Bratz: Good Vibes

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Bratz: Good Vibes Movie Poster Image
Tales have more positive messages than most Bratz movies.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 85 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Encourages staying true to oneself; trouble finds those who pretend to be what they're not. Friendship and working together are primary values to be protected at all costs. "A real friend will tell the truth."

Positive Role Models & Representations

The multiethnic, cookie-cutter Bratz friends -- doe-eyed, short-skirted, curvy, culturally "ideal" facial features, tottering high heels, and some with dialects (African-American, Valley girl) -- watch out for each other and are resourceful, hard-working, and trustworthy. Guest characters include stereotypes and caricatures -- for example, a sweet but conniving Southern belle; a hyper-ambitious, cutthroat Hollywood talk show host; and a heavy-handed, heavy-accented Germanic female jailer. Overweight characters are used as visual jokes.

Violence & Scariness

Mild cartoon suspense when the girls venture into Dracula's castle and run from a bear. The brief sound of a chicken being killed off-camera is played as comic. Some pratfalls and spills but no danger.

Sexy Stuff

Trademark skimpy clothes, curvaceous bodies of the Bratz dolls.

Language

Comic insults ("shiftless meathead," "twittery twin nitwits," "dumber than a bucket of body wax," "buffoon," "you twin insects"). 

Consumerism

Ever-present cross-promotion: Bratz videos, games, dolls, toys, and other merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Bratz: Good Vibes deals less with looking good, shopping, and boys than other Bratz adventures. Though Jade, Sasha, Chloe, and Yasmin and company still sport unrealistic curves, doe eyes, bare midriffs, and towering, tottering high heels, these stories promote positive messages as well. They encourage friendship, creative problem-solving, confronting the false values of "celebrity," and honesty -- both to oneself and to others. No scares here; Burdine, their usual magazine-publishing nemesis, appears, but she's all greed and snarls, no bite. There's some stereotyping: a cutthroat TV personality, a Germanic female jailer, a fawning Southern belle. The creators of the Bratz Doll marketing phenomenon claim their products are designed for "girls from 10-18"; however, it's clear that younger kids are a target audience as well.

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What's the story?

BRATZ: GOOD VIBES includes four stories aired during the second season of the Bratz TV series (2006 to 2007). In "Extremely Made-Over," Prudence, a seemingly perfect new assistant at Bratz magazine, may have ulterior motives. When Sasha gets a major rock-star scoop, Burdine and the Tweevils at Your Thing magazine are right there trying to spoil everything. In "The Cleo Life," Cleo fantasizes about being a movie star when Portia, a conniving TV talk show host, comes to school looking for one special teen to interview. Cleo is chosen! Then Portia's true purpose is revealed, and she threatens to destroy Cleo's friendship with the gang. In "Bye, Bye Burdine," while Burdine is mistaken for a jewel thief and held in an airport jail in "Luxenstein," the Tweevils take over Your Thing magazine and write a series of travel tall tales, and sales soar. The Bratz try to compete but end up in one misadventure after another. "The Great Melting Pot" finds Jade and the girls preparing a perfect French meal for the expected arrival of Parisian Chef Jean Paul and his friend Gaston. When Jade learns that Jean Paul is really hoping for a sublime American feast, the girls have no ingredients and little time to make it happen.

Is it any good?

The stories here, taken as a whole, are a cut above other Bratz fare, which often emphasizes clothes, romantic crushes, and self-pampering. It's not always easy to get past those themes, the lackluster animation, and the one-dimensional characterization, nor the obvious intent to sell, sell, sell, but in this instance, the DVD is substantial and clever enough to be enjoyable despite those bumps. And the girls learn something in each of the four tales. In "Extremely Made-Over" and "The Cleo Life," they're able to see beyond first impressions, uncover concealed motives, and take a stand against betrayal. In "Bye-Bye, Burdine," they learn how silly it is to try to be something they're not. Finally, in "The Great Melting Pot," they come to understand a key ingredient that makes American life such a great feast.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about stereotyping in movies meant for kids. Do you think such portrayals reinforce negative feelings about certain nationalities, professions, ethnicities, or genders? Who are the stereotypes in Good Vibes?

  • In Bratz World, despite the skin tones and individual styling choices, all the girls look alike in an idealized way. What are some of the advantages of being unique? What is there about you that makes you special?

  • What is the appeal of Bratz? Why do you think they continue to be so popular?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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