Barbie: Life in the Dreamhouse is an animated web series based on the popular Mattel franchise Barbie. It is produced by Rob Hudnut, David Wiebe and Michelle Coogan at Arc Productions and distributed by Mattel. The series premiered on the official website and YouTube on May 11, 2012 and is currently part way through its sixth season. When the show is airing, a new episode debuts each week and is translated into 21 different languages, and it is both mobile and tablet-optimized.
The series is set as a reality TV-esque show following Barbie and her friends Ken, Teresa, Nikki, Midge, Summer, Ryan and Raquelle, as well as her sisters Skipper, Stacie and Chelsea and their pets Tawny the horse, Taffy the dog and Blissa the cat in the day-to-day activities that take place in the Dreamhouse and surrounding areas.
Much of the humor in the show derives from parodying and lampooning both the traditional reality TV format and the Barbie franchise itself - the dolls, for example, are perfectly aware that they are dolls and use oversized items, warn of the dangers of cutting their hair because it never grows back and need to wear sunscreen so that they don't melt.
See also list of characters
The series has a main cast of eleven Barbie dolls, two of which are male, in addition to three Barbie doll pets, and a number of supporting and background characters who are compromised of fish, car parts, celebrities/news reporters and a sentient closet.
Age and sexEdit
The only doll whose age is definitively known is Chelsea, who turns six during Happy Birthday Chelsea. Skipper appears to be between 15 and 17 years old, while Stacie falls somewhere in between her two sisters. The topic of Barbie's age was brought up multiple times during Gifts, Goofs, Galore, with no doll being able to provide an answer until Barbie told them at the end of the episode. Unfortunately for us, this was blocked out for the viewers by Shoe-Vacuuming Robot. Barbie has more than 43 years old as mentioned in the first episode. Ryan and Raquelle are the same age, as they are twins, and Ken, Teresa, Nikki, Midge and Summer are assumed to be around the same age as each other.
- Barbie: Let’s face it — Barbie is the doll who has it all. She’s a fashion icon who has a fab home, the best friends and the perfect guy who’s nuts about her. She’s great at everything, while remaining humble and kind, and is always there to cheer on her friends no matter the challenges. That’s why everyone loves her.
- Ken: The best boyfriend in the world, he wants to be the perfect guy to the perfect gal, but hasn’t quite got the perfection thing down the way Barbie does. He loves creating new crazy gadgets to make her life easier, but sometimes they do the opposite. Though his over-eagerness to please leads to some mishaps, his heart is always beating Ba-Ba, Ba-Ba Barbie.
- Teresa: Always there for her friends (just maybe not on time), Teresa is the mellow, live-and-let-live type. Sarcasm is lost on this boho-chic gal, who subscribes to as many conspiracy theories as she does gossip magazines. What she says is what she means… for better or for worse.
- Nikki: Smart, sassy, and totally fun to be around, Nikki is a “what you see is what you get” kind of girl. For her, no adventure is too crazy. To her friends she’s a softy, but if someone crosses one of her dolls, they’ll discover a dose of her wicked wit. And as everyone knows from her in-the-know vlog, she has her finger on the pulse of what is trending right this second.
- Ryan: Like his twin sister, Raquelle, Ryan knows he's hot. He loves showing off his plastic abs and bad boy ’tude. But this wanna-be musician doesn’t fantasize about taking Barbie down a notch (like his sis does); instead he dreams of taking her out on a date.
- Raquelle: For Raquelle, excess defines her posh lifestyle. Roughing it is not having a butler. The only thing to put a crack in her diamond sheen is Barbie. She dreams of catching her Malibu neighbor in a fashion fail and posting the pics on the web. She also wouldn’t mind stealing her boyfriend.
- Midge: (introduced in season 3) The original bestie of Barbie from Willows, Wisconsin, Midge is a throwback to the 1960s. Thanks to Barbie, she’s gone from flashback to flash fab in no time, but when she gets nervous (especially around Ryan) she reverts back to slang like groovy and threads. It’s her super smarts and quirky style that make her absolutely a-dork-able!
- Summer: (introduced in season 4) Summer is a whirlwind of energy, who only has one mode - go, go, go! The former runway model now strives to master every sport in the world. For her, even the simplest activities have ways of turning into epic contests. Some find this competitive spirit a bit too much, but Barbie just adores her undying enthusiasm.
- Skipper: The oldest of the three younger sisters of Barbie, Skipper is a tech guru/budding filmmaker. When she’s not directing her fam in her next movie masterpiece, she’s texting, gaming and talking… sometimes at the same time. Of all the sisters, she's the one who wonders, "Should I do what Barbie does or do the last thing Barbie would do?"
- Stacie: Extreme sports lover Stacie keeps everyone on their toes with her hyperkinetic energy, drill sergeant-like scheduling and entirely honest views on boring activities. She easily fits in with the guys, but doesn’t get why Skipper seems to be obsessed with them.
- Chelsea: Chelsea is the youngest of the sisters and knows how to work her cuteness well. This adorable 6-year-old always seems to come up with the exact super-cute thing to say in order to win over her sisters and their friends.
- Tawny: This noble steed of Barbie is by her mistress’s side with just a whistle. Living the fab life with Barbie has certainly gone to her head. She is lovably neurotic about her looks — from her immaculate mane to her designer horseshoes.
