5 Things Poor People Need That No Program in the USA Offers Assistance For

30 Nov
Photo Courtesy of openDemocracy

Most people reading might not know that, for the past year, I’ve been unemployed. My former job required me to drive. Since my car accident in February, it has been difficult to find work. My insurance didn’t fully cover the cost of another car (that figures), and my credit would stop me from getting anything. Out where I live, there aren’t too many car lots that don’t run a credit check.

On top of that, I have a severe disability that makes it hard for me to be hired for just any job. I’m also a 5″ petite femme-looking person, and that holds me back from being hired for the physically laborious jobs that are usually reserved for men by the employers.

Like many people in my situation, the Pandemic already dried up a lot of my savings last year when hours were reduced. The car accident was horribly timed, just as I was trying to restore my savings.

Unlike many people in my situation, I don’t have family members and friends I can rely on for help.

The first thing I did was I sought help from my State in my Country, the USA. Sure, there are Food Stamps or Food Assistance Programs, programs to help keep the water, gas, and electric on, and even ways to get your rent paid. But I realized how inaccessible even those resources are when you’re lacking programs to help in other ways. There are other, possibly even more, important things that poor people need that seem to be largely inaccessible, and it makes getting the available resources, like Food Stamps, difficult as well.

When talking to anyone about these issues, it becomes clear that people don’t realize what privileges they have. The privileged tend to give the worst advice, even those working with programs that are supposed to help the poor, like the Salvation Army. Even the resource hotline in the USA, 2-1-1, has been stumped when trying to help me get access to the resources I’m about to go into.

Here are some of the things people don’t realize are necessities and are largely inaccessible.

Toiletries, Diapers, and Feminine Hygiene Products

It’s definitely a cis man’s world. Back when I used to work with HSAs (Health Spending Accounts) and FSAs (Flexible Spending Accounts) in 2020, it shocked me how menstrual care products weren’t even covered pre-tax as a qualified medical expense. But Viagra was. Eventually, the government caved during the Pandemic, but why did it take all of that to get this necessity covered?

Men don’t need Viagra; those who menstruate do need menstrual products. They can’t help that blood comes out of them every month.

I have fibroids, huge ones, and bleed extremely heavy every month. I’m sure readers don’t want to hear all of that, but the problem is that no one wants to talk about it. We need to talk about this. For many poor people, trying to find any services that offer free feminine hygiene products is horrifying.

People who menstruate also need toiletries, like toilet paper and soap.

Sure, I’ve had people tell me about their old grandma in the 1940s who used rags. They also used old t-shirts as pads. But tell me how many of them didn’t have soap to wash these rags after every use? How many people had proper drying racks for hanging?

They all cost, and I’m sure when people suddenly become poor nowadays, they don’t have these items available because they never thought they would need it. They also can’t just get up and go buy these things.

Further, how many people truly got infections back then because they didn’t fully clean their rags, which probably needed Bleach? Probably many more people.

Also, how many old shirts can one find in a year? How many rags need to be ruined to the point you don’t even have any to wash your body or your dishes? I don’t have a dishwasher, so everything is washed by hand.

If your blood flow is as bad as mine, you’re running through rags and damaging them. Washing has to be consistent in order to avoid infection, which can be hard when you can’t afford SOAP.

It’s pathetic that there are food stamps but there are no “stamps” for these very important needs. Even the Salvation Army and other local programs have all the food and clothes in the world, but no toiletries and menstrual products.

If you have the privilege of having the internet, it’s difficult to find any programs across the whole country. The ones that exist only help their own small community, and they don’t offer any free shipping to another state.

My local hospital is in another town, far away, and doesn’t offer enough pads for the whole week. I have run through at least 3 big bags of Always’s Overnight per menstrual period, and this is with a menstrual cup (which I’m thankful I invested in years ago). This is aside from the fact there’s been a shortage recently.

Why aren’t enough people speaking up about this? Have people found a way around this issue, and I just don’t know about it?

Diapers are also overlooked by these programs. I’m sure it’s so the companies that make these products profit off of people for things they’ve made people dependent on. I get it. But, like with food, there still should be some sort of programs that allow people to access these necessities.

Assistance with Washing

Speaking of needing access to soap, I’d like to add that poor people do need help with washing. If you don’t live in a house with a washing machine and dryer, you either have to have soap to be able to wash clothes by hand, a drying rack or some way of drying the clothes outside, or you need money for the laundry mat. To add, poor people need to be able to find a laundry mat nearby in their neighborhood in the first place.

In my case, in my apartment, tenants have to pay to use the washing machines and dryers. The cost comes to 4.00 ($2.00 wash and $2.00 to dry) every two weeks. That’s a lot of money for someone with no money.

If an individual doesn’t have family members, friends, or even kind neighbors, what are the next best options? Sure, a poor person can make their own soap, granted they have the ingredients necessary lying around in their cupboards before they became broke, and wash by hand. It’s hard to dry without a drying rack, but I guess it can be done by laying clothes out on a bush or a few chairs.

But overall, something is going to cost eventually.

Without clean clothes, it’s hard to function, especially when you don’t have access to feminine hygiene products. People can’t even go on job interviews without clean clothes.

This is aside from the fact that finding clean clothes at shelters or at the Salvation Army is difficult, too. I don’t even want to go into trying to find clean underwear.

Phone, Internet, Printing, and Mailing Services

Even though the world has progressed, it appears that state resources haven’t. This is possibly just in my area, but phone service and internet are still not considered necessities. I wonder what these rich politicians would think if their services were suddenly cut off for the month.

Almost every resource available either requires people to call for an appointment or to go to the facility. If the building that offers the resource is way across town, it can be difficult to go directly to the place. Often times, the best way to reach any person or place is by phone. To add, afterwards, many of these places often call back with results. How can they reach people with no phone service?

If poor people apply for jobs, they often have to wait for a call back, too. How would they know if they got the job or not without phone service?

No one uses landline phones anymore. Everyone uses cell phone service because it’s convenient and safe to use in and out of the house. Why isn’t it covered as a utility yet? There are a few phone services that offer discounts, but if an individual is poor, they can’t afford to even pay the discounted price. The one source where the government pays for phone service requires a poor person to have a child.

I believe 911 never cuts off on a cell phone, but this is only a hunch. How can any poor person reach someone in an emergency situation?

Cell phones can also offer internet, so it has the ability to offer two services in one go.

It’s crazy how some people still think internet isn’t a necessity. The Pandemic taught everyone how important the internet is. If it weren’t for the internet, millions of people would have been out of work. Many companies would have shut down entirely.

Nowadays, most companies, even the fast food restaurants and local grocery stores, require people to apply for jobs online. I can’t tell you how many stores I’ve gone into that no longer offer hard copy applications anymore. Believe me, I’ve asked.

No one can just go up to a store manager and ask for side work anymore. We don’t live in that age. So why is the nation so behind in understanding how important this is?

The library would normally be the next best place to go, but my nearest library is literally two hours away, in another town. Also, it costs to use the internet in many libraries. Even $.50 is a lot for a poor person, especially when they are deciding whether to use the money to wash clothes, eat, or use the internet.

Printing and faxing are extra expenses aside from using the internet. I’ve come to realize that in order to get approved for state resources such as Food Assistance and Utility Assistance, I needed documentation to PROVE I needed it. In order to prove that, I needed to either have companies mail copies of important documentation to me or I needed to print it from my email. Often times, the window for turning in this documentation is very small. The easiest option is to have a company email documentation and print it off. But oops-that costs.

Many of these services don’t allow poor people to print at their facilities. So, how are poor people supposed to prove they are poor when they are too poor to prove it?

Printing resumes is another important chore. Who offers services for that? Poor people are often talked down on, told they are bums, that they just don’t want to work, considering so many jobs are supposedly “hiring everywhere now”. Well, who is helping these poor people print off their resumes, something required by nearly every job now?

And after printing all of these documents, trying to get it to the facilities without proper transportation can be extremely difficult. Mailing is an option, but it’s also a costly one. The cost to send even one simple letter has gone up over the years, and it can be a lot for a poor person, especially for someone who is sending documents to more than one facility.

Resume-Building and Interview Assistance

While we’re on the subject of resumes, it’s very clear a lot of poor people need help with building their resumes and preparing for interviews. Many people have been on their personal jobs for years before being let go. The Pandemic put a lot of people out of jobs they’ve been on for many years. Their resumes may no longer be as strong as it was before and their interview finesse may be lacking.

But getting help with resumes and interviews is a very costly thing. When trying to put myself out there, I’ve landed many interviews, but haven’t gotten any jobs. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I also don’t have the money to find out.

There are programs that help poor people find work without resumes, but those programs usually require poor people to travel across town to long-distance facilities. Most of these programs exist in Urban areas, not small towns.


I’ve mentioned throughout most of this article how “this was way across town” or “that is far away”. This leans into the most difficult thing for poor people to find: transportation. People don’t realize how privileged they are to have it.

I spoke with a representative working with the Salvation Army. She told me that I needed to come into the facility the very next day to get help with my utilities, otherwise the money could dry up quickly or it will be used before I got there. I asked her how I could get there. She said “Take the bus” or get an “Uber”. She’s clearly never been poor in the town she works in, which is my town.

Those are very condescending words when speaking to poor people. First off, believe it or not, in my neighborhood, public transportation largely doesn’t exist. Believe it or not, public transportation isn’t available everywhere. Yes, you read that correctly. No bus service, at all. Second, the bus costs nearly $2.00 to take, both to travel to a destination and to get home. Most poor people would have to beg on the streets to get that kind of money for transportation, especially when they are trying to save their change for the other costly items mentioned before.

There is a “free ride” service in my community, but riders have to call two weeks in advance to schedule in a ride. That’s not helpful when the Salvation Army tells people to get there the next day or risk losing resources. It’s also not helpful when poor people need to make several trips throughout the week to get documentation, to go on job interviews, or to go get groceries and other important items.

Walking is always an option. However, the summer is blazing hot and the winters are bitter cold where I live. During the summer, I didn’t have money for sunscreen, so my walk to my nearest resource center gave me sunburn. And Aloe Vera isn’t free, either. Poor people also need to be able to carry water. That means they need a container to put the water in. Bottled water isn’t free.

During the Winter, poor people need adequate hats and gloves to walk the two hours it takes to get to the facility that helps with Utility and Food Assistance. It’s not so nice to have to walk to these facilities in mountains of snow, either.


Being poor has helped me check my former privilege in ways unimaginable. Before being poor, I thought I knew what was most important: Food and shelter. But no. Our society has developed in a way that has made us dependent on certain resources that there’s no way to live without it. Unless the solution is to have poor people die off in a “survival-of-the-fittest” type of way, the USA needs to do more to help the poor.

There needs to be programs that offer feminine hygiene products, soap, and toiletries. There should be “banks” or drives that offer that. Possibly Incontinence and Feminine Products Stamps. There should be vouchers or community washing machines somewhere in every community. It should be as available as libraries. At least, apartments should have one free washing machine and dryer for residents. Phones and Internet are now necessities and should be covered by the same programs that offer Food and Utility Assistance. These facilities that offer assistance programs should invest in transportation and should allow poor people to print and gather documentation at their facilities. Every community, at minimum, should have public transportation. The window for gathering documentation should be longer than 10 days. The Salvation Army shouldn’t make appointments with people if there’s no guarantee the money won’t be there. The appointments’ line order should decide who gets the available money. This ensures poor people aren’t wasting their time setting up a date and crawling around for transportation only to find the money is dried up by the time they find something. Every community should have a career center that helps adults transition back to work. At minimum, people can make appointments with a career expert and have them review resumes.

As the elections come up, I think citizens need to think more about where their tax money is going and whether it will help them, in the long run, when they’re at their lowest. That should shape our politics, who we vote for, and the changes we want to see in the future. There’s no way a supposed “1st world country”, such as the USA, should have so many issues dealing with the poor, yet here we are.

If you need another great read, check out: openDemocracy’s If You’ve Never Lived In Poverty, Stop Telling Poor People What They Should Do. It’s very good for people who are interested in giving advice to friends and family members in poverty.

Please think before you speak and be kind.


“Black-washing”: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

14 Sep
Halle Bailey as Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid

White-washing. I’m sure everyone has heard this word once or twice. Simply put, it’s a word used to describe when Hollywood casts White people or lighter people to play everyone, especially characters that were originally people of color. It has been seen as another term to describe “Blackface” in the modern era. White-washing has existed since the beginning of cinema, even when Black people were “allowed” to act in Hollywood. In fact, Whitewashing existed frequently up until as recently as 2017. It was around this time, in 2017, when Hollywood started to realize that casting White actors to play various ethnicities doesn’t always pay pockets in a modern society (Ghost in the Shell, 2017), even if the actor is well known and loved. They even recognized that it could be a career-killer for movie studios and actors alike.

After complaints about the Oscars’ selection of nominees appearing as “White” as possible, the Oscars began to set new diversity standards of eligibility for Movie Academy Awards in 2020. The rules were as follows:

  1. At least one actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group must be cast in a significant role.
  2. The story must center on women, L.G.T.B.Q. people, a racial or ethnic group or the disabled.
  3. At least 30 percent of the cast must be actors from at least two of those four underrepresented categories.

This caused Hollywood to go through a frenzy of hiring people of color anywhere they could.  One way they have implemented this change is by casting Black people to play characters that were originally White, either by suddenly presenting them as Black…or actually calling them “White” (Hamilton-style) despite their race, with the audience having to suspend a bit of reality. This has been called in recent years “Black-washing”.

Just like with White-washing, Black-washing has also had its share of controversy. Some people find it to be hypocritical that “Black-washing” is allowed culturally when White-washing often gets met with disdain and backlash. Others don’t like “Black-washing” because it makes everything feel less authentic or unrecognizable as the cast doesn’t match the character in the source or most familiar material.

On the other hand, many like this type of casting choice because they feel it finally gives Black people and other people of color more representation. Some have even argued that blackwashing as an ideology doesn’t exist and that casting black people in these types of roles is simply another form of reparations for the mistreatment and erasure of Black people from media during the Golden Age Of Hollywood and during the days of the Hay’s Code (a time when Hollywood restricted what could be seen in cinema).

What I aim to do is give a nuanced perspective about “Black-washing”. Regardless of whether I think the theory holds any merit, as a Black person myself, I want to discuss the good that could come with this idea or concept, the bad that could come with this idea or concept, and the ugly that can often surround this idea or concept. Let’s break it all down.

The Good: More Opportunities For Black People

We are beginning to see a rise in Black characters in every source of media. According to Diversity Inc, roles for black actors in a variety of tv series have increased post pandemic in which 65.8% of TV series featured a Black actor pre-pandemic and 70.5% featured at least one black person post-pandemic. Roles for Black actors in films particularly have increased overall from 56.1% to 58.7%.

What this means is that Black-washing gives Black people an opportunity to be even more represented. That is a major feat, believe it or not. I actually remember a time when I went to Backstage.com to find auditions and many of the auditions would say “White-preferred”. As someone who used to be an aspiring actor, it was discouraging to say the least. This was in the early 2010s, not too long ago.

Make no mistake. Almost every lead character is still white, but at least more of them are starting to be people of color. I no longer feel like I would automatically be rejected from an opportunity just because of the color of my skin. I feel like I can finally be recognized for my talent, the talents I’ve had since high school, if I choose acting as a career choice again.

In a sense, this makes Black-washing different from White-washing. White people have never actually been barred from playing any roles in cinema. They have had plenty of opportunities; doors have been open to them from around the world and the doors still are open. Therefore, the effects of White-washing are actually a lot more harmful to Black people than Black-washing is to White people. Black-washing doesn’t bar White people from getting opportunities. Rather, it “evens” the playing field. Don’t misunderstand, I do see a lot of pitfalls that can come from “Black-washing” (which I will get into later in this article), but some of the arguments that many people make against “Black-washing” are usually based on misconceptions, bias, or racial prejudice.

Here is a common argument for example:

“Black people only make up 19% of the population in America. White people are the majority so why should black people get an increase in roles?”

There are two problems with this statement. One problem is that there is a sense of American-centrism, basically Americans acting as if the entire world demographic begins and ends with America. In the entire world, there are more people of color then White people across continents. To be frank, many actors hired in Hollywood are not exactly from the USA. Many of them are from other countries. So this argument that having more Black people in Hollywood is somehow inaccurate or inauthentic is strange.

Second, these kinds of arguments seem to assume that White people will not relate to characters that are of a different race, so by making more characters of color it will somehow push White people away from watching movies. However, people of color have had to relate to characters of various backgrounds for decades, due to the dominance of White actors in media, and are constantly told that it shouldn’t matter what color they are. So shouldn’t the same apply to White people? Furthermore, why is it that viewers must relate to what they see personally? Isn’t it great to learn about something new and imagine what that would be like? I don’t relate to Harry Potter as a wizard, but I like learning and imagining what it would be like to have wizarding powers. Why doesn’t this logic apply to movies featuring Black culture?

To add, many of the characters that are accused of being “Black-washed” in a movie or a show are often played by mixed or biracial people. This makes the outrage a little more complex. We often have a tendency to see every mixed person that has a drop of black as ONLY black. I don’t think this is fair, especially if the actor in question is mixed with White ancestry and understands White culture. If they can act as Black characters, why shouldn’t someone of mixed ancestry be able to act as a White character? Sure, we can talk about how often times the mixed person doesn’t, in any way, resemble the character they are meant to portray. I think in some ways this is a valid criticism. But are you really mad just because they don’t look as you envisioned the part, or are you mad just because the person cast has a little bit of Black in them?

Here is another common argument against Black-washing:

“It is culturally inauthentic to have Black mermaids, elves, fairies, black aristocracy, etc.  These things are based in White culture.”

To counter this, Folklore and other tales have existed all over the world.  Stories surrounding fantasy-like creatures didn’t start with the European diaspora.  Furthermore, Black people have existed in all classes of European society due to colonialism.  For example, many were upset that a Black man was cast to play Porthos in BBC’s The Musketeers.  But did anyone know that the original writer of The Three Musketeers novel, Alexander Dumas, was of Black heritage himself, as well as a General in Napoleon’s army?  I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded such a casting choice.

Finally, here is another common argument against Black-washing:

“It is unfair because the actor is being given a role just for the sake of diversity or “woke points”, not because they actually can do the job.”

I can understand this frustration.  Even as Black people, we don’t just want to be chosen because we’re Black, becoming the “token” actor.  We want our talents to be respected. However, it is a broad assumption to assume that every Black person that was chosen for these roles were simply chosen because they are Black. 

Furthermore, various people of a variety of racial backgrounds, especially White people, were and still are simply preferred because of their White features, not their talents, compared to talents across other racial backgrounds.  Therefore, this is not exclusively a Black-washing issue.  If anything, White-washing occurred as a result of this “White” preference in Hollywood; Black-washing is simply another way of giving Black people the same treatment Hollywood has been giving White people for many years.

On the other hand, whether Black-washing exists or not, Black-washing as a strategy for diversity does have some major issues that I think needs to be discussed.

The Bad: Race-baiting, Whiteface, and Blackface

Blackface is when a white person puts on dark make-up to mock Black people, particularly for comedic purposes. This form of entertainment has been popular for many years. White-washing was often compared to Blackface because many times Hollywood would cast White or lighter actors to play Black people or other people of color, which to many felt disrespectful and conflicted with the experiences of people of color.

So what about “Black-washing”? We can see it as synonymous with Whiteface. Whiteface is a type of performance in which a person wears theatrical makeup in order to make themselves look like a White person. While it doesn’t have the same racist history as Blackface (nor does it have the same level of power or influence over how White people are seen overall), it is meant to represent a caricature of Whiteness and White people’s way of being. Whenever I watch movies that have a Black-washed cast, I can’t help but feel like the Black actors are playing a caricature of White people. There are certain mannerisms and ways of being that sometimes seem more in line with the way white people navigate society and respond to it. Although skin color doesn’t necessarily come with a set of personality traits, there are certain cultural differences between those across the Afro-diaspora and those within the Euro-diaspora, and that makes “Black-washing” so obvious to those who are viewing it.

Another part of the issue comes with the demand for the Black actors to live up to the expectations of the public’s perception of Whiteness. When a Black person acts as a character that was once white, many people expect the Black actor to capture the White character from head to toe, and so Black actors are often forced to portray themselves EXACTLY as the White character would even without the nuance of the Black experience. They have to speak as a White person would (this is not necessarily about articulation but rather for environmental responses), behave as White people would in certain situations, and often times the nuances of being Black within the story is not mentioned because technically they are playing a White person. It’s as if they live in a post-racist world where they are celebrated. In theory, this is great news and not all stories featuring Black people should be about “the black experience”. Some people may even argue that’s the point of acting; to challenge yourself to behave as someone else.

But it doesn’t come without feeling that this new-found celebration of Blackness in Hollywood is less about colorblindness and more about Black people playing the roles White people are comfortable with. It creates a Hollywood form of cultural assimilation. For example, when we think of a Black princess, what exactly comes to mind? To the eyes of Hollywood, a movie about princesses should include a person acting, dressing, and adorning their hair as a European-inspired princess would because that is what Hollywood’s perception of a princess is: White and/or European.

I wouldn’t see a handful of Black girls in a lead role in cinema until my teens and early 20s. To make a comparison of the two movies I saw as a teen and young adult, one was Akeelah And The Bee (2006); the other was Annie (2014). Akeelah and the Bee was a story about a young girl who discovers she has a knack for spelling.  She beats the odds of her underprivileged background to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  In Annie, the movie follows the story of its predecessors where an orphan girl gets lucky enough to be chosen to live with the wealthy Daddy Warbucks, winning the hearts of many. Both actresses did a great job as far as acting goes, and both movies were mildly entertaining for me. When I watched Annie I admit I was excited to see a Black girl on screen as the lead (which I hadn’t seen since Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella). However, while watching Annie I couldn’t help but compare it to the original movie adaptation, Annie (1982), and all of the other Annie versions before it. While I understand it was meant to be a modern Annie, the only thing this movie had to offer was a “Black face”.

I already had an Annie movie version that I had grown to love long before this new adaptation and I became more critical of the newer movie as a result.

Whereas with Akeelah And The Bee, there was nothing compared to it. It was a one-of-a kind movie and, more importantly, it was an original Black story. You could feel the authenticity based on how it tied in Black culture in such a nuanced way and, yet, gave Akeelah her own personality and interests as an individual. People could watch it and enjoy it for what it was without making a comparison to anything else. Whereas with Annie (2014), if felt as if the Black actors were telling the story of a White girl who happens to have a Black face.

I also wonder: What more does Black-washing offer to Black audiences outside of the skin color of the actors? What more does it showcase to audiences outside of our community about Black people? In the end, most people are going to end up sticking to the more popular “White” versions while the “Black” version of the movie will be wiped from memory as the “knock-off”. Even as I enjoyed “Black-washed” movies like Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997) or The Wiz (1978), let’s be honest here, these movies are mostly remembered by the Black audience that tuned in to watch in their respective time periods during eras where Black people were a lot less visible than today in movies.

To make multibillion dollar industries and bring in the big box office money, which would help continue Black Hollywood, we have to have something to offer others besides a Black face. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to do it by imitating White people. Most people in the modern world are looking for new and original story-telling; with an interest in diversity, why are we not taking advantage of this to hop on new ideas and introduce our culture to the world in a fresh, new way?

To add, while “Black-washing” makes some of us feel seen in the moment, will it have the same long-lasting cultural impact, especially in regards to how we see ourselves?

Of course, we can forgive Hollywood executives when they cast Black people as fictional characters, right? These type of characters are usually imagined and so changing their skin color is a matter of taking creative liberties to be more inclusive. This motive is not something I would scorn and sometimes the intentions are good.

However, Black-washing gets murkier when we start to see White historical figures being Black-washed as well. I’m going to examine a good example of this sort of Black-washing: the stage production Hamilton (2015). The Hamilton cast is filled with extremely talented black actors that capture the characters in quite an entertaining and charming way. I admit that I enjoyed watching it on stage and the talent was inspirational to say the least. To be honest, I even have forgotten that the characters they were portraying were White historical figures.

And that is sort of the problem. These White people, while they shaped he USA in many ways, were also slave owners and they could care less about Black people in their lifetime. So while the cast does a celebratory job of playing these roles, they still are playing White slave owners and colonists. Putting a Black face on these kinds of figures makes us sympathize with them more, I suppose. Yet, it makes us ignore what the actual person did because we see a Black face. We begin to fictionalize the real person because the stage production presented them as Black (even if what they did to Black people was questionable).  So the question is, who gets to be celebrated in history, and should Black people be celebrated only when they are acting as white people, especially white people that participated in our oppression?

And that is sort of the problem. These White people, while they shaped he USA in many ways, were also slave owners and they could care less about Black people in their lifetime. So while the cast does a celebratory job of playing these roles, they still are playing White slave owners and colonists. Putting a Black face on these kinds of figures makes us sympathize with them more, I suppose. Yet, it makes us ignore what the actual person did because we see a Black face. We begin to fictionalize the real person because the stage production presented them as Black (even if what they did to Black people was questionable).  So the question is, who gets to be celebrated in history, and should Black people be celebrated only when they are acting as white people, especially white people that participated in our oppression?

Understandably, I do believe that there has been a good reason historically for Black-washing. After all, as mentioned before, Black people were excluded from Hollywood after years of racism, and so we would often create movies or spaces that were made to mimic that of White entertainment just to be seen or represented. This was probably the only way Black people could gain visibility back in the past.

However, we are living in the 21st century. I think it is time we progressed past the need for Black-washing. We are one of the most visible minorities on-screen to date. Why do we still hold on to this old idea that the only way to have Black representation is by casting ourselves as White?

In my honest opinion, while I’m always happy to see Black people like myself on screen, I think Black-washing is lazy. It is a lazy way to give people “diversity” without actually giving them a unique story to call their own. There is a perception in Hollywood that black people cannot carry a movie by themselves without the help of White people. There is also the perception that people won’t go see Black-led movies unless the story is already familiar (or in other words Eurocentric). Whiteness is often treated as the “default” and therefore more acceptable and digestible.

In my honest opinion, while I’m always happy to see Black people like myself on screen, I think Black-washing is lazy. It is a lazy way to give people “diversity” without actually giving them a unique story to call their own. There is a perception in Hollywood that black people cannot carry a movie by themselves without the help of White people. There is also the perception that people won’t go see Black-led movies unless the story is already familiar (or in other words Eurocentric). Whiteness is often treated as the “default” and therefore more acceptable and digestible.

Black Panther (2018) was one of the movies to challenge these ideas. Black Panther, while known by most fans of the Marvel comics, was not as well-known among casual movie goers. In this movie, we see an African king of Wakanda and a true Black superhero who protects his own people, without the need of White intervention or European involvement.  In this sense, the movie adaptation introduced an all-new story because it was the first adaptation of its kind. This made a bigger difference in the legacy of Black entertainment when we compare it to the White “knock-offs” that Black-washing had to offer. To add, what we also see from Black Panther is culture. Black culture.

The Ugly: The Absence Of Black Culture

There are different ways to Black-wash. Black-washing can come in the form of a Black reimagination of an established property. What I do like about some movies with this approach is that it gives an opportunity to tell a similar story but with a unique “Black” point-of-view, inculcating the rich culture, music, and fashion that comes from the Black community. Take Disney’s The Princess And The Frog (2009), for example. While it can be seen as a “Black-washed” version of its predecessor (a fairy tale of European origin), it has its own way of telling the story that makes it feel unique from the batch of fairy tale movies. It also caters to the sentiments and experiences of Black people. Just for understanding, this is not to say the movie is perfect (there are various flaws with the movie, starting with the creative decision to showcase the Black princess as a frog for most of the movie). However, you can tell that the creators took an interest in Black culture and wanted to inculcate some of our rich heritage into the movie. Unlike Hamilton, this movie celebrates Blackness rather than Whiteness, even if inspired from a European tale. I feel the same way with The Wiz (1978), the Black adaptation of The Wizard Of Oz, where Oz is designed to resemble that of Black urban neighborhoods, music, and culture. In a sense, we as Black people can both relate to it and see ourselves being represented more authentically.

Unfortunately, many movies today are missing the nuances of our culture in them because they are simply casting Black people to play White people. Movies that Black-wash without the nuances of our culture often feel hollow. They give me nothing to look back and be proud of except the fact that the person playing in the role is Black. Trust me, there will be plenty more feats where the “first Black actor” is playing the “first Black something”. This will get old really soon.

Furthermore, when are we going to start embracing stories from Black communities and culture? I want more movies like The Black Panther (2018). I want to see our culture celebrated, our kings or queens honored, our “fairy-tales” or folk tales visible. When are we going to get an Anansi The Spider movie? What about Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters? There’s so many more Black stories that we need only Google search to find them.

I think about the show Bridgerton (2020-Present). It is a great show with a very diverse cast of characters. However, while the show is progressive in its approach, having as many diverse faces as possible, the styles and attitudes are meant to mimic that of the Regency era in White European society. While this story is based on historical facts (albeit controversially), and it is being produced through a Black-owned entertainment company (even if the writers of the show are mostly white), that doesn’t take away the fact that the inspiration of this show and most shows and movies are always focused on Europe. Why so Eurocentric? Many of these actors will be praised only when they are acting in roles that reflect European culture or aristocracy while movies that reflect other cultures are often criticized as being somehow “stereotypical” or less “universal” to audiences.

