Okay, where should I begin? I've watched the movie at last and I'm utterly in great disappointment. I expected Secret Door to be better than Pearl Princess since it is based on a book and is the Autumn-released version. Seemed promising. Not to mention from the 2D animation, the Barbie is very attractive and beautiful. Unfortunately, it is worse and I even won't watch it twice in a long period.
On scale 1 to 10, I rate it less than 1. The colour is the main problem of this movie, Zinnia kingdom's colour to be precise. Zinnia's colours are extremely hurting my eyes. The grass' colour is not green but blueish green, the plants and the creatures' colours are unnatural and clash making them terrible. Sure you can say that it's a magical, imaginary kingdom, but at least you can do a matching colour combination. Striking purple combined with yellow and green? They are link. You want to make it unique? Take a picture of The Lorax's Truffula forest. The colours are cute to me. Fortunately, though it is far from impressing, outside Zinnia's place colour is still acceptable. At least the colours are sensible and matching. (You can compare Truffula to Zinnia with the picture below and see which one do you prefer.)
First of all, the Zinnia's plants. Enormous sunflowers, tall red, yellow, and purple flowers with purple spiral stalks, and etc. are too confusing. Take a picture of The Lorax again. The Truffula trees looks like colourful tall cotton candies. Sweet and soft XD. The Zinnia castle's design is riddikulus, I mean ridiculous. The magical abnormal creatures are not just having flopping colours, but also design. I cried at the horrible design of The Tigger-tailed-like creatures, whatever they are called, Sniff, Whiff, Grodlin and co. In the real world, only If I Had Magic scene that I found being absurd. What are the 2D-animated shoes, bed, flowers etc.??? Could they animate something a bit better? If they are funky jokes to me, they're terrible.
The plot supposed to be good like I've said before. It is adapted from a book like Barbie movies used to be. Of course I didn't wish for it to be like the old movies which had strong plots and interesting plot twists along with good character development. Furthermore, from the official summary of Secret Door, the part: 'Discover what happens when Alexa finds the courage to stand up for what's right and learns that the power of friendship is far more precious than magic'. Wow! How beautiful ^^. Yet, in the movie I didn't get that message. Instead, what I received was 'I've got magic, so I've gained my confidence and now I can do everything flawlessly! Yay!' Hmm, inconsistency in the plot development. Also the jokes, the punishment (Odile and Crystal), the speech (modern princesses' jobs are to make speeches like Tori), are all reused from the previous movies, making it unoriginal. Moreover, it's like everything in the movie doesn't make any sense. Why don't Grodlin and co. manage a plan to take Malucia's sceptre by force? She is small and often standing very close to them. One big trog hold her and he snatches it, very easy :D. And it doesn't seems very clear how did Alexa get her confidence after she entered Zinnia? It should have been more like Swan Lake. It is clear how Odette gained her bravery. Plus Alexa's magic vs little girl's magic [sceptre] is ludicrous! Final word in this section: UNDERDEVELOPED! The plot is underdeveloped. All are only good on the surface. I was deceived :'(.
Who is my least favourite Barbie? I can easily replied, Princess Alexa. She's a disgrace of Liana's best friend Alexa by repeating her name. Why??? Her 'shy', bookworm character is absolutely boring. Though she's not a fake shy like Catania, she's far worse than the lovely Catania. Wait, wait, so what are her characters besides super shy which is more like reluctant? Ah yes, irresponsible. Why? She always ran away from her duty whether as the princess of her kingdom or of Zinnia. I also think she is a bad role model. She has the same craving as badly as the main antagonist: magic. Whoopee, she finally got magic in Zinnia. Strangely, after she had it, she intended to run away right after she was only 'attacked' by a whiny, spoiled little princess. Moreover, the part where she challenged that little villainy kid was very embarrassing. Oh, come on! She is obviously younger and smaller than you are, Alexa! Instead of trying to appear 'clever' (since she is no match to you or is she?), that makes you seemed even more childish, from yearning to get magic from a fairy tale book to challenging small kid. You are supposed to change that little princess' bad personality into good just like in the book: The Secret Garden. It is by far better and is showing that you own a golden heart, and is teaching the viewer to always try to be good even to a mistreated child. Oh... There is nothing in her that touches my heart: from her goodness to badness. Even the annoying Merliah, Tori, and Kristyn have obvious, strong personalities. Inference of this section is: Alexa is less than meets the eye.