- Taffy: The pampered pooch of Barbie isn’t just fond of the finer things like filet mignon and doggy spas, but also has a sophisticated taste for art and literature. She loves nothing more than a good chew toy, classical music and a nice long belly rub.
- Blissa: Blissa, the fickle feline, always purrs for Barbie, but everyone else has to be on alert. She’ll either snuggle up with Dreamhouse guests or turn their pant legs into scratching posts.
- See also the list of episodes
Season one premiered on May 11, 2012 on the official Barbie website, however due to a mix-up Party Foul was uploaded for a brief moment in December of 2011 before being taken down. The first six episodes were released in pairs and uploaded every Friday to both the Dreamhouse website and YouTube, however they were often uploaded a day early. From episode 7 onwards, they were released once a week until July 20, when the season finale, The Barbie Boutique, was released. Episodes uploaded onto YouTube are available in 1080p HD, while they are of considerably lower quality on the Barbie website. Season one consisted of fourteen episodes, each around 3:20 in length.
Season One ExtrasEdit
Four bonus videos, each shorter than a usual episode, were uploaded on various YouTube accounts between June and September of 2012. Fan Mail and Barbie Technical Institute were originally uploaded to the Canadian Toys R Us YouTube channel as exclusives, however they were later reuploaded to the official Barbie channel and the website. These bonus episodes go for roughly a minute long each. Sand Away was initially a French exclusive uploaded some time in August, however it was uploaded on September 19 in English to the Barbie channel. Ken and Robot is a short, 20-second extra that was uploaded on September 24. In addition to the four bonus episodes, a full, 2-minute long music video featuring an extended version of the main title theme set to various clips from season one. A 'teaser' video was also uploaded prior to the series' premiere which features clips from season one as well as a number of clips not seen in season one.
Season two premiered on October 12, 2012 with The Reunion Show and episodes were released every Thursday onto both Barbie's YouTube channel and the Life in the Dreamhouse website. This season consisted of nine episodes, with the season finale airing as the show's first 2-parter, Gone Glitter Gone. Similarly to season one, episodes are available in 1080p HD on Barbie's YouTube account, with the Dreamhouse website offering a lower quality version. Episodes of season two were often longer than that of season one, with many episodes going longer than the 3:20 average from the previous season. The season finale, Gone Glitter Gone - Part 2 is the show's longest episode to date, going for 4:21.
Season Two ExtrasEdit
Two bonus videos were uploaded to the Barbie YouTube account as well as the Dreamhouse website between December 2012 and January 2013. While shorter than full episodes, they were considerably longer than previous bonus videos. Ryan's Greatest Hits was uploaded on December 19 and goes for around a minute long while Everybody Needs A Ken was uploaded on January 17 and goes for a full 3 minutes.
Season three premiered on February 6, 2013 where episodes were shifted from a Friday release date to a Wednesday one. Episodes were uploaded to the Dreamhouse website and YouTube within the span of an hour of each other. This season consisted of eight episodes and introduced the character of Midge part-way through. Like the past two seasons, season three is available in 1080p on Barbie's YouTube account as well as in lower quality on the Dreamhouse website. Episodes of season three, like the season before it, were longer than episodes from season one. The shortest episode of the season, Playing Heart to Get was 2:28 long while the longest, the season finale Let's Make A Doll clocked in at 3:59.
Season four premiered on June 26, 2013 and follows the past season's release day of being a Wednesday. Episodes were uploaded to the Dreamhouse website and YouTube within an hour of each other. This season has nine episodes and introduced the character of Summer in the season premiere. Similar to the previous seasons, season 4 is available in 1080p on the Barbie YouTube account as well as in lower quality on the Dreamhouse website.
Two 11-minute episodes aired on Nickelodeon at 12pm on September 1, 2013. "Perf Poolparty" has been officially released online, "Trapped in the Dreamhouse" hasn't yet and it has been confirmed that one of the episodes will be included on an upcoming DVD release. These specials will act as a possible pilot episode if Nickelodeon decides to pick the show up for a full TV season.
The fifth season of the show began airing on October 2, 2013. It was made up of five episodes in total - three new, regular-length episodes in addition to the two longer 11-minute episodes that made up the Nickelodeon special. While the longer episodes aired first, they take place canonically after the 3 new episodes, as the reason for Barbie's elevator being out of order in Trapped in the Dreamhouse is explained in Stuck With You. As with all previous seasons, episodes are available to view on YouTube as well as the Dreamhouse website.
Season six began airing on February 5, 2014 and is currently part-way through. This season will consist of seven episodes, including the show's second two-parter episode, after season 2's Gone Glitter Gone. Episodes are available to view on the Barbie YouTube channel as well as the new, updated Dreamhouse website, however these episodes are now linked to the YouTube versions rather than being hosted separately as they were on the old site.
Episodes of the show became available on Netflix on October 4, 2013. The official description is, "Join blond icon Barbie and her pals as their behind-the-scenes adventures are revealed in this animated Web series. Comfortably housed in her Malibu mansion, the doll with it all invites viewers to share her fabulous, fashion-forward lifestyle." Episode one consists of Trapped in the Dreamhouse and Perf Pool Party; episode two consists of Closet Princess, Closet Princess 2.0, Closet Clothes Out, Licensed to Drive, Primp My Ride, The Shrinkerator, and The Upgradening.
- Grant George as Randy Bravo
The voice work is provided by the Los Angeles-based Resnick Interactive Group.