Ultimately, it feels as if we are more eager to praise this form of cultural assimilation rather than embrace cultural diversity and liberation. In a story like Bridgerton, we can pretend that people of color were equal to that of White people in those societies. We can ignore the racist history behind people of color at court, how they had to cut off family ties to be seen as more “White” in society, and dismiss their culture to assimilate to a European way of life. We can more easily see Black people in power when the backdrop is European because Whiteness and European values represent power in our minds. We can even ignore the atrocities that occur even within the story of Bridgerton towards people of color, such as when Daphne (a white woman) decides to force Simon, a black man, to have intercourse with her to get what she wants and gets away with it, especially in the book, which the series adaptation is based on.  Amongst the beautiful scenery and European-style costumes, we can pretend that this is what true diversity looks like.

Hollywood champions diversity when it comes to casting, but many of the White producers and directors there don’t actually have enough interest in diversity to delve into a culture that is not their own. No, they should not be able to use the excuse that they don’t know enough about other cultures because the opportunity is there to hire advisors or even have some of the actors give advice. Yet, Black-washing gives them the easiest way out because they believe that black people are desperate and accepting of their scraps. The truth is that many of the major producers in Hollywood are not interested in expanding their interest. Black-washing is simply another way for them to brush the issue under the rug, with very little effort to include diversity, especially when many of them are reluctant to recruit creative thinkers from even a small number of people from underrepresented groups behind the scenes.

Despite a major increase of Black people in media, what has been staggering is the amount of Black showrunners. Black screenwriters and directors are also very few. In 2017 alone, only 5.1% of showrunners were reported to be Black. Many of the Black people that are on-set sometimes don’t even honestly get a say in how the characters are created, not even when it comes to the creation of Black people in fiction.

As Cord Jefferson, writer of The Good Place (2016-2020), put it: “Something that happens a lot when it comes to diversity in Hollywood ― and everywhere else ― is that people will just populate the room with people of color or queer people or women but not really respect those people’s voices or pay attention to what they’re saying. It feels like you’re diversity decoration a little bit, as opposed to a valuable member of the team.”

Executives mistakenly believe that simply having a “racial-neutral” cast or staff is the best way to add more diversity. As we can see, that only addresses the problem of diversity superficially. When I see a movie that Black-washes in this sort of “color-blind” way, I become very skeptical of the intentions. I do recognize that some producers or casting directors simply want to show talent without discrimination, but this method makes it seem as if they do not actually care who they cast in the role. This is why we get diverse-looking characters, but an absence of diverse story-telling.

Abbott Elementary, a TV series that focuses on a predominately Black school and its teachers, manages to highlight Black characters in a way Black people, especially educators, can relate because of its authenticity. To date, Abbott Elementary has the best comedy ratings on ABC since Modern Family, even in a time when streaming services dominate traditional cable TV. What makes the show fantastic is that it is not “color-blind”. It is an original story with the intent of showcasing what it is like to work with Black children in a low-income area. Despite the fact that the show does not focus on White people (even with a handful of White people in the show), it still manages to relate to people of various backgrounds. The show didn’t have to be a Black version of an established “White” series nor did the show have to focus on White culture’s influence on Black people.

Instead, what makes this show appealing is that it is an authentic Black story, and because the cast is predominately Black, we don’t have to rely on “token” Black voices to get a full picture of what being Black is like. Through the characters of this show, we can see a variety of attitudes and feelings that can relate to anyone who is a teacher or has ever taught in a low-income school. The show also doesn’t have to shy away from Black culture in order to avoid stereotyping. Instead, it approaches stereotypes in a nuanced way, allowing for Black audiences to recognize themselves while relating to a variety of characters who approach these topics differently. While the show draws inspiration from the other mocumentary-style comedies before it, viewers can feel the intention was to tell a Black story. The best part is it is written by a Black person (Quinta Brunson).

This is what I’m hoping will happen in the future when companies are dealing with Black movies and shows. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being inspired from European stories nor do I think it is wrong to cast more people of color. However, I think we need to do better when it comes to recognizing Black people outside of the face alone, taking on the opportunity to also show respect for where we come from and exploring that experience to make more authentic Black content.

As far as acting as historical figures, we don’t have to be honored in White history in order to prove that we are a part of history. Believe it or not, Black people have our own history outside of the White European diaspora. We have had kingdoms. We have had Gods. We have had heroes and villains. But how will other generations know or understand this if all they have to see is a White interpretation of Blackness or culturally assimilated Blackness? Black-washing in Hollywood might give us temporary excitement and representation, but will it give us something to look back on that will make us proud to be who we are for a lifetime? I honestly do not think so.

I want to know what you all think. Do you think “Black-washing” is beneficial or is the concept regressive? Do you think it actually exists or is it just all in our heads?


Guest Writer VenusLove

American Girl Doll Claudie Wells’ Collection Details The Rich Black Experience During 1920’s Harlem Renaissance

26 Aug
Claudie’s World

Welcome back Gen Next readers! Life has been rough on this end post-pandemic, and the struggle has been real for me trying to get back to normal. I’m sure that’s the story for everyone right now.

But the one thing all of us can count on is beautiful and compelling stories from American Girl that remind us of days gone past.

Finally, one of the most asked-for and anticipated dolls, from one of the most asked-for eras, has arrived: Meet Claudie Wells!

Personally, I’ve been begging for this era in time. I’ve often wondered why they hadn’t tackled the era sooner. Yet, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Story

For those who haven’t had the proper education on the Harlem Renaissance, it was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater, politics and scholarship centered in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, spanning the 1920s and 1930s. For the first time, Black talent was being recognized, and Black people were more prosperous than they had been after the Civil War.

As both an African American and a writer, Claudie is someone that I relate well to. She literally reminds me of myself. As she struggles to find her special talent, she’s almost mirroring me now as I struggle to find direction, especially in my career and personal life, post-pandemic.

Claudie Wells is growing up in 1920s Harlem and is in awe of the artists all around her. Her father is a talented baker, her mother is a reporter for a renowned newspaper, and her boardinghouse mates include a jazz singer, cornet player, and painter. Claudie dreams of having a special talent all her own but struggles to find her calling. When an eviction notice threatens her beloved home, Claudie takes a risk to pursue an idea that just might turns things around.

The author is #1 New York Times Best-Selling Author Brit Bennett and the Illustrator is Laura Freeman. Brit Bennett left a beautiful author’s note, resonating with ’90s kids, such as myself, everywhere. Like me, she grew up with the massive array of toys and books and other consumable goods aimed at children in the 1990’s. We had it good. The economy wasn’t too shabby, life was imaginative before the internet really stole our eyes and time away, and businesses were interested in marketing to children of all ages. Children had simpler tastes, too.

I feel that the author is as relatable as Claudie. I felt a wave of nostalgia as she mentioned book series like the Hardy Boys and Dear America, and the mountains of Barbies she played with, something Millennials know all too well. Her story about sharing her American Girl doll Addy and exchanging the books with her sister brings me back to the exact same scenario with me and my twin during our long summer road trips when visiting with relatives. We had six books for the first six characters in the company, and I would always read the books dedicated to the first three characters in the timeline while she would read about the last three. Then, we’d switch!

In the “Story Sneak Peek” video posted in the shop section of Americangirl.com, Bennett shares that she engages with American Girl’s social media, and begged them to let her write a story centered on a 1990’s character. Though, I’ve also desired a 1990’s character, I think we should reserve that spot for an equally long-anticipated Asian Historical lead character (who, unlike Ivy Ling, should not be a side-kick). Bennett was the perfect person to tackle a very important and yet surprisingly underrepresented era in history. She is a fan, and that means she understands what we hard-core fans like to see to a certain degree.

Perhaps what most connects my experience and the author’s is that we aren’t just any old writers, or any old American Girl fans, or around the same age. We are also both Black, African American, and that experience lends a completely new layer to our complex identity. That complex identity seems to be woven into the character Claudie, as she tries to discover herself amidst all the diverse rich Black cultural experiences and multi-talented Black people living in Harlem. With little opportunity, Black people clustered in one area, allowing talent to rise but also leaving black people feeling washed-out in a competitive society.

While the story does focus on the lead heroine searching for her special talents, on her journey she begins to explore her city along with this rich diversity. She takes the reader along as she discovers that everyone has a story. Most of the residents in her vibrant city came from another place. Commonly, most of them were escaping oppression in the South post-Civil War and while Jim Crow laws were in effect. Claudie’s story may seem a little more light-hearted than American Girl’s Addy (who escaped slavery) on the surface, but it doesn’t shy away from ugly truths (like hate crimes, discrimination, or other violent and aggressive actions towards Black people).

The Collection

As with all of the American Girl dolls and their collection, Claudie’s collection creates that immersive and interactive 1920’s Harlem experience. I always try to resist buying more American Girl dolls (due to the price point). But the history lover in me can’t resist the detailed and beautifully designed outfits, the detailed playsets, and the very educational accessories. Having Claudie and her entire world home with me would be like having my own mini 1920’s Harlem Renaissance museum. That is the irresistible pull.

Looking at Claudie, I feel like I’m stepping back in time. I haven’t felt this excited in a long time.

Claudie arrives in a woven plaid dress with a Peter Pan collar, a cardigan sweater, Mary Jane shoes, and knee-high socks. One interesting detail about her blue color palette is that, in the 1920s, Blue was considered a “girl’s color”. Department stores hopped on board to promote gendered color patterns, which began rising in popularity after World War I. Pink didn’t become associated with girlhood until around the 1940’s. It’s a very interesting historical nod to the era.

Claudie’s beautiful thick ringlets remind me of Shirley Temple, though she became popular in the decade afterwards. There is talk around the American Girl fandom that American Girl’s Depression-era character, Kit Kittredge, was supposed to look like that. I think it’s interesting that Claudie dons this glamorous look instead, which kind of symbolically reflects Claudie’s need to feel special in some way. Her face mold is unique among the other Historical characters, but she looks similar to American Girl World By Us’s McKenna. The face mold seemed to be in demand.

Her accessories give a fabulous vintage vibe. I was immediately drawn to the Baby Ruth candy bar (named after the infamous Baseball Star Babe Ruth). As stated in my earlier article on the time period, sports became huge in 1920s America, with many of the biggest baseball stadiums, including Yankee Stadium, opening up, and sports stars appeared on the front cover of cereal boxes and had their own merchandise by this time period. “The pride inspired by the Harlem Renaissance inspired African Americans to excel in the American sporting arena.”

The “cloche hat” was invented by Caroline Reboux in 1908 and became wildly popular starting in 1922.

Claudie also comes with a cute scooter, showing how kids were finding new ways to travel across the city. In fact, it was said that the scooter originated in the 1920s as a playtime item.

Her outfit and accessories are so detailed and unique.

I was very intrigued by her pajama set. Most people might not know this, but pajamas, or pyjamas, as they were known, were actually the height of summer and resort fashion in the 1920’s. They were often worn out in public, considered “multi-purpose” rather than just sleepwear worn within the home. The pyjamas were another sign of the modern woman, as most women didn’t wear any sort of garments that resembled “men’s” trousers. The jumpsuit trouser style was particularly popular.

First appearing almost a century ago at European seaside resorts, beach pajamas were one of the first trousered garments for the Western woman. With their eye-catching designs and atmosphere of sensual rebellion, these pieces have become favorites among collectors today. Recent discussion has been stirred regarding the definition and accepted form of “beach pajamas”. Yet as illustrated by the prevalence of pajamas throughout the ’20s and ’30s, and the seemingly endless occasions they were marketed for, there was much fluidity to pajama dressing. The vast majority of pajamas were multi-purpose garments which were worn everywhere from the boudoir to the beach, to fashionable shops and cafés …

Taking the lead from the bohemian socialites who comprised their clientele, couturiers Mary Nowitzky and Coco Chanel were among the first designers specializing in fashionable and comfortable pajamas for women’s beachwear. Chanel had already been designing sportswear dresses at her shop in Deauville for some time, and Nowitzky, a Russian emigree, opened her Paris house in 1926. Soon other notable designers embraced pajamas as well, and the trend solidified.

“An entirely new type of costume has recently joined the wardrobe of the smart woman” claimed an August 1927 Harper’s Bazaar article, “The Pajama Arrives.”

The silk head wrap is all too familiar to African Americans raised as girls, even to this day. In order to keep our hair neatly in place, at night, our parents wrapped our hair up. Almost every Black girl, woman, and femme can relate to this kind of imagery, and it immediately made Claudie feel like one of the family.

I believe I predicted there would be a dance set on the way. The 1920s was filled with people beginning to be obsessed with the latest dances, such as the Charleston, most of which originated within the American Black Community. The headdress gives this part of her collection that staple 1920’s look that most people looking for the “flapper fashion” influence could appreciate. Of course, Claudie has to learn Jazz dancing. But I think it’s interesting the book ties West African griot into the Jazz dancing experience, showing how Black people fused both identities, African and North American, into one whole, trying to reclaim their heritage after slavery ended.

The Angelo’s Bakery playset is the big-ticket item in her collection and is my favorite. It reflects a rich Black cultural experience in Harlem during this time period. It has banana coconut fritters (which originated in Western Africa), the Guava Orange Cake Roll (which more than likely came from the Caribbean and from Central and South America where the Guava fruit grows), old Southern favorites such as chocolate cake, a sweet potato pie, a strawberry pie, a pineapple upside-down cake, baguettes (which came from Louisiana’s French Creole culture, explored more by American Girl’s Cecile), and braided bread, a Jewish staple.

The German Pretzel is perhaps the most interesting piece of all the food items. There are two historical details this item reflects: World War I and Prohibition.

After it became illegal to offer free lunches, bars placed out bowls of pretzels. Their saltiness made them perfect drinking snacks, but the connection between drinking and pretzels gave pretzels a less than savory reputation. During World War I, pretzels took another hit: many Americans associated them with Germany. But that hit was nothing compared to what happened during prohibition: no beer, no pretzels.

In the end, though, Carroll notes “But the pretzel’s downfall was actually its salvation. When the country went dry in 1920, pretzel manufacturers had to come up with new ways to entice Americans…They curried favor with housewives by advertising the twisted dough as a healthful children’s snack rich in minerals”. And it worked. Pretzel consumption doubled during prohibition, and once the booze was legal again, pretzel sales continued to grow. Soon they were hailed as the only thing to eat with tuna-fish salad, and Americans were also indulging in pretzel soup, lollipops, and pie crusts.

Rye bread became a staple food item after the “sandwich” rose in popularity in the 1920s.

Other unique items are the 1899 $1 Silver Certificate Black Eagle Banknote (dollar bill), which then had an American Eagle, the USA’s national bird, and a black and gold cash box (revealing that not every business owner had the privilege of being able to afford a cash register). The boiled oats, flower, and sugar containers are designed to reflect the packaging style popular of the period.

Aside from everything mentioned, there is even more to explore with this playset, making it worth the price for hard-core American Girl fans and deep history lovers alike.

Finally, American Girl has partnered up once again with Harlem Fashion Row (as they did with World By Us) to help get designers of color on the map. The new designer outfits were created by Samantha Black, producing “a modern take on 1920s glamour”. The outfits are gorgeous and add more variety to Claudie’s collection.


Claudie feels like a tried-and-true American Girl. Like the older American Girls of the 1980s, she doesn’t magically have strong gifts or talents. She’s figuring herself out, feeling more like Samantha, Kirsten, and Molly, than Kit, Julie, and Rebecca. She’s a “normal” girl.

At the same time, she’s lovable and most people can relate to her. She has a quirky charm.

Her collection is rich with detail, really bringing her 1920’s era to life. She has some stereotypical flapper items, but overall she is a more realistic portrayal than what is normally placed out there to paint the Roaring ’20s.

The doll is everything I’d hoped for, and I’m very glad American Girl decided to release her. American Girl is probably the only historical fiction brand to truly tackle this era from the minds of children, making her a true gem.


Claudie Jones’s promotion is seriously lacking. Maybe there just aren’t enough funds in the pool post-pandemic, but it feels like there were more organized events and articles talking about 1980’s Courtney than Claudie. It’s a shame because Claudie has the potential to really teach children history, while Courtney was just a nostalgic cash grab without any thought as to how the 1980’s really impacted history (which wasn’t much history, to be honest). But that’s the times we’re living in.

It’s bad enough Claudie is Black, and we already know that American Girl’s largest fanbase isn’t on the darker side. The Black characters do struggle to sell as well as the White characters. That’s why it’s disappointing that the major news outlets, other than Business Wire and Pix 11, are basically ignoring her. These other outlets have no problem juicing up the Girl of the Year every year.

Also, is it just me, but are American Girl collections and stories getting smaller and shorter?

Since the Beforever relaunch in 2014, and since the release of “abridged” books, the American Girl books lack the substance and detail they once had in the past. American Girl 1980’s Courtney was the start of what felt like a serious stripping away of in-depth story-telling. In my opinion, without the 6-book format (Meet Story, School Story, Holiday Story, Birthday/Spring Story, Summer Story, Winter/Changes Story), the stories feel like they are missing a lot of information regarding how people lived throughout the seasons in those days. I would have liked to see what school was like in the 1920s and how they celebrated the holidays, not just whether Claudie finds her special talent or not. It definitely felt like a “Meet” story, but that only superficially pays homage to the good-old days.

While the number of pages in the book may equal the number of pages the former six-book format would offer, somehow the story feels too narrow, brief, and short. Possibly because it’s too “cohesive”. Traditionally, that hasn’t been American Girl’s style. I would like to hear many different stories told about Harlem during the 1920’s, with a different focus on life in that vibrant city. It’s just not as fulfilling to stay on one topic, in one season in time, without exploring how people change with the seasons. Climate influences culture, and when we ignore climate we lose the culture of the time period.

With the loss of the six-book format comes a loss of a full collection. It would have been nice for her to have been released with school supplies from the time, a desk, and a school outfit. A nice holiday outfit would have been nice, too. As I’ve mentioned on this website before, in the 1920s, the first Christmas tree to light up with electric lights lit up in New York City. It was a missed opportunity not to include that in the books or to reference it in the collection.

The next Claudie book is due to arrive Spring 2023. Hopefully, we all will learn more about this Jazzy character and have more exciting new items added to her collection.

Until then, Ciao, peace!

The Over-Turn of Roe v. Wade is a Bad Decision For Liberals and Conservative Americans. Here’s why.

25 Jun

If you haven’t heard by now, on this day June 24, 2022, Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in which the Court ruled that the Constitution of the United States generally protects a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion, has been overturned by the Supreme Court in the UNITED States Of America (Or should we say the Divided States Of America). This over-turn means that abortion rights are no longer federally protected as a constitutional right for women and other child-bearing people.

The USA has always had two different political divisions driving the debate: Conservatives and Right-Wing Republicans and Liberal and Left-Wing Democrats. The Conservatives in the USA want to preserve the old ways of doing things, upholding honored traditions, and most of their beliefs are motivated by religion, the need to maintain comfort and security, and familial or generational teachings. Most Right-Wing Republicans tend to support Conservatives, as they might have other old-fashioned political ideologies that they believe would be best supported through Conservatives. For many Conservatives, this over-turn is a victory because they believe that this will ensure protections for, what they see, as “un-born babies”. The Liberals in the USA want society to progress socially, they want to challenge the established system, and most of their beliefs are motivated by negative personal experiences. Most Left-Wing Democrats tend to support Liberals, as they may have other progressive ideologies that they believe would be best supported through Liberals. For Liberals, the over-turn is seen as the end of people’s choices over their own bodies.

To be clear, the over-turn does not necessarily ban abortion outright. The USA is made up (currently) of 50 states (or countries, local government) in one big country (USA, federal government). What the ban does is give legislative power back to the individual 50 states, where each state has the opportunity to choose which laws or regulations they will have regarding abortion rights, without the intervention of the federal government. However, at least eleven (11) states have already banned abortion or limited access to abortion, including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wisconsin, among others. The state of Texas has a “trigger law” that will ban all abortions from the moment of fertilization 30 days after this over-turn. Many other states are set to also ban abortion entirely or restrict them severely.

“State laws banning or severely restricting abortion access fell into three broad categories: 1) “trigger bans,” which ban abortion under most circumstances and go into effect with the fall of Roe; 2) pre-Roe bans, which are old laws still on the books that could now be enforced; and 3) more recently passed laws that limit abortion to an early gestational age or ban it nearly totally. Some states had passed laws in more than one of these categories.” -Npr’s Sarah McCammon

The argument that many Conservatives and Republicans often make regarding why this decision is important usually involves their own personal ethics and morals. Does an un-born baby have the right to live, even when it is inside the body of a woman as a fetus like all of the other cells? For many Conservatives and Republicans, the answer is yes, and with this idea comes the belief that abortion is another form of murder. They also make the argument that we have a variety of contraceptive methods, which is supposed to mean that, for many people, there should be no need for abortion. They even believe that banning or restricting abortion will slow unprotected sex, slow teen pregnancy rates (even though they are lower than ever before), and encourage responsible parenthood.

As for the Liberal take on abortion, it’s a matter of protecting freedom in a country founded on that promise. Does a woman have the right to choose what happens to her body during pregnancy? For many Democrats and Liberals, the answer is yes, and many of them believe that restricting abortion rights is the end of liberty. Many Liberals and Democrats believe that abortion rights give people the choice over their lives. Many Liberals also argue that it is because of more access to abortion healthcare that teen pregnancies have decreased. Many also believe that abortion rights save many victims of sexual assault or rape from a lifetime of mental and physical trauma from carrying the child of their assaulters. And it seems like the government is more focused on punishing pregnant girls and women, who could be potential victims of assault, instead of focusing on creating harsher sentences for those who have sexually abused women and girls.

I believe that when making the argument regarding ethics, this issue will always be divided because we can only question who is more important: the un-born child or the living women and girls who will be forced to carry them?

Adding to the polarizing debate surrounding morals and ethics, I want to also address this from a practical point-of-view.

What Will This Mean For Miscarriages?

Many Republican legislators and Conservatives may not be privy to the fact that miscarriages are a lot more common among women than abortions. A Miscarriage is the spontaneous loss of an embryo or fetus during pregnancy. This can happen before 20 weeks of pregnancy, with 8 out of 10 happening within 3 months of pregnancy. Miscarriages can happen at any moment and for a variety of reasons.

Doctors providing abortion care use skills and drugs similar to those used to treat miscarriages and stillbirths. If these practices are “banned” in certain states, what will that mean for women who suffer from a fatal miscarriage? Many medical residents who sign up for abortion training often learn techniques that are useful for clearing the lining after miscarriages. Almost 10%-20% of all pregnancies end in a miscarriage, and this only covers the statistics for known pregnancies. Miscarriages are estimated to be as high as 31% to 50% for people who experienced one before knowing they were pregnant.

Another thing to consider is this: Will people who experience a miscarriage be subjected to criminal charges? In Oklahoma, a woman by the name of Brittany Poolaw was convicted of manslaughter charges and was sentenced to four years in prison because she had a miscarriage. With the end of Roe v. Wade, and some national bans on abortion starting to take effect in some states, will this mean that every woman that experiences a miscarriage could be also be accused and tried by a criminal court or at least suspected of murder? It would be nice if more Republican legislators were more thoughtful about these circumstances because, as the ban sweeps the nation, even the most Republican-friendly, Conservative women may experience this outcome while pregnant.

What About Young Victims Of Forced Pregnancy?

Many Conservatives and Republicans have argued that pregnancy happens mostly as a result of “irresponsibility”. In states like Missouri, they ignore or overlook the effects of rape or sexual assault, and don’t believe it gives any woman or girl reason for abortion, stating “It’s still a baby’s life”. They also argue that forced pregnancy is an outlier. The idea here is that a “woman” must carry the baby full term, no matter what her physical situation, medical conditions, mental conditions, financial situation, or age.

Speaking of age, a girl can conceive when she begins menstruation. Girls can start their menarche as early as 8, 9, and 10 years old. Can you imagine a world where eight-year-olds, nine-year-olds, or 10-year-olds would be forced to give birth because of forced intercourse by a stranger or a relative? In America, 14.8% of women have experienced rape. This means out of 168,000,000 women in the USA, 24,864,000 of them have experienced rape or sexual assault and 11.1% (18,480,000) of them were under the age of 12. This only includes reported cases, as many children who are victims are not often able to speak up against their abusers nor understand the abuse they have experienced. Children who become pregnant under the age of 17 would be considered “high risk” medically, both for the young girl giving birth and the un-born baby they would be forced to carry. For many of these young girls, having to carry the baby of an abuser can be one of the most traumatic life experiences. These young girls would also have to face a judgmental public that shames them because pregnancy does show, especially on a child. The future children of the victim could grow up knowing or learning that they came to be because their mother was assaulted, which would lead to trauma for the off-spring as well. The abuser’s baby may be born, but the livelihood and mental state of a girl who was forced to endure such a torture through pregnancy at her age stays with her for the rest of her life. To the abuser, the baby is their prize.

Even young girls and teenagers who are not victims of sexual assault or rape might make uninformed mistakes throughout their lifetime. However, should we punish a child or teenager with the trauma of pregnancy for the rest of their life? While teen pregnancies have decreased throughout the last few decades, the U.S. still has the highest rates compared to other developed countries, and that may only increase after the over-turn of Roe v. Wade.

Here is the question: Which life is more important to you? The lives of un-born babies? Or the lives of little girls and living victims of assault?

The Damaging Effects Of Pregnancy

Everyone seems to be aware of the symptoms that come while a girl or a woman is giving birth. However, there are physical ailments that exist the full NINE months of pregnancy, too. Not only does pregnancy cause a variety of sicknesses, such as hyperemesis gravidarum (a severe form of morning sickness that can affect the health of both mother and baby), but it can greatly alter a woman and girl’s body inside and out. For some women, pregnancy can be fatal. About 700 women a year die as a result of pregnancy or delivery complications. For women after the age of 35 who experience pregnancy, they have a higher risk of breast cancer, blood clots, and there has been a rising number of heart attacks experienced during childbirth. Women over 35 years of age with other uterine issues are also at higher risk for Ectopic pregnancies (when an egg gets stuck outside the uterus and begins to grow, potentially damaging organs and creating loss of blood). It has been one of the major causes of pregnancy-related deaths (10% have experienced this).

Would surgeries that help women with varying uterine issues also be held under suspicion?

Some conservatives believe that these situations are a lot more rare in a modern society. However, the end of Roe v Wade could mean an increase of these conditions as abortion rights often gave women the choice to avoid these issues. People might argue that sexual abuse and medical issues are “rare circumstances” that shouldn’t influence our sentiments, but shouldn’t our laws cover even the rarest of circumstances, all of the “nooks and crannies”, so that conversations like this don’t ever have to come up again? After all, turning, over-turning, and turning legislation back and forth leads to confusion, makes enforcing laws challenging, and weakens citizens’ faith in the established laws. That just leads to anarchy.

When having conversations regarding birth and the health of a patient, mental health is often overlooked. However, mental health risks are just as important when examining the outcome of both the parent and children born. Postpartum depression is also a very difficult situation to endure, especially for young mothers. Those who develop postpartum depression are at greater risk of developing major depression later on in life. In the last decade, risks of suicide among pregnant mothers have only increased. Aside from postpartum depression, there are many women with a variety of behavioral or mental disorders (such as bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, Schizophrenia, etc), and unintended pregnancies would only worsen some of their conditions. Shouldn’t a woman who is mentally ill have a choice? Mental disorders often do affect the way a baby is cared for inside the body of a woman.

In states that do not allow for exceptions, a person that has terminal medical issues such as Cancer or HIV/AIDS would have to carry their children full-term. They would have severe issues with delivery and the child would have a higher likelihood of being born with the same medical issues as their parents. Parents with physical disabilities or impairment may also find themselves having the same issues with delivery.

Did I mention that Covid-19, a contagious respiratory disease that first swept the nation a little more than a year ago, still exists? Pregnancy increases the chances of catching severe illnesses, like Covid-19, and the symptoms that come from harsh diseases like that can have long-term effects on a baby as well, according to the CDC.

Unintended pregnancies can also affect the livelihood of children that are born into such situations. Unhealthy attitudes and behaviors can develop during unintended parenthood, and these behaviors can affect a child’s development. An unintended pregnancy is a risk factor for poor maternal mental health, causing an increase in depression and stress. Children born from an unintended pregnancy showed a cognitive delay at 3-years-old, more behavioral problems from 5-7-years-old, and increased substance use in their teen years when compared to their peers. Unintended pregnancies also increased the risk of abuse towards children and pregnant women. Abortion rights give parents the right to choose when to have children. You might believe that banning or restricting abortion rights is protecting children, but by hurting the parent’s right to choose, you are actually hurting the children, who would be born into such risky situations, even more.

What about contraceptives? Even the birth control pills and shots have some serious side effects that can include heart attacks, stroke, blood clots, and tumors just to name a few. Even when taking these types of contraceptives, pregnancy can still occur no matter how regularly or correctly you might take these contraceptives. This is also the same case for condoms, in which breakages are very common.

