Mattel’s Reaction to Barbie Movie’s Digs Revealed by CEO

Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie poked some fun at Mattel, and CEO Ynon Kreiz has shared the company’s reaction.

Mattel wasn’t painted in the most flattering light in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie movie, but it wasn’t an issue for the famous toy company.

In Barbie, Mattel’s team of executives was depicted when the titular doll (played by Margot Robbie) leaves Barbie Land and arrives at Mattel’s headquarters. She’s shocked to discover that the company’s leadership consists entirely of men, led by an aloof CEO (Will Ferrell). During a recent chat with Semafor, real-life Mattel CEO Ynon Kreiz commented on Barbie‘s digs taken at the company, revealing how they didn’t have a problem with it because of the faith they had in Gerwig’s vision.

“Embrace self-deprecation. It wasn’t just about bashing Mattel; it was part of this great narrative and interpretation of Barbie’s universe,” Kreiz said. On allowing Gerwig to include the jokes she wanted, Kreiz also explained, “We were very much part of the entire process but we gave Greta full creative freedom because she deserves it. We trusted that she would turn it into something that resonates with people.”

Barbie Wasn’t Made to Sell More Dolls

Of course, the Barbie movie has resulted in huge spikes in sales for that brand, but Kreiz says selling more dolls wasn’t the goal behind the film. The idea is to simply make quality movies that fans will enjoy that just happen to feature Mattel-owned brands. That’s why there are efforts made to bring in trusted filmmakers, as was the case with Gerwig and Barbie, to best attain the goal of making great films.

“We didn’t make this movie to sell more toys. It was about creating quality content that people want to watch. If people watch our content, and connect with it, good things will happen,” Kreiz said. “We are collaborating with the best people out there and they run with the ball. It’s one thing for us to say, ‘we will make the next Hot Wheels movie.’ It’s another thing to say, ‘J.J. Abrams will make the next Hot Wheels movie.’”

Hot Wheels is just one of many Mattel brands that also has a feature film in active development. Others include Barney, Magic 8 Ball, Polly Pocket, and Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. Whether any of these manage to reach the heights of Barbie remains to be seen, but it won’t be easy, given how the acclaimed film has become one of the most successful movies ever released.

Barbie is still playing in theaters and is available on Digital.

Source: Semafor

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