Are you looking for more films like Greta Gerwig’s Barbie? The bad news is that there really aren’t a lot of big-budget populist movies that confront difficult aspects of gender roles and allow the title character to discover their own identity and power. Certainly not blockbusters on the level of Barbie. Netflix actually has several direct-to-video animated Barbie movies, but they’re not sparking the same conversation that the live-action film is. They’re barely even in the same galaxy.
So when it came time to find movies that can appeal to people who love Barbie, we decided to go with flicks that shared some thematic similarities rather than something exactly like that film. And if you’re already subscribed to the world’s most popular streamer, then these are the three Netflix movies like Barbie that you should watch.
Mean Girls is one of the best movies that Lindsay Lohan has ever starred in. And like Barbie, it deconstructs some gender roles, except in the context of a high school clique. Cady Heron (Lohan) is a teenager who has lived a very sheltered life after spending most of her education being homeschooled in Africa. When Cady enrolls in a normal American high school, she is taken aback by the cruelty of the Plastics, a clique of girls including Regina George (Rachel McAdams), Gretchen Wieners (Lacey Chabert), and Karen Smith (Amanda Seyfried).
At the encouragement of Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan), Cady infiltrates the Plastics and sets about destroying them from within. But once Cady discovers what it’s like to wield the power of the Plastics, she becomes corrupted and loses herself. Sound familiar, Ken fans?
Watch Mean Girls on Netflix.
How does Nimona relate to the cultural conversation sparked by Barbie? With its lead character, Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz), who is very proudly non-gender-conforming and only human in the vaguest possible way. Nimona has her secrets, but she truly loves living among humans on her own terms. Stereotypical Barbie (Margot Robbie) eventually finds the same confidence in her movie, but she didn’t have to carry Nimona’s darker revelations.
This film is also one of the few animated features to put the spotlight on a gay male leading character, Ballister Boldheart (Riz Ahmed), a young knight who is framed for murder. Nimona practically attaches herself to Ballister because she sees him as a kindred spirit. And despite some tension between them, Ballister eventually reciprocates her friendship.
Watch Nimona on Netflix.
This is an unusual choice for the third film like Barbie, but there’s a reason for that. The Barbie movie features an icon who finally embraces her power as a woman. Taylor Swift is a real woman who became an actual feminist icon years ago when she realized that the power of her platform allowed her to speak out on the social issues that are important to her.
Swift is also in firm control of her musical persona and she commands the stage in Netflix’s concert film Taylor Swift: Reputation Tour. This is a chance to watch a masterful performer doing what she does best, and that’s always something we enjoy.
Watch Taylor Swift: Redemption Tour on Netflix.
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