Weird Barbie’s equally weird house was inspired by the Norman Bates house in Psycho – and this doesn’t surprise us one bit.
“One of my early references is that you go up the stairs, and there’s the Psycho house, and we brought in other elements.” production designer Sarah Greenwood told Variety. Alfred Hitchock’s 1960s iconic horror thriller features the infamous Bates house has a creepy staircase that begins on the street and leads up to the house. “Its design was deliberately skewed with everything pushed out of shape and out of order.”
Another unlikely inspiration for Weird Barbie’s set design? The Hanna-Barbera cartoon Wacky Races.
“When you look at Weird Barbie’s ambulance, she has hijacked it and made it hers. It looks a bit like her house,” Greenwood explained. “That is taken from Wacky Races and it’s inspired by The Creepy Coupe.” Wacky Races was a 1969 animated series that involved 11 different cars competing for the title of the “World’s Wackiest Racer.” The Creepy Coupe is driven by the aptly-named duo, the Gruesome Twosome.
For context, Weird Barbie (Kate McKinnon) is weird because she got played with too hard. As a result, her hair is cut, her legs are in a semi-permanent split, and she has more wisdom than any other doll in Barbieland – mostly likely because she’s endured so much. We’re not surprised that the inspiration behind some of her production designs was equally as weird.
Barbie is in theaters now. For more, check out our coverage on:
- All the Barbie Easter eggs you may have missed
- Greta Gerwig on her Narnia movies
- Greta Gerwig on a potential Barbie sequel
- Why Barbie and Oppenheimer make the perfect double bill
- Barbenheimer: the day cinema stood still
- A complete history of the Barbie movies that could have been