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Artisan Debuts Barbie&#39;s <I>Swan</I> Song

17 Jul, 2003 By: Brendan Howard

It's not Barbie's last direct-to-video animated feature, just her latest.

Barbie of Swan Lake — from Artisan's Family Home Entertainment division and Mattel Entertainment — hits stores Sept. 30 (prebook Aug. 19) at $19.98 on VHS or DVD.

Family Home Entertainment president Glenn Ross said the toy-line-turned-video-franchise is a special one.

“The Barbie toy line is the first toy line to transition from toy line to successful entertainment product,” he said. “What we were looking to do is create Barbie as a direct-to-video star.”

In this Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky-ballet-turned-children's-adventure, Barbie stars as Odette, a young girl in 19th-century Germany who is trapped in an enchanted forest and discovers that, with confidence and determination, each of us has the power to transform the world.

“I think one of the things Mattel does really well with these, is they come at them with a great sense of integrity,” said Ross. “They want to empower girls and teach them there's nothing they can't do. In all these, Barbie is the one to make things happen. In the special features, there's even a documentary about bringing talent out in yourself.”

“The Music in You” documentary on the DVD takes a look at four girls studying at New York City's Julliard School of Music, as well as the young violinist featured in the film's score.

“We wanted to find a young girl to play the [Black Swan] solo, so we combed the world,” said Rob Hudnut, executive producer at Mattel Entertainment. Mattel found 15-year-old Nicola Benedetti, a Scottish girl living in London who recorded her piece with the London Symphony Orchestra for the film.

“She's going to be a superstar,” Hudnut said.

Swan Lake has star power in voice talent from Kelsey Grammer (evil Rothbart).

The DVD also will act as a DVD-ROM demo for the Barbie of Swan Lake game coming in the fall.

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