Some may argue that perhaps hysterectomies or tubal ligation are options for women. However, these invasive surgeries are much more costly and, in most cases, they would be irreversible where a woman would never be able to make the choice to have a child.

Instead, what we may see is an increase in riskier means of getting abortions, which would be synonymous to what had often occurred before Roe v. Wade. What, you thought abortions were new?

What About The Financial Risks Of Pregnancy?

Much of the stress that occurs as a result of unintended pregnancies often involves socioeconomic factors. After all, in order to adequately take care of a child, financial stability is necessary. In which case, only parents that have adequately planned and prepared for childhood can provide the best circumstances for the child. Over 75% of abortions occurred due to financial reasons. Usually those or impoverished or low-income individuals. Sure, anyone can argue that no one should be having children without preparation anyway, but the bottom-line is people do. Life can change in the snap of a finger, even for people who think they are well-prepared for a child, such as losing a spouse or losing one’s job. And with more schools even banning sex education, more people will have less knowledge about sex and pregnancies, leading to many accidental ones. With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, this could increase the risk of homeless, neglected, and abandoned children in impoverished areas as generational poverty and socioeconomic issues are linked to these circumstances. Sure, Conservatives might say the “irresponsible parents” deserved it, but are you also saying the innocent child that was forced to full-term deserved it, too?

Keeping personal financial situations in mind, what about the national economic state of things to date? What about the current inflation crisis? There couldn’t have been a worse time to over-turn federally protected abortion rights with the rising cost of living and a shortage in supplies, including baby supplies. Hey, they could have at least waited until the economy was more stabilized to enact such a drastic change in legislation. Instead, they had no consideration for the number of people who may be pregnant, but are no longer able to provide for babies due to America’s post-pandemic economic turmoil.

While some states are allowing for abortions, the cost to travel or move to these states may not make this a viable option for low-income people. Many businesses still do not have adequate maternity leave policies in place, either, so the ban in many states will mean that many people will risk being laid-off or terminated from employment in order to carry a baby full-term or travel for abortions. Many clinics are closing, which makes travel decisions unpredictable. Speaking of which, many employees of abortion clinics may potentially be unemployed themselves, as many locations are set to close in the coming months. This will only add to an unemployment rate in the U.S.A that hasn’t had much of a turn-around since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Of course, many might believe that because “adoption” is available, there is an easy way out. However, we have to consider the cost of carrying and delivering a child, which includes medical bills that many without adequate healthcare coverage would not be able to handle. Even with adequate healthcare coverage, it can be pretty expensive. After all, this country is one of the few developed nations without universal healthcare. Perhaps, it would have been more beneficial to provide a better healthcare system before throwing out abortion rights and subsequently leaving people to fend for themselves regarding pregnancy.

People also forget that bringing a baby into the world would require the mother to be able to afford to feed, clothe, and house herself properly while carrying a child. Healthcare insurance doesn’t cover that. Many of the same people voting against abortion are also the same people who want to avoid pouring tax money into programs for mothers who can’t take care of themselves while pregnant. The situation is often made worse within families that already have four or more children. Adding another baby to enlarged families could affect the resources available for the other children, and it could also affect their mental and emotional health.

And what about the issues surrounding the foster care system? According to USA adoption statistics, placing and monitoring children brings the state and federal expenditures at $9 billion. Many children never get adopted and remain in the adoption system for many years. As many as 117,000 children are still waiting to be adopted with many of them being disproportionately African-American. The adoption process is no easy task with many children being misplaced from home to home in order to find perfect families for them. This is costly on the country. To add, 80% of children in foster care have significant mental health issues which the state also pays for in the millions. With the overturn of Roe v. Wade, funding could become more necessary, making childcare more expensive to the point the USA, as a nation, would have to pay more for it through taxes.

There is also population growth to consider. America is one of the most populated countries in the world. Over-population often causes a shortage in resources and other environmental issues. Abortion access has been helpful in regulating population growth, but, with the ban in some states, this could mean that our population may see a significant increase that we are not prepared to handle financially.

What about child support? About 50.2% of people have child support arrangements, mostly affecting men. In 2015, the most recent data on child support, showed that at least $33.7 billion were reported to be due. The amount of people owing child support would more than likely increase, with debt affecting low-income individuals even more.

Socioeconomic disparities often leads to a high rise in crime. Where abortion would give women and men an opportunity to live their lives and build wealth so that they CAN prepare properly for a baby, instead the over-turn will cause women and men in impoverished circumstances to have no way out.

What If “Legislative Loopholes” Affect Other Rights?

Roe v. Wade was possible as a constitutional right through the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Amendment is as follows: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Many Conservatives and Republicans have argued that this Amendment protects unborn babies, despite the fact that this amendment only mentions that persons who are born have the right to life, liberty, or property. By taking away abortion rights, several states are now taking away a born woman’s right to life and liberty. The U.S. Supreme Court’s interpretation of liberty under the Due Process Clause grants the right over bodily autonomy. This is especially so in states where there are no exceptions for medical issues or abuse. In the Fourth Amendment of the constitution, it states The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states.

In this sense, it is unconstitutional to ban abortion, but because it doesn’t “specifically” say abortion, the GOP has decided that it has found a “loophole” in order to restrict the right to life and liberty, restricting people’s choices, over their own bodies medically. Despite the argument that abortion is “murder”, arguably abortion is a form of self-defense; Even for the healthiest individuals, pregnancy is always a risky situation and procedure. Abortion provides protection from unintended invaders within the body that could cause medical issues for the host. Yet, by taking away abortion rights we have denied many people “equal protection” under the law.

Of course, when it comes to our constitution many of the things written can only be interpreted through a modern lens. After all, the writings are based on hundreds of years of legislation. Abortion, as a practice, was not properly understood by the men who wrote it. In fact, many parts of our constitution are not as clearly outlined as many would think.

For example, the Second Amendment is supposed to give all citizens “the right to bear arms”. Many Conservatives often turn to this Amendment when thinking about the protection of gun rights. However, “arms” can mean ANY weapon, which means the 2nd amendment doesn’t have to include the protections of weapons that are deemed especially more dangerous, such as guns or bombs. What if legislators took advantage of this “loophole” to take away your right to carry a gun? What if they decided to over-turn District of Columbia v. Heller because the 2nd Amendment does not specify that guns specifically can be used? How far will we go to restrict the freedom or liberty to protect ourselves, using “loopholes” as a means of doing so? Even the First Amendment that is supposed to give us the freedom of speech, religion, press, peaceful assembly, and petition is a little too vague, and many “loopholes” have been found in order to suppress even some of our First Amendment rights. Do we want to live in a country where anything we say or do could land us in jail?

The greatest question many have is whether or not states with abortion bans throughout the country can be well-regulated. The Fourth Amendment states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated“. Of course, this amendment can also be reinterpreted for the sake of criminalizing abortion. Would we have policemen acting as a gestapo or will we ensure that every woman who even LOOKS pregnant be monitored by an FBI taskforce in these states? Will we expect neighbors to turn on neighbors, or families to turn on families, if they even suspect that a miscarriage is actually an abortion? Will we have an influx of women and their families fleeing to already overcrowded states or even fleeing across the border to other countries where there is more freedom?

Before you believe that these things will never happen, remember that these “loopholes” have been used throughout history to excuse slavery and Jim Crow Laws, to restrict voting rights of people who didn’t own property and who were just women and people of color by nature, and allowed laws to prohibit same-sex marriage (or even same-sex relationships for that matter). We also cannot forget that the last time something was banned (the prohibition of alcohol), it it became very costly for the country, difficult to regulate, and was repealed as an Amendment. Even the national campaign of a “war on drugs”, launched by U.S. President Nixon in the early 1970s, has been proven to be futile in halting the illegal drug trade and has led to more incarcerations than ones based on rape or murder due to police focusing on drugs rather than other more severe criminal investigations. One can only predict that the same will be true of abortions, just based on history. As George Santayana’s published book The Life of Reason: The Phases of Human Progress states: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The U.S.A. is unfortunately the only developed country that has outright bans of abortion in place. Our abortion rights resemble that of the developing nation Mexico, the restrictive country of Russia, North Korea, as well as Iran, and to some degree matches that of less developed nations. This says a lot about the current GOP’s perception of freedom and what is left to become of what used to be the United States Of America. Even China, the country Americans use as an example of countries with “no rights”, has NO restrictions on abortion whatsoever. At this point in history, America is only pretending to be the land of the free, when other developed nations such as The Netherlands, Canada, Iceland, The United Kingdom, France, Finland, Australia, Kosovo, Israel, and many more have the freedom and right to abortion with very little restrictions or lack of access. A country where there are no rights is not the America I would like to see. Even if we should emulate the countries with tougher abortion restrictions, as mentioned before, we do not have universal healthcare offered to pregnant women as would be found in many other countries.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Elena Kagan put it in perspective: “Young women today will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers.” 

In Conclusion

Before our government made the choice to end federal protections surrounding people’s right to abortion, the government should have focused on providing harsher sentences to proven sex offenders, better healthcare in the nation (especially for women who are pregnant and children), better food and housing options for homeless women and children, and mental healthcare initiatives: things that can lead to the drastic decision to abort. Abortion is not an easy decision to make for any pregnant person. If, as a country, we could focus on making life better for women and children, then abortion would not even be necessary. Otherwise, as it stands, the decision to over-turn Roe v. Wade is like putting a band-aid on a greater wound. If you are “pro-life”, ask yourself: “Do I care more about the quantity of life or the quality of life?”

On a positive note, abortion rates have actually decreased over the years due to more sex education, better birth control methods, and women having more choices regarding careers as well. So with or without the ban, it won’t be as felt for women who are privileged enough to have the decision to choose. Who it will most affect are the innocent and vulnerable, such as children and women of abuse.

Women and people who are biologically capable of giving birth never chose to be born that way. The least we could do is give them the right to protect their bodies from harm and live their life the way they choose while they are here. It’s one thing to regulate abortion in a way that balances the life of an unborn baby with the life of the woman or girls of America. It’s an entirely different thing to enact a ban on something that cannot always be biologically controlled, regardless of health risk or circumstance. Can the government honestly control or regulate the functions of a body that is not their own, even from a practical point of view? Unlike the call to control drugs, guns, and alcohol, where the call for bans are involving or once involved external objects that can be regulated, this ban involves the natural human body and it puts many people at risk for being tried or jailed even for things they cannot control: the outcome of a fetus inside the womb of a pregnant person. Whether through medical abortion or natural causes, this kind of legislation will only cause more trouble than it’s worth.

Do you think the over-turn of Roe v. Wade was a bad decision from the GOP? Do you believe that it will have adverse effects on women across political lines? Or do you believe abortion is unconstitutional and that states have a right to ban abortion? Let me know in the comments’ section what you all think.

-Guest Blogger, VenusLove

The Truth Behind “Lightyear”‘s Box Office Weekend Flop

20 Jun

Lightyear, a movie made by Walt Disney Studios and Pixar, was supposed to be the highlight of the summer for the distribution studio. By analysts, it was projected to score $70-$85 million at the box office opening weekend, especially with a rating score by critics of 80% (before release). However, the Pixar movie that was supposed to launch the Toy Story franchise (a franchise that already had four other successful movies) into a new direction has only made $51 million so far on box office opening weekend. While this isn’t a bad figure, for a beloved franchise surrounding Toy Story lore, this is pretty low and shocking for many. What went wrong?

If we’re being truthful, Lightyear didn’t exactly land on the right “foot” leading up to its release. To start, many believed the movie was heavily underpromoted, with Disney/Pixar even waiting until only a few days before release to promote the film as canon in the Toy Story franchise.


Even as they began to explain that this movie is somehow a live-action movie that Andy is inspired to get a toy based on, long-time fans know that this was not the first piece of media that was created based on Buzz Lightyear; let’s not forget Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command, the animated series, was every 90’s kid’s first introduction to the universe of Buzz Lightyear. It had many fans, including myself, wondering why the developers did not capitalize on the nostalgia of that cartoon, using it as the base for Lightyear (2022). I’m sure many fans of Toy Story lore, including myself, would have been even more eager to go and see the movie if they had reawakened our childhood memories with more beloved and familiar characters that tied in that universe with this theatrical film. However, based on what the creators have stated as their inspiration, it seems as if they were either unaware or purposefully ignoring the fact that there was a Buzz Lightyear universe before this movie was conceptualized. As a result, there were many missed opportunities.

Another one of the missed opportunities that left many fans miffed was the absence of Tim Allen’s voice playing the Star Commander Buzz Lightyear. Tim Allen has been known to lend his voice to Buzz Lightyear in all of the Toy Story movies so far, and so to many fans of the franchise it felt like a snub to Tim Allen’s legacy.


Even the explanation given by Galyn Susman, the producer of Lightyear, was not enough to convince fans, and it left many wondering for whom this movie was made for. After all, if you’re going to use nostalgia as a vehicle for a movie, you have to give the nostalgic-heads something to look forward to. Tim Allen’s voice saying the catch-phrase “To Infinity and Beyond” is one of the most iconic phrases associated with Buzz. Evidently, they believed that the name alone would be enough to get others interested, but somehow did not anticipate that with that name “Lightyear” comes a huge responsibility (to die-hard Toy Story fans). Fans are usually always skeptical of spin-offs, sequels, and prequels, especially if there is nothing else to tie in the original beloved series other than its name. The best thing to do is give them something to be less critical about.

Evidently, the movie also did not win the hearts of the younger crowd over summer break as anticipated, either. It certainly had lackluster promotion on social media (the main source of information for Gen Z and Gen Alpha) as if the company was relying on “word-of-mouth” to carry this movie forward. To add salt to the wound, while the movie trailer does have the typical promotional material used for most movies directed towards kids (a small dose of slap-stick humor, dramatic fight scenes, etc), the characters themselves are not showcased with much personality, leaving it up to the robotic cat to carry the fun in this movie’s promotion.

Of course, we cannot ignore the backlash surrounding Lightyear‘s “inclusion initiative” to feature LGBTQ+ characters openly without editing. When the bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was in progress to become law in Florida, the location of Disney’s biggest park Disney World, many felt that Disney was too passive or cowardly when it came to speaking out against it. They even accused the company of not caring enough about their employees’ desire for LGBTQ+ characters because Disney would hardly ever allow these characters to feature openly on-screen. As a result of this backlash, it seems Disney has decided for the first time to feature two characters of the same gender as a couple with a kiss to confirm it.

Naturally, this did not go over well with many conservative movie-goers (who make up the majority of the world). In fact, Disney’s Lightyear was the worst-rated film of any Pixar film partially due to “review bombing” (the act of giving a low rating to a movie to purposefully encourage its failure) that ensued long before the movie was even set to be released. Whether or not this happened as a result of early screenings or simply because many were not happy to see an LGBTQ+ couple in a “children’s movie” is debatable. However, the movie has been banned in 14 countries (mostly in the Middle East and in some South Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia). While these issues may not have primarily hurt the movie’s projected financial returns for this weekend, it certainly did not help. It has even caused users on IMDB to give the movie a “severe sex/nudity” warning because of the same-gender kiss.

However, if we are being very honest here, the film has the highest numbers for an opening weekend for an animated film since the Covid-19 Pandemic swept the nation, beating out Encanto‘s record of being the highest box office numbers opening weekend in theaters post-pandemic.


Many factors could have been at play when considering why both movies have not been met with the same returns as movies in the past. To start, during the release of Encanto, there was more skepticism after the Pandemic when thinking of returning to a movie theater to see a movie. With Disney’s new Disney+ streaming service providing their top movies gift-wrapped and automatically accessible for viewers, many have decided to simply wait for the movie to hit the streaming service. This actually made Encanto one of the most viewed movies on the streaming service. I’d wager that this could become the situation for Lightyear in the months to come. It’s possible the streaming service has taken away Disney’s theatrical box office value. We could also keep in mind that with inflation and the rising prices of gas, many are opting out of going to a movie theater just to see a side story of the original.

However, it is still perplexing how movies like Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion are able to dominate box office sells even with anticipation that they will be accessible through a streaming service eventually. Could it be that the timing of the two movies was better? With Top Gun: Maverick being released right in time for Memorial Day and Jurassic World: Dominion just before Father’s day, this gave many moviegoers more options as to which movies to watch for a Father’s Day weekend; it’s evident that many fathers would prefer those two movies over an animated film about a space ranger.

Lightyear is still a newly released film. It is left to be seen if over the next few weeks it will beat other box office champions like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (grossing $190 million overall) and Sing 2 (grossing $162 million) in the family-friendly category. Hopefully, Lightyear can gain enough “buzz” from satisfied movie-goers to get people interested.

What factors do you think influenced Lightyear‘s Box Office stagger? Leave me a comment below to express your opinion about Lightyear.

Sincerely, guest blogger,


Kingdom Hearts’ 20th Anniversary Trailer Reveals ‘Dark Road’, ‘Missing Link’, and ‘Kingdom Hearts 4 (IV)’

11 Apr

Yesterday, Square-Enix dropped a trailer celebrating Kingdom Heart‘s Anniversary, adding announcements for all brand new projects to be released, extending the Kingdom Hearts universe.

It has been a little over year since Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory, the game that focuses on Sora’s love interest Kairi, was released, and Kingdom Hearts Union X [Cross] has been updating as well (though Square-Enix announced the online game is due to end).

It doesn’t look like the journeys for the Keyblade Masters in this never-ending tale are over. That’s great news for fans looking for more content to be poured out of a 20-year franchise. The real question is: Does Kingdom Hearts have any more juice left? Based on the reactions of many fans across the fan space, including Youtube and Twitch fan influencer The Gamers Joint, it does.

For decades, Kingdom Hearts has excited fans with its amazing graphics, open game-play, ability to wrap audiences into its heartfelt story, and relatable characters.

Kingdom Hearts began in 2002 as a surprisingly successful role-playing game combining Square-Enix’s “Final Fantasy”-style anime-like characters and Disney. It followed the character Sora, a keyblade wielder, and his team of Disney lovables, Donald and Goofy, as they fought creatures called “Heartless”, denizens of darkness. It was updated to include an extension called Final Mix.

The story was much simpler then, though more complex than the average game’s story at the time.

Throughout the years, other games have expanded the Kingdom Hearts universe with new characters, new worlds, new “dark” enemies, and even more additions to the already-complex story.

Throughout, the franchise has released Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories (2004, remade into Re: Chain of Memories), Kingdom Hearts II (2005, extended with Final Mix), Kingdom Hearts: Coded (2008, later remade into Kingdom Hearts Re: Coded), Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days (2009), Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep (2010, extended with Final Mix), Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts X [Chi] (2013, later extended into Kingdom Hearts Unchained χ / Union χ around 2015), Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth By Sleep-a fragmentary passage- and Kingdom Hearts X Back Story (2017, included in the packaged game Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue), finally, Kingdom Hearts III (2019, extended with Remind), Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory (2020), and Kingdom Hearts Dark Road (2020).

Sora was also a featured character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

The franchise has expanded on various gaming platforms, including PlayStation 2, Game Boy Advance, Mobile phones, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable (PSP), Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Web browsers, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android iOS, Nintendo Switch, and Microsoft Windows.

Many of the games were re-packaged into one, onto singular platforms (Playstation 4, Xbox one, Nintendo Switch), probably one of the first franchises to do this with its older games so that new fans can keep up with the story. Recently, Kingdom Hearts – All In One Package has been the repackage that carries all the most current titles.

And just when we all thought that was the end of this very involved gaming series (insert sarcasm here, because we all know that there were already cliff-hangers and secret scenes at the end of the most recent games), here came the announcement of three new extended projects.

The Kingdom Hearts X story is finally wrapping up and coming to a conclusion with Kingdom Hearts Union X Dark Road, set for iOS and Android users.

Next, Kingdom Hearts Missing-Link was announced, and it appears to cover the world Scala ad Caelum (a world originally designed for Kingdom Hearts III that was left bare and hardly playable). Along with being a long-asked-for extension of the world, it appears fans are amazed that the game has managed to capture the Unreal Engine feeling for iOS and Android phones. For an app game, the game promises to be almost on-par with hard console games and it is a sign of the future of gaming. As online gaming becomes more and more advanced, the appeal will allow players to play beautiful and detailed games from the convenience of anywhere they bring their phones. It’s the portable gaming experience brought to the modern world.

There are many sides to the debate as to whether online app gaming can truly replace hard-copy console gaming. The ability to watch your gameplay on a master screen, giving a fully immersive experience, is clashing with the convenience of carrying your games on a rectangular brick, on an item that already carries tons of other important and non-important apps, anywhere you want to. Wherever games are going, though, Kingdom Hearts doesn’t want to be left behind.

The new game appears to also offer brand new playable characters, including more female characters that wield keyblades. There’s a lot to look forward to.

However, I’m sure, at this point, for most people, the story will get even more confusing with the addition of more character connections (though that’s basically the fun of Kingdom Hearts, since most fans get a kick out of piecing together this very convoluted story).

Finally, the most important piece of information fans have received is the announcement of Kingdom Hearts IV. Could this mean that the Kingdom Hearts saga we know and love will have its real final conclusion soon?

There’s no telling. There were 14 years between Kingdom Hearts II and Kingdom Hearts III, with plenty of other games in-between, and some fans thought the third game would finally wrap everything up (though hard-core fans knew better). As long as Kingdom Heart’s story remains so complex, with the holes not quite sealed, there appears to be more information to squeeze out across new games, with fans begging for more information. Could Kingdom Hearts IV really clean everything up neatly with a bow? And do the developers really intend it to? It seems like Kingdom Hearts has amassed a solid following in the years it’s been kicking, and Square-Enix seems pretty interested in keeping the enthusiasm alive by advancing Kingdom Hearts into the future.

As to what fans can expect from Kingdom Hearts IV, it’s too early in development to tell. So far, the trailer focuses on Sora, asleep in an apartment building or flat, in a Tokyo-like city called Quadratum (a world built off of a fictional video game in Kingdom Hearts III’s “Toy Box”, a world based off of Toy Story). The trailer doesn’t seem to focus on promoting Disney-ish Worlds, like trailers of old have, so it appears that’s under wraps.

Then again, in the past, many secret endings or early trailers avoided revealing the Disney developments (especially since gaining the rights to the worlds is a slow process). It is clear that Donald and Goofy (and possibly Hades?) will appear in the next installment. It appears that Sora is in the “After World”, some sort of “after life”, possibly passed on. That could be why Hades, from Disney’s Hercules, with his flaming hair, seems to appear in the trailer lurking behind Donald and Goofy.

Many are analyzing how “realistic” the art style looks (so far) in comparison to games before. I’d compare the newly-revealed world to Sanfransokyo in Kingdom Hearts III with a more dark and sinister twist. My theory is it is an “entry world”, similar to Traverse Town, Twilight Town, or Daybreak Town, that the character Sora and other keyblade wielders would often return to for perspective, to recharge, or to complete the main story. It definitely deviates from the other worlds’ more colorful and cartoonish feeling.

To be honest, based on my analysis, it appears that Sora’s “real world” is full of magic and cartoonish color, while the “after world” is our real world. I can get with this symbolism. Our ordinary life can feel like the underworld. It’s already making me think, and I can’t wait to see how Sora navigates it all. If someone in the Kingdom Hearts universe passes on, do they then go on to live in our hum-drum world? It’s almost as mentally stimulating as The Matrix.

Kingdom Hearts may be changed to fit its older audience now, so the realistic touches almost force us to realize that the kid Sora is all-grown-up now.

Aside from these types of changes, I’m sure most fans hope to see some improvements in the next game. To get a break-down on how I believe Kingdom Hearts IV could improve from Kingdom Hearts III, I created an in-depth review of the pros and cons present in the the third major game here.

As Kingdom Hearts IV is coming in, after everything that has happened recently, I can say I’m finally going in with a fresh palette of expectations. Many Disney worlds have been used already, the story has really gone from one extreme to the other, and the gameplay and graphics can only move forward from here. For the first time in years, I feel like I’m looking forward to a brand-new Kingdom Hearts experience, and I didn’t expect to feel that so soon. I really don’t know what to expect next.

It would be nice to see more Disney worlds with characters of color enter the game, worlds found in Disney movies such as The Princess and the Frog or Coco, but we’re talking about a game based in Japan. I don’t even think they promote Tiana at their local Disney Land. Still, I can hope that those movies appear.

Thinking of all that the franchise has put fans through, the journey we’ve all experienced through the many games released, I think most of us can expect it to be a while before this game is completed to perfection. I’m not getting my hopes up that this game will arrive any time soon. We all have time to come up with our hopes and dreams for the perfect Kingdom Hearts game, and the company has plenty of time to listen.

Playing this franchise as a kid, to now as a full adult, it seems so surreal to be able to witness how everything is unfolding as it is. But through it all, I’ve also learned not to expect too much from a game I’ve really fallen in love with. My love for Kingdom Hearts has become unconditional, as it were, with me embracing its flaws and all. No matter how much I try to say I’ve had enough, it draws me in one more time.

So, amidst my suffering pockets, and odd jobs, I will be the first in line when this game finally drops.

In the meantime, all of us fans can still play all of the other games and freshen up on the story. It’s a lot to comb through for newcomers, so I suggest buying the latest repackage to keep up. For old-timers, it’s time to dive back in so everyone is ready for the next chapter.

3 Reasons Why The 1st “Girls on Top” Line-Up, “GOT The Beat”, Is The Most Powerful Kpop Girl Group

21 Jan

On January 1, 2022, SM Entertainment hosted its traditional SM Town Live concert, SMTOWN LIVE 2022: SMCU EXPRESS @ KWANGYA, via their Youtube channel. During the show, SME introduced their latest girl group project, Girls on Top, and debuted their latest sub-unit: GOT the Beat with a new song “Step Back” (produced by Yoo Young Jin and Dem Jointz, to name a few). Members of GOT were taken from many other major girl groups within the company (or from their own solo activities) and gathered to create the ultimate girl group.

SM Entertainment has found recent success with these “mix-’em-up” sub-units. In 2019, SM Entertainment debuted SuperM, a boy group sub-unit that consisted of Taemin (SHINee), Baekhyun and Kai (EXO), Taeyong and Mark (NCT 127), and Ten and Lucus (WayV).

By putting these members together, the fandoms united, and this created massive success for SuperM. Their self-titled EP, SuperM, reached number one on the Billboard charts upon release. They embarked on a live world tour, only being cut short because of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Though all activities have had to be adjusted to fit online streaming, the idea of this massive sub-unit has come with massive rewards for the company and the group members.

It was only a matter of time before SM Entertainment tried this method with their girl idols. GOT appears to be that formula.

GOT (Girls on Top) will be a bit different from SuperM in the fact that it will rotate the members out, much the way SM Entertainment handles their group NCT.

But so far, the first line-up for GOT is getting the reputation of being the “Female Avengers of K-pop”. After the release of GOT The Beat’s stage video performance of “Step Back”, they were already being received as a very powerful girl group from SM Entertainment, and possibly the strongest one in the whole industry at the moment.

Here are 3 reasons why this group is considered so powerful:

1. The Members Are Considered The Best At Their Craft

Let’s just introduce this line-up of girls.

First off, BoA is in this line-up. Highly regarded as the “Queen of Kpop”, “Beat of Angel”, “Asia’s Star”, and now a creative director and choreographer at SM Entertainment, BoA debuted in the year 2000 at the age of 13, influencing the early Hallyu or Korean wave that brought Kpop to the international stage. She’s also respected for having allegedly saved SM Entertainment, one of the “Big 3” music labels in South Korea, when it was in financial crisis in the early naughts. Since her debut and near 22-year reign, she has become an adept solo artist, mastering both her dancing and vocal abilities.

She’s also had a major successful break-through career in Japan, becoming quite the J-pop artist as well. BoA is also multi-lingual (speaking Korean, Japanese, and English). Her various talents and world-trotting gifts make her an “all-around” presence in the group.

The respect SM Entertainment has for her is visible through the group’s name, “Girls on Top”, which pays homage to one of BoA’s most successful Kpop songs “Girls on Top“.

BoA may seem to have tried it all, but this is her first time navigating a girl group, showing that there’s still more on her bucket list. In her reality show, Keyword#BoA and in other shows, she’s confessed that she’s always wanted to be in a girl group, particularly Girls’ Generation (SNSD) and Red Velvet. Now, it appears like she took her opportunity, and she’s not disappointing anyone. BoA is proving that age is nothing but a number, and she inspires many of many ages to keep moving forward towards their dreams.

When the stage video dropped, it was pretty clear who had the potential to be the leader of the group, especially as some discovered she got the most out of the line distribution in this debut. Rightfully so, as she crawled so all those after her could walk and run. She is strong in many areas, so it’s easy for her to perform naturally with many members of this new group.

Next in the line-up, we have Taeyeon of Kpop’s iconic and legendary girl-group Girls’ Generation (SNSD), which debuted in 2007. Overall leader of the former NINE-MEMBER girl group, a group often literally called “The Nation’s [South Korea’s] Girl Group”, one of the first to break the “glass ceiling” (being the first girl group to chart for weeks on South Korea’s major charts and award shows), the first to sell millions of albums, and the first Kpop girl group to go on to achieve global success, Taeyeon contributed massively with her amazing vocal talent. To many, her vocal prowess remains unrivaled in Kpop. With her experience in such a large-member girl group, Taeyeon has learned how to make her personal talents and presence shine within minutes, and most fans of GOT learned quickly that they can’t get their eyes (and ears) off of her.

