No, Margot Robbie’s Barbie Movie Doesn’t Use Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” Song


Plastic Life has gotten a little less fantastic for fans of Aqua’s Danish pop hit ‘Barbie Girl’, as the song won’t be on the soundtrack of Greta Gerwig’s upcoming live-action Barbie movie starring Margot Robbie.

Ulrich Møller-Jørgensen, the manager of Aqua’s lead singer Lene Nystrøm, who portrayed Barbie in the band’s “Barbie Girl” music video, confirmed the news with remarks made to Variety. “The song will not be used in the film,” Møller-Jørgensen clearly stated, without further details. Although no details were provided, the reason for the song’s absence from the soundtrack could have to do with documented bad blood between Aqua and Mattel.

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The toymaker Barbie filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Aqua’s record label, MCA, in response to the smash hit of the Europop song in 1997. Mattel claimed that the suggestive content of the song and subsequent music video threatened harm the Barbie brand as a children’s toy. Mattel specifically objected to lyrics such as “kiss me here, touch me there” and a scene in the music video in which Barbie’s boyfriend Ken “dismembers” her plastic arm. Aqua and MCA fired back, citing parody protection under the First Amendment.

Ultimately, the case between Mattel and MCA was dismissed by the United States District Court in California, with Judge Alex Kozinski issuing a formal ruling that “[both] parties are advised to relax.” It is unclear whether Møller-Jørgensen’s statement about the song’s exclusion in the upcoming Barbie The film stems from any lingering resentment over the ’90s court case or if it was just part of a larger creative conversation behind the scenes.

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Barbieopening the same weekend as Christopher Nolan Oppenheimer, features an all-star cast including Robbie as Barbie and Ryan Gosling as Ken. The famous toy couple will party with a cast of friends including Will Ferrell, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Michael Cera, Kate McKinnon and Rhea Perlman. So far, no one from the creative team behind the film has commented on Aqua’s exclusion of “Barbie Girl.”

Despite resistance from Mattel, “Barbie Girl” has become as strongly associated with the Barbie brand as her extravagant Dreamhouse. As a result, the internet is decidedly angry at the news that the bubbly anthem won’t be included in the film. Without such an iconic hit to back up the soundtrack, it’s likely another artist will be placed in the unenviable position of crafting an equally memorable score for Gerwig’s version of the character.

Barbie and her crew will drive a pink convertible into theaters on July 11, 2023.

Source: Variety

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