There’s actually a pretty straightforward reason “Barbie Girl” wouldn’t show up in an official Barbie movie: after the song’s release, Barbie toymaker Mattel tried to sue the band responsible, claiming a copyright violation. They also pointed to the song’s double entendre lyrics, which include lines like “you can brush my hair, undress me anywhere” and “kiss me here, touch me there,” calling them derogatory and disparaging according to The Wall Street Journal. The suit ended up in federal court in 2003, where the LA Times reports that U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Alex Kozinski gave a fantastic response to the suit, saying, “The parties are advised to chill.”
As weird as it would have been for the Mattel-approved new “Barbie” movie to try to work with Aqua after the toy company spent years taking them to court, it’s also hard to imagine the candy-colored film starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling not including the smash hit dance track. Gerwig’s film will be the first-ever live-action Barbie movie after a long line of animated films, and while plot details are still mostly under wraps, the all-star cast includes Kate McKinnon, Simu Liu, Issa Rae, America Ferrera, Kingsley Ben-Adir, Michael Cera, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Rhea Perlman, Emerald Fennell, Alexandra Shipp, Hari Nef, and Scott Evans.
“Barbie” will hit theaters on July 21, 2023. In the meantime, we’ll be listening to “Barbie Girl” on repeat.