Since her debut in 2007 with her group, Taeyeon has mastered the art of vocal control and stage charisma. Being only slightly younger than BoA, and still being considered a Kpop “visual”, she’s also proving that age is nothing but a number.

Following Taeyeon from the legendary girl group Girls’ Generation (SNSD) is the group’s powerful lead rapper and dancer Hyoyeon. Debuting in 2007 with her initial girl group, she quickly became recognized as one of the few female Kpop acts that can “dance with the boys” (with the boys being more recognized for their powerful choreography). Hyoyeon has shown time and time again that she gives nothing less than 100% with anything she takes on. Her ability to give her all in a performance makes her rap verses flow naturally and her dancing fluid and precise. After all, this girl worked with Janet Jackson and was BoA’s silhouette dancer before her debut with SNSD!

It’s ironic that, at this moment in time, she’s teaming up with someone she once shadowed. This just shows how much her status has come up in the world.

Like her fellow band-mate, she can’t help but steal the spotlight whenever she takes the stage. Her confidence and “girl-crush” aura make her a crowd favorite. There’s no way she can fade into the background. Her chemistry with her new band-mates also amazes people, showing just how adaptable she is, too.

She also brought the beauty and the “style” visually with this debut, especially standing out with her popping pinkish-red hair. Like with BoA and Taeyeon, what is age?

The girls of Girls’ Generation (SNSD) can rightfully be called “Queens”.

Moving along down the line-up is Wendy of the ever-popular Kpop girl group Red Velvet. This group became SM Entertainment’s answer to JYP’s Twice and YG’s Black Pink. Debuting in 2014 to both controversy and wildly popular admiration, Red Velvet has since carved out their own identity from former groups by experimenting with new sounds, images, and styles. They are now one of SM Entertainment’s biggest girl groups.

Wendy has particularly been a stand-out with her vocals. As lead vocalist of her own group, she instantly became recognized as SM Entertainment’s “strongest vocalist”. This amazingly talented vocalist even appeared on King of Mask Singer as “Space Beauty Maetel”. And everyone knows that anyone who joins that reality show has to sell their voice and nothing else.

But Wendy has shown that she’s very capable of selling all she’s got in this debut. Pretty and talented, Wendy doesn’t shy away from performing on par with her seniors, vocally or in dance. It helps to have practiced doing solo work. It’s the key to why Wendy can shine so brightly in this group full of so much talent. When she sang in this debut, people quickly noticed how easy it was for her to hit a F5 (vocal range). People also noticed how well she danced next to some of the best. Wendy appears to be refusing to be outshined in any area. Known for being bubbly, she’s been surprising everyone with how well she’s merging with the tougher GOT concept.

As with her group-mate, Red Velvet‘s Seulgi can’t seem to fade into the background either. While most people know this diva is talented, with this debut, she has shown that her dancing, singing, and rapping chops make her a dominating force in her own group and in her new sub-unit, pulling out all-around gifts to spread to every area, similar to BoA. When Seulgi performs, it appears as if she’s been around as long as her seniors, which shows just how amazingly talented she is.

Seulgi has everything all the other girls have in one whole body, which is why she’s considered SM Entertainment’s “secret weapon” and the “ace”. She manages to maintain her own powerful identity within a group setting, merging well with the others and, yet, taking center stage effortlessly at the same time. She’s never out-of-step.

Finally, we have members from the newest and super popular Kpop sensation Aespa, which debuted in 2020. Aespa has been known to have a unique identity in SM, bringing the trap and hip-hop vibes, usually a staple of YG artists, along with some futuristic touches (such as having virtual “avatars” perform with them) to the label. From debut, they have seen significant music show success, constant streaming on platforms like Youtube and Spotify, and have charted on the Billboard 200.

Since pre-debut, everyone knew Karina was born to be a star. From being invited to perform with her senior (SHINee’s Taemin) and having the honor of appearing in a Tucson car performance ad (usually reserved for veterans), she’s already shown that she’s a big-dog in the Kpop industry already, and she’s only been full-throttle in the industry for a little over a year. Before debut, many could see her potential as a soloist, so it’s no surprise that she can so easily slip out of one group to another (from Aespa to GOT) within just one year of debut.

Karina has shown that she’s a powerful dancer, strong rapper, and obviously visually stunning, standing stronger than most of her peers and some of her seniors. Recently, she’s also shown to even have very good vocals as well! She’s quite a quad-threat. It’s no wonder she was selected to be first in line during the stage performance.

Winter is another story. Pre-debut, SM Entertainment hid her special talents behind her gorgeous and stunning visuals in her teaser videos. Yet, when Winter stepped onto her debut stage, she shocked everyone with her powerful vocals, rapping skills, and dancing abilities.

Being underestimated, everything fell in her favor due to the shock factor. It made her extremely popular and a fan favorite. Within her short time within the Kpop industry, she has also gained significant status. It’s amazing that she has been able to elevate to the point she is performing with all of the other queens in GOT. And she fits oh-so-well. Her shared “bridge” with BoA and Wendy in the “Step Back” song has had everyone talking, and it’s seriously got everyone wondering what she has next up her sleeve.

With these seven members, this sub-unit is definitely a strong forceful wind blowing in the industry.

2. FOUR Generations

GOT (Girls on Top)

Many sub-units have been formed from many labels, but very few can gather FOUR GENERATIONS of Kpop idols, let alone the most talented of them. The Refund Sisters may have been the only other one, and that was, to most, just three generations.

Many Kpop agencies haven’t even been around as long as SM Entertainment, who, quite frankly, is said to have pioneered the “Kpop-idol formula“. The agencies that were formed in the early days of the industry are either gone, having been dissolved by the industry, or all of their older idols have completely left their agencies, disbanding or retiring.

Well, considering the four generations of Kpop, the active participants in GOT cover them all. BoA is from the first generation, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon (Girls’ Generation (SNSD)) are from the second generation, Wendy and Seulgi (Red Velvet) are from the third generation, and Karina and Winter (Aespa) are from the fourth. This is already over 20 years of talent in one group, from 2000 to 2022!

Thus, this group, as it stands, is sure to bring to circle a large and diverse fanbase, one that has been both following the industry for years and the young blood. Already, newer Kpop fans are being introduced to older idols, and old-time Kpop fans are learning of the newer idols or are being reintroduced to them. This unit brings a unity to Kpop, especially because the fandom is largely divided as to which “era” of Kpop is superior.

In this group, all eras reign supreme!

3. All The Girls Are Well-Established

Finally, the reason this group is so perfect is because all of the ladies are well-established, so there’s no fight over who is getting more attention (or love from fans) than the other. Technically, each girl is a bias of some group of people, unlike what you might find in your typical Kpop group, where one girl appears to be more beloved than the others.

Many who have analyzed the line distribution have noticed that every line has been distributed as fairly as possible, allowing each girl to shine.

This could also mean that the company doesn’t believe that any one of the girls will be the main pull of this group. This is because all of the girls in this group are the pull. They have had major successes outside of GOT, have developed their own strong fandoms, and are moving into this project with a fresh outlook.

One of main causes of many fan wars (and even disbandment) has been attention disparity between members. In many other Kpop girl groups, it’s often obvious that one girl is favored. Usually, it’s noticeable when someone wears more unique outfits, gets more lines in a song, more screen-time in a music video or stage performance, and/or more side projects, like ads, than the other girls.

But in GOT, all of the usual “favorites” were combined in one group. Karina and Winter are the main “biases” in Aespa, Taeyeon and Hyoyeon are favored from SNSD, Wendy and Seulgi are favored from Red Velvet, and BoA is highly respected as a solo artist and Kpop veteran.

Thus, they’ve actually toned down on favoring the usuals, too. For example, while Karina appears to be favored in Aespa, often having the more interesting wardrobe and prettiest hair options, more lines in the song, and more visual presence, in GOT her hair is a normal dark color, with the more interesting colors given to Girls’ Generation’s members, BoA has the most lines of everyone in the song, and the visual beauty of the group is largely disputed (with many also complimenting Winter, Wendy, and Taeyeon for their feminine looks, too).

The same extremely talented individuals who always get praise for standing out also have their matches in this group. While Taeyeon, Wendy, and Winter each get praise for their powerful vocal dominance in their own groups, they are vocal equals in GOT, with BoA stepping down a peg, too, to let those ladies do their thing.

BoA also has to share the stage with her shadow Hyoyeon when it comes to dancing, and Karina and Seulgi deliver strong in that department as well.

Karina is a very powerful rapper in her group, and yet, Hyoyeon is able to keep up (and even dominate) the flow most of the time.

Together, many fans consider this the “best vocal line” in Kpop history due to there being six of seven vocalists in the group! It can equally be considered the “best dance line” as well, with over half of the members displaying significant body control in this choreography. Each member brings something to the table, and would be incomplete without everyone.


GOT the Beat on McCountdown “Special Stage” “Step Back”

While acknowledging that some talents shine equally in this group, it can hurt fans who want to believe their bias is superior. But it also leaves many people humbly and genuinely respecting the individual strengths of all of the ladies, leaving no one to find a weak link. No one can honestly leave disappointed with any of them, and suddenly, many fans may find themselves latching on to a different bias than the one they actually started with.

To be honest, this is possibly why most comments on them have been positive, with few fan wars sprouting out. There’s nothing to fight about when all of them appear amazing.


GOT the Beat “Special Stage” fancam view
GOT the Beat Winter (fancam)
GOT the Beat Karina (fancam)
GOT the Beat Seulgi (fancam)
GOT the Beat Wendy (fancam)
GOT the Beat Hyoyeon (fancam)
GOT the Beat Taeyeon (fancam)
GOT the Beat BoA (fancam)

Overall, this sub-unit will go far.

Unfortunately, they will be swapped out. It’s both bitter and sweet. On one hand, Kpop fans will get to see many of their other favorite idols get together and perform. On the other hand, could the next sub-unit really be as powerful as this four-generation group?

There’s still much to improve on. Many fans have found the lyrics of “Step Back” to be questionable, considering it sounds more like a “diss track” over a man than a “female-empowering” anthem, and there’s still no official music video released to really give the group justice. Before another sub-unit takes the stage, this powerful sub-unit should at least get another chance at making an even bigger mark, possibly with an EP, another comeback with fresh new lyrics, and a stylish music video. That may be asking for too much, but fans can only hope the potential here doesn’t go to waste.

Why The New Bratz Dolls Look Ugly To People (Holiday Felicia, GCDS, Another repro Bratz 2022, etc)

26 Dec

Hey, Gen Next readers! If you prefer to watch the accompanying video, skip to the bottom. For the rest of you, here goes…

Many of you who watch my channel or read my articles on my blog are doll fanatics, and more than likely, many of you all are older and are collectors.

If you’re a Bratz fan, what some of you may notice is that the Bratz dolls look far cheaper than they did in the past. In fact, all dolls seem to be getting more and more expensive (or seem to be around the same price as they were in the past), but are looking cheaper and cheaper. Either the dolls look like knock-offs of their original designs, with poor quality plastic, hair, and clothing, or they come with less accessories than they used to in the past.

In my video, Bratz “Comeback” Is A Mess (Rock Angelz/1st Edition Dolls, Talking Bratz 2021 Tik Tok Series, etc), I made a comment essentially stating that if any of you pay the current price of 24.99 for the cheaper 20th Anniversary 1st Edition re-release of the Bratz dolls, instead of paying the hefty prices on the secondary market, “you get what you pay for”. Meaning, you are paying a cheap price for a cheaper-looking doll.

One commenter did point out: “You said the 20th anniversary Bratz dolls look cheap so you get what you paid for, but your forgetting the first released Bratz dolls were that price too. There’s no way in hell am I going to buy $1,000 Felicia on eBay when I can get her as holiday Felicia for an affordable price.It’s absolutely insane how much people price these dolls.”

And that’s when I realized…how little I talked about INFLATION in that video, in my articles, and in general, beyond a brief mention.

Let’s Talk…Inflation

Now, anyone heavily invested in the doll industry for the last 5, 10, or even 20 years knows that the doll industry has been on the decline, and there are many factors that have gone into this.

But one key factor that I think many doll collectors forget, overlook, or possibly aren’t aware of is inflation. Inflation plays a role in why your dolls, while looking cheaper, are set at the same price higher quality dolls were set at 20 years ago.

According to Google’s dictionary, inflation, in economics, is a general increase in prices and fall in the purchasing value of money. According to Investopedia, inflation is the decline of purchasing power of a given currency over time.

A quantitative estimate of the rate at which the decline in purchasing power occurs can be reflected in the increase of an average price level of a basket of selected goods and services in an economy over some period of time.

The rise in the general level of prices, often expressed as a percentage, means that a unit of currency effectively buys less than it did in prior periods.

Basically, this means that our currency, particularly the US dollar (since MGA Entertainment is primarily based in the USA), doesn’t hold that same purchasing power it once did. Now, we need more dollars to equal the value of items we used to purchase for less in the past. Now that I think about it, this is really a global thing.

What causes inflation? I’ll try my best to explain.
Economics Help lists 5 main causes:

  1. Demand-pull inflation-This is an economic situation that occurs when the demand for goods and services is more than the supply of goods or services. Basically, it’s a situation when we all ask for more and more stuff, and the companies can’t give us all we want as fast as we want it. When this happens, companies will respond by increasing the prices.
  2. Cost-push inflation –This is when overall prices increase (inflation) due to increases in the cost of wages and raw materials. When our jobs start thinking about paying us more, the company has to earn more to pay everybody. Companies will then increase the prices for products to get more out of it. When the price to buy raw materials (a product), like rubber or plastic, increases, all the other things that rely on the materials (a product), like dolls, have to increase their prices, too. This means that people who make stuff won’t be able to afford as many of those materials like they used to, and so will only buy smaller and smaller amounts of the high quality materials, or the cheaper materials, just to make the same stuff.
  3. Devaluation –This is when a country’s government intentionally reduces the value of its currency. For example, this means a government can announce that 20 units of its currency would be equal to one American dollar. That currency (and thus the products in that nation) would end up being cheaper for US residents, but the US’s currency (and the US’s products) would be twice as expensive in the country that reduced the value of their currency. This would result in an increase in the cost of imported goods (foreign, and in this scenario, the USA), while also boosting domestic demand, or having more people buy from stores in their own country (in this scenario, the country that devalued their currency). It protects companies within a nation from foreign competition.
  4. Rising wages – Higher wages increase firms’ costs and increases consumers’ disposable income, allowing them to spend more. Again, the more money the workers ask for, the more the company has to pay out. In order to meet these demands, they have to increase the prices of the stuff they produce or make just to pay people more. Also, when consumers have more disposable income, they have more money to throw away, so a company might respond by raising prices, since people can better afford to buy stuff.
  5. Expectations of inflation – High inflation expectations causes workers to demand wage increases, which can cause firms to push up prices. When people believe the cost of living will increase, they will put pressure on companies to increase their wages. And you know where that leads…

Now, you may see signs of inflation around you personally. For instance, in 1970, the price for gasoline in the USA was, on average, 0.36 cents in USD. In 2015, the price for the same quality gas was 2.45 USD. In 2021, for the month of October alone, gasoline prices on average were around 3.38 USD.

It’s typically no secret that 1.00 USD now would get you less than it would have 100 years ago. Typically, 100 years ago, 1.00 USD could get you 10 boxes of cereal. Today, the price for 10 boxes of cereal can range anywhere from 24.00 USD to 50.00 USD!

In our most recent times, inflation has mostly been caused by the pandemic. The pandemic either put people out of work or cut their hours last year to comply with social distancing.

Unfortunately, this meant that there weren’t enough hands on deck to supply everybody’s needs. People who wanted ice cream or needed their hair cut now had to wait longer or had to go without because there weren’t enough people to meet that demand. There also weren’t enough products for everybody.

Companies then responded to the issue of having less goods or services by raising the prices of the goods or services they did have, just to make up for that loss.

To add, consumers would go to anyone who could meet the demand, causing the people supplying that hard-to-get service or product to see currency in their future. The result is that they pulled up the prices, seeing that they could get more out of this hard-to-get service or product than they would have before the pandemic.

Cargo trucks and trains had to cut down as well, and these are the people bringing the supplies to stores. Items became more rare as a result, so companies were at a loss. This gave them another reason to raise the prices of the goods they already had to make up for it.

Then, because items were so rare, people were willing to spend more for less just to have the item they needed or wanted. This happened with toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and surgical masks. Why wouldn’t a company increase the prices while it’s hot?

But the higher prices conflicted with people’s actual wages because they weren’t making enough to meet these high prices. This is actually currently causing workers to put pressure on companies to pay them higher salaries.

And companies are willing to do it. Along with trying to meet demand, companies are trying to entice people to come work for them so that people can help with supplying labor in a more demanding society. But people need more money now, right? This means the companies need to offer more money to appeal to people, which means they have to increase the prices of their goods in order to make enough money to pay people their desired salaries.

Now…What does all of this gibberish have to do with dolls?

Right now, the cost to make dolls has gone up WAY high. It has already risen the last 10 years, but now, it’s ridiculous how much it costs to design ONE SINGLE doll.

Think about what goes into making a doll: fabric of many kinds, plastic, paint, and hair…I can’t even begin to list just exactly all that goes into the design work.

This doesn’t include paying for the designers, sculptors, stylists, producers, marketers, developers, vendors, and others brought on board to actually help with the dolls.

This also doesn’t include operating a building and/or warehouse, including paying for utilities, keeping lights on, and paying custodians to keep buildings clean. They have to pay license fees, too.

And now some of ya’ll want a series and video games, too? The company has to pay for all of that, including for the tools and people involved with that.

The price of all of that has gone up. The people that MGA Entertainment is buying from today are charging more for their materials and services than they did in 2001.

In MGA Entertainment’s case, the company behind the Bratz, let’s tack on the fact people are scared off from working for this company…(Again, please watch the video or read the article “Bratz Comeback is a Mess” if you don’t understand what I’m talking about.) MGA has to entice people with high wages in order to keep workers, so they have to price their dolls much higher than they would have in the past.

Now, you might be thinking, “Okay I get inflation makes things more expensive. But the dolls aren’t MORE expensive, they’re the same price. If you look at the price of the dolls at Walmart and Target, they didn’t increase their prices. The 1st Edition dolls are the same price they were in 2001. What are you talking about?”

With the 20th Anniversary dolls, MGA has skillfully managed to fool us fans into thinking that we are paying for the “same doll” at the “same price” it was 20 years ago. Yet, all of the hard-core fans can see the quality difference, correct?

This is because you really aren’t paying “the same price” for “the same doll”.

How so, you might wonder?

Today, the 1st Edition 20th Anniversary dolls are going for 24.99 USD. Hypothetically, let’s say the original dolls were listed at 24.99. I say “hypothetically” because I can’t find the original listings I saved a while back.

Let’s look at an inflation calculator to find out the difference:
If a doll cost 24.99 USD in 2001, and if a company were to adjust for inflation today, given today’s prices for the same quality materials the dolls had back then, the dolls should actually be…(drum roll please) 39.05 USD in 2021.

However, your dolls are the 2021 price of 24.99 USD. Back in 2001, that would be equivalent to … (drum roll please) 15.99 USD.

In a nutshell, MGA Entertainment is selling you a cheaper doll for a cheaper price, and this is why I said anyone who is buying these cheap ugly ass dolls are essentially getting “what they paid for”.

The dolls from the 2000s that were even remotely close to that price were the 2009 Basic Bratz that came with nothing but re-hashed fashion, with even the fashion itself being lower quality. Back then, it was understandable, considering MGA was in a major court battle and the court ordered the removal of all Bratz from toy shelves.

Nowadays, the real problem is MGA was not prepared for this comback and really had no interest in investing in Bratz, which was why they weren’t prepared to create high-quality dolls, adjusted for inflation. They didn’t care to give fans what they deserved. I mentioned more about MGA’s lack of interest in Bratz in the “Bratz Comeback” video. If the company really wanted to bring the old Bratz dolls back “full force”, they would have made sure the dolls were on par years ago, right after the Hayden Williams dolls were released in 2018.

Instead, they waited until the end of 2020 to ask fans what they wanted, dipped into their pool from the successes of L.O.L. Surprise and Rainbow High, and threw some dolls together with the materials they could afford to hurry up and gather.

It’s understandable why they can’t just pour their all into the Bratz brand. Besides Bratz, they are essentially balancing two other brands at the moment, unlike in 2001, when Bratz was their only doll brand and their primary meal ticket. Right now, most of their money is going to the more immediately profitable brands.

Still, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t have at least tried, knowing the Bratz Anniversary dolls have been in demand since 2018.

Fans are largely frustrated with the secondary market, markets like Ebay, that have priced older dolls at ridiculous prices (also not truly adjusted for inflation). The doll collecting game can be an expensive road if you want the best. However, the dolls aren’t worth THAT much. There’s an excellent video on Youtube that talks about the secondary market regarding the Bratz Dolls by Darling Dollz.

Unfortunately, this is causing many Bratz fans to settle for less, even if they aren’t getting the best quality.

Specifically when it came to the repros, MGA used nostalgia bait because they know people are now buying for the brand, not the quality of the product. They are buying cheaper dolls just to have something with the Bratz name on it. There are two types of consumers of Bratz nowadays: People who grew up with Bratz, who never got their wished-for doll, and want a trip down memory lane, and those who revolve their personal creative and business content around Bratz and other toys. MGA knows they only have to appeal to these types of people a little bit to get these dolls to sell out, and they don’t really have to invest anymore. There are people who will buy a Chanel purse that’s falling apart just to have Chanel. They pay money to see a horrible Marvel movie just because it’s a Marvel movie. As a result, the companies never improve because they know they don’t have to appease anybody in order to make a profit.

Back in the past, when the Bratz was a lesser-known brand and was building, they had to put more effort in order to build brand loyalty. They’ve got the loyalty and brand power now, so what effort do they need to put in? Unfortunately, a company has one too many options. They can choose to invest majorly, despite knowing they don’t have to, or they can cut costs for their more reputable brands and give fans only half of what they had 20 years ago. It seems MGA has chosen the latter.

If MGA Entertainment were paying attention, and if they actually really cared to give Bratz a new boost with a strong reboot, they would have realized just how dissatisfied fans have been with the secondary market and they would have tried to re-release these dolls with the same quality, with prices adjusted for inflation, to compete with that market. Ultimately, those second market sellers would have no choice but to come down to lower prices or risk not being able to sell the doll due to the main company releasing it with the same quality.

Even better if the dolls came with something extra special.

Unfortunately, I know if the dolls were properly adjusted for inflation, the average fan would still believe they are being cheated when actually they would be getting the same, if not a better, deal.

Many fans obviously find the price of 24.99 USD more approachable than the price 39.05 USD, the price it probably should be. Not really understanding inflation, if the company increased the price of a doll from what it was 20 years ago to the proper price adjusted for inflation, many fans would immediately believe the company is ripping them off just because it looks higher on paper. In actuality, this would be the better price for a reproduced doll with the same quality as 20 years ago.

In order to get the dolls to the more approachable price of 24.99 at this point, MGA technically had to cheapen the dolls. Some fans, not understanding this, may have complained about the quality, asking for the dolls to be fixed, while still insisting they will only pay the low price of 24.99, the way it was years ago. Let’s be honest, it’s really not completely possible to have nice dolls at that price from a company not prepared to invest or prepared to adjust for inflation. For all of you still asking for those fixed Rock Angelz dolls, all I can tell you is you may be out-of-luck.

It also doesn’t help that they’re marketing the Bratz to a few thousand adult fans either, as I mentioned in my previous content. That makes it difficult for them to go for the perfect price range. With only a few thousand adult fan collectors left, they have only two options. They can lower the prices, making the dolls accessible to more fans (selling a large quantity of cheaper-quality dolls in one gulp) or raise the prices (so they get more out of a small number of higher quality dolls than they normally would), which would all be used to cover expenses and line pockets.

To be honest, by catering to adult fans, they won’t be able to guarantee the largest return with either method, even if they were to adjust for inflation. They would have to market to millions of kids or a general audience, the way they did in the past, in order to reap the same mega rewards they once did, like what is happening with Rainbow High and L.O.L Surprise. Rainbow High and L.O.L. Surprise can be a cheaper price with decent quality because they are banking on millions of kids buying it and giving them a major return on that investment. While essentially being on toy shelves with all the other dolls, the Bratz repros are mostly being marketed in adult spaces, not where kids are allowed to frequent.

Overall, though, I still think MGA should think of creating a solid investment plan for the Bratz brand so that the quality improves. Then, they should consider pricing the dolls fairly adjusted for inflation.

The Bratz still may not be like their glory days, where they came out with tons of lines, but it’s better to have fewer high quality lines than a bunch of crap Bratz dolls. Quality over Quantity.

Bratz Dolls’ Reviews

Today, I wanted to review the newest Bratz dolls from head to toe. I will probably do this for the re-pros of the 1st Edition Bratz and Rock Angelz Bratz some other time. Right now, I’m more interested in the newest dolls.

Let’s get down to reviewing Felicia!

Holiday Felicia

To those who are not apart of an off-brand fan community, Felicia’s Holiday doll was released without most people’s knowledge. In fact, shockingly enough, they announced her arrival on Instagram AFTER she sold out…Make that make sense.

Unfortunately, and ironically, most of us fans will not be getting her in time for the Christmas Holiday. Maybe we’ll get her in time for Easter…Some people’s Felicia doll has yet to be shipped, and some people are fearing a cancellation. Some people’s Felicia doll has been cancelled.

Actually, it’s not so shocking at all that this is happening if you engaged with my former content regarding this Bratz comeback, though. This is basically how the new Bratz dolls are being announced and reproduced nowadays. Everything is just being produced and released in a messy fashion. Those on social media are trying hard to play it off, saying “Bratz fans are amazing!” when referring to how Felicia sold out so fast the social media team couldn’t keep up. I don’t understand how they couldn’t have when the Insta threads were crawling with fans asking when Felicia would be announced. There’s seriously a communication issue going on here. I’m not going to get too much more into it because I already spoke about it in the “comeback” content.

When it comes to Felicia’s doll, many in the fan community have mixed feelings about her. I have to say I also have mixed feelings regarding this doll.


Let’s start with Felicia’s head. First off, ya’ll know how I feel about the darker-skinned dolls having pink lips. The “jigaboo” lips I called them in Bratz 2018: Please Don’t!. I’m not fond of the peach-pink lips too much. Tack on the fact that I feel Felicia’s face is underwhelming in general, even down to the eye make-up. To get some perspective, Lookin’ Bratz gave a review of the doll, and informed us as to why the faces are looking the way they are. Apparently, back in the day, the faces were painted using a “spray” method, which I heard isn’t much in use anymore. Nowdays, UV printing is used instead, and it’s considered the more “cost-effective method” to apply dolls’ faces. Apparently, “spraying” is less common in the doll industry today. Also, the Bratz have new head molds created to accommodate these new “printing” methods, which makes them look even stranger to me. On top of that, again, as I mentioned in the “comeback” content, I hate the matte plastic that they are using nowadays. It doesn’t look as refined.

Unfortunately, the change in production shows. This might be a trend, but that’s probably part of the reason the doll industry is on decline. Who wants to pay for dolls with these cheap-looking faces and heads? I mean, they’re probably good enough for parents with kids, if that’s who they were catering to, which they aren’t anymore, and maybe these cost-cutting materials and methods allow them to be cheaper at a time when money is tighter. It might appeal to a casual doll fan. But not to me.

Because of the cost it takes to make high-quality dolls nowadays, many companies have to cut costs, and that includes the materials it takes to make high-quality dolls. What I notice, though, is that the bigger a company, the more people they have to pay, the more brands they have to juggle, the more people they have to produce for, resulting in them cutting costs. Isn’t it, as Alanis Morrisette would say, ironic?

While I understand that times change, I can’t say it makes me happy or satisfied. I don’t think I will be satisfied until they have that old-fashioned higher-quality look I loved back in the day. I realize now that I was spoiled. I wish I had the money to get every Bratz doll ever invented back then because I just don’t think I will even buy any reproduced dolls that look like this.

Despite the usual trend nowdays, again, I believe that MGA Entertainment had enough time to launch this brand the way fans wanted or at least had enough time to try. Couldn’t MGA Entertainment have invested enough money to hire someone to utilize that method at least for one throw-back line, in time for the Bratz 20th? We never needed thousands of lines for this 20th Year Anniversary. We only needed one special line, one that brought us back to the 2000s, possibly one playset, and then tons of merchandise, like t-shirts and make-up. The other lines could have come later. At least one of the repros or newer dolls could have had the “sprayed” look.

Maybe there are no more artists out there who can use that method. Possibly they don’t want to work for these companies anymore. I don’t know. But if they are out there, I think it would have been worth the investment, at least for one line.

I really liked fan TeZzi Carter’s photos of Felicia. Their touch-up gives me that sultry “attitudinal” dramatic Bratz look that I’m dying to have. That’s what Felicia deserves.

