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Mattel TV Announces Two New Barbie Specials

Mattel has said it will be greatly increasing its film and television production efforts in 2021, and the company this week announced the launch of two new animated Barbie specials for streamers and broadcasters this spring.

The first of the two specials is “Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday,” the first dedicated television movie featuring Barbie’s younger sister Chelsea in a starring role. The second special, which follows the success of last year’s “Barbie Princess Adventure,” will be a musical that follows Barbie and her friends to New York City.

Directed by Cassi Simonds (“Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures”), “Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday” tells the story of Chelsea, Barbie’s precocious youngest sister, and the rest of the Roberts family as they set sail on an adventure cruise for her seventh birthday. When they cross the International Date Line, Chelsea discovers her actual birthday has been lost and she embarks on a fantastical journey through an enchanted jungle island in order to save it.

“Barbie’s brand message, about inspiring the limitless potential in every child, and her stories resonate deeply with both kids and parents all over the world,” said Adam Bonnett, Executive Producer, Mattel Television. “This year, we are expanding the Barbie content universe in a number of ways starting with a fantastical story centered around Barbie’s little sister, Chelsea, an incredibly popular character in the Barbie family. We have barely scratched the surface of the stories the brand can tell, and this is the first of many scripted and unscripted Barbie projects we have in production and development.”

The 60-minute special will be available on Netflix in the U.S. as well as on Cartoonito (Italy), Pop (UK), 9Go! (Australia), Neox Kids (Spain), SuperRTL (Germany), Carousel (Russia) and iQIYI (China), with additional broadcast and streaming partners to be announced.

Executive producers for “Barbie & Chelsea The Lost Birthday” include Bonnett, Fred Soulie, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mattel Television and Christopher Keenan, Senior Vice President, Content Development and Production, Mattel Television. Ann Austen will co-executive produce. Animation services are being provided by Mainframe Studios.

This year, Barbie was named the 2020 Top Global Toy Property of the Year, according to the NPD group. In addition to launching new content focused on Chelsea, the Barbie brand will also introduce complementary dolls, playsets and accessories based on the character this spring. These new products are part of a broader strategy to expand the franchise with new items focused on Barbie’s friends and family.

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