If Barbie can hire Dua Lipa, Charli XCX and Billie Eilish, so can Mr Potato Head
The biggest pop album of 2023 is almost here, and one of the tracks is just Ryan Gosling singing about how sad and hot he is. Barbie hooked director Greta Gerwig, she hooked Mark Ronson, and he hooked pretty much everyone in his contact book – turning the film’s soundtrack into the biggest compilation record around.
Lizzo sings the opening number. Dua Lipa gets the party scene. Nicki Minaj and Ice Spice cover ‘Barbie World’. Throw in Charli XCX, KAROL G, Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, HAIM, The Kid LAROI, PinkPantheress and FIFTY FIFTY and you have all the pops of 2023 (Hyperpop, retro pop, bedroom pop, bubblegum pop, pop rock, disco pop, K-pop, Ryan Gosling pop…).
With the film set to be one of the year’s biggest blockbusters, Hollywood types are now falling over themselves to turn other toys into movie franchises – which means we could soon see a lot more super-soundtracks on the horizon. Before Mark Ronson gets the jump on us, here are the other toy movie albums we need next.
Mr Potato Head
It’s pretty hard to think of Mr Potato Head having a life outside the Toy Story universe, but that doesn’t mean he can’t have his own spin-off (with Mrs Potato Head, of course). Maybe he loses his face down the back of the sofa? Or he has an existential crisis when he realises that he’s not a vegetable and his body parts will take over 500 years to biodegrade? Big Thief’s ‘Spud Infinity’ would be perfect for the end credits.
Likelihood of it actually happening: The rights are owned by Disney, so expect this one by next Christmas.
MIKA, Basement Jaxx, Wiley, The Osmonds and Nicola Roberts all have tracks called ‘Yo Yo’, which is almost enough for a soundtrack already (if that’s how you make a soundtrack). Then there’s cello prodigy Yo-Yo Ma and bhangra star Yo Yo Honey Singh. Add ‘Straight Up & Down’ by Bruno Mars and you have the world’s oddest mixtape ever made about a circle on a string.
Likelihood of it actually happening: There’s not much to hang a film off here so this one isn’t looking good. There is a great 1965 French comedy called Yo Yo though, which sadly doesn’t feature any of the above artists on the soundtrack.
Kid Rock would probably kill for it, but it’d be far better to give it to Rage Against The Machine. Hearing ‘Bulls On Parade’ whilst a topless (plastic) Channing Tatum wiggles his eyes from side to side in an army jeep would do wonders for Amnesty International.
Likelihood of it actually happening: Paddington director James Bobin and Ghosts star Simon Farnaby are reportedly working on a script.
The Rubik’s Cube
Likelihood of it actually happening: The company behind the Transformers franchise are, in fact, already working on a Rubik’s Cube movie, about the ‘speedcubing’ subculture.
Have there been a lot of songs about football already? Beady Eye have a track called ‘Flick Of The Finger’, which was definitely all about Liam Gallagher’s love of little plastic men, but it’d be nicer to get some new Subbuteo classics written (‘I wanna be Red’, ‘Stop knocking the goal’ and ‘Mum, can I use the iron?’)
Likelihood of it actually happening: Unlikely. Although there is already a good 2005 documentary about the game called The Hobby.
Furbys are objectively terrifying, so this would be a harder sell for the kids. Justin Timberlake, Lionel Richie and Gwen Stefani made the Trolls soundtrack cute, so this has to be Ice Nine Kills, Megadeth and Cannibal Corpse. Hearing ‘Hammer Smashed Face’ scream out as Furby slowly opens its glassy eyes would be a killer opening shot.
Likelihood of it actually happening: Furby was tipped for a four-film franchise as recently as 2016, but the plans seem to have sunk with the studio that had the rights (which was, err, The Weinstein Company…).
‘Spring’ by Angel Olsen, ‘Falling’ by Harry Styles, ‘Stairway To Heaven’ by Led Zeppelin… There are enough Slinky songs around to make a jukebox musical – which is fine, because we’re not sure what else a Slinky film would actually be about.
Likelihood of it actually happening: Amazingly, this one is happening too (although it’s not about a metal thing falling down the stairs, it’s about the husband and wife team that invented it in the 40s).
‘Rubber Soul’ plays while Stretch thinks about his place in the universe, ‘Twist And Shout’ gets the big musical montage and Pulled Apart By Horses take the horrific final scene, à la Braveheart.
Likelihood of it actually happening: Disney almost made a Stretch Armstrong comedy in the 90s with Tim Allen, then again with Danny DeVito. By 2008 it was a spy movie with Taylor Lautner, then a superhero origin story in 2013. Now though, the idea seems to have stretched too far.
The Barbie soundtrack is out on Friday 21 July.