Parents' Guide to

Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids

By Monique Jones, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 11+

Fun docu about the frenzy around the iconic 1980s dolls.

Movie NR 2023 100 minutes
Billion Dollar Babies Movie Poster: A picture of Cabbage Patch Kids creator Xavier Roberts and his doll

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This documentary is a fun, nostalgic look at the history of the Cabbage Patch Kids and how the frenzy around them laid the groundwork for the modern Black Friday chaos. Billion Dollar Babies: The True Story of the Cabbage Patch Kids gives doll fans and pop culture fans alike a crash course in the history of the popular dolls, the legal battle over who actually owns the rights to the property, and the dangers of identifying too closely with consumerism and fantasy.

The film isn't quite as tight as it could be, feeling a bit like a Spark Notes version of itself -- and it could have gone deeper into the nitty gritty of how the Cabbage Patch Kids were created. But it excels in demonstrating how successful marketing campaigns work. To that point, though, the film seems to not quite know what its thesis is. Is it about Black Friday, which would demand some focus on the history of creating a supply and demand economy? Or is it about the history of the Cabbage Patch Kids? Or is it about how successful marketing campaigns can make us think we want something we actually don't need? All three of these ideas could easily become their own film. But Billion Dollar Babies meshes them all together and doesn't dive as deeply as it could into any of them. Still, it serves as a great surface-level resource for fans of pop culture who want to learn about one of the biggest moments in modern consumerism history.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: November 24, 2023
  • On DVD or streaming: December 18, 2023
  • Cast: Neil Patrick Harris
  • Director: Andrew Jenks
  • Inclusion Information: Gay actors
  • Studio: Peacock
  • Genre: Documentary
  • Run time: 100 minutes
  • MPAA rating: NR
  • Last updated: January 12, 2024

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