A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie derives from a popular line of dolls on the market with an outrageous arsenal of fashion accessories. A pro-shopping, pro-consumerism message underlies all the preaching about acceptance, confidence, standing by your friends, etc. There's a heavy emphasis on physical appearance; overweight or plain-looking girls are not very much in evidence. Food fights happen more than once.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Set in southern California, BRATZ centers around Chloe (Skyler Shaye), Sasha (Logan Browning), Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos), and Jade (Janel Parrish), four clothing-empowered girlfriends, so fashion-conscious they computer-conference each morning to coordinate their outfits. They eagerly enter freshman year at a cartoonishly caricatured Carrie Nation High School. Here a blonde, preppie class president Meredith Baxter Dimly (Chelsea Staub), who happens to be the spoiled and pampered daughter of the principal (Jon Voight), reigns like a queen. She personally assigns every beginning student a clique to belong to, outside of which they dare not stray.
Is it any good?
Bratz could be seen as a PG alternative for those whose children are too young to see Mean Girls. It's designed as a live-action adaptation of a product line of vampish, high-fashion dolls with outlandish fashion accessories, spun off into coloring books, CDs, and a CGI TV series.
Parents (and psychologists) have had their own issues with the dolls' unrealistic proportions and sexualized clothing, but there are issues other moviegoers will have as well. Bratz steals directly from Mean Girls, showing the severe peer pressure that forces girls to try to fit in and be popular. At least this clone, pitched to a younger (doll-buying) tween age group, took out the Lindsay Lohan movie's objectionable language, sex, and alcohol references, while delivering the same self-affirming morals. It gets grudging points on that count.
Talk to your kids about ...
- In theaters: August 2, 2007
- On DVD or streaming: November 27, 2007
- Cast: Chelsea Staub, Janel Parrish, Jon Voight, Logan Browning, Nathalia Ramos, Skyler Shaye
- Director: Sean McNamara
- Studio: Lionsgate
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Friendship, High School
- Run time: 99 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: thematic elements.
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.