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Barbie: Who Is Michael Cera's Allan - Is He An Anti-Ken?

Contains spoilers for "Barbie."

While it might be a "Barbie" world full of Barbie girls and their respective Kens in Greta Gerwig's new film, a handful of characters are walking and talking deep cuts into Mattel's Barbie doll history. Littered among this excessively pink-obsessed populace are the likes of the discontinued pregnant doll, Midge, Barbie's little sister, Skipper, and the impeccably awkward addition of Allan (Michael Cera). The dude with a doctorate in giving a deer-in-headlights look is a perfect fit for an obscure figure in Barbie history — made even more perfect by the fact that the Allan doll spent years quite literally living in Ken's shoes!

Introduced into Mattel's toy line in 1964, Allan filled out the Barbie range as "Ken's buddy." He could even wear Ken's clothes to cut costs for kids desperate to add another guest to Barbie's dream home. What's interesting is just how much the iteration in the "Barbie" movie has fun with Allan. Here, he's close to portraying the absolute antithesis of Ken; however, Allan originally was a happily married man and a loving father. We know. We didn't think Barbie lore went this deep, either.

Allan and Midge got married but fans theorized he only had eyes for Ken

When he debuted in the '60s, Allan remained a singleton. But in 1991, his name was changed to Alan. He was also released in a version called Wedding Day Alan, which had him tying the knot with Barbie's pal, Midge. They would then have a son called Ryan in 2002. (However, in the film, this isn't highlighted regardless of both characters being present in "Barbie.") Interestingly, there was also one theory floating around on social media prior to the film's release that Alan was more than just a buddy to Ken, which took no time at all to capture fans' attention.

Following a tweet by @ByeLacey on Twitter in 2020, Alan's relationship with Ken came under question when the detail of him being able to wear Ken's clothes suggested there might be more between them. Unfortunately, no amount of retweets swayed Mattel into turning Alan and Ken into a gay couple,  but "Barbie" makes an effort to show Allan idolizing Ken from afar until things take a turn for the worse. While Gosling's iteration of the bleached blond buffoon may steal scenes and be a favorite in the beginning, his Kentatorship turns him into the antagonist of the film. As a result, Allan ends up daring to be the only guy at the beach who isn't down to party that way!

Allan is the antithesis of Ken in Barbie, and that's a great thing to see

It's only after Stereotypical Barbie's (Margot Robbie) trip back from the Real World that we learn Alan isn't like all the other guys. Perhaps a little selfish in his initial goals, he reveals to Sasha (Ariana Greenblatt) and Gloria (America Ferrera) that he wants out of Barbieland now that the Kens have taken over. Eventually, he's recruited to join their cause to save Barbieland. By doing so, Allan becomes the only male ally in Barbie's effort to bring a balance back to their world that has some assembly required. Overall, it's a nice creative choice to add — proving that not all the men in Barbie Land are just focused on horses, staying in charge, and explaining just how good "The Godfather" is.

Following the release of "Barbie," it'll be interesting to see how much the toy line's sales change and if there are any potential alterations to Barbie and Ken dolls. Allan is a nice guy that stands on his own two feet in Gerwig's film: There's no reason why such an adjustment couldn't be made to the doll that's been living in Ken's shadow for so long. After help setting things right in "Barbie," rewarding Alan with his own wardrobe (instead of belonging to his not so "best buddy" Ken) is the least Mattel could do.