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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that it would be difficult to imagine worse role models for the tween girls at which this Bratz franchise is aimed. This DVD takes the Bratz characters -- four superficial teen girls obsessed with makeup, fashion, and shopping -- and shrinks them down to toddler size. Their behavior, appearance, and attitudes remain true to the original Bratz, so the audience is treated to the bizarre sight of toddlers putting on makeup, going to the mall, and wearing mini-skirts and high-heeled boots. The only adults in sight are buffoonish, and a puppy is repeatedly threatened by a bully.
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What's the story?
In BRATZ BABYZ, Chloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin are toddlers. The plot revolves around a puppy who first stows away and then runs away in the mall. The Bratz manage an escape from the mall "Playplace," where they are watched while their adult caregivers shop, in an effort to find and rescue the puppy.
Is it any good?
Following the trend of Looney Tunes with its Baby Looney Tunes, the cringe-worthy Bratz Babyz brings us the adventures of Chloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin as toddlers. It turns out that these baby Bratz aren't much different from the teen characters, wearing makeup, obsessing about fashion, and roaming the mall largely free from adult supervision. Aside from the adults, boys are also given short shrift in the movie, presented as ruffians who torture Miss Calabash and try to impede the girls' efforts to recover the dog. Girl power is taken too far when its point is to diminish boys.
Cotton candy-colored animation accompanied by throbbing techno music will keep the viewer awake during the slow points in the story (and there are many). The Baby Bratz are genuinely disturbing to look at: cropped tops and sexy boy-styled underpants accentuate long baby legs and big hair. One positive note is that the girls learn they must work together to be successful in finding the missing dog, and they are apologetic when they've hurt one another's feelings. It's almost enough to erase the memory of toddlers singing "you look hotter than hot, you're dressed up to rock!" OK, maybe not.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why kids might like the Bratz characters, and whether presenting them as toddlers enhances or diminishes that attraction. Is it realistic that the four toddlers and their friends would be left at the mall with so little adult supervision? Are the characters realistic in any way?
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