Barbie film production. The films can be seen occasionally on Nickelodeon, usually before the official DVD release as an advertising tool to encourage permanent ownership of the films on DVD or other digital video forms. Mattel purchases the time from Nickelodeon to air them, usually on Sunday afternoons.