Barbie is everything. He’s just… a theoretical physicist.
The main character competing with Barbie for attention right now isn’t Ken, her plastic significant other. Believe it or not, it's the man who fashioned the atomic bomb.
Fans have been waiting for summer’s two most anticipated releases of Barbie and Oppenheimer, and in doing so have been pointing out the major differences in the movies’ themes, moods, and color schemes. The result of the release schedule is a mash-up many people may not have seen coming: Barbenheimer.
Oppenheimer is Christopher Nolan’s film based on “American Prometheus,” a biography of Julius Robert Oppenheimer, the scientist who led the Manhattan Project, which during World War II produced the first atomic bombs. The trailers for that film, with intense music and nail-biting scenes starring Cillian Murphy as Oppenheimer, differ from the pink and sparkly trailers for Barbie, which show Margot Robbie as the doll living in Barbie Land before setting off on an adventure into the real world.
If you’ve been online lately, you’ve probably seen the endless jokes , memes, comics, fan art, and mashups pairing these two unlikely movies together. Some people are making plans to see the two movies on the same day back to back. A debate about which order to see them in — Oppenheimer first for the laughs, and Barbie second for the seriousness — hasn’t been settled.
The crossover is also giving rise to real-life merchandise. A Google search for “Barbenheimer T-shirt” brings thousands of results, and sellers on Etsy have designed their own versions. Some feature Robbie and Murphy, while others combine Barbie’s pink font with a pink drawing of an atomic cloud. One popular T-shirt circling the internet is a simple split combination of the two movie logos, spelling out “Barbenheimer” with the release date of the films. One side is pink for Barbie and the other side is gray for Oppenheimer.
Brands have been in collaboration with Barbie, creating Barbie themed products: Pinkberry and their frozen yogurt flavor “Barbie Land Berry Pink”, Gap and their line of Barbie-themed clothes, Homesick and their candle named “Dreamhouse”, Beis and their hot pink suitcases, OPI pink nail polish, Swoon and their “Barbie-Pink Lemonade” drink, and so much more. Barbie even partnered with Airbnb, where you can stay at a real-life Barbie Dream House in Malibu.
Which movie should you see first? Decisions, decisions. Whichever order you choose to watch, just make sure to bring along some well-shielded and stylish shades. They’re very in style in Barbie’s world, and they’re a definite must for an atomic explosion at close range.
Barbenheimer: Destroyer of worlds, savior of cinema coming to theaters July 21st 2023.