Touched-up Felicia

I think it’s important to note that to us Black fans it deeply matters how Felicia looks and is received. It’s no secret that the Black dolls are the least sold by retailers and the least bought by consumers, which says a lot about how people see Black people in general. We’re not just talking about in the Western world, but over in the East, too. Livin’ in a Bratz World: The International Distribution of MGA’s Bratz Dolls also outlined how Sasha basically didn’t debut in one whole country because distributors stated “she wouldn’t do well [there]”. Gee, I wonder why not?

Because of that overall dislike of darker-skinned dolls (or bluntly, racism), Black dolls have to look better than average in order to sell well. It’s especially important for Felicia to look good to the people she’s representing, the people who will more than likely buy her most. To me, personally, I just find her face to be underwhelming. She’s missing that glam factor, especially for a Holiday doll.

However, if people love the face and buy her, it’s still a “win” for the Black community. If she does sell well, maybe more Black dolls will be released. Who knows. Still, for me, it wouldn’t make much difference because new Black dolls will be created at THIS time, a time where companies are “cutting costs” to make cheaper dolls. I really wouldn’t be getting the Black doll I feel I deserve.

On a positive note, I do love the “natural” wavy-haired highlighted look that Felicia is sporting. She also has Bantu knots. They are using nylon for the hair instead of saran. Nylon is actually stronger than Saran and easier to curl. It is easier to style and it comes in more colors. To some people, Saran feels more natural and has a nice shine to it, but it’s more fragile. Personally, I feel that nylon is a good substitute. No, it’s not the same type as they had in the early 2000s. But it works when trying to give Felicia a more voluptuous volume to her hair. I think Nylon works for Black dolls. I’m glad they are finally giving the Black dolls Black hairstyles. They need to keep that same energy in the future.


Let’s talk about the body.

This is kind of funny and kind of sad, but I think I basically predicted Felicia would arrive in Trinity’s outfit in my Bratz “Comeback” is a Mess content, didn’t I? Yeah, I did. This is an example of what I meant when I said MGA Entertainment is not investing in Bratz too much. The outfit Felicia is wearing wasn’t “designed”. It was replicated. They took Trinity’s design, dyed it yellow, and fluffed it up a bit. Like I said back in October, no company jumps from planning to design one doll (since Trinity was initially the doll supposed to be released) to another that quickly unless they really don’t care about the outcome. I wish Felicia had been designed with her own special dress. This is sub-par to me.

Even the artwork on Felicia’s packaging is essentially Trinity’s artwork.

But I have to give it to them. At least they dyed the dress yellow, cut the top off from the bottom to make it look like she has a crop top and a skirt, and added a shag. Maybe they reviewed my content, and were like, “Damn, someone is on to us. We have to change this up quick.”

In any case, I’m glad it looks like they put effort into giving us something that looks sort of new in comparison to the re-pros, which didn’t do it for me because those dolls were inferior to their originals. Still, it’s unfortunate that, at this point, I’m mostly like, “Hmm”, instead of “Wow!” I can’t even make an interjection full of excitement and emotion.

It doesn’t help that Trinity’s dress was never considered the best of the holiday dresses, especially because most people felt the pink color was more suited to Spring and didn’t have the same quality as Holiday dresses prior. I guess if you live in a warm climate, you can work bright colors any day. For us living in the middle of blizzards, I can’t relate.

Holiday colors should have been used. It would’ve related to more people. You know, red and green to represent Christmas, blue and white to represent the frosty snow, and/or darker evening colors to represent the changing darker season. I mean, look at Katia‘s.

Back in the day, some real design effort went into her look. She is, by far, my favorite Holiday doll. Winterball Cloe was pretty, too, and perfect for the Holidays or for what most people would associate with the Holidays.

Now, I won’t lie, Felicia looks beautiful in yellow. It’s really her color, and it has her melanin popping. Still, they could have put more effort into the design of her dress. It also should have had a deeper golden feeling to it, to give it an evening vibe. One of my viewers suggested Felicia arrive in a green dress, and I think that would have been ideal for the season. Green and gold would have also looked beautiful on Felicia. I just feel, like with all the Bratz nowadays, and like the Bratz in 2010, the dolls are being rushed and cheapened to meet demand. I hope, at least, Felicia’s dress is actually made with strong quality materials.

Felicia’s fashion passion is layering different looks so she can change it up any time. I do feel that this look fits her fashion passion. The fact that she comes with a shag that is removable, has a detachable top that can go with another pair of bottoms, and a skirt that can go with any top fits with Felicia’s resourceful sense of style. Felicia is also Glam Gecko, so she loves to look a little glamourous at times. I feel like if her eyes had more of a gloss to it and her dress had a more unique design, she’d be even more glamourous. But this will do. I would definitely say this is better than the repros, but that’s only because there has never been a Holiday Felicia to make a comparison. Honestly, MGA Entertainment should just stick to making new dolls because when they try to reproduce the old dolls, people (well, some people) can obviously see the difference in quality. Unless they plan on reproducing all the old dolls the same way they made them, some people are bound to be dissatisfied. With the new dolls, they can make them as cheap as they like because many people will just be happy to see Bratz dolls in new fashions.


Felicia’s purse is a recycled item that is being released in yellow-gold. She also comes with a bracelet for fans, the one item coming from MGA’s CEO’s daughter’s fashion brand, Cult Gaia, a doll stand, and a star brush. All pretty standard, but not too interesting to me.


The shoes are okay. I actually almost forgot to even review them, which means they aren’t very memorable. Honestly, they feel like recycled shoes. It wouldn’t be the first time Bratz recycled their shoes. They’re alright. They do have a Bratz vibe to them and look comfortable enough for this outdoorsy Bratz girl. I’ll give them a pass.

Overall, people might dislike my content just because I’m railing on Felicia, and that’s tricky territory because she’s a Black Bratz doll. That’s fine. For me, I honestly don’t want a half-assed attempt at representation anymore. I would like people to take more time and effort, pouring the same love and care into the development of the Black dolls that they have poured into dolls that are white-passing or racially ambiguous (like Cloe and Yasmin). Perhaps, I’m too idealistic and should expect less. But that’s my desire.

Unfortunately, her early ratings on target were 2.2 out of 5 stars (her ratings have since increased to 3.7). At this point, I don’t think this is a win for Felicia or the Black community. Even worse that’s she’s going for 54.99 USD. They literally are pricing her higher than she’s worth, all because she’s not a reproduced doll and because they know that’s the only way they can get a return from a doll that’s directed towards a few thousand adult Bratz fans. At the very least, they could have thrown in another cheap outfit for that price.

For me:

Overall, she gets a 3.5/5 stars from me.

GCDS Yasmin and Sasha

I’m a bit more interested in the GCDS dolls than all the other dolls that have been released. First, I’ll review Yasmin.

Yasmin’s Head

By itself, Yasmin’s face looks okay to me. Her head looks bigger than usual, and I don’t know if that’s to accommodate the UV printing or if that has something to do with the design of the outfit. I’m still not a fan of the UV printing method, but I like her “make-up” print well enough. I like the colors. I feel like Yasmin adapts best to the UV printing method.

Yasmin’s Body

I personally think Yasmin’s outfit is okay, even if it does make her head look bigger than usual and has gimmicky Bratz print on it. Still, I don’t think it’s public-friendly. Everyday people wouldn’t wear this, and that’s what Bratz needs right now. They need to be sporting the latest fashion and styles in at least one of their new lines. I feel like the lines are either re-hashing old fashion or are so out-there that they can only be seen on a runway. They aren’t Read-to-Wear fashions. I think that Yasmin’s outfit speaks to a handful of adult fans who enjoy gaudy looks, which is why they sold out, but if these dolls were being sold to a general audience, they wouldn’t do as well.

On the other hand, this is the one of the best outfits we’ve seen on a Bratz doll in awhile. At least someone put effort into actually designing it, the quality of the materials actually looks good, and it appears to stay true to Yasmin’s fashion passion. Yasmin loves bohemian fashions with exotic prints, and often blends different styles together to make one graceful glam look. This outfit has quite a bohemian feeling to it, especially the ballooning and flared sleeves.

Still, I can’t say I’ve fallen in love with it.

I’ve heard that Hayden Williams’s 2018 bodies were used for these dolls, which means they can fit 2018 fashions possibly. I was fine with those bodies, to be honest, so it’s all good to me.

Yasmin’s Accessories

One of the best parts of this release are the accessories. I would like to buy them for just the accessories alone. Unfortunately, they were going for the hefty price of 85.00 and are sold out. Poor people like me can’t compete. But if they ever do become available again, I would like to get my hands on Yasmin’s sunglasses and purse. I absolutely love the designs.

I like the earrings and “Bratz” chain belt as well.

Yasmin’s Feet

Another one of my favorite parts. Actually, my favorite part. Yasmin’s shoes are very well-designed and very stylish. I would personally buy these shoes if they were made available in my size. The artsy print, the studs along the toe, and the side buckle are very nice touches. I absolutely love the heel construction as well. These are some very well-made shoes.

Sasha’s Head

I’m actually okay with Sasha’s head this time around. I hate that her lips have been reported to have misprinting, meaning there’s some quality-control issues floating around. Overall, though, I think she looks okay. Still not fond of the UV printing, the matte plastic, or the bigger heads, but this doll adjusts better to the changes.

The “baby hairs” are an interesting touch. I personally would rather utilize her own hair to give her “baby hairs”, but, like with Felicia, I’m happy that Sasha is finally wearing Black hairstyles. The braids look flawless.

Sasha’s Body

As with Yasmin, I’m not the biggest fan of Sasha’s outfit. Again, I do appreciate outrageous fashion, I just don’t think it’s wearable. I do like the mesh bits, but I don’t understand the rhinestone portion on top or the “Bratz” Cruella-Deville-style coat over it.

There’s more mix-and-match potential for Sasha’s than for Yasmin’s though, so I don’t have to settle with just this look.

That is another point. Why haven’t we seen any new dolls with more than one outfit? Where’s the “mix-and-match” fun Bratz was notorious for?

That aside, I do feel this outfit fits with Sasha’s fashion passion, which combines old school and new school hip-hop styles. Sasha loves avant-garde fashion as of 2008, and she’s always on the hunt for a new look. I would say this fits quite well with her style. These types of outrageous individualistic looks are very popular with hip-hop right now, and it’s definitely out-of-the-box.

Sasha’s Accessories

I LOVE Sasha’s accessories. The gold hoop Bratz earrings and the gold heart purse are just fabulous. I want, I want, I want! They are very well-constructed and detailed.

Sasha’s Feet

Just like with Yasmin, Sasha’s foot game is strong. I love the GCDS boots so much. The fact that these look like shoes people can actually buy from the store adds so much more quality to this item. In fact, the accessories and shoes all look like items that can be purchased from GCDS. That’s the kind of vibe I want from Bratz. I want to want to dress like a Bratz doll.

Overall, I think this is probably the best we will get for this year. The messed up part is that they didn’t include Cloe and, especially, Jade, who absolutely is the queen of Xtreme and outrageous fashion. That was a missed opportunity.

I want to point out, again, how this is another collaboration project, not a line solely produced by MGA Entertainment. This is mostly how the best of the Bratz products are being produced, and if you look at the matching price point of 80 US bucks, you understand how selling high-quality, designer dolls, to adult fans like this results in heftier prices.

The best shouldn’t have to come from a collaborator, from a designer doll, nor from a doll that expensive. Yet, that’s what is keeping Bratz afloat because MGA didn’t invest enough in time to meet demand.


Overall, they get a 3.8-4/5 from me.

Bratz News, 2021-2022

“Talking Bratz” Tik Tok Series

Just to do some housekeeping, apparently Talking Bratz came back with that “scrapped” episode starring Jade, Sasha, and the Tweevils (mentioned in the comeback content). Unfortunately, it didn’t update us on the girls’ lives and was mostly a promotional tool for that Bratz app game I don’t care to play. They can’t seem to get storylines right on social media, so I’m quite sure the game’s storyline is more than likely all over the place as well. I was also upset that they weren’t wearing new outfits like Cloe and Yasmin. Then again, it was nice to see the CGI-animated 1st Edition outfits.

I heard that the individual in charge of creating Talking Bratz is only 16 years old (Update: He’s 19). If that’s the case, that’s pretty amazing work for a teenager. However, that also concerns me. If the teenager is still in school, that means this kid is essentially juggling making Talking Bratz, sort of working for MGA, while going to school. The pressure has been on for Talking Bratz to be regular, and I’m just not sure a teen can handle that work load 100%.

Also, that means there really isn’t a strong production team around to make the same series that was produced in the 2000s. I don’t know. I just don’t think they intend to make Talking Bratz anything major at this point, not if a teenager is in charge of getting it off the ground. It’s mostly just promo being created right now.

There was an episode centered on the designer of the GCDS dolls. It was cute. Felicia’s outfit looked better than what they put on the actual GCDS dolls. Why wasn’t that outfit released? It’s actually wearable, that’s why they’re selling it to fans on their website. Anything you wish to sell to the public should be on the Bratz dolls because you know people would actually want to wear it. This will motivate fans to buy the dolls more, and make them long for replicas for themselves. Get people wanting more. That’s the fun of it, you know? Bratz should make people want to look like them.

Sweetheart Meygan Leaks for 2022

Next, I would like to share that there have been leaks of Sweetheart Meygan. I’m tempted to buy her and reunite her with her girlfriend Nevra, but I’m scared of what she’ll look like, as I was with Felicia. So far, I have not been wrong about these releases, and that’s what worries me. She’s due to be released March 22, 2022. Unfortunately, she will not be around in time for Valentine’s Day.

There are plenty other repros rumored to be releasing in 2022, such as Girls Nite Out, Bratz Boyz 1st Edition Dylan, the long-anticipated Tokyo A Go-Go Limited Edition Kumi, Flaunt It!, and the long-awaited designer Pride dolls (which will more than likely consist of Roxxi and Nevra, ew) due to be released. I will probably just replace Roxxi with Meygan after the purchase…

Help Carter Bryant Out, Ya’ll!

Finally, I want to share with you all that Carter Bryant, the original creator of Bratz, has fallen ill. He’s recovering, but he needs assistance with his hospital bills. His sister has asked for our help so he can recover. As you all who follow me and listen to me know, Carter Bryant was let go from MGA Entertainment around 2013/2014. He is not getting paid any royalties for these dolls, though he was the genius behind the whole concept. I’ve mentioned before that this is how LGBTQ+ people are often treated. We are used up, for all of our genius and ideas, and then thrown away by companies. The law doesn’t support us, either. Unfortunately, the doll industry hasn’t been kind to Carter, and as I covered in my last project (the comeback article and video), working for MGA Entertainment is like a Scarlett letter. If any of you can help him in any way, please do so.

Carter Bryant’s GoFundMe

Final Thoughts

To end this, I just want to say that I hope 2022 is a better year for Bratz. I’m scared to get my hopes up too high, because much of the damage is done. Still, I hope that they turn something around for the better, at least with the dolls.

I really do hope Carter Bryant recovers and that MGA steps in to help him in some way. At least assist with his medical bills. I think he deserves it.

What other factors do you all think contribute to the cheapness of these dolls or the decline of the doll industry? What do you all think of Felicia, the new designer doll leaks, and the Bratz’s whole comeback as of now? Leave me a comment if you’re able and let’s get the discussion rolling.

In the meantime, Ciao, Peace! HERE’S THE VIDEO

Bratz Dolls’ “Comeback” Is a Mess (New Bratz Dolls, Talking Bratz Tik Tok Series, and All)

31 Oct

Hello, GenNext readers! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?

Today, I finally want to talk about Bratz again. To watch the video, skip to the bottom.

I know that I promised earlier this year that I would be posting more to promote the Bratz’s 20th Year Anniversary. The last project I did to promote it was Ranking the Worst to Best Bratz Movies article and video. During that time, amidst work, life and career changes, as well as battling sicknesses, I have been working on that Bratz project I’ve been telling everyone about (the Bratzpack wiki or fandom page, as it’s now called).

Like the stubborn Sun in Taurus and obsessive Moon in Scorpio that I am, I’m still dedicated to it. If you were to go to the website now, it might not seem like I’ve initiated much. That’s because I’m waiting until I gather everything, all of the information I could possibly find on this brand, before officially fleshing the place out. Because of my goal of making it a huge database for all Bratz information, it has been costly and time-consuming, both of which this poor Black-American doesn’t have.

However, that’s only been partially my reason for delaying the process of posting more videos and articles about the Bratz, though. I know that if I really felt motivated and compelled, I would have stopped everything I was doing to push forward with promoting my “Girls with a Passion for Fashion”.

Yet, here I am, not feeling that sense of motivation. I purposefully set aside making content so that I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about the Bratz’s 20th Year Anniversary. I told myself that I would wait it out this time and see how I felt about everything.

In years prior, I would give commentary on my articles or in my videos about the Bratz dolls’ comebacks, and so often I felt there was something I was missing. This time, I told myself I would wait until I saw most of what was being produced to celebrate the Bratz’s long reign in the doll industry before forming a conclusion.

And as someone who has been into the Bratz for 21 years, yes, 21 years (I think I’ve over-stated how I discovered Bratz when the website was under construction in the year 2000), I can honestly say…that the Bratz’s 20th year anniversary has the face of nostalgia, but is really missing the heart, the soul, of what the brand really was back then. For me, this has been a very superficial re-launch. Honestly, and truthfully, I feel disappointed with the Bratz’s 20th Anniversary.

The great majority of Bratz fans may not agree with me nor understand why I’m not geeked-up for the Bratz this year. I’m accustomed to being a Bratz fan outsider. If you’ve been into the brand as long as I have, you’ve seen the faces of Bratz fans change all the time.

For those interested, I’m going to share what’s been bothering me about the Bratz’s anniversary. And maybe not just this year, but what’s been bothering me since the brief hiatus after the release of the 2018 Collector Dolls. I felt certain events after that release led to this point.

Lack of Investment

To be quite frank, it is becoming pretty obvious that MGA Entertainment isn’t investing in the Bratz brand the way they used to.

It’s possible they see the brand as risky since all of the reboots haven’t had the same success the brand had in the 2000s, the dolls are pretty controversial, and the brand has been subjected to so much legal trouble in the past. It might not feel worth the risk. There’s a possibility Bratz or the company is surrounding current legal trouble or will surround future legal trouble if launched. I’ll talk more on this a little later…

Or maybe MGA just can’t find the same strong team they had back in the day. I mean, if you look at some of those reviews from job sites, such as Indeed and Glassdoor, the designers and other teammates who worked with MGA…Woooo. The reviews they have left are savage, for lack of a better word. I will really go into this later. However, for now I can just say the current and former employees don’t have many nice things to say about working with the company. The best thing they have said is that they have “learned a lot”. I compared MGA Entertainment’s reviews with some of their competitors, and…it’s just not the same.

With that in mind, it’s possible MGA can’t find a strong solid team for the brand. I know that with most start-up or creative businesses like this one, the turn-over rates tend to be high. But in comparison to other doll companies, MGA’s reviews were nasty. The company has been through ups and downs, so maybe that plays a role in why the company has been like a revolving door the last couple of years. I don’t really work for the company to speak on its character. However, I do know that this maybe gives some clue(s) as to why they can’t seem to find a solid team to help re-launch the Bratz brand.

It doesn’t help that the doll industry isn’t as strong as it was back in the day and that the tween market has largely been demolished. Companies have given up on appealing to tweens, even in television. Honestly, I heard Disney Channel is folding and moving online. The UK’s Disney Channel already shut down for good. There’s a very good video floating around Youtube on the subject of the end of the tween era and there’s another good one focusing on Disney Channel’s demise.

The tween market was once a very good market back in the day because it made content both innocent and youthful, but something adults could get away with liking as well. Nowadays, content is usually for young children, teenagers and/or young adults, or older adults. Parents don’t feel that “Tween” content is passable anymore, and “Tweens” are actually now often watching more young adult content now.

Still, MGA could try harder to appeal to their current demographic (Millennials and Gen Z) in a more powerful way than they have in the last 10 years if they really backed up and really dove deep into what made the brand so successful in the past, as they’ve been promising they would for the last decade.

Remember this statement? From 2014?

So, here’s the deal with Bratz. We finally got the go-ahead to give it the time and backing to make it awesome. We want to really dig in to the direction of Bratz, what makes the brand awesome, and bring that back full force! In order to do that, and to have the epic come back that the brand really deserves, we are taking a year off. We are giving ourselves and the buyers a chance to cleanse palates of expectations so we can come back in 2015 and deliver something cutting edge, disruptive and awesome.

It’s like they’re almost there every time, in 2010, 2015, 2018, 2021, but seem to be missing something every time as well. The reason they keep meeting a brick wall is because they really need to invest time and money into re-building this brand from every angle, and it doesn’t feel like they are willing to do that. They may not have the time or resources. MGA Entertainment seems more focused on their newer more immediately profitable products such as L.O.L. Surprise and Rainbow High. I really don’t blame them, especially post-pandemic.

Still, it’s obvious the Bratz isn’t their focus anymore. They may have some people fooled, but I can see it. There are many signs that the company isn’t really invested in Bratz anymore. It’s pretty clear the 20th Anniversary was thrown together as a result.

Let me just run down how I could tell they aren’t investing anymore.

There Are Too Many Issues With The Dolls

First off, the “20th Yearz” Anniversary was off to a rocky start when they “asked fans” what dolls we wanted to be re-released this year. When did they ask that question? NOVEMBER 2020. That means they hadn’t been planning this launch for very long. It didn’t become a thought until the END OF LAST YEAR.

Honestly, this launch should have been planned shortly after the 2018 Collector dolls were released because fans were asking for 20th Anniversary releases since then. They should not have waited until the end of last year to focus on re-setting the Bratz brand for 2021.

Normally, a solid release at least takes a year, even two years, to prepare for. For every doll brand that I’ve studied, a solid launch (and re-launch) has normally taken two years of development. For all of you who have worked on a doll team, correct me if I’m wrong on this. I know I’ve had several developers and creators comment, so I would love your input regarding this.

From what I know, a strong launch takes time. This is especially the case when a brand has been stagnant for years and is re-launching as if this is their debut. MGA Entertainment isn’t treating this like a serious re-launch if they asked fans no more than six months before the anniversary what lines they want re-launched.

It’s no surprise that when the 1st Edition 20 Yearz dolls first launched at Hot Topic, with only a few weeks’ notice, they appeared a little “wonky”, with quality control issues, and they also SOLD OUT within an hour, which to me means they didn’t prepare for the dolls to be so high in-demand. We had Mar the Cantos (who is now the confirmed social media content creator, which I suspected since last year) scrambling to reassure people that the dolls were mass-produced and were going to be launched more widely soon.

The dolls were eventually released more widely, and appeared on toy shelves at Walmart and Target, but they still had the same quality control issues and sold out too quickly in many areas, with few replacements on the shelves. Some people simply couldn’t find them at their local Walmart and Target, (and I’ll talk more about my theories as to why later in this content). The truth is Walmart and Target are stores that cater to moms, and the vast majority of moms don’t like Bratz that much. Some Walmarts and Targets haven’t approved of having the dolls on their shelves.

Even worse is no one stopped to think that maybe Walmart and Target don’t exist around the world, so if an individual lives in a different country or in a location that doesn’t have these stores, they’d still have to buy them online, like they would have had to for the collectors’ exclusive dolls. The whole point of fans asking for the dolls to be in stores was so they could see them on shelves, so they wouldn’t have to use banking info to buy them, wouldn’t have to convert coinage (if from a different country), wouldn’t have to pay delivery fees along with expensive ass dolls, wouldn’t have to crack a code to get into an American website if their country doesn’t allow them to get in, and so those under the age of 18 would have access. While I know the pandemic has basically placed everything online, many people aren’t comfortable with online shopping. Some people don’t like buying everything online. Some people want to see these dolls on their own shelves, where they can pay in person, possibly with cash.

Apparently, this was not a planned worldwide launch, where people in their own parts of the world could find the dolls sitting comfortably at their own local stores. If the company was really invested, they would have made sure they were prepared for a worldwide launch. There is another interesting video out on Youtube going into detail on how MGA used to prepare for worldwide launches back in the past called “Livin’ in a Bratz World: The International Distribution of MGA’s Bratz Dolls”. Honestly, I don’t know any company that only launches stateside when they have a globally popular brand.

If MGA was still interested in really investing, they should have also had some brand new collector dolls ready for launch shortly after the 1st Edition Bratz dolls re-launched. Some MGA customer care worker supposedly stated that new collector dolls were supposed to be released August 2021, along with the 1st Edition dolls. Well, the 1st Edition dolls released in May, and we are now in October. What happened to the collector dolls that were supposed to come out?

Yes, we all know the pandemic has pushed things back and changed things around, including the production of products. However, if they’d been planning this since 2019, the pandemic should not have been an excuse. Within the timeframe of the lock-down in 2020, MGA managed to launch sister brand Rainbow High solidly. The pandemic didn’t prevent that launch from being pretty solid; it should not have prevented a solid Bratz launch, either. They should have had a solid team ready for this launch, especially because they had quite a bit of time to plan for it.

Yet, all the confirmations we’ve gotten from social media, customer care workers, and listings have all been conflicting. It seems like we aren’t receiving definite answers about releases. Unfortunately, I feel like everything that was planned for this “20th Yearz” Anniversary was either rushed or scrapped.

Last I heard, MGA had a Pride collector doll and Holiday Felicia listed (initially Holiday Trinity was going to be re-produced).

I’m excited to have a Pride doll, especially since, as ya’ll know, I am queer myself. I’m also happy to have more Felicia, especially as a Holiday edition, since no dark-skinned dolls really had that honor before. However, due to the poor quality of the 1st Edition re-produced dolls, I’m afraid of how Felicia will look. I’m even more afraid that she will just arrive in Trinity’s old outfit instead of having a one-of-a-kind Holiday dress designed for her. Honestly, a few months ago, the listing stated Trinity was being released. Now, shortly before she’s supposed to arrive, it’s been changed to Felicia? To me, that’s suspect.

What nearly confirms my fears is the Rock Angelz re-release. Rock Angelz is also being re-launched and it appears they will be suffering from the same quality-control issues the 1st Edition dolls had. When I saw the leaks, Roxxi and Sasha didn’t look too good. I’m very happy I already have my old dolls. I feel sorry for all of you who are getting what’s new.

I did hear that they delayed the release of Roxxi and Sasha because of the backlash, so hopefully, people get better-looking dolls. Still, I don’t see them looking better than they did in the 2000s. It’s also really bad to have them delayed, considering I’m sure they will be the rarest regardless, since many communities, along with their retailers, still do not largely accept dolls of color or those who identify as queer.

Maybe it’s too soon to ask for Collector dolls. Now that I think about it, I don’t know if I want the new dolls to look the way they’ve been looking. With the strange eye coordination, and the plastic skin that looks too oiled down with Vaseline, I just can’t get with it.

Beyond the look of the dolls is the problem that we fans are mostly getting re-releases in the first place. I feel like the re-releases only offer something to new fans or fans who were not able to purchase Bratz dolls in the past. Unfortunately, these new dolls don’t offer anything to old-time fans. Why would I buy 20 Yearz Anniversary dolls when I have the old dolls? Even if these dolls did look as good as the originals, what would they offer old-timers?

I guess I really shouldn’t have much to say, considering the 1st Edition dolls did sell out, so maybe many fans wanted these re-releases. Maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about. I don’t know if the dolls sold out because of the new fans or old fans, but MGA follows the money, so whoever is buying it is who they will cater to. I’m probably alone in the pool.

The only way I can visualize old fans buying these dolls is if I conclude that there are some old-time fans that have to have every Bratz item ever invented in their collection, the good, bad, and the ugly. I’ve come to develop this mindset myself, so I understand it. Some of my viewers have helped to open my mind about certain dolls, like the 2015 dolls for example, which I wasn’t initially a fan of. I admit, I’m a skeptic and I can be stubborn. My Mercury in Taurus is very rooted. I also have Saturn in the 3rd house, which doesn’t help. Maybe some old-time fans don’t mind having two versions of the same doll.

I personally would rather have something new.

The other old-timers might buy them just to do videos on Youtube about them. I’m not beyond that either, when and if I get some more money.

But what other value do the dolls really bring to a collector?

I felt that if they wanted to re-release the dolls for older fans, they should have included something new, something that would get us excited for the re-releases. Instead they gave us the same old thing, but with wonky screenings. I don’t really make a whole lot of money to be throwing it out to just any old dolls. I love doll collecting, but as ya’ll can see, those who follow me on Youtube and visit me on my blog, I am interested in some very high-quality and expensive doll brands. In my case, if I had to decide between a “20 Yearz” Anniversary re-produced doll, and an older doll collection on Ebay, I’d be saving up for the latter. I’d rather invest in finding the older releases than in investing in MGA’s newer Bratz re-releases right now. Unless they give me a really good reason to buy these dolls, I don’t even feel compelled to prioritize it.

If we compare Bratz to their competitor, Barbie, her dolls have been released with the same amount of quality it has had for 10 years. She hasn’t improved, but she hasn’t worsened either. In some ways, the design is better. The sculpts are more detailed, Barbie has more body types than ever before, and with each release, it is clear when the dolls will launch. And when they happen, they happen on time.

