Bratz: Desert Jewelz

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Bratz: Desert Jewelz Movie Poster Image
Less fashion/boy-obsessed than others, but still not great.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 74 minutes

Parents say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 18+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

It's for entertainment purposes only, although kids may learn the importance of helping a friend in need.

Positive Messages

Despite their reputation for being superficial, skimpily dressed dolls, the Bratz friends do come together to help their friend Katia, who, in turn, is willing to make sacrifices to save her father. Friendship and family are the major themes of the movie.

Positive Role Models & Representations

It's hard to say that the Bratz dolls are positive role models, because none of the dangerous parts of their trip would have occurred had they just listened to Katia's father, but the four remaining friends band together to try and rescue Katia. And Katia herself stands up to her captor and helps the young woman who's had to get by as a thief. Katia's father also sets off to save his daughter.

Violence & Scariness

Katia is kidnapped by a nefarious professor, and her friends are stranded in a cave until they figure out how to escape. Kids may be initially scared of the hideous hag with the warts and crooked teeth, but she's actually helpful. There's definite peril in a few scenes, especially when it seems like a beloved camel has fallen over a cliff or that a father is trapped as a genie forever. Since Katia is kidnapped for the majority of the film, the sequences featuring her and her captor are especially tense.

Sexy Stuff

One of the girls makes an off-hand remark that they'll be "forced to join a harem" if they cant get out of harm's way. There's a super creepy vibe between Professor and Katia, whom he repeatedly calls "pure one" (which we assume means "pure of heart," but the way he leers at her evokes a different connotation that parents will pick up on). The girls do wear tight-fitting styles, lots of make-up, and midriff-baring genie outfits in a fashion show (where they sashay down the aisle). On the bright side, there aren't any guys their age for them to flirt with, so this is a tamer movie than some of the others in the Bratz franchise.

Language

A few insults like "crazy old woman," "little thief," "liar," etc.

Consumerism

Like any movie based on a popular toy line, the DVD is a powerful avenue to market the Bratz dolls to young girls. There are special Genie editions of all the dolls, as well as a dedicated website with bios and photos of all the available Bratz products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the Bratz dolls are particularly controversial for being overly sexualized and superficial, but in Desert Jewelz, they're less fashion- and looks-obsessed than in the franchise's other direct-to-DVD movies. There's considerable peril, especially when one character is kidnapped by a creepy professor and in a frightening scene when it seems like a beloved camel has fallen to its death. The language is tame except for a few mild insults and the innuendo implied in the professor's treatment of his captives. Some parents won't appreciate that the girls wear midriff-baring belly dancer costumes in a fashion show, and those who pay attention to the accents may find them caricatures of cultural stereotypes.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8, 10, and 17 year old Written byAwesome Parent of 2 May 11, 2015

I hate bratz. they are porn!

They want little girls to grow up to be fake. Great messages though
Kid, 10 years old May 9, 2012

cereppr

a poor girl parents died and the evil guy had a creppy face

What's the story?

The four main Bratz dolls -- Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin -- accompany their friend Katia to her father's homeland, where they're supposed to deliver her family's heirloom carpet to a museum. Although Katia's father insists she take the carpet straight to him, she decides to use it as a prop for a fashion show the girls enter. Meanwhile, a ninja-like young woman steals a mysterious ring that activates the magic carpet. When she calls the rug to her, the girls fly to a secret cave, where the robbery's mastermind -- a nefarious professor -- tries to buy the carpet from Katia. When she refuses, the professor kidnaps her on the carpet. The remaining girls band together to figure out how to save Katia before the professor forces her to use the ring and the carpet to unearth a genie in a bottle.

Is it any good?

None of the Bratz movies are really good, but this one at the very least has a slightly imaginative plot that doesn't involve the girls flirting with boys or obsessing about their hair and make-up. The girls embark on an adventure for the sake of saving their friend, and their ability to stay optimistic and intrepid in the face of rather frightening circumstances is commendable. There's some innuendo (the professor is quite creepy and menacing when he interacts with Katia) that's a bit off-putting, but most of the movie is about the four girls as they try to track down their kidnapped friend.

The animation is amateurish and dull, and at times the girls look so identical that it's hard to tell them apart, even though they have different hair and eye colors. While the girls have appropriately young-sounding voices, Katia's father and the thief Alla have distracting, over-the-top accents. Katia's dad sounds like Apu from The Simpsons, when he's clearly supposed to be from the Middle East. Second- and third-grade girls may find the movie delightful despite all its shortcomings, but parents who want more substantive choices should probably find a title that isn't a 74-minute commercial.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the ongoing popularity of movies that advertise toys to children. Parents: Do your kids ask to see movies based on commercials? Kids: Does watching this movie make you want a Bratz doll?

  • On one hand, the Bratz dolls purportedly promote "diversity," but despite their different shades of hair color and skin, they look exactly the same: large almond-shaped eyes, puffy bee-stung lips, tiny noses, lots of long hair. Do you think the dolls actually support multiculturalism when their features are nearly identical?

  • Why do the Bratz dolls have a more negative reputation than Barbie dolls? Aren't both sets of dolls concerned with fashion, make-up, and attracting boys?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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