Theme Song: There’s no point in uploading the songs from this cartoon. First of all they, are terrible, and secondly, they are readily available on the internet.
Interesting Dated References: Toy companies propagating the idea of a “rocking” female, and forming those ideas into shitty plastic dolls for young girls to play with.
Best Line: None.
Social Context: In the early 80s, Hasbro successfully teamed with Marvel Productions and Sunbow Animation to reboot the G.I. Joe toy line and parlay its popularity into a cartoon. The success continued when the same collaborative powerhouse launched the Transformers line. Feeling the need to capture some of the “young girl” market share, in 1985 the team launched Jem and The Holograms, a rocking girl band complete with special powers. The toy line and corresponding cartoon were a huge success. Hasbro was in total control over the 80s toy market.
On the other hand, Mattel (maker of Barbie) was asleep at the wheel, trying to ride the success of He-Man, while letting the Barbie line recycle the same old play sets year after year. Jem gave the executives at Mattel such a scare that they frantically scrambled to get some type of competing girl-fronted rock band toy line on shelves. Their solution? Barbie and The Rockers
Summary: A single VHS with a 25-minute playing time and a $30.00 price tag. That’s pretty extreme for 1987. Out of This World opens with the Barbie and The Rockers signature theme song intro. Then there’s a title card announcing that we’re watching Barbie and The Rockers: Out of This World.
Then they repeat the exact same theme song intro. They’ve successfully just eaten up 7 minutes. Okay, so Barbie is a super famous singer. She sings shit-pop and seems to have tons of money, yet she and the band have to drive themselves around in a pink van. After traveling the world, she and the band go to eat.
While eating, they sing a song. At one point the animators totally lose track of Barbie’s mouth. She’s singing, but her face is just a flesh blob. Oh, and they’re covering a Beatles song.
The next morning Barbie claims she “danced all night,” but she doesn’t seem to have any type of cocaine or Ecstasy-induced hangover/depression. Later she goes to a World Peace Ball and announces her plan to sing from outer space in order to create world peace.
Then there are like four more songs (some of which are covers, which must have been hard to license, which explains why this isn’t on DVD). Barbie’s space shuttle (with Barbie branding) looks like a giant, pink dildo.
Like a giant dildo crushing the sun. After training for space, they launch and wind up on some giant space station. Then the concert is broadcast on giant flat screens that wouldn’t even be possible with today’s technological advancements.
I’ve never been on a cruise ship because I dislike having diarrhea and being forced to sit with strangers, but I think a screen of this size mounted on top of the mast like that would force this thing to capsize.
So people all over the world watch the concert at the same time, and it just happens to be daylight all over the world, and everyone everywhere is wide awake and enjoying themselves. People are not bitter or upset at all.
The Barbie and The Rockers line ended shortly after this animated feature and a sequel was completed. Jem ended, too, after people realized the premise was completely implausible. I’m not talking about possessing magical powers, I’m talking that people can’t really grasp the idea that girls are capable of rocking. Remember “riot grrrls?” A farce. Then everyone grew up into adults who spend all their time on the internet, obsessing over the sloppily put-together toys from their childhood.
Poster and Box Art: Hastily put together.
Availability: Out of print because of licensing issues, I’d assume, but you can watch it on the Internet in five parts.