Many of you might be wondering why I’m comparing Bratz to Barbie. Do you know the saying, “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer”? If you want to see where a brand stands, you can compare them to other dolls on the market to see where this brand can improve on their level or even past them. When Barbie releases an old collector doll, it’s a doll that has been in the archives for 30 to 40 years, been created by an expert designer, or it’s a doll that is super detailed and well-crafted. Often times, the dolls are re-released with something extra special for old-time fans who have the dolls, or they are usually so rare, no current major fans have them. Right now, on this level, Bratz isn’t leveling up past Barbie.

The Promotional Media Is Messy, Rushed, and Not Updated in Unison

Other signs that MGA Entertainment is not investing in the Bratz brand are seen through how they are handling Bratz through their promotional media.

Let’s compare this launch with Hayden Williams’s 2018 Collector dolls launch. Say what you will about his dolls, they might not have been everybody’s taste, and yes, there were quality control issues with that launch, too, but mostly everything was well-prepared for the release, especially the promotional media.

First off, the website. When Hayden Williams’s dolls launched, the website was updated to include his dolls, the characters’ bios, and even sources showing where to find and buy the dolls. It was a centralized location for all the latest Bratz information, even allowing fans to find all the social media websites connected with Bratz.

Second, EVERY SINGLE form of social media was on the same level of promotion. They were all in formation. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube all had posts promoting the launch. Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook all had the same posts as one another. Youtube had a video to promote the launch.

Third, they didn’t rush into a series before building the brand back up. If you follow me, you know how I felt about the original series, despite the fact so many fans seem to be in-love with that damn thing. If you want to know directly how I feel, please investigate Ranking Worst to Best Bratz Movies From a HUGE Bratz Fan’s Perspective (In-Depth Analysis).

The only thing that held the Hayden Williams’ 2018 Collector dolls launch back was the dolls themselves, and that’s pretty crucial, considering Bratz is primarily a doll brand (NOT A TELEVISION SERIES, though some fans tend to think that’s the heart of this brand). For me, the dolls weren’t that bad, but I admit that a lot of people didn’t like the style and there were issues with quality-control even then.

But let’s just compare then to now, shall we?

While, in recent times, the Bratz seem to be superficially “paying homage” to the old days, why does the website still say “Coming Soon”? If MGA Entertainment was really invested in this launch, wouldn’t they have prepared an official website?

And before anybody tells me, “No one goes to websites anymore, anyway”, consider the fact that they didn’t hesitate to launch a Rainbow High website when they were released last year. Notice how they still update L.O.L. Surprise.

Websites still have use when it comes to centering all Bratz products, information, and social media connections in one location. It’s still an extra extension of promotion. A main website can have “Shop” information showing where or what stores people can find the dolls, especially online, for each country.

At minimum, it would have been a great way to pay homage to the 2K era, to really play up that nostalgia, for the 20th Anniversary. It was a missed opportunity.

Now, they did try to organize all of the releases with a “tree” on Instagram, and they managed to put together a “Rock Angelz website” for those of you who bought those ugly ass new dolls, used the QR codes, and found the website. But that’s just on Instagram and if you are interested in one release from the new re-produced Bratz Rock Angelz line.

Bratzrockangelz.com apparently

Again, what I’m finding when it comes to social media and their websites is, this time around, they are not all in formation. Twitter posts certain things that you won’t find on Instagram. Instagram has things you won’t find on Tik Tok. Tik Tok has things you won’t find on Facebook. And I don’t even know the last time there was anything posted to Facebook and Youtube, really.

I have literally run into fans on Tik Tok who didn’t even know Bratz had an Instagram, fans on Twitter who didn’t even know Bratz had a Tik Tok, fans on Youtube who didn’t know Bratz had a Twitter…

And they all had different stories when it came to what they knew about the Bratz’s so-called “comeback”. I’ve discovered that the people with Tik Tok knew little about the posts found on Instagram. I mentioned an Instagram post about Nevra to someone on Tik Tok and they stated “That never happened on Tik Tok, so I don’t know about it”.

Someone who watches Youtube, maybe specifically my Youtube Channel, has stated they couldn’t find any new releases from Bratz and were asking me where I heard this information. Some of them tried to go to the main website but it looked like it did above (“Coming Soon”).

The bulk of Bratz promotion and content is coming from Instagram, which everyone doesn’t have access to nor likes to use.

Even on Instagram, they have delayed posting updates on products, with many fans finding out about releases from retailers themselves or off-brand fan sites. Bratz Rock Angelz was said by Walmart and Target to have released October 11, 2021. Did any of you all see any posts about it? Because I haven’t.

None of the social media pages have updated any information prior to the release of this long-asked-for line. Maybe because they saw how the fans were reacting to the leaks…Still, there should be some sort of information about these dolls that retailers are telling people about.

Fans are running around like chickens with their heads cut-off, trying to figure out what’s happening. All of this could have been resolved by leading them to one simple central website. We need a free website, that doesn’t require a sign-in, and is accessible to people of all ages, countries, and backgrounds. The website should be listing all of the available products coming out of MGA Entertainment at this time.

But that didn’t happen for this 20th Anniversary. I know the year isn’t over yet, but we have two more months to go, which still means they didn’t invest in this launch very much at all.

Now, Bratz did get a little series on Tik Tok for promotion. I want to talk about Talking Bratz. Someone from my Youtube channel did ask me what I thought about the Bratz series Talking Bratz.

I will now give my thoughts on that.

First, on a positive note, I want to say that I believe Talking Bratz has the potential to be better than the original series. As I’ve stated, I am not a fan of the original series, and I’ve stated why in Bratz 2018: Please Don’t! and I’ve stated it in Ranking Worst to Best Bratz Movies. I’ve been into Bratz too long, and know the brand and characters too well, to enjoy the TV series fully, especially because I was a bit older than the target demographic when the series launched.

Talking Bratz fixed two major things: Dylan and Felicia. As most hard-core Bratz fans know, Dylan was heavily “Black-coded” as early as 2004. He wore box-braids in many of his earlier releases, such as in Wild Life Safari and Wintertime Wonderland. He was darkened in many of his illustrations to fit his heritage more, such as in the book Xtreme Outdoors, and some of his dolls followed suit, such as Play Sportz Dylan and his Kidz doll.

Yet, for some reason, the original Bratz TV series, Rock Angelz, and that live action movie decided to white-wash him.

I talked about this and went in on it already. Whoever is in charge of Talking Bratz seems very aware of this, took notice, and updated accordingly, which means someone is doing a bit of research over there. Thank goodness for that.

They’ve also given some of the lesser known Bratz pack members, particularly Felicia, screen-time, which I feel is very exciting and could really serve to boost all of the main Bratz pack characters in the future, if they plan on giving all of them a chance to shine.

I like that they attempted to bring back some of the old cast, which obviously connects with the fans of the series. To me, this means they are trying to unite the universes, fixing what was wrong with the original series and bringing back what was right.

Despite this, though, considering the people who are being put in charge of the brand, and considering the way things are being promoted lately, I’m not sure just how deep the developers, animators, and writers are willing to go into the brand to really create the ideal TV series that I’m looking for. My standards are YAY-High.

I’ve been working on writing a series for Bratz. I’m still working on it. But as someone who is passionate about the brand and sees its potential, I would never just launch a series flimsily, and to me, I feel like Talking Bratz was launched a bit too soon and carelessly.

This fandom wiki project that I’m working on regarding the Bratz has done more than help me build a one-stop database. It’s also helping me understand the brand, in-and-out. I’m learning about the characters, their universes, their lives, what the fans enjoyed about the different series, movies, and books, what they didn’t, what I enjoyed, what I didn’t, the dolls, the fashion, everything. I’m analyzing everything. That’s the kind of dedication I want to see from a TV series developer and producer. I just don’t know if they really are that dedicated right now. It’s too early to tell.

My own work may never get green-lit, read, or fully visualized. I still want to write it because I believe there needs to be a stronger universe for the Bratz brand. I like that I get to take my time with it and really do the homework. If I make a film or series, I want it to be a production that truly leans into the brand, like what I’ve seen from the directors and producers who made Harry Potter. I want it to be almost like the original source material. In Bratz’s case, they have many source materials, even sources some fans may not have even heard of.

What really disappointed me already about Talking Bratz was the fact that Jade and Sasha’s segments were “scrapped”.

I was very disappointed. I’ve talked about the “Closmin” issue before in my Bratz 2018: Please don’t! content. I don’t want to see Yasmin and Cloe getting all the shine while Jade and Sasha get side-lined. Yet, this is what is happening again. And we were not given any real reason as to why this happened. But again, if MGA was really investing in this comeback, they would have had this series prepared way before this year, just like Rainbow High’s series was prepared. Nothing would have had to be “scrapped”.

MGA must have forgotten why the 2010 10th Anniversary dolls failed. Those dolls also failed because MGA, admittedly, rushed to put the dolls on the shelves, which created issues with quality. It caused them to go on a hiatus. Why haven’t they learned from that?

I don’t think they anticipated the demand would be so high for the Bratz right now. If they were really interested in investing in Bratz, they wouldn’t have waited for people to be interested. They would have been STRATEGIZING to GET people interested, making moves BEFORE the demand swarmed in. They would have been analyzing how fans were responding to the brand over the years, and would have taken notes on what fans were looking for and expecting. They should not have just looked on social media, either.

Instead, they put little effort towards the brand over the last couple of years, and only rushed to invest when they saw the success of the 1st Edition 20 Yearz re-release (which was a surprise to me, considering how wonky they looked).

Of course, we are in a different time and era. No brands can be as successful as they were in the 2000s, before internet and social media popped off. There’s just so much that can catch our attention nowadays. But if the brand was strategic, they could have managed to maintain a loyal fan base and could have gained way more new followers, at the very least.

If you compare them to their competitor Barbie, though her sales have declined, she’s managed to maintain a loyal fanbase and has kept her hold on the fashion doll market for over 50 years. On all of Barbie’s socials, she has managed to maintain millions of followers. The only place Barbie is emptier than Bratz is on Tik Tok, and this is only because it doesn’t have content yet. And yet, YET, she still has a few hundred followers and tons of Tik Tok fans that hold her name, those same people having millions of followers. All of this, without dropping content.

How? Barbie never forgets her “Hedgehog” concept (Review Jim Collins’s business book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…and Others Don’t to learn more about that concept). Barbie tries to keep up with what’s new while never losing what Barbie is. The fact is the company actually dove deep to find out who Barbie has been and who she is now. They’ve found a way to merge all of her universes, too, through Barbie in the Dreamhouse, or at least they’re trying. I’ve seen some guest appearances of her old friends from her early days on there.

I’ve mentioned this before. Everybody knows that Barbie’s world will always be centered around her. She’s white, blonde, middle-to-upper class, pretty, and forever young (technically). She’s been developed to become anything to anybody. Yet, she’s found a way to maintain one solid identity, no matter how much she evolves.

In order to meet the demand for diversity, instead of changing who she is, they just added that diversity to her universe. Since 2016, she’s added newer skin tones, gender expressions, and body types to her universe. The company knows Barbie herself can never be everything to everybody, and they aren’t trying to make her that. They’ve tried that several times in the past and it failed. It would never work, because of Barbie’s reputation. Barbie is Barbie now.

What they decided to work with in the present, though, is working in Barbie’s favor, even if it’s silently behind the scenes, focused on her surrounding friends instead of her. Nowadays, most people have little negative to say about the brand. It certainly isn’t worse than what critics are saying of Bratz.

While meeting customer demand and maintaining Barbie’s identity, she’s able to make enough money to have new lines and new movies every year. It’s now a tradition to watch a Barbie movie for many generations of Barbie fans.

Like I said, MGA should “keep their enemies closer”. Barbie isn’t my enemy, but she’s Bratz’s number one rival. If they expect to get back on top, they should observe how she’s managed to last this long.

But that would only be if MGA is even still interested in Bratz like that anymore…which it clearly appears they’re not.

MGA’s official company website doesn’t even include Bratz as one of their “featured brands” anymore, and it is listed at the very bottom among all of their brands towards the bottom of the page.

Fans Are Investing In Bratz More Than The Company

To be honest, the main one really adding to the universe and building the brand is Mar the Cantos, the social media content creator. Mar the Cantos started off as a fan photographer. I believe she was a designer in New York. She hated it there, and when she returned back home, she found her doll collection and decided to post pictures of them.

Well, from those photos, Mar helped the Bratz go viral back around 2017(?)-2019(?). A few years later, Mar the Cantos was brought on to be the primary social media content creator. Mar the Cantos has been primarily responsible for all the photos we see on social media, from the Roxxi and Nevra “coming out” photos, to the celebrity photos we constantly see on social media, to the little throwbacks here and there from video games and commercials. Mar the Cantos is even the one highlighting other Bratz community fan photos from House.of.plastics and Monstorlool, among others.

An article titled “A Brief Investigation Into the Complicated History of Bratz” has stated that Jasmin Larian, CEO Isaac Larian’s daughter, seems to be working with the brand more lately, and has prioritized collaborating with Bratz “community leaders” and digital creators. That’s what, and who, is driving the brand now. Really, mostly fans.

From my experience, fans have always had a certain power over the Bratz brand. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

Back in 2003, I felt this fan power when they used to make the official MGA business email accessible to us. I used the email address a lot. In fact, I was one of the earlier fans to ask for Bratz to have a world-wide release for their music albums, since at the time they only had Show Me What You Got, which was only released in Japan and was hard to access online. Two years later came Bratz Rock Angelz.

Back during the 10th Anniversary and 2015 doll releases, other Bratz “community leaders” like Berry Bread and Alex B. were brought on to promote the Bratz brand.

Alex B. was around since the early days of the Yahoo fan group Bratz World. I do remember when Alex first joined, back when Snowflakebebe was the admin. However, I believe Alex really started to have more influence after connecting with MGA more intimately, possibly through a working relationship.

I’ve heard Hayden Williams was a big part of the Bratz community since 2001, too, before being brought on to design his own dolls. He was recognized in one of the earlier editions of Bratz magazine.

MGA is a company that has utilized the power of the fans to drive their brands, and it does wonders in their favor.

It’s partially what makes the Bratz community so exciting. We all feel apart of this brand, like we are all designers and developers right alongside those actually working at the main office.

However, it seems that the fans are the ones really putting in all the time, effort, and money to keep the brand afloat nowadays, even more so than in the past, where fans would be invited as consultants or interns within the company to work alongside the full-time hired-on employees.

Right now, it feels like with the social media, the merchandise, promotion, websites, videos, the fans are the ones making it happen now, not really official employees, and it shows. Most of the releases for the anniversary have been collaborations, supported by outsiders. From Make-Up Revolution to No Name Mexico, this year, they have relied on others to support the continuation of Bratz.

On a side note, I really loved No Name Mexico’s collection out of all of the collaborators. I enjoyed the fashion show immensely, and love their style. They are really cutting-edge, and, to me, represent what the Bratz stand for.

Overall, though, MGA isn’t lifting much of a finger in that direction. Maybe they are putting out some funds towards it, but they aren’t investing what they used to. To my knowledge, they probably can’t (and won’t) because there are other brands that are a priority within the company.

Mostly, all of the people working on Bratz have been independent contractors, freelance, ambassadors, collaborators, or public relations promoters of some kind. None have been officially signed on as permanent employees. I don’t know if Mar the Cantos has, but most have been working independently. This means they aren’t getting paid a solid salary with paid benefits from the company. They are putting their own passion and personal talents into the brand. At any time, they can pull the plug and say they don’t want their products associated with this brand anymore, and that would be it.

With that being said, with fans driving the brand, it’s hard to know what’s an official release and what’s not, what’s canon and what’s not, who is in charge and who’s not, who has insider knowledge and who doesn’t…It has created quite a bit of confusion.

There have been quite a bit of fan photos that people have confused for official releases, especially news outlets that aren’t too familiar with the brand. When the Roxxi and Nevra “coming out” story was posted on Insta, the lesbian news outlet AfterEllen thought it was an official launch of new “lesbian” and “bi” dolls. It really was just a viral photo that got a lot of attention. However, MGA just let everybody run with that idea, an idea they had no intention of following through with.

And honestly, that’s basically how MGA has handled Bratz. They just gave up all the power. The brand is like a run-away train now. They are letting any fans who can sensationalize Bratz do their thing.

While that might not be a bad thing in some cases, it can get bad when the fans have different levels, and even different years, of investment in the brand. Every Bratz fan is different. There are some Bratz fans that have been into the brand since debut, some fans that have been into the brand since 2005 when the TV show was launched, some fans that have come into the brand in 2010 or 2015, and some fans who became hardcore after the 2018 dolls were released or after Bratz went viral on social media. To quote my sibling, since they put it so eloquently, “every Bratz fan has their own life span” when dealing with this brand.

As a result, depending on when the fans got into the Bratz, those fans are going to have different, often conflicting, expectations from other fans. Those who have been with Bratz since debut are going to have a certain attachment to the things that they fell in love with at DEBUT, and may be more averse to changes. Newer fans would be more open to change. If you were there when the brand started, you’re going to have different expectations from those who came in with the TV series, and especially from those who are just now getting into the brand hard-core. We’re all going to have very different experiences with the Bratz.

Trying to appease these different types of fans requires a certain sensitivity, which can’t just come from one type of fan. It needs to come from a solid marketing team or a team of fans, from all different life spans. It’s not easy, but unfortunately, it is necessary, even in this largely inconsistent brand. This brand has had several evolutions over the years, and it needs to be analyzed and rectified. This will help create lasting power because they can hone in on the things fans will always find familiar about this brand, while finding what gets us excited, by putting many different minds together.

There especially needs to be some Board of Directors, some team or experts, that can review what’s posted on social media, the source of the Bratz dolls’ current development.

I say this because I’ve found that some of the “Bratz community leaders” brought on to support Bratz’s social media appear to be relatively newer hard-core fans who haven’t really invested in the brand for the last 20 years, and so the content they offer appears to conflict with what hard-core fans know about the brand. They might have had a few Bratz dolls back in the day or liked the dolls, but they weren’t INVESTED in the brand, meaning a part of the communities, analyzing the lines, observing the characters, watching all the movies, reading all the books, etc. In many cases, it has appeared that way to fans.

I first noticed this when a “Blind Date” post went up, and it listed Dylan’s Zodiac sign as a Sagittarius. Now, some people might find this to be a little petty post, relatively meaningless. However, fans still had opinions about this post. I saw comments like, “Isn’t Dylan a Leo?” and “Not this saying Dylan is a Sagittarius when there’s multiple evidence he is a LEO!”

I don’t know who made this post and who allowed it to get up there like that, but it was not met with the best reception. Again, while that little post might seem meaningless, it’s the little posts that can make or break people’s loyalty to the brand. If long-time fans, who know this brand in-and-out, can sense a change in values, management, even in story-telling, it can make them write everything off in the brand as “fake” or not worthy of any respect any more. They would get the feeling that someone “doesn’t know what they’re doing”. People often have those kinds of thoughts worming into the minds, even if they don’t say it out loud. Consistent universes allow companies to draw out relatable elements of a story or character to draw in and connect with fans. There’s a reason why brands like to create a universe for their dolls. The universes give the dolls identity, and identity sells. If things get too confusing, people tend to lose interest. There’s no point in using promotional media if it isn’t consistent, especially if you’re using it to tap into nostalgia.

The “Blind Date” incident was not the only time the social media posts created confusion. I will talk more on the other confusing posts in this same article later. For now, I will just say that if a company really was invested in this brand, they would encourage all on board to take the time to study the brand thoroughly before launching random posts.

I don’t want to sound elitist. I believe there should be room for all kinds of fans, and even new fans give the brand a fresh new perspective. To be honest, brands change and they do evolve.

However, when a “community leader” is put in charge of building the brand for the future, even if its just via social media, it becomes obvious when they don’t know much about the history of the brand, and it does ultimately isolate older fans. This can create not only fan tension, but it can also create a loss of respect for those in charge, to add a loss of faith in the brand. This weakens the brand.

It feels like those put in charge of social media are just posting anything, and I mean ANYTHING. Any company that is interested in investing in their brand would know to be careful of what is posted on social media because they would want to maintain the brand so that the dolls can get sold to the major demographic, ie. kids, particularly tweens. That’s not what’s been happening with Bratz.

Many fans were also taken off-guard when someone from the social media team re-posted the rapper Saweetie flipping her middle finger up in her Bratz robe.

Some fans called the social media team out on it, reminding them that they still had younger fans who visited the platform. It was only then that the “Bratz social media team” responded and said that they wanted to “cater Bratz towards their adult fans now”, which is apparently their new primary demographic. There was no warning of this beforehand, so it left many fans divided and confused. Some fans loved the openness; some fans felt it went too far. In any case, it wasn’t carefully thought-out, and no one prepared fans for the shift in focus. But it was a sign that Bratz was changing, for better or worse. It was also a sign that MGA had really let loose the reins of the brand.

People are also calling the Bratz social media a “stan account” now, since many posts, especially on Twitter, seem to have nothing to do with the Bratz. There was a recent post about Player 067, and most of the comments were about how “unprofessional” the account was getting and how desperately MGA needs a new social media team.

Most companies really interested in investing in a brand would stick to photos about their products, like MGA is doing for Rainbow High and L.O.L. Surprise.

Barbie may not get the same traction to each post made on Instagram, but there’s a reason she’s sitting on 1 Mil subscribers while Bratz is barely maintaining 700K.

Some people say if you’re a true fan, you should be a fan of everything. I don’t believe that’s realistic. To be honest, if you fell in love with a brand for some things, and they scrap everything that you loved about the brand, it isn’t what you loved about it anymore. You can still be a fan of all of the old parts of the brand, without embracing every new thing that comes out. Newer things might be more difficult to adjust to overall. Ultimately, the way Bratz is being handled has made my passion for the brand simmer down a bit. I’m trying to adjust, I really am, but I’ve had to swim through disappointment.

These points about the direction of the brand brings me to the next few reasons why I’m not really happy with the Bratz’s 20th Yearz anniversary nor even excited for the future of Bratz. I’m going to get deeper into some of the points I made in the next few parts.

CURRENT Adult Direction

As stated before, the social media team has stated that Bratz is now catering to an adult audience. Being an adult, you would think I would be over-the-moon about my favorite brand growing up with me. But I’m not.

I know in the past I stated I hated the kid-friendly Bratz that were released in 2015. I did at one time think that Bratz should start catering to their adult fans. However, how I envisioned it and how its being executed is not exactly how it’s going down. I believed that catering to the adult fans meant giving them the same type of Bratz energy (the funky, fun, fashion-forward lines, a really strong Bratz series or media content, and the same Tween-Teen formula) that they gave us in 2K. I was looking for the Bratz to be the same brand I have loved for years. What I’ve come to learn is that brands do change, especially because times change. Ultimately, this new “direction” just makes me feel old and more nostalgic for the old stuff that made me feel young.

Personally, I hate a lot of reboots for that reason. They just make me feel old. I also hate when companies try to make a product more “grown-up” by taking away anything that made the brand light-hearted and fun, as if being an adult means being grittier, darker, grimier, and more risqué. Many adult fans were hoping to share their love of Bratz with their offspring, passing the brand down to their kids. Now, many adult fans aren’t comfortable with that.

Recent Instagram post @Bratz

I felt the Bratz took enough calculated risks in the past without going overboard, which made them likeable. They felt young, free, wild, but good-natured overall, as Carter Bryant intended them to be.

Carter Bryant once told me that he enjoyed finding out what would get children excited about the Bratz. He wanted the fashions to be detailed, thought-out, and mixed and matched within one product. He wanted them to go beyond the “nostalgia regurgitation treatment”, bringing it into the future.

That’s some forward-thinking there. To be honest, how long can Bratz last if it’s just going to appeal to Millennials and Gen Z? What about Alpha? Sure, we can buy our kids the toys we loved, but that doesn’t mean it will have the same impact on them. It doesn’t mean they will like them enough to ask for them. What parent would buy a toy their child doesn’t show interest in?

Dolls like Barbie and American Girl have lasted for generations because they transcend time and have been catering to many new generations. They have managed to adapt well. Bratz has the ability to do the same, but no one is willing to put in enough power behind the brand, despite Bratz’s strong loyal following.

What does a brand give up when they start to cater to adults? For starters, the brand gives up playlines ultimately, the main thing most fans are asking for. This is not to say the Bratz won’t be able to release a few, like they were able to with the 20 Yearz Anniversary dolls, but it won’t be at the level it used to be. Investing in Bratz is probably already seen as a financial risk, since the brand hasn’t produced the same level of success they had in the past. But a company can’t make a fortune off of adult doll collectors alone, that’s for sure. And they need the money to really push this brand forward.

Though we’ve seen the 1st Edition dolls on the Walmart and Target shelves, many of you may also have discovered you can’t find it at every local Walmart and Target store, and certainly can’t find the dolls in stores outside of the USA. Why? Because retailers, who follow parents, decide what is appropriate to sell to kids. I’ve mentioned more about this in my video What Happened to the Bratz?. Bratz struggled enough to be seen as a proper toy for kids in the past; with their current online reputation, it’s even harder for the Bratz to be deemed appropriate enough to sit on toy aisles next to kids’ toys. I don’t think the average parent wants their kids exposed to all of what the Bratz has going on lately. It’s probably the reason most of the dolls landing on shelves are re-releases and why they aren’t being replenished as quickly.

The final issue that comes with catering to adults is the demand for high quality. Yes, I know we all think even kids deserve high quality, but kids don’t demand it. With inflation and the doll industry on decline, many dolls are made cheaper now, with a lot less accessories and playsets. Kids don’t typically mind. Adult fans tend to want their money’s worth. This means the dolls will end up being more expensive.

That won’t appeal to moms buying toys for their children post-pandemic. That doesn’t appeal to young college students who are on a budget. That doesn’t appeal to someone working two jobs struggling to make ends meet.

Unless all of the future dolls are old re-releases, the stuff that appeals to nostalgia, for any new dolls, the bar will be set very high.

These demands can only be met if they continuously release collectors’ exclusives, possibly only online, which means very few playlines found in actual stores.

And since the same old team from the 2000s is no longer with MGA Entertainment, we may have to settle with new designers and artists that may be incapable of meeting the demand for the Bratz dolls to look on par with 2K dolls.

Many fans have been speaking out about their lack of support for this new direction, but instead of taking fan feedback and re-evaluating the direction of Bratz, the “social media team” is dismissive. Recently, they posted this:

It’s clear they will not listen to fans’ constructive criticism until it’s too late.

Ret-Con Universe AND RE-TELLINGS

Retroactive continuity (or Ret-Con for short) is a piece of new information that imposes a different interpretation on previously described events, typically used to facilitate a dramatic plot shift or account for an inconsistency. It’s a revision of fictional work, in which established diegetic facts in the plot of a fictional work are adjusted, ignored, or contradicted by a subsequently published work which breaks continuity with the former. 

Basically, it means changing the core of the character(s) or altering the story to the point it contradicts itself.

A re-telling is simply to tell a story again, from a completely new angle. Bratz, as a brand, is guilty of both.

One of the biggest weaknesses of the Bratz brand, and really most of MGAE’s brands, is the universe-building aspect. Sister brands Rainbow High and Project Mc2 had the strongest universes of all of the MGA brands. Unfortunately, only one of the two is currently and consistently getting product releases.

Bratz is one of the weakest when it comes to the universe. To be honest, there is no canon Bratz universe (though you can’t tell fans of the Bratz TV series and Rock Angelz this, because that’s the only thing they know of Bratz). There have been too many series, books, movies, video games, electronic games, dolls, toys, all with different stories, different moments, and conflicting messages, many of them designed and produced before the Bratz TV series even aired. Bratz is like the Marvel universe.

It got like this because the brand debuted early in 2K, before the universe-building thing really got popular with fashion doll brands, and it scrambled to compete with dolls that were ahead of trend in this regard, like Myscene, which developed their universe online through webisodes, blogs, and movies way back in 2002.

The Bratz couldn’t catch up, so they ended up with a bunch of media that conflicted with each other while trying to land with producers and writers that would stick with fans. Now, it’s just all a mess. However, the universes can be united if those in charge of adding to the story recognized the Bratz’s vast universe and sought to bring some form of unity to the stories.

Some of you might ask why this is important for a brand like Bratz. At one time, this didn’t matter, because fans liked Bratz for its ambiguity. In the past, the more ambiguous a doll, the more fun they could be. But this was when we were dealing with Generation Next and older Millennial doll collectors (as well as Millennial Tweens) back in the early 2000s. Older generations didn’t get engaged with doll products based on the media associated. Jem dolls tried that in the 1980s, but it never transcended beyond that decade. Kids were more mesmerized by the functions of the toys or the vast array of items toys came with. They only needed to see them on toy shelves, in commercials, or in catalogues to get interested. The price to create these very detailed doll universes wasn’t as high, either, so dolls had very large mini worlds to play with, creating even more interest.

Somewhere, in the 2000s, as Tweens were losing interest in toys, many toy companies lost money, causing doll lines to be reduced, and the novelty of just owning a doll with amazing accessories or interesting functions, like hair color changes and talking dolls, fizzled out. Companies found a way to gain the interest of Tweens again by aligning their toys with engaging shows or online content, creating identities for the characters.

