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Could Margot Robbie's Barbie Movie Use Aqua's Barbie Girl?

Margot Robbie as Barbie
(Image credit: Warner Bros)

If you’ve imagined Margot Robbie strutting in bright pink to the tune of “Barbie Girl” by Aqua ever since the live-action Barbie movie was announced, you might want to manage your expectations. According to a new report, the iconic 1997 song with the catchy hook “Come on, Barbie, let’s go party” is unlikely to be in the upcoming Warner Bros and Mattel-produced flick.

Aqua’s manager, Ulrich Møller-Jørgensen, spilled the bad news to Variety, and you’re not going to like what you read. In his words: 

The song will not be used in the movie.

Yikes! Sounds like a hard no from the Europop band’s management. While Møller-Jørgensen didn’t explain as to why the perfect Barbie theme song will not be part of the film, with some digging, it’s clear “Barbie Girl” and Mattel have a backstory that goes back nearly 25 years. 

Six months after the successful release of “Barbie Girl” in 1997 that had the artists selling 1.4 million copies of the pop song in the U.S. and topping charts in the United Kingdom, Mattel sued their label MCA Records for trademark infringement. Mattel claimed that the song turned the iconic doll into a sexual object, with a particular emphasis on the following lyrics: 

You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere, Imagination, life is your creation. I'm a blond bimbo girl in a fantasy world. Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly. You're my doll, rock'n'roll, feel the glamour in pink. Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky. You can touch, you can play if you say, ‘I'm always yours.’

The song may have included suggestive lyrics, but MCA Records defended that the song was a parody protected by the First Amendment and filed its own lawsuit for defamation over Mattel’s statements about the song. The United States District Court in California ended up dismissing both parties' claims, with Judge Alex Kozinski ruling that “the parties are advised to chill.” Check out the classic movie video: 

This week, the first image of the Barbie movie was released, showing Margot Robbie in a bright pink Barbie world. The movie was also given a release date of July 21, 2023. Plot details are remaining close to the vest for this project, but we do know that it will be Greta Gerwig’s third studio film following 2017’s Lady Bird and 2019’s Little Women

Along with Margot Robbie starring as Barbie, Ryan Gosling will play Ken and has also recruited Shang-Chi’s Simu Liu, Will Ferrell, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Michael Cera, Alexandra Shipp, Issa Rae and Emma Mackey, among others. The movie not including “Barbie Girl” is clearly a missed opportunity, but we’ll still be singing it anyway as we wait for the upcoming movie

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