Whoever says Martin Short is not funny has never seen the marvel that is Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper. On the surface, it mightn’t look like one of the best family movies (and truth be told, it isn’t). Still, Martin Short elevates proceedings by giving the performance of a lifetime as Preminger.
As a 3D animated movie made in 2004, the graphics leave a lot to be desired, but Short’s voice performance as the movie villain leaves nothing to be desired. He ate and didn’t leave a singular crumb. Rent was due. He had pennies left in his bank account. He knew he had only one shot to make history, and as Preminger, he did just that.
In this Barbie-fied adaptation of the Prince and the Pauper, Eliza, a seamstress with a talent for singing, is convinced to trade places with Princess Anneliese after the latter is kidnapped by Preminger in a bid to fake her death and take the throne for himself. While Eliza and Anneliese’s uncanny resemblance is at the core of this tale, it’s Short’s performance as Preminger that ends up being the scene-stealer.
As well as leading a showstopping performance with the song ‘How Can I Refuse,’ his campiness and commitment to giving the most over-the-top performance possible means that every scene he appeared in quickly became iconic.
And naturally, the flamboyant energy he brings to this ‘2000s movie hasn’t gone unnoticed, either. In fact, thanks to TikTok, people are developing a new-found appreciation for the character. With Preminger enthusiasts using his scenes as the templates for memes, fancams, and other remixes, the #preminger TikTok tag has now racked up over 318 million cumulative views on the app and counting.
So, given his best movie is still making an impact nearly 20 years later, we hope Short considers any hate thrown his way as just a… temporary setback. Preminger, you’ll always be famous.
What’s that? You want to learn more about the Barbie-verse and potential new movies? How can I refuse?! Here’s what you need to know about how to watch the Barbie movie, the Barbie movie soundtrack, the Barbie cast, and the Barbie 2 release date.