As a mom to a girl I have to say that Bratz make me cringe. Everything about them makes me want to lock my daughter in the attic until she’s 35. The clothes. The big cosmetic-surgery-gone- wrong lips. The suggestion that all of life’s problems can be solved through shopping. I just can’t seem to find any redeeming value in the dolls, myself.
But I know my views may be a little totalitarian, and I know that plenty of moms are okay with Bratz and it’s unlikely that I’m 100% right and they’re 100% wrong. (Just don’t tell my kids. If the kids ask, I am always 100% right.)
So with the new Bratz movie coming out I thought I’d try to keep an open mind and check out the buzz; maybe I’d overlooked something. As per my usual, I started over at Rotten Tomatoes to get a feel for what the reviewers thought.
Ah, yes. Well. When I checked, the Tomatometer was hovering around 9%. As in, 91% of reviewers thought it was awful. Whoops.
So then I hopped on over to the Boston Globe to get the lowdown, and reviewer Ty Burr doesn’t hold back:
If you ever wanted a movie to put in the time capsule so future generations can puzzle over the bankruptcy of our current kiddie culture, “Bratz” is it. A live-action film based on a line of dolls, it’s pure marketing chum for tweeners: a proudly shallow, purposefully bland ode to girly-girl narcissism. I could actually feel my brain stem shrivel up as I watched it.
Sadly, that’s about the nicest thing he had to say. It got worse from there.
Still, another writer delving into the Bratz phenomenon opened her piece by admitting the incredible pull the dolls seem to have:
The Bratz universe was humming along as usual this week at the Toys “R” Us flagship store in Manhattan. Like bees to honey, little girls buzzed about shelves lined with those famous pouty dolls with huge heads, plush lips to put Angelina to shame, and bared, toned midriffs.
There was much to choose from: Bratz Babyz. Bratz Kidz. Fashion Pixiez. Magic Hair. Bratz Spiderman 3. Bratz Shrek. The Bratz RC cruiser. Alarm clocks, CDs, video games. “I love it!” one girl cried, actually jumping for joy. “Look at all the makeup!”
The article goes on to say that the actresses in the movie dress “more wholesomely” than the dolls, because if they wore similar clothing they’d look “sleazy.” Psssst! I’m pretty sure that if the girls would look sleazy in those clothes, probably the dolls already do.
Bottom line? The movie is atrocious, many parents find the dolls representative of ideas and fashions we don’t want for our children, and yet the brand is still wildly popular and selling well.
I don’t get it. Maybe they can hypnotize people with those big, vapid eyes.