Now, the newer generations can’t even get into a brand unless there’s some universe-building media attached to it, whether it’s social media or other. Dolls have to have identity.

We’re dealing with younger Millennials and Gen Z, and I’ve noticed that most of them only remember the more popular movies and shows that attempted to create some universe(s) for the Bratz. In the 2000s, several different stories were pitched to see which ones would stick, and the Rock Angelz movie and TV series stuck the most.

As a result, those universes are currently influencing what kind of dolls are in demand right now, and what ultimately gets designed and released for the Bratz. That’s mostly re-releases, whether it’s some of the best of Bratz’s lines or some of the mediocre (which I’ve always found Rock Angelz as a line to be, considering the official doll releases, even back in 2005, only came with one pair of shoes and poorly matched outfits in comparison to, say, Girls Nite Out or Sun-Kissed Summer, but OKAY).

As we all age and comb deeper through the Bratz catalogue, many of us are discovering how much the Bratz universe clashed with itself.

What is needed for Bratz is someone who understands all of the universes very well, and for that individual to take charge in masterfully linking them up one-by-one. Unfortunately, though, lately those being put in charge of driving the story of Bratz were hand-picked just based on social media finesse. None were added based on long-term investment in the brand (financial, time, energy, or otherwise) nor on the level of knowledge about the product. Without someone who has a strong understanding of this brand, you are going to find those in charge clashing with the larger fandom all the time, which has been happening.

And worse, you’ll end up with the situation of having “Bratz community leaders” adding more confusion to the Bratz story, which frustrates Bratz fans of all life spans.

Lately, the main one who has been in charge of creating the modern-day “story” of Bratz is the social media content creator Mar the Cantos. I don’t know much about Mar the Cantos’s background, but I’ve read in the article mentioned earlier, “A Brief Cultural History of Bratz”, a bit about her past before the Bratz and how she became an influential “Bratz Community Leader”. From what I read, it appears that Mar the Cantos was quite young when the Bratz debuted, and honestly didn’t seem to really have much passion for the brand until her photos went viral a few years back.

In the article, I found it a bit intriguing that Mar stated “As a child in Ecuador…[she] was too young to truly appreciate [the Bratz dolls’] passion for fashion through the plastic encasement…”. She only saw their diversity.

However, it’s that very lack of understanding of the brand in the past that creates a disconnect from long-time fans today. Bratz is and has always been about the fashion, even more than the diversity. That is very key, hence their slogan. The diversity is a plus. Their passion for fashion is the basics of this brand.

It became apparent from this statement, along with an alright score of 15/20 from the Bratz 20 Questions Quiz posted on Instagram’s IGTV, that Mar the Cantos is quite a newcomer to the deeper fandom.

I sound so elitist, forgive me. I’m not trying to say that she, and others like her, can’t sit at the table because of it. However, it is what many hard-core fans pay attention to when watching those in charge of the development.

In fact, most of the questions she got wrong were from the TV series, and many fans consider that to be surface-level knowledge of Bratz. Many Bratz fans like when the brand pays homage to the TV series, but if you don’t know much about it, fans will pick up on it.

During the 20 Questions Quiz, Mar the Cantos admitted that she hasn’t watched the series in years, and that leaves many fans wondering why she wasn’t made to catch up with the series before being hired to post.

Unfortunately, so many posts have been made in-between that have really deviated from the “infamous” TV series (along with the posts deviating from certain commercials, Bratz songs, books, among other media, too) that now it’s hard to track what is canon or not.

I hate to bring up the 20 Questions Quiz, especially because I can’t say I know every single thing about the Bratz myself. Sure, I answered all of the 20 Questions Quiz questions they gave to Mar right, and created my own Ultimate Bratz Quiz, but even I am still learning about this brand, especially because it is an inconsistent brand with too much media content. I can only imagine how hard it is to be the content creator at this time, and can’t profess to do a better job.

I don’t want to act like newcomers aren’t welcome and can’t drive the brand in whatever new directions are possible. I’m not the gatekeeper or the one who can tell anyone who gets to be a Bratz influencer. The company can hire whoever they want to.

But, in truth, would many old-time fans continue to respect a newcomer, who appears to have had vague memories of the brand growing up, and doesn’t seem to have really gone deeply through the brand, even to watch every episode of the basic TV series, as a “developer” or “lead creator”? Fans are really passionate about this product, and they do expect a high level of knowledge from those working with these dolls and their media, at least on par with their memories of the brand. Their memories of the brand are what’s driving its popularity right now. If fans are spending money, that’s what they almost require.

My level of knowledge goes beyond the series, so for me, much is forgivable. What form of media hasn’t conflicted with one another in the Bratz universe? I’m there mostly for the dolls, and have basically given up on caring too much about the media.

However, for other fans, the media is all the Bratz is to them.

This is why the “Blind Date” post was considered such an outrage. Everybody knows Dylan has constantly stated he’s a “Leo”, not a Sagittarius.

Yet, we have social media posting him as a Sagittarius.

Nowadays, the social media posts have been twisting the story more and more, and this is largely because the Bratz universe isn’t being considered or isn’t being analyzed closely.

Personally, there have been a few posts that have bothered me more than the “Blind Date” one. I want to talk about the “Indigenous-Wiping” of Kiana.

I dislike when companies and creators take a character that appears to be another race, ethnic group, culture, and color, and “Blacken” them to add more diversity, without thinking about the deeper nuances that go into creating an authentic Black character, as if our experiences are easily written into another body. It’s worse when you take representation from one group just to pretend like you had all this representation for another group.

Now, it was very obvious to ANY HARD-CORE Bratz fan that Kiana was coded Indigenous/First Nations/Native American. On Ebay and/or Worthpoint, whenever anyone tried to sell her off, she was listed as “Native American”, showing the ethnic group she was strongly linked to by fans.

Her connections with the west (from being in the Wild Wild West collection), her pseudo-buckskin dress, and hints of turquoise (which shows a strong connection to the Southwest Native American tribes) were all indicators of Indigenous heritage. Sure, you can call them all stereotypes, but so were Kumi’s and Tiana’s traditional Japanese Kimonos. There are certain obvious cultural factors that are connected with a certain group of people.

Tokyo A Go-Go Kumi Prototype

But, of course, I’ve realized that some people don’t seem to remember that Indigenous people exist, even people of color. They associate anyone with a darker skin tone with being Black, and that’s just not always the case.

This representation was very important, and still is. Can you list any Indigenous characters designed for a doll brand? You can probably count them with one hand, possibly with only a few fingers.

Bratz was revolutionary for actually introducing a modern TEEN Indigenous-Coded character.

Unfortunately, lately, social media has been interpreting her as “Black”. Granted, Kiana being Indigenous doesn’t mean she can’t also be Black. Kiana can be mixed. Yet, I don’t remember one single post of Kiana during Indigenous People’s day. Not last year or this year.

Ever since the G. Floyd tragedy last year, MGA has been over-trying to pretend like they’ve had all of these Black characters they’ve developed. Don’t get me wrong. They’ve had more than other doll brands, but most of them were developed after the 2000s because of the obvious lack of them.

In the 2000s, there was Sasha, Felicia, Dylan, Zada, and Deavon who were obviously Black. Nevra was obviously meant to be Turkish (due to that name being considered more popular in Turkey at the time of Nevra’s release), but we can pass her as Afro-Turkish.

In the 2010s, Lydia, Myra, and Brigitte were introduced, adding a little more to the Afro-American mix. So, we don’t need to pretend dolls of other heritages were Black.

How many of the new 2010 dolls were definitely considered First Nations or Indigenous? None.

This kind of modern interpretation of Kiana is actually a major annoyance of mine. I’m very disappointed because the only other doll brands that had modern Indigenous characters were The Magic Attic Club, Zodiac Girlz, and The Global Friends, and they have been out of production for 20 years or more.

Secondly, I am still not fond of the Roxxi and Nevra pairing. I am queer, but that doesn’t mean I have to accept every bit of representation I get. I’m looking for proper representation, and after doing deeper research into the brand, I’m even less fond of the pairing. Being Black, I know all too well how things can go haywire when you aren’t represented properly as a minority. For many queer people, they are just starting to see themselves in media, so they are just happy to be recognized. Well, Black people have been there, done that, from the 1930s to the 2000s. What we slowly came to realize is that just seeing ourselves on television wasn’t good enough. In fact, the depictions gave people even worse ideas about who we were. This is why I’m also careful not to just dive into supporting a queer couple just because it exists.

First off, I felt the timing of the “coming out” story was bad because it was amidst controversy over Amina Mucciolo, a queer Black creative, who wanted royalties after she felt her likeness was copied by MGA Entertainment. Shortly after, some comments were made by Isaac Larian, the CEO, that didn’t go over very well. I believe he was just trying to protect his company and his workers, who are mostly people of color, but it back-fired. I really felt like that should have been settled first before the announcement because it left me feeling all kinds of mixed emotions, like they were using the couple to cover something up…

Ultimately, when I think of the two of them, I think of the incident. It ain’t cute.

Second, I feel like Roxxi was Bi-erased. On Youtube, my sibling VenusLove, as well as Jessi Gender and verilybitchie, really go into talking about this.

My sibling is very passionate about this topic, and they got me thinking more about this, too.

It has become a problem in media lately, where a character shows obvious attraction to both girls and boys, but is written off as “Lesbian”, “Gay”, or “Straight” to appease Monosexuals. Mostly, I feel like Roxxi was stereotyped as being “Lesbian” because she’s a rock star, and for some reason female rock stars are always associated with Lesbianism. But when you really get into her past, she has shown heavy attraction to boys. This is a part of the “ret-con” problem.

The Treasures! commercial has her flirting with some random boy on a party island.

In the Bratz TV series episode, “New Kid In Town”, she was flirting with Cameron the whole episode, and even had lunch with him at the end of the episode. She DATED Shane, along with all the other Bratz pack members, in the same episode.

She asked Dylan out in the “Miss Fortune” episode of the Bratz TV series (even though maybe that was just a part of the episode’s amulet curse, but I’ve noticed that the characters affected by the curse still had agency throughout the episode, despite the magic of the amulet).

Roxxi has a whole song, “I Don’t Care”, from the Rock Angelz album, about some other love interest that was “more than a crush”, and this song was not describing Nevra because “her friends think this person is weird” and “their hair is a mess”. That’s definitely not Nevra. After listening closely, I’ve come to realize this person from the song isn’t even one of Roxxi’s friends apparently, either.

Largely, I don’t think any of this was considered. Again, Mar has admitted she hasn’t watched the series in years. It’s possible she hasn’t really listened to full albums, or read any of the album booklets they used to come with, either.

Sure, we can have conversations about comp-het and heteronormativity, though I personally think, if used inappropriately, the terms can come off Pan-phobic and Bi-phobic.

Regardless, when taking that energy to characters in media, we have to consider it in context, how the visual media outlines the characters’ personal experiences, and how that impacts others’ views of the characters in relation to others and themselves. The newer visual media has to be detailed enough to explain Roxxi’s new-found Lesbianism and how she went from A-to-B. Yet, it just feels like all the events that happened in the Bratz TV series are being treated as if they never happened.

Further, I don’t understand why companies, or rather “influencers”, feel they have to change the complete development of a character just to make them Queer in the first place. It’s like they don’t think being Pan or Bi is “queer enough”, which is a part of Biphobia honestly. It’s also ridiculous that many developers believe two Bi individuals can’t be in the same relationship, that one of them has to be Lesbian, in order for the relationship to be “stable”. I see it happen all the time, and it’s honestly annoying.

There are a plethora of Bratz characters who have shown more interest in the same gender and don’t even have a heterosexual past at all. Wouldn’t it have been more advantageous to tap into those characters for a Queer story arc? I would prefer a character that hasn’t shown attraction to boys at all to come out as Lesbian than someone who has been actively seeking attention from the opposite gender only to come out without context. Roxxi’s sister Phoebe is probably more likely Lesbian than she is, but because she’s not a walking stereotype, no one tapped into that.

As a result, the announcement came off as either an obvious lack of understanding of the brand, Queer-bait, pandering, and/or Bi-Pan-erasure for the sake of “superficial diversity”, anything that would make the Bratz go viral, because anything Queer is guaranteed to garner thousands of likes on social media nowadays.

When handling visual media, the imagery impacts people and the way others are seen, and this kind of writing off of her past relationships makes it all feel like it was just a “phase”, which mirrors the way people see Bi-sexuals and Pan-sexuals in relationships. This actually damages the way sexually fluid people are treated in society, both in heterosexual and Queer spaces. It contributes to Bi-phobia, even if the character has never been designed to be Bi. It’s very disappointing.

When this relationship was announced, people were wondering, “When did this happen?” It was so random, lacked so much development, lacked so much nuance, that no one could even understand what these two even had in common to even bring them into close proximity. They’ve never appeared in a line together, never in a show together, and Nevra mentioned Roxxi only briefly in a book. And now, we’re supposed to believe they’re lovers? I’ve never been a fan of love-at-first-sight narratives, and being Queer doesn’t redeem that narrative.

Anytime I call out the poor development of Queer couples coming out of companies, I’m shut down by other LGBTQ+ members who will accept anything, as long as they are represented. Hey, everyone is entitled to like what they like. Still, I do wonder, does anyone care about how we’re represented? It’s not self-hating or homophobic to set your standards for how you want to be represented in media.

If anyone had been doing their homework really deep into the brand, they would have realized that Nevra’s real romantic lover should have been Meygan. Nevra has only appeared in six main lines in the past, but in THREE of them, including Secret Date, Meygan has appeared. They partied in Wild Life Safari together, kicked butt in Dynamite, and they even kind of flirted in Starrin’ & Stylin while getting ready to take prom pictures together.

Nevra has appeared in more books with Meygan than with Roxxi. Further, Meygan has often been seen flirting with the girls while all of her friends were with the boys, like in the Lil’ Bratz Spring Break Blitz commercial.

My ship has sailed with Nevra and Meygan. All of you who follow me on Instagram already know, so don’t come over here with that Roxxi and Nevra bullshit. Maybe I’m in my feelings because they’ve always been my preference since 2004. I’m probably just biased, but I was hoping for them to be acknowledged as the first LGBTQ+ couple.

Instead of looking into the brand at characters who actually have had development with one another and the right chemistry, they just threw two dolls together and said, “Happy Pride Month!”.

I’ll tell you why Roxxi and Nevra were chosen, for real. They were probably two of the only dolls that those on the “social media team” had in their collection. Someone designed some Pride outfits for them, they got attention on social media, and voila! Official couple was born! They gave Bratz attention. That’s the only reason they are being recognized as official. In truth, they were not planned at all. It’s obvious they weren’t. And that’s pretty much summing up how Bratz is being developed nowadays. Everything is just being pushed together, without any conversation, development, or deep dives into the brand. This is why no official dolls have been released with the two of them.

I’ve seen some companies really plan a Queer couple, with deep research, nuance, interesting descriptions and all. American Girl has done it the best for me with Kira Bailey’s aunts.

American Girl Kira Bailey’s aunts

We can make the argument that maybe Roxxi is Lesbian in the “reboot”. But if this was such a reboot or re-imagining, why have they recently re-released the Bratz TV series for streaming on Kabillion? The same series where her “attraction to boys” plays out? If they really wanted to transform Roxxi’s character, why are they still promoting the old show?

They are also promoting Rock Angelz, knowing good-and-well she has a whole song on the Rock Angelz album dedicated to somebody she fell in love with that’s NOT Nevra. None of Roxxi’s friends ever mentioned that “Nevra is weird” and that her “hair is a mess”. One of Nevra’s assets is her hair.

The biggest issue here, when we all put it together, is that the brand is currently giving us superficial forms of diversity, a bunch of woke clichés that don’t go deeper than that, all while ignoring the real thing the fans want: nostalgia.

I’m not a fan of Cloe and Cameron at all, but at least more development was put into that than what came out of Nevra and Roxxi.

Now, lately, it appears social media is scrambling to come up with stories for them. But even as they do that, none of their real personalities seem to be shining throughout it all. Nevra is hella bossy, and Roxxi is a free spirit. These opposites should be clashing. Where is the development? Even the app game failed to capture their spirits.

I don’t tend to bond well with “canon couples” that haven’t been developed well. Watching Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura growing up gave me high standards for what a queer couple should look like. My ideals are Seiya and Usagi (lead Starlight and Sailor Moon), Haruka and Michiru (Sailor Uranus and Neptune), and Yue/Yukito and Touya. Don’t play with me. I need something more.

It’s no secret I’ve never been a fan of any of the Bratz official couples. In my Bratz 2018: Please Don’t! video and accompanying article, I requested that they get rid of the official couples. However, instead, they seem to be adding more, which annoys me.

Once the official couples started rolling in, that ruined lines like Secret Date. It made lines like that impossible to recreate. The mix-and-match potential, so uncommon in other doll lines, was gone. It ruined the fun.

I also absolutely hate Cameron and Cloe. I mentioned one reason why in Ranking Worst to Best Bratz movies. If you’ve watched that, you know the first reason is because I feel like Cameron was always more into Cloe than she was him. She had way too many crushes throughout the series, the books, and the online blogs. I felt Cameron should’ve moved on.

Second, back in 2002, when the first Bratz Boyz commercial aired, I was very much impacted by Cameron attempting (and failing) to kiss Sasha. Now, back in the day, the Bratz commercials told a story all their own. This visual imagery impacted me. Back in the 2000s, you just didn’t see many interracial couples in media, and you certainly didn’t see it shown visually among doll brands. It was a bold statement. Whenever Barbie had a boyfriend, he was White. Her Black best friend Christie had a Black boyfriend.

It had never occurred to me that many different races of people could be attracted to Black women. Studies have shown that the world considers Black women to be the least desirable, and I internalized that as a child. When I saw Cameron flirting with Sasha back then, I knew this was not going to be a brand like Barbie…

And then Cloe and Cameron happened, and Cameron got Ken-dolled.

I was hoping that maybe some social media experts and new Bratz team members would bring Cloe and Cameron back to their independent days, when they were both single, flirty, and ready-to-mingle. However, as I’ve deeply come to realize, those working with Bratz now don’t know the brand well enough to bring it to a point they don’t remember.

With no consistency in sight, the story is getting so convoluted, it’s giving me whiplash. It really stops me from looking forward to the future of the brand, especially as far as media goes.

FanBase Divide

Ever since the release of Hayden Williams’s 2018 dolls, there has been a big fan divide.

Maybe I’m exaggerating here, but it appears that some of the old-timers that used to frequent the Bratz social media platforms and the ones that used to be heavy promoters of the Bratz brand have gone ghost.

It started with a little back-and-forth in the Bratz World community back in 2018. Eventually, it spilled over onto Instagram. The old-time fans didn’t feel that Hayden Williams’s dolls were good enough. They didn’t like the outfits nor the facial screenings. When they gave their criticism, some of them weren’t too polite about it, and Hayden Williams wasn’t too polite back. Well, it ended up causing a huge rift in the community.

Those old-timers were more supportive of all the other Bratz dolls up until that point, even the 2015 Bratz dolls. Heck, some of them even had a hand in the development of those dolls.

Well, those who supported Hayden Williams have given away their 2015 dolls and have boycotted any dolls from that era, and those who were against the 2018 dolls have boycotted Hayden Williams’s dolls and anything associated with him, even any future support of the brand.

This is all possibly just a feeling I have, but it appears that way because I haven’t seen a few certain Bratz fans around in awhile. I’ve also read comments of both sides stating they’ve “sold off” certain dolls.

During the Bratz’s 20th Anniversary week countdown back in May, social media was not hesitant to post some snark towards the 2015 era.

Unfortunately, even I feel I haven’t done enough to keep the Bratz fanbase together, and have regrets for participating in the divide. At one point, I seemed to side with one party over another rather than trying to be more diplomatic and understanding in my approach. Now, I understand many of the fans I once struggled to understand, at least to some degree.

When I really think about it, the fandom divide is actually hurting this brand. Division allows other brands to conquer. It lowers the amount of money that can go into a brand, too, even if no one realizes it. If one group of fans support one thing, they will pay for it, but if the others don’t, they will boycott.

It’s probably why Bratz is staying at 700K followers on Instagram instead of climbing into the millions, which I believe is the brand’s highest potential.

I really felt the throw towards the 2015 dolls broke the camel’s back. Believe it or not, there are fans who got into the brand through the 2015 dolls.

Heck, there are fans who entered through the 2010 Anniversary, too. I ran into one person who is personally more of a fan of those dolls than the ones in the 2000s, if you can believe that.

Even though they may seem like a minority, if we know anything about minority groups, they actually have more power than we realize. The minority group could potentially add to the majority.

Rather than writing off the old eras, acting like they didn’t exist, or down-playing what happened in the past, the solution is to integrate. Barbie and American Girl (both by Mattel) have slowly but surely learned this.

Bratz needs to bring the best of their weakest eras back and update it to fit with their best eras. For example, instead of acting like Raya, Lydia, or other newer dolls didn’t exist, they need to re-release them with the 2000s-style face molds and updated fashion. They also need to fix what was the weakest parts of their best eras (such as their Ret-Con universe).

However, without a strong team to analyze the Bratz brand’s past failures and successes, they can’t move forward. The brand feels like it’s in limbo.

And with the way the facial screenings have been looking lately, it also appears like even if they did bring the old-new dolls back, they’d still look pretty bad to the general public.

While Bratz is gaining many new fans, they are also losing their old fans.

The problem with this is that the fans all want different things now, which makes it difficult for fans to unite for a single purpose. Many of them want new dolls, but others want a new show and video games. Some of those working on Bratz have been trying to update to keep up with the dolls, such as Talking Bratz trying to rightfully design Dylan Black, as he’d been interpreted as a doll. However, there were fans on Tik Tok, fans who only watched the movies and TV series, who accused them of “Black-facing” Dylan. This kind of divide occurs when the fans of the series or movies don’t realize Bratz was a DOLL brand first, and have never really analyzed the dolls well enough to understand Dylan’s interpretation. If all the fans aren’t on the same page, and there’s no one seeking to unite the universes, this kind of confusion will continue to happen, dividing the fanbase even more.


I’ve been wrestling with back-and-forth feelings about whether I should continue to support this brand or even the company any more. I still absolutely love the dolls coming out of MGA Entertainment, and I feel the visions are so next-gen. I’m Gen Next, as ya’ll know. I like to find what’s advancing into the future. MGA Entertainment has always been filled with visionaries. It’s also always been a company that’s inclusive and has always hired more diverse groups of people than any other company, long before their competitors saw the advantage of that.

However, there are some things that have been weighing on me. I don’t have all the knowledge about what’s happening behind-the-scenes, but I have fingers, keypad, and internet. I’ve been seeing and hearing some things that have made me feel uncomfortable. Until it’s settled, I don’t really know if I feel right investing my all into MGA’s products.

The first incident with Amina Mucciolo last year jarred me a little. Just to give you all a little history on that again, there was an influencer named Amina who claimed that MGA Entertainment appropriated her likeness without her permission when creating an L.O.L. Surprise character. She wasn’t being paid any royalties. Isaac Larian then went onto social media to rant about how she was a scam artist and a “disgrace to black people”. He had to shut down his social media after that because last year was a very sensitive time, especially regarding race issues.

However, I was able to see both sides of the coin, even if it wasn’t popular to do so. Still, I was caught between understanding Amina, someone that I really could see myself in, and understanding a businessman like Isaac Larian, who was protecting his business and his employees. After all, a Black woman worked on the doll that was being called into question.

But then…other things came to mind and came out.

I ran into a Saatchi Art page created by Carter Bryant. This is what I read:
“Hi I’m Carter Bryant. I’m the creator of Bratz and co creator of Pinkie Cooper and the Jet Set Pets and Sugar Planet. I continue to invent toy concepts, but I am now also adding painting and writing and illustrating children’s books to my resume. I currently only have 2 works up but I have several paintings in the works. Much of my work was taken hostage from me during the Mattel/MGA court battle years ago and I still have not been able to retrieve it, so much of my back catalogue is unavailable for me to share. No mind, tho, I have thousands of drawings that I will begin sharing soon. I’m currently super busy with a couple very intense concepts, but once I wrap them up, I will start to post more of my work. As far as painting goes, I’m exorcising a lot of demons from the past 16 years or so, but probably better said as most of my nearly 50 years here. I’ve experienced and been a witness and a subject to many things that most people would not want to experience or be witness to. But my work isn’t relegated to the past; my work-in-progress speaks to a socio-political climate that reverberates with me daily. A person of a very brittle religious upbringing, my coming out as a gay man has been fraught with tension and loss. I look back in my current work with much sorrow. I’m afraid my journey into painting is not terribly optimistic. I’m also working to explore issues that confound and confuse me, but also things that I am not above or apart of; guns (my partner loves them, go figure!) religion, sexuality, social isolation, PTSD, culture shock, addiction, abuses of power, to name a few. As an observer of American culture, mostly, I have succeeded in the past to bring to light the fact that ours is a completely fascinating, beautiful, diverse, wild, hopeful land, littered with so much tragedy and pain. The characters I create in my toys are almost always full of joy and optimism, and through them I get to escape into a world of pure bliss. The characters in my paintings however, fill my need to express my deepest thoughts about things that I can’t always verbalize in any sort of eloquent way otherwise. I look forward to getting to show you what I mean.”

Carter Bryant also left some comments on my blog back in 2015, about six years ago. I don’t know if any of these things have been resolved, and I even doubt they have. Carter stated he would not work with MGA again, and it had nothing to do with the lawsuits, but simply “the way [he] was treated over the years by the leader of that company”. In regards to royalities, he also confirmed that he wasn’t getting paid anything for the Bratz, though they were his babies.

Personally, it doesn’t seem like the company wanted to put in any more fight for Carter Bryant to maintain some ownership of the brand, or to even get paid any royalties. They didn’t have his back.

Really, this is a reminder of how companies AND our justice system treats minorities, like Amina and Carter Bryant, who are Black and Queer. We don’t have the money, connections, or legal knowledge, and so often get taken advantage of in this system, even by our own.

Carter Bryant’s comments mirror the same reviews left about the company on career websites like Indeed and Glassdoor.

On Indeed, one designer left a review titled “Roller Coaster Ride not for the faint of heart” in 2019 stating,
“There are many super talented and dedicated people here. I learned a lot.
But I have to agree with what several reviews have to say about the leader and have more to add……

  • too involved in day to day activities
  • passionate= good . angry, berating=bad
  • unethical, dishonest, shady
  • [long-term] vision and direction was [non-existent]
  • created an environment of stress and insecurity leading to distrust and in-fighting, competition between employees to try to survive.
    Brainstorming, talented employees, bagels, flexible hours
    Endless rounds of lay-offs, vendors left unpaid, stressful and insecure often”

On Glassdoor, one former employee left a review titled “The most miserably toxic workplace in the business”.
They stated:
The pay is decent so they can draw you in. Isaac (Owner/CEO) is probably a genius and seems to be finally working on himself. Their HQ is a very modern and nice space.
Far and away this is the most toxic organization I have ever worked for. The entire place is fueled by fear and stuffing more money into a billionaire’s pockets. It’s not exactly motivating. Very few stay for more than a year or two.

All of those toy awards they collect? They make every employee vote for MGA toys. If you haven’t voted, they will SIGN INTO YOU EMAIL ACCOUNT to vote in your name. Assistants have spent entire weekends doing this.

The reviews here are the same. Every positive review you may see here is entirely forced. They make people write positive reviews to balance the authentic reviews because they know they haven’t earned them on their own merits.

Back stabbing, lying, throwing co-workers under the bus, all of it is not just tolerated but encouraged. Screaming at teams is a-ok with them too.

NOBODY there is happy. Even the handful of loyalists say “I can’t believe I’ve been here this long.” It’s a miserable place to work. Avoid at all costs.

Advice to Management: Maybe try treating your employees with some respect and decency for a change of pace. You know you have ridiculous turn-over rates. Do something about it.”

Another post on Glassdoor was called “Do not work here, RUN!”.
This is what they stated:
None. The one and only perk of this job was 2pm release “Summer Fridays”, and those were taken away from employees without them ever being told from leadership.
Where to start? I’m am writing this review to give future employees an insight to the day-to-day culture of MGA Entertainment. Something I wish I was given before [accepting] a role here. This company offers ZERO flexibility. You want to work from home? Forget it. This type of work is not allowed, period. The CEO lacks the humility or foresight to allow his employees to work anywhere but in the office. If you aren’t at work, then “you’re stealing from him.” You want to see inside the psyche of the CEO? Follow him on Linkedin. His attitude is one of a bully, who shows a complete lack of empathy for others.

Anyone who has worked here will tell you that he/she lived in fear while working for MGA. Fear of the CEO, fear of the head of HR, fear of leadership in general. The positive reviews posted on glassdoor are fake. The CEO demands that employees log on to glassdoor and instructs them to leave positive reviews in order to increase his and the overall company rating. If you don’t follow orders, you get fired. Do not believe any of the positive ratings. Educate yourself before you ever think about taking a role at MGA. Ask former employees and they will provide you the honest information about the culture and work/life balance (which there is none).

