- The music in the Barbie movie is crucial in conveying its themes and messages, and has received special praise from critics and viewers.
- The expansion of the song “I’m Just Ken” from a background track to a full musical number was a result of director Greta Gerwig’s request after listening to the initial version.
- The music in Barbie captures the essence of the movie and plays a key role in selling the film and underpinning its various messages.
Music producer Mark Ronson reveals that the viral “I’m Just Ken” song from Barbie originally had a smaller role. Featuring a brilliant cast of Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera, Kate McKinnon, Issa Rae, Rhea Perlman, and Will Ferrell, this live-action adaptation of the iconic Mattel dolls follows Barbie and Ken as they travel to the real world in search of purpose and happiness. After premiering in July, Barbie became a worldwide sensation, currently grossing over $1 billion worldwide, and becoming the highest-grossing film of 2023. Barbie has also received critical acclaim for a number of reasons, most notably the music, which has undoubtedly contributed to its success.
In a recent behind-the-scenes featurette titled “Musical Make-Believe” shared by Vudu, Ronson reveals that the “I’m Just Ken” song, which currently boasts over 50 million streams on Spotify, initially played a much smaller role on the Barbie soundtrack. He explained that the song was originally supposed to be a minor background track until director Greta Gerwig requested that it be made longer after listening to the initial version. Read his full quote below:
“It went from being this song that was maybe gonna be played somewhere in the film to this song that they built this epic battle around. So we’re essentially scoring 11 minutes just around the Ken song.”
The True Identity Of Barbie Lies In Its Music
Since Barbie was released, critics and viewers have praised it for numerous reasons, such as its exploration and critique of consumerism and beauty standards, its exquisite visual aesthetics, and memorable acting performances. The music, which serves as the bedrock of the fantasy comedy, received special praise as well. The Barbie soundtrack not only helped sell the movie, but it was also crucial in conveying and underpinning the various themes and messages that the story aimed at passing across to its audience.
Gerwig and Robbie have explained that music was very important in the creation of Barbie, with songs specifically written and produced depending on how the script turned out. For instance, Billie Eilish’s somber rendition of “What Was I Made For?” perfectly encapsulates Barbie’s inner turmoil and sadness as she journeys into the real world and confronts the harsh realities of her existence.
Gosling’s ballad “I’m Just Ken” also nicely captures the angst and existential crisis Ken feels as he ponders what his place would be in the world without Barbie, and if she will ever see him as more than a sidekick. Admittedly, Barbie excels in many regards, but the music in particular is purposeful and brilliant. It manages to capture the very essence of the movie at almost every turn, and the expansion of “I’m Just Ken” from background song to full musical number only aids in this.