Margot Robbie's Barbie set didn't use CGI to bring the dream house to life.
The upcoming Barbie film has made a number of waves in recent headlines for its uncanny ability to adapt the plastic world of the Barbie doll and bring it to life on the big screen. After early trailers delivered first looks at Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling‘s performances as Barbie and Ken, respectively, Architectural Digest has now provided a shocking look into the fuchsia paradise of the Barbie set, which needs to be seen to be believed. The Dreamhouse set, which displays an entire neighborhood of true-to-life Barbie Dreamhouses in an idyllic suburb inspired by Palm Springs, looks as though a mad scientist from the Marvel Cinematic Universe shocked a Barbie play-set with Pym particles, causing it to grow into a neighborhood fit for human habitation.
The domiciles which Margot Robbie and the other Barbies will live in during the upcoming film feature harsh pink accents, sparkling glittery bedspreads, and, most notably, absolutely no outside walls. The home, which would surely be rejected by any home owner’s association on planet Earth due to its obvious falling risks, truly embodies the dissonant existence of a Barbie, which is said to drive the plot of the upcoming film, in which the doll begins to question the nature of her very being.
A team of interior designers led by Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer utilized the midcentury modern architectural styles found in neighborhoods across Palm Springs to bring the play set to life in an execution that feels equal parts real and completely unreal.
This set design applies elsewhere as well. As seen by the Barbie trailers, Margot Robbie and her ensemble of Barbie friends inhabit an entire world of playthings brought to life, including an idyllic beach set, a series of outstretched, wide open roads, and the suburban cut-de-sac presented by Greta Gerwig’s incredible team of production designers. Much like the famed doll, Barbie has an unmistakable pink car, a pink home, and even a pink-sand beach where ornery Kens threaten to “Beach” each other off in displays of toxic masculinity.
The choice to rely on practical sets in lieu of CGI creates a world in which Margot Robbie truly pops on screen as a Barbie doll sprung to life in the real world. This choice, as seen in the trailer, makes Robbie’s presence in the “real” real world later in the movie even more jarring when compared to regular human beings, as her fluorescent pink outfits and permanently cemented smiling visage create a stunning visual distinction. The sets and visual language of the film have already created a highly distinctive aesthetic that feels both brand new and nostalgic all at once.
While there seems to be no word yet as to what Warner Brothers plans to do with the sets after the production is officially wrapped, we’re sure they would make an excellent location for fans to tour, as long as they set up some safety scaffolding on the exterior side. Margot Robbie will debut her Barbie performance on the big screen on July 21, giving fans the opportunity to see the incredible sets put to good use.