From the trailer, I thought Malucia is absolutely irritating and awful. Her appearance scares me. She looks just like the Barbie only minimized! But then, after I watched the movie, I think she IS both, irritating and awful. Yet she is undoubtedly better than Alexa since I found her as a fresh, new, and cool character. She is spoiled. So it is tolerable that she acts so irksome. I pitied her too that she is the only creature in Zinnia who doesn't own any magic except for her magical sceptre. It's good that she was punished in the end after all the mess she had done. And as a matter of fact, I think that she is amusing in I Want It All scene! She could have been my favourite only if she didn't do one BIG mistake. She made me screamed to my horror when I saw the part where her body was enlarged. ='O. That is her biggest flaw, not her whiny personality at all.
Nori, Nori, Nori, let me think. Hmm, nothing came into my mind. Maybe she is a really flat, barely memorable sidekick. The first time I've seen her in the teaser trailer, I smiled and thought that this is the one who will be my favourite character. Her appearance and shades of red outfit were attractive. But then it wasn't very long ago, the trailer came, she took my interest away. And her repeated name is a minus. Moreover when I've seen the movie, her sarcastic character is so not appealing me. Quick-thinking and clever she is, but they were all useless when she came up to confront Malucia. Then I realised that from trio, I never like the sarcastic one. Sandrine, Hadley PCS, Fallon MT? Yes...
Romy is annoying I have to say. She is desperate to appear funny. Her singing in You're Here and falling down over and over again are definitely NOT funny. That makes me question, will toddlers laugh at her? Even her first appearance is annoying. Hiding behind the weird-coloured sunflowers, lifting her bow with a 'fierce' expression is just... ugh. I don’t like her voice either. As usual, the ‘funny’ one must own the high pitched voice. Yet, some of her jests are fortunately really humourous. Like when she was ready to be a mermaid again. Her pose is LOL! Also her response to Alexa when she told Nori and her about a boy and a magic flying carpet: 'What's a boy?' then smiled is also comical. Although still, I prefer her in her serious manner. From appearance, she is the prettiest. Her outfit and colour combination are fine; blue and purple. Another point for her because she can do archery ;). From my view toward her, you can deduce that I like her best in this movie.
Zinnia creatures -
They are the worst characters from the movie. Beside the awful animation, they are just... odious. I left the movie for a while when Sniff and Whiff appeared for the first time. The jumping purple Tigger-tailed-like creatures are also disgusting. I wonder why did Alexa laughed when she saw them there is nothing funny about them. The little fairy girl called Nola is hardly memorable. She's just like Nori who is sulky and loves to fold her hands. Maybe fairies are like that in Zinnia. The arrogant Unicorn Queen? Stinks! Even Majesty is better (of course, she tried to be like Toothless, right?). So her magic is giving flopping colours in Zinnia? I'd prefer her as a normal horse then. I'd rather see Zinnia black and white, nice job Princess Malucia. Grodlin and the other horrid creature are fine actually if only they don't have the irritating colour and too stupid just to handle Malucia. King and Queen of Zinnia unexpectedly came yet their existence is rubbish. They were spoiling yet indifferent toward their little daughter. To sum all up, the creatures of Zinnia are *censored*.
The Homo sapiens now, let's see... Fortunately, they are not as distasteful as the Zinnians. Let’s start with Alexa's parents, King Terrance and Queen Adrienne. Again Mattel made the King looks too old to compare to the Miss Privet-look-like Queen Adrienne. Well, it's great to have a strict mother, finally, and the King was nice to allow Alexa danced with the Prince, yet Alexa chose to dance with the barely useful duo, Jenna and Samantha. They didn't seem to be Alexa's friends to me, more like *censored once more* (Vitty: Stop censoring me! I was not swearing, okay!). Alexa's grandmother is not bad but I'm not fond of her either. She is very mysterious. Had she ever visit The Secret Door? The royal dance instructor, Mr Primrose, is one of the few characters whom I like. I like his way of teaching waltz to the reluctant princess and I pitied him. Alexa actually can waltz, so was she on purposely stumbling Mr Primrose? (Don't try to answer this. I already know the reason.) By the way, how romantic when they fell together <3. Brookhurst, the royal butler, is a nice but not that bright character. She reminds me of Sagi sometimes. I like how he concerned about Alexa but understand her perfectly. The most useless of them all is... Prince Kieran! His presence is disappointing (actually, it is usual). He talked so little and he's even rejected by the princess! Poor prince, you're no longer charming for the princess. Maybe it’s better if you don’t exist at all.
