A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In BRATZ: GIRLS REALLY ROCK, the creators seem to have realized that it's hard to sustain a plot that is entirely dependent on shopping, makeup, and hairstyles, and they've moved the action to a performing arts summer camp where the friends must compete. However rather than coming up with a new plotline they've lifted entire scenes from bigger hits like High School Musical 2 (clock ticking towards the start of summer vacation) and Camp Rock (the final talent showdown). Yasmin, Sasha, Cloe, and Jade must themselves learn the lesson that they initially teach the rest of the campers: that even with a coveted movie role at stake, it's more important to have fun than to win.
Is it any good?
The original music enhances the plot and keeps the story moving along. The teamwork lesson is always a good one to reinforce with kids, although at Camp Starshine it takes a bittersweet twist since the "happy ending" of performing as a group means each Bratz gives up the chance to show off a skill at which they are truly talented. The evil ballet choreographer Madame Demidov is given a fascinating solo with echoes of communist Russia and Red Army domination; unexpected, to say the least, in a Bratz setting.
But for all its positive themes, Girlz Really Rock presents disturbing and unattainable physical images of its young girl characters: piles of makeup, tiny waists, big hips and chests, all swathed in tiny mini skirts and belly-baring tops. And the goal towards which all the campers are fighting -- to star in a movie based on the winner's actual life -- is a sad commentary on the current American obsession with both reality television and celebrity worship, and one that doesn't have a place in tween media.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the camp the Bratz are attending. Why do you think the few adults in the story are depicted as silly or mean? Have you ever had to make choices between practicing a skill and having fun? How do you decide when you're doing too much of one or the other?