Whereas all the other Barbie films had placed Barbie in either fairytales or adaptations of classical ballets, Barbie Fairytopia was the first Barbie film based on original material. It was also the first to dispense with the framing device that had Barbie as a character in the present-day telling the story to a younger child, where the body of the film would then be taken up by the story featuring Barbie in some fairytale princess role. In fact, there is not even any character named Barbie in Fairytopia.
The one thing that must be said about Barbie Fairytopia is that it was the most beautifully animated of Mainframes Barbie films up to that point. Although the name of Pixar has come to the forefront of animation for their pioneering work with the first computer animated film, Mainframe were one of the first companies in the world to work in the arena of commercial computer animation. Mainframes earlier Barbie films look spartan and bare in terms of animation but Barbie Fairytopia has been drawn with a beautiful pastel colour palette. The backgrounds have been rendered as the CG equivalent of watercolours. The supporting cute and cuddly creatures have been created with a colourful originality, even if as characters they are just standard talking animal sidekicks.
On the minus side, Barbie Fairytopia is simplistic in terms of story. Even though Mainframe employ sf/fantasy novelist Diane Duane to co-write the film, the script feels decidedly generic. It is a fantasy quest entirely by the numbers, filled with a series of generic tasks and wilderness encounters and with a lack of any complexity or depth as a story. Indeed, the story only seems there to hang the pretty backgrounds and interestingly original character designs off. Certainly, for its artistry and dimensionality, Barbie Fairytopia is worth seeing; as a solidly satisfying film, it is less so.
Subsequently, Mainframe spun the Barbie Fairytopia universe out in two further films, Barbie Mermaidia (2006) and Barbie Fairytopia: Magic of the Rainbow (2007), as well as Barbie Mariposa (2008), which deals with a different set of fairies.