What's Gonna Happen -
It’s the best song in the movie. The melody is catchy to my ears, the background instrument is acceptable, and the lyrics are nice too. Also the sequence is perhaps one of the best scenes. The verse and the chorus parts could stick in my mind for hours. But somehow I’ve never heard the bridge part?
If I Had Magic -
The lyrics are not that bad though it's annoying that Alexa craves for magic though she already had everything. It is a bad example. It's weird that there is the lyric 'make it snow in July' just like Frozen, why should be July not June or August, and 'I'd text without mistakes, LOL yeah', too modern-y as always. The last chorus is boring since she only sings 'Magic, magic' with the same melody repeated over and over. The beat fits for the song. The imaginary scenes are silly but quite entertaining.
You're Here -
The worst song ever! The verse at first sounds quite promising, but the chorus is unbearably irritating. I was even unable to see the scene or hear the song when I watched the movie on telly. End of discussion.
I've Got Magic -
It's like that Brittany McDonald sang my second least favorite song miserably. The tempo is too slow, mellow, and the lyrics are bland, not fun at all. Yay, I finally got the magic which I have yearned so much 'and somehow I'm the star' now. Wait, does she know that she is the princess? Maybe it's tolerable if she's not.
I Want It All -
To be honest, this villain song is my second favourite song. Or perhaps it could be my favourite song, I don't know... The lyrics are nice and the melody is okay. Tabitha St. Germain sang it very well. It's so like a spoiled little princess who sings it. Also the 'Mine!' scene is hilarious.
We've Got Magic -
W-what? Another reprise of this song? Reprising the song which has only the one line in the chorus (and always including the bridge part), twice? It's just like teaching kids a new song and wanting to make them to sing it repeatedly. Surely we heard 'Here I Am' four times, but the full versions are only twice and the chorus has more than one line. Okay, back to the song, Chanelle Peloso's singing voice is actually strong and steady unlike Ashleigh Ball's but it seems that she played her voice too much while singing it.
What's Gonna Happen (reprise) -
My third least favourite song, surprisingly, goes to the reprise of my favourite song! Why? The beat annoys me a lot, especially if you hear it in a high quality stereo. The lyrics are not great too. It's strange that the shy Alexa loves to be in the centre stage. Oh yeah, her adventure in Zinnia changed her a lot and very quickly.
With most of the songs are not enjoyable, the choreography is even worse. In You're Here, it's like that Nori and Romy wanted to stab Alexa on the face in the chorus part. No wonder Alexa looked scared. All of the dances except for, probably, 'I Want It All' are rigid. Even 'Here I Am', 'Fly High', and ‘Phineas and Ferb’s’ dances are not as horrible as Secret Door's.
CONCLUSIONS: Alexa's biggest fear: EPIC FAIL!
I got headache and nightmare after watching Secret Door. From the animation to plot development, all are just so tiring for both my eyes and mind. Does distributor affect the movie? Since it is no longer distributed by 'Mattel Entertainment', it is now distributed by 'Mattel Playground Production'. Does it mean that the movies are now for younger viewers than it used to be??? But I shouldn’t say that. I love Sofia the First series and it’s for young children. Aaaand.... I should have remembered that now the movies are for the dolls' marketing so strong plot is no longer needed. If the Autumn released musical fairy tale movie that once gave me high expectation is like this, what hope do we have to the Spring released movie? Pearl Princess is bad, Secret Door is worse, and what of Princess Power, worst? Even from the news, the cheap knock-off-like Pow sounds disgusting. This movie is the one that is responsible for making me unwilling to watch the upcoming Barbie movies. Unless there will be a great improvement in the movies.
Hopefully, my readers won't be aghast with the words I use! I'm still me ^_^ I was just confessing to my dearest friends here. And all in it are my opinion. Don't change your mind if you love this movie or still intending to watch the next movies, it's your choice! :D You don't have to follow my path. Create your own path <3