Little has emerged about the plot of Greta Gerwig’s highly anticipated “Barbie” film, sparking fans to advance their own theories based on trailers and casting news. Margot Robbie plays the Mattel icon in her first live-action film, joined by Ryan Gosling as Ken and a star-packed ensemble. With the comedy arriving July 21st, a recent preview offered clues towards a “Wizard of Oz” parallel storyline. Multiple TikTok users spotted possible homages in costumes, set designs and motifs. If correct, Robbie’s Barbie could embark on a self-discovery journey not unlike Dorothy’s Technicolor trip from Kansas to Oz.
April’s second trailer shows Robbie’s Barbie exiting her plastic-perfect hometown for the messier “real world,” seeking something new. Gosling’s Ken accompanies her, reminiscent of Dorothy’s misfit friends joining her yellow brick odyssey. Eagle-eyed fans noticed Barbie sporting Dorothy’s signature gingham, driving past an “Oz”-playing theater with emerald city artwork. The duo even rides a pink brick road away from Barbie’s fantasy home towards an uncertain future. The possible parallels suggest Barbie questioning her prefab life, but finding the “real world” less glamorous than hoped.
The new footage arrives after months of secrecy around the offbeat premise. Little about Gerwig’s take has emerged beyond impressive casting. Joining Robbie and Gosling, the comedy boasts Simu Liu, Will Ferrell as Mattel’s CEO, and America Ferrera in a mysterious role. Such pedigree fuels guessing games about Gerwig’s left-field script. Ferrera herself hinted the film will defy preconceptions, saying, “Whatever you think it is, it’s not that.”
Indeed, Gerwig’s involvement signals something beyond a splashy commercial. The “Lady Bird” director seems poised to subvert and satirize the iconic doll’s image. Ferrell called the film “the ultimate example of high art and low art,” somehow both sincere ode and wicked takedown. It likely explores why Barbie provokes such reactions. Robbie mentioned contending with much “baggage” around the character. The new footage hints Barbie herself questions her seemingly airbrushed identity.
If fans correctly identify the Oz connections, comparisons to that classic tale help predict Barbie’s themes. The 1939 film follows Judy Garland’s Dorothy whisked from her drab, black-and-white Kansas to the dazzling yet beguiling Land of Oz. Initially wowed by the colors and magic, she discovers darker realities about fame, false fronts and self-acceptance. Dorothy must destroy illusions about the emerald city and its wizard to find her way home.
As Barbie similarly exits her fantasy land for a disappointingly plain-looking “real world,” she may uncover unflattering truths about upholding glossy facades. The possible plot mirrors The Wizard of Oz’s message to ignore outward packages and seek inner fulfilment over material flash. And like Dorothy, Barbie could discover she possessed what she wanted all along back in her homeland.
The trailer’s visual rhymes with Oz emphasize this speculative reading. Beyond matching costumes and set design, a movie still of Oz’s famous yellow brick road appears behind Barbie, underlining her analogous journey from fantasy to reality. The sight gags link Barbie to Dorothy as cautionary tales about chasing elusive better lives over appreciating one’s own back yard.
Some fans even predict Barbie disrupting the film company originating her tale, resembling Dorothy unmasking Oz’s scheming wizard. The movie’s self-reflexivity about Barbie as corporate invention adds credibility to this theory. Is Barbie outgrowing her plastic mold, becoming her own woman?
While clever viewers piece together potential clues, only Gerwig knows whether Barbie will truly echo Dorothy’s iconic parable. But the suggested plot trajectory shows how fans yearn for substance from even unlikely properties like Barbie. Doll or dancer, consumers desire engagement beyond surface glitz. Savvy creators like Gerwig understand this, weaving artistic meaning into commerce.
Indeed, the film looks poised to become that rare hybrid of critic-charmer and box-office smash. Dangling hints about subtext while withholding actual storylines keeps anticipation high among middlebrow and mass audiences alike. And skillful piloting between cynical takedown and mushy glorification could unlock something genuinely timely. Perhaps Barbie as cultural lightning rod makes her ideal vehicle for bittersweet fables about modern womanhood, judging oneself by others’ metrics. Indeed, positioned correctly, this pink tank drives straight towards the zeitgeist bullseye.
So while fans await plot specifics, the possible Oz overtones suggest a smart direction. And Gerwig’s sensibilities hint she recognizes Barbie’s wider symbolism in tackling dreams versus reality, consumerism versus self-acceptance. Through her, the director might connect to universal struggles for identity beyond dowdy Kansas or gleaming Barbie Land.
Whether consciously channeling Dorothy or not, Barbie appears an ideal conduit for such resonant messaging precisely because she spurs snap judgments. Preconceived notions make her ripe for reconsideration about superficial assumptions. Indeed, an openminded viewing could unveil a mirror reflecting us back through her funhouse glass.
So despite the world’s dismissal, Barbie seems primed for reappraisal as profound messenger. Perhaps Gerwig celebrities the plastic idol specifically to attract skeptics for savvy myth-busting. By wielding parody, irony and even affection, the film could reveal Barbie’s depths as well as broader social commentary on feminine ideals. Branding her an airhead belies her potential as postmodern folk hero.
In any case, the trailers’ possible Oz references set expectations for some serious inquiry beneath the cotton-candy visuals. And the anticipation around this mystery seems certain to deliver bang for Barbie’s box office buck. Through summer’s silly season and beyond, we’ll likely continue unpacking hot takes on what this glittering enigma says about the world beyond Mattel. Gerwig may have cottoned the perfect vessel for smuggling big ideas inside blockbuster escapism. Either way, come July we finally glimpse behind Barbie’s curtain. There’s no taming that much rosy hype.