Overall, there is absolutely no compassion for employees and their families. The leadership at MGA will own you 24/7.

Advice to Management: Absolutely nothing. They will not listen and they do not care. Not worth wasting your breath.”

Another one was titled “Shithole”.
The paycheck is the only perk
-management, owner, HR, work environments are all garbage.
Advice to Management: [MGAE] does not care about their employees. This year we got a $50 amazon card holiday bonus and the company made BILLIONS! The company is top heavy with not nearly enough people that actually do any work. This company is all style-no substance, exactly like their products. The owner doesn’t even talk directly to the employees anymore, he sends out LinkedIn links-SMH! This place is worse than …..(Covid)-avoid at all costs.”

Another was titled “MGA is a mixed bag”, which had a very nuanced and balanced review. They stated:
Reviews on Glassdoor are highly polarized for good reason. MGA has a lot to offer but falls short in so many areas. I will go over the shortcomings in the next section, but MGA isn’t as bad as the worst reviews on here paint it to be.

The best thing about being a creative at MGA is the lack of excessive layers of management interfering with design. [If] your manager likes your ideas, you can easily realize your vision with some exceptions.

Management knows how to sell [products] in a challenging market filled with stiff competition. MGA stuffs the channel every year with more [products] and new brand launches.

Honestly, if you’re looking for good experience and need to fill your resume and portfolio, MGA isn’t a bad place. If you are looking for more salary, benefits and promotions, look elsewhere.

Isaac Larian is a whip-smart business leader but he is not a kind man. He is impatient, out of touch, and conflates intense pressure with good leadership.

He has built his company from nothing to the fourth largest toy company in the world and he owns it outright. Far be it for me to criticize him in that respect—he knows how to survive and thrive.

His company can be better though…

MGA tries to be organized, every couple of years they introduce some new system or process. Ultimately, however, no training, or enforcement, ever accompanies these directives and they fail or litter our workflow with unused or misunderstood technology, and steps that only serve as pitfalls to efficiency. Hong Kong counterparts are overworked and designers have little support or guidance unless their manager knows how to do what they need.

Some divisions lack project managers to help everyone keep to schedules set by planning—instead they rely too heavily on their designers to track everything themselves. In general many items and details get missed, making for an extremely sloppy process that is burdened by constant last minute fixes and running changes. Inexperienced designers have to learn quickly how to project manage several items quickly or fail utterly. The pressure can be crushing designers and the reason many choose to leave or are fired.

Salary and benefits are mediocre and raises…are anemic at best. I have never received so woefully inadequate a raise as I have at MGA. Some people are lucky to receive one in 3 years—when they do…it could be 3%.

Inflation is at an alarming 5% in 2021 and the highest merit raise MGA offered its staff (without a promotion) was 3 pitiful percentage points.

To add to the lamentable compensation package, the health insurance is mediocre by even US standards (or lack thereof). The 401k is rather weak and laden with fees. There is some match but nothing compared to Mattel.

Remote work:
It seems like the CEO is personally opposed to remote work—he built this campus to encourage communication and productivity (the last offices were a dump). He is not a trusting sort by any means. While they did allow workers to work remotely during the pandemic, there is pressure to return to the office that many workers are not yet comfortable with. To be sure, when the pandemic is over, there will be little discussion or remote days for employees.

Lately, many talented people have chosen to leave. For many and varying reasons. I suspect the top three reasons will be lack of adequate pay/raises, lack of promotion opportunities and last, the intense pressure to succeed or else culture.

The biggest reason to NOT work at MGA:
Some companies in the toy industry will not hire you straight out of MGA over fears of lawsuits. Working at MGA, despite its amazing success is something of a scarlet letter for other HRs. MGA needs to rectify that situation so people aren’t scared off from taking a job here because they worry they will be untouchable elsewhere.

Advice to Management: There are significant, real-world good reasons MGA can’t fill important positions and why there is such high turnover. It does seem like MGA is starting to look at salaries and benefits due to the great difficulty they have filling higher level positions but a lot remains to be done.

Pay your people!
MGA has a new campus and that’s great. Its time to build a compensation package that matches the caliber of the company we work for. Salaries vary wildly but raises are pathetic across the board. Promotions are rare, often end up being either meaningless or attached with a meager increase in pay.

MGA should at least match inflation if sales are so great. Its incredibly disappointing to receive a 3% raise after going a year without one at all. Considering 2021 has 5% inflation…

The pandemic has proven some people can work as well or better from home. It has also proved that some people can’t function at home either and need to be in the office.

For toy designers, MGA is not usually anyone’s first choice. Some of MGA’s best people were laid off from other toy companies and took this job for security, many more are young up-and-comers recently out of school with no real experience anywhere else. Give people reasons [to] want to leave Mattel, Hasbro and others to come work for MGA.

Industry Status:
Last, please fix MGA relations with the larger Toy industry. Traditionally, the toy industry has always been fairly incestuous with great talent leaving one to go to another and then back again. Many HR managers and Headhunters won’t touch MGA over the history and rampant threat of litigation from MGA. Stop using litigation as competitive strategy—it hurts employees’ chances to work anywhere else.

Work is about passion, challenge and pursuit of success. However, it is not a charity. We trade services for money, benefits, and security. It’s also important to people that the skills and experience they gain at one company make them more attractive to work elsewhere in the future.”

Another one is titled: “You have been warned”.
Sell your dignity, respect, health and happiness for life for money.
Isaac Larian is an evil man. He’s a tyrant who lies consistently to his employees. He’s destroyed and continues to destroy many people’s lives. The company is very unprofessional and supports this tyranny. It’s shocking that people like this exist. He has an inspiring story but just uses it to destroy more. The company is a reflection of the poison in this world and his henchman support his lies and illegal behavior for a small paycheck. His design team is also severely underpaid. VERY UNDERPAID.
Advice to Management: Stop selling your integrity, heart and health to be apart of such horrible organization. I don’t know how you all look at your selves in the mirrors or sleep at night. Do your self and the world a favor and leave. Take a stand for justice for your self and other loved ones around you. Also, you can get paid more by working somewhere else. Good luck!”

Finally, and this was the real spill here. This one was titled: “A Culture of fear!”
None. This place was toxic and not an environment that I would ever refer anyone I know (friend or enemy) to work.
The CEO is the worst part of this company. He is a #Fraud. Though he will tell you different, this guy could care less about his workers and only about his bottom line and proof of this is in his actions. He’s a corporate bully who finally broke on social media and showed his true colors outside of the MGA walls. Search MGA CEO and #BLM if you’re not familiar. Nothing that is done here is innovative or ground-breaking. The ideas and products coming out of MGA are mostly stolen and everything is done to make it look like MGA is a “think factory.” Hardly. Hopefully, the latest act by this complete and utter spoiled, [narcissist] will doom his company for good and truly have [a] negative effect on his profits.

There were some good people that I worked with, while serving my time. The majority of them were fearful for their jobs and were basically robots to serve one purpose, make the CEO money. Have you ever worked somewhere that requires you to post on Glassdoor or social media? Well, it happens here and your posts need to be positive. Yet, another example of the hierarchy of MGA trying to paint a picture of something that truly doesn’t exist. #Fraud. The final piece of the culture to be aware of is nepotism. During your time, you’re sure to have exposure to the CEO’s kids.

Like with any job, take your time and do your research. Find your place that respects not only time, but also your values. If these things matter to you, don’t ever apply to a role at MGA.

Advice to Management: Go public and have the CEO step down.”

One positive review did state in 2019, under “MGA is fast-paced, nimble, and a great place to grow“.
MGA embraces out of the box thinkers and innovators. They push you to the limits of your capabilities so you are sure to grow and develop. They have quick turnarounds and embrace new ideas. Minorities make up the majority throughout their organization and specifically the executive table – VERY refreshing to see. No old boys club. Women are equal at all levels. The culture is like a start up and they are constantly innovating and striving to raise the bar. They are successful for a reason!!! You have to work here to understand why they will always deliver the next hottest thing – there is a formula to their incredible success! The teams are amazing and everyone is helpful, kind and very smart. Free snacks all day, special afternoon snack put out for the team, coffee, tea, and candy bar. Summer hours, on site gym, daycare. The facility is gorgeous, new and trendy. I have not had a problem with work life balance.

Resources are stretched but that means you can learn and do a lot if you have the ambition to do it.
Advice to Management: “More reward and recognition initiatives.”

One employee with a positive review stated, under “Great Company to work for! Cutting Edge creativity! Amazing People!”
Management wants you to learn and supports your growth. Constantly new innovation which is very exciting and keeps MGA growing and succeeding. Departments work great together as we all share the same goal and support each other in order to reach our goals. President/CEO, Isaac Larian is very involved in the company. He truly cares about MGA and its employees.
MGA is very fast-paced which could be a con to some but I have never learned so quickly anywhere else, which is a plus!”

Even with some positive reviews, there’s an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, tipping the scales, giving MGA a rating of 2.7 out of 5 stars on Glassdoor. MGA’s most positive traits were being cutting-edge and having a diverse work environment. At first, I thought maybe this is just the nature of the creative business, especially in the toy industry, where it is high-pressure. Isaac Larian started from nothing in comparison to other toy companies. And it’s normal for people who are let go from a company to be bitter. You would think it would all make sense, right?

But then I compared it to Mattel’s Glassdoor, and their rating was 3.8 out of 5 stars. That’s a little closer to 4 out of 5 stars. Mattel’s weaknesses were a lack of diversity, very little innovative thinking, some bad management practices, particularly from HR and other management besides the CEO, such as workers being belittled in front of others or a lack of clear communication, there was no growth path, and that the leaders are “bone-heads” who don’t really know what’s going on. However, despite the bad points, no one was literally pushing for the CEO to step down, no one stated they were shady, no one stated they felt ideas were stolen, and no one has lost their ideas to the company. More importantly, they had more good reviews than bad.

I also looked at Walt Disney Company, a company many people have said is shady, and even their rating was a solid 4.0 out of 5 stars. Both Mattel and Disney had a 70% satisfaction rate with their CEOs. Isaac Larian was at 45%, which is a little less than half. Hasbro has 3.7 out of 5 stars, with the CEO satisfaction rate being 89%!

MGA had several people stating they were forced to make good reviews, so we don’t know what’s real and what’s not, even as it stands. We don’t even know if the positive reviews count.

What is the point of having all of this diversity when you, allegedly, don’t treat the diverse individuals under your company well? Even if none of these reviews are true, it definitely makes the company look bad.

I swear, according to these reviews, Isaac Larian fits the description of a less evolved Sun in Aries leader. Ya’ll should read up on Sun in Aries on my “Your Sun Sign” article when you get a chance. A video of that may be coming soon. All of us have the potential to express less-evolved behavior, and when we don’t recognize it soon, it will come to bite us in the ass eventually. I remind myself of that every day. I know if I ever become a boss, my Sun Sign can have some horrible ways that can spill out. Unfortunately, it is tearing MGA Entertainment apart, and it’s starting to be noticeable to hard-core fans like myself.

With these kind of reviews, what kind of skilled, professional team can this company build for the Bratz brand? If we are questioning why there are issues with quality control regarding the dolls, look no further than this. Probably everybody working on this line of dolls are new to the business, and feel the pressure to rush and create for the brand with little to no training or experience. All of the experienced individuals are gone. They are also confused as to what brands they should be prioritizing right now.

I even hate to post all of this negativity because I worry about the workers still around losing their jobs if this goes viral or gets any traction. I feel very caught and guilty, either way. I feel I should mention this, and that’s why I’m doing it. But I don’t know the consequences of this. This company has really given minority groups opportunities, and I don’t want to see that taken away from them. As I’ve said in videos prior, I support the designers, developers, producers, the CREATIVE teams who worked to make the brands at the company possible. There isn’t only one genius behind the Bratz brand, and it’s not fair that so many people have lost creative rights or have felt belittled, despite their contributions. This really isn’t just a problem of companies, but of our justice system, too.

As I’ve stated time and time again, I don’t get paid by MGA Entertainment to promote the Bratz. When I promoted Bratz back in 2010, 2015, and 2018, it was because I WANTED TO. It was because I loved the concept of the Bratz. It was the most innovative doll brand I’ve ever encountered. The brand itself taught me so much about the toy industry and business in general. I have a certain attachment and fondness for the brand, having been a loyal supporter for 21 years since the Bratz were being developed. I have typed up statements on how to make the brand better and sent it by mail to MGA Entertainment. I’ve been involved in Bratz communities, poured as much money as I’ve had supporting releases and media, and I’ve always spoken fondly about all products coming out of this company.

It is tough and heartbreaking to see Bratz go down this hill like this.

A part of me wants to keep fighting for this brand, but a part of me just doesn’t know if I should keep supporting it. Where do I see Bratz in the future? So many things can go into the success of a product, and when those things are neglected, I just don’t see a strong future unless these issues are rectified.

If I could have launched the Bratz’s 20th Anniversary…

I’ve been pondering what I feel would have made this 20th Anniversary extra spectacular. Here’s what I would have done if I were at the helm of this re-launch of the Bratz brand:

1) I Would Have Focused on a General Demographic, with Different Portions (Lightly)

I would’ve shifted the focus from the adult demographic, and focused on trying to reach a general audience, giving a little bit of something of the brand to everyone. I would re-release Bratz Babyz and Bratz Kidz for a younger audience, the primary Bratz brand for older kids and tweens, and adult collector dolls and content for the older crowd. Neither would lean out too far, making them all likeable for all age groups.

2) I Would Have Created A Standard Play-Line Formula

I would’ve RE-RELEASED old lines with NEW fashions as SECOND or THIRD waves, like they attempted in 2010, but with better quality and high-fashion. It would be a way to pay homage to the old while pushing the brand forward into NOW. If the dolls and outfits are well-received, this could become a tradition every 5 or 10 years, where the outfits are re-vamped or re-launched constantly for a new crowd. It’s a formula I’ve seen other really successful brands pull off. Some brands find one successful formula and they utilize it annually, bi-annually, or every decade. It keeps money consistent and stable.

American Girl’s Girl of the Year has become that way, and it brings attention and attraction to the brand every year. If we analyze that kind of formula, but do it differently with Bratz, Bratz could have their own traditions, where fans look forward to new updated fashion through a familiar line, and can save up in anticipation for it. The newer waves could be used as ways to show improvement from the last release as well.

If I’d planned on releasing replicas of old lines, I would have come up with something extra special to add to the release, like maybe a new extra outfit, accessories, or playset ideas, to make it more appealing to both newcomers who want to complete their collections and old-time fans that may have gotten the dolls already.

Of course, it’s also important to have the same materials that made up the original dolls so fans who didn’t have them can complete their collections. I would want the new dolls to look identical to the original dolls, and I would consult with a random sample of fans for their input before release, having them sign a non-disclosure agreement promising not to reveal before launch, just to make sure the dolls looked ready to be sold.

3) Adult Collectors Would Be Utilized ONLY for Formerly Unreleased Lines and Characters

For this 20th Anniversary launch, I would have planned a release of all of the UNRELEASED DOLL LINES from 2K for the adult collectors, like the original Fashion Pixiez dolls. It is clear that many fans wanted some of those unreleased lines. Instead of releasing the unreleased artwork out of the closet, which they did on Instagram, I would have released those dolls out of the closet. It would have been the perfect way to appease adult fans. Since lines like the original Fashion Pixiez weren’t acceptable enough for Walmart and Target back in the day, those are the kinds of lines that could have been released as collectors’ editions. In fact, I would have released all of the prototypes as official collectors’ editions.

4) I Would Have Created Brand New Lines For 2021

Someone created dolls out of Hayden Williams’s artwork for the Bratzpack’s 18th Anniversary. I love them!

If I’d re-launched Bratz this year, I would have conceptualized a few new lines to make this brand fresh and exciting again, outside of re-releases and revamps of old lines. I would possibly do a throw-back to Cyberpunk, Steampunk, more Vintage lines, possibly Dark Academia, Soft Girls, E-Girls, Instagram Baddie, androgynous-inspired, Kpop, and/or more cultural lines, especially for Black History month. I think I agree with Hayden Williams when he posted that we need to see more “black icons”.

He may have just been referring to the VMA posts being made on socials, but it’s also true of the brand. We need to see more cultural lines, and more lines celebrating the diversity present in the Bratz brand. World Destination lines are always fun. Cultural lines could add to the fun, and it could be empowering, too. I’ve pitched some of these types of ideas to MGA Entertainment back in 2014, but it doesn’t seem like anyone listened.

5) I Would Have Spear-Headed A Fresh New Series Paying Homage To the Old One But Uniting the Universes

If I were to write or animate a series for Bratz, I would do a deep dive into the brand and try to unite all of the universes. I would give a fresh story, clearing up what past shows and movies didn’t, while also tapping into stories from back in the past that went over well with fans. It would focus on the “true story” of the Bratz with a nod to the older shows.

Many characters that were ignored or underdeveloped would get screen time, making old die-hard fans excited, while also giving new fans or fans who only watched the original TV series and movies new characters to explore. I would attempt to try to bring back some of the old voice actors. However, that can’t always be controlled. At minimum, I would go for voices that match book descriptions of the characters’ voices, such as Jade being described as having a “raspy” voice in the Bratz: Keepin’ It Real book.

I really enjoy when a producer, screenwriter, and animator really takes the time to understand the source material.

The problem nowadays with the people writing the narratives surrounding Bratz is they haven’t really watched all the old movies, the TV shows and web series, the commercials, or the books with Bratz in it. I personally wouldn’t have the gall to tackle writing anything for the Bratz without considering the universe from all of those perspectives. Prettier animation isn’t enough for me.

This would take some time, so it wouldn’t come right away. It wouldn’t be rushed. It would have been developed in the two years before this year’s anniversary. I would make sure the series had 13 solid episodes prepared before launch. This would ensure that Jade and Sasha’s segments aren’t “cut”.

6) I Would Aim to Re-release and Re-produce all Characters and Line Concepts from 2010 and 2015

This may seem like a crazy idea to many fans, but it’s actually a good way to bring the fanbase together. Instead of scrapping everything from 2010 and 2015, I would have brought back what worked and left behind what didn’t.

What worked was some of the new characters and line concepts. In 2010, the 10 new dolls brought a wave of diversity to the Bratz brand. For the 20th Anniversary, I would have worked on re-releasing all of those characters with older-style screenings, within new lines, with new outfits, and some screen time in a new show. Dolls like Lydia and Nadine deserve more love. I would even bring back Raya and possibly Vee Filez with a new updated look.

Lines like Study Abroad could be brought back and updated to fit the original Bratz formula, especially because Sasha never got her Pretty N’ Punk London look until that line. The concept was still a great one and should be brought back, it just needed some tweaking at the time.

The brand should be focused on uniting fans and giving everybody something they can love.

7) I Would Ensure That All Social Media Platforms Are Consistent and that the Website is Updated

Promotion should be consistent on all platforms. If I were to launch the Bratz again in 2021, I would have built anticipation on all social media platforms at the same time, including on Youtube. The official website would be ready for launch, at least as a throwback to 2K. I would put where to shop for all new dolls, where to find all social media content, and I would have profiles set up for all 160+ Bratz pack members. The website would pay homage to websites from 2001 to 2015, with fans being able to select any one they want.

At minimum, at least launch a page to promote the 20th Anniversary releases.

8) I Would Have Released the Characters from their Relationship Bondage

It might be too late for this, because the damage is done, but I would have released all of the characters from being “Ken-dolled” or basically in settled relationships, returning it to what it was in 2001 and 2002. Bratz should be young and free, independent and not settled, with mix-and-match potential. They ain’t like Barbie, who couldn’t seem to shake Ken for the last 60 years of her life. She broke up with him, came out as bi, and still had to stick with him because fans couldn’t see her with anyone else. She’s stuck with him…and that’s not very fun.

When characters are too settled, the characters often lose their identity, especially if they were underdeveloped to begin with. That’s what’s happening to Nevra. Most TV series and Rock Angelz movie fans only know Nevra as Roxxi’s girlfriend. It would have been nice to know Nevra first, to introduce her as a character to the more casual fans, before sticking her with Roxxi, so she could be identified on her own. Otherwise, they just become “relationship” dolls, co-dependent, dolls that only sell if with their partner. It happened with boy dolls in the past, and now, with more queer representation, it’s happening with the girls. It really needs to end for both. “Ken-dolling” kills a character in the long run. It’s what really killed half of the Monster High boy dolls, but that’s a topic for another day…

If we release the characters of these settled relationships, lines like Secret Date can be revived, giving many different date night play options, maybe even mixing the girls and boys up in that one line with the same original characters, just with updated fashions.

9) I Would Have Settled All Legal squabbles and Paid Royalties

This is probably easier said than done, but I would have resolved this year to try to pay royalties to those who contributed to the brand, would try to settle all legal disputes, and finalize any loose ends that would prevent the brand from going forward. I would analyze why my company can’t maintain strong hands on deck, what needs to be improved, and what needs to be kept. I would seek to employ skilled designers and sculptors who can capture the magic of the 2K Bratz so there are no quality control issues.

I would try to make good with all of my old team members, try to get them back together or create some sort of reunion, swallowing all ego, and at least keep them on as consultants or trainers to train the new blood. We need people on board who understand what the Bratz should look like and have long-time experience. Only some of the old-timers can help with that.


I know all of this sounds so negative, and I’m sorry. I’ve been feeling some kind of way for a long time, and it’s just spilling out.

I still love the Bratz concept. I respect the developers, designers, and other creators that have put their blood, sweat, and tears into this. I’m still going to finish my fandom page and update it with all that I know and have gathered.

However, I’m going to be just as honest on my fandom page as I am on all my platforms. I will speak my truth, but I do it out of love for the brand. I still see potential in this brand, but if they don’t turn it around soon, they will lose their most loyal following and the brand will crash.

Let me know what ya’ll think in the comments section below. Do you think the Bratz is better than it’s ever been? Or do you think the Bratz are tumbling downhill? Let’s discuss!

Ciao, peace!

Here’s the video, at “the bottom”, if you would rather watch it than read.

The Bottom

Ranking The WORST to BEST Bratz Movies (In-Depth Analysis)

22 Jan

Warning: The following ranking might trigger you, and there may be some spoilers. Viewer discretion is advised.

Greetings! This is SoraGenNext, back to you with more!

You may have noticed I’ve been gone awhile. That’s because I’ve been working on a time-consuming and expensive project over at the Bratz fandom page. On my journey, while collecting information, I’ve had the opportunity to re-watch all of the Bratz movies and I thought, “Hey, I might as well share my opinion on which movies are my favorites.” I’m sure all of my readers (and viewers, if you’re coming from my Youtube channel) are just dying to know, right?

For starters, I want to let you all know that I consider myself somewhat of a Bratz fan outsider when it comes to these movies and the TV show. Let me just give some of you all history on me and my relationship with Bratz.

I’ve been into Bratz since 2000, yes, 2000, when the website was first under construction. I was the tween that begged Bratz to come out with movies, like I was seeing their competitors do. By the time the first Bratz movie arrived, I was probably older than most of the kids really into the Bratz. I was 14 years old, so I had a really clear view and memory of all of the movies, and I was a hugely active member of the Bratz community since their debut. I learned, at that age, that none of the movies were really “canon”. Like Barbie, the Bratz TV show and other series were used to promote the doll brand, not the other way around, so many of the Bratz movies and different series created for Bratz often conflicted with one another or just couldn’t be taken as canon. The only canon universe for Bratz was found among the dolls, if you paid close enough attention.

With this realization, to be honest, I’ve only watched each movie ONCE, and that was the year they were released. I hadn’t watched any of them again until recently when I started the Bratz fandom page.

After watching again, I came up with my own ranking, listing the worst to best Bratz movies, from my own perspective, through my own in-depth review of each movie, centered on the story, characters, visuals, and music.

Once I started, I realized that I don’t just want to tell you which ones I like and don’t. I feel I need to fully explain my choices. Overall, the result is that each movie has gotten its own review, all in this one article. I will put anchors so everyone can navigate.

In this ranking, I will only be reviewing the feature films released as full-length movies. I won’t be including the interactive DVDs, the Passion 4 Fashion DVD game, or the DVDs that only contain TV series episodes like Good Vibes and BFF.

There is also a matching video below, if you’d rather listen to and watch that. Click here.


#15 Rock Angelz

#14 Bratz Go to Paris

#13 Bratz Girlz Really Rock

#12 Bratz Babyz The Movie

#11 Bratz The Movie

#10 Bratz The Video Starrin’ & Stylin’

#09 Bratz Super Babyz

#08 Bratz Babyz Save Christmas

#07 Bratz Fashion Pixiez

#06 Bratz Genie Magic

#05 Bratz Passion 4 Fashion Diamondz

#04 Bratz Pampered Petz

#03 Bratz Kidz Fairy Tales

#02 Bratz Kidz Sleep-Over Adventure

#01 Bratz Desert Jewelz: Genie Magic 2

#15 Rock Angelz

I’ve watched videos and read articles about the best to worst Bratz movies, and time and again this movie always seems to come at the top of everybody’s list.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I can definitely admit that it causes me some confusion. Everyone has their own nostalgia, and if that’s why they enjoy it, it’s cool. But I’m always confused when people think so highly of this movie.

Last I remembered, this movie was not that good. Yes, all the other movies that came after had some elements from this movie, making this the OG, but I think by the time those movies came out, things had been cleaned up a little AND I had gotten used to this universe. From first impression, Rock Angelz wasn’t it for me. And if I take off the nostalgia glasses and think back to how I really felt about this movie, it wasn’t good, not even for a Bratz fan.

I watched this movie for the first time in 2005 when I was 15 years old, and have to admit I haven’t watched it since until recently last week. It’s been 15 years, my old friend. As I was watching, I started to remember that there was a reason I didn’t return to this movie, and why it soured my interest in the overall Bratz TV series that followed.

I know most Bratz fans are going to come over here saying, “I love the series! It’s my childhood! Rock Angelz was iconic”. That series and this movie ruined my childhood.


Let’s start with the Rock Angelz story. Written by Peggy Nicoll, the same initial writer and overseer of the Bratz TV series, the story centers on Cloe, Sasha, Yasmin, and Jade, with appearances by Cameron, Eitan, and Dylan. Jade gets a job working for fashion editor, Burdine, at Your Thing magazine. She’s the “Barbie” of the universe, and is like Miranda Priestly from the Devil Wears Prada, except louder and more obnoxious. She’s impossible, and ends up firing Jade. The Bratz decide to start their own magazine called Bratz Magazine (obviously to promote the real Bratz magazine that had been released). They steal tickets from Your Thing, fly off to London to cover two big scoops, get into some drama along the way, like Cloe meeting a prince who turns out to be bougie, Sasha taking over a segment meant to be for her and Jade, and Yasmin finding the dog of a reality show judge named Byron Powell (Simon Cowell of this universe), which breaks them all apart for a minute, and then finally, after making up in time to cover the opening of club Pinz, they head to the Benefit concert. However, they realize that their tickets were stolen by the Tweevils, Burdine’s interns and minions, so they have to sneak in. After that, they meet up with Byron who introduces them to Roxxi, who just broke up with her band Crash. After this, they all form a band and continue the show, making their debut as Bratz Rock Angelz.

A lot of fans love to tell me how empowering the movie was because the lead characters overcame the White blonde upper-class woman abusing her power, creating their own start-up diverse magazine. They are entrepreneurs at a young age, influencing the fashion scene at just 16 and what not. And it feels very true to the actual Bratz dolls’ story. With that in mind, I can agree that it is the charm of this story. Mattel did a lot to try and stop the Bratz’s influence back then, and I believe they were already in a lawsuit with MGA over Myscene at the time of this movie’s release.

Rock Angelz is also just a fun and funny movie. I have found myself chuckling at it. So, I get it.
However, if I look at the story itself, without thinking about the message the movie was trying to send, it was literally all over the place.

Let me just tell you all my first impression. First off, when I was 15, before this movie came out, I had already received the Bratz Rock Angelz album and dolls, which had been released months before. I was heavily invested in the Bratz World yahoo group community, which was the biggest at the time, and still is across other platforms.

The album was so good. It had so many good themes. I would listen to that album over and over to the point I memorized all the songs. So, this is what I was expecting: A story about them learning not to let fame get to their heads (Sasha’s All About You), a story about someone or all of them not being a good friend (Cloe’s You Think), a romance Story between Roxxi and someone else, someone who is not any of her friends, whose hair is a mess, and who is weird (Roxxi’s I Don’t care). I expected Yasmin to be in a relationship with someone who is trying to own her, almost a relationship that’s semi-abusive (Yasmin’s Nobody’s Girl). I expected there to be some drama.

Now at this time, Myscene was out. My sister became a huge fan of Myscene. I felt threatened by Myscene as a teenager. I was like “They’re copies of the Bratz. They’re trying to take the Bratz fandom and confuse people out of buying Bratz products.” I just felt threatened by them because I didn’t want the Bratz to lose money and not be sold anymore. But my sis liked them and she would watch all of their webisodes and movies. They had media content a good THREE YEARS before Bratz. I was quite jealous of that. I was like, you know, Bratz has been out awhile, and yet Myscene is capturing interest with their webisodes and movies. At the time Rock Angelz came out, Myscene had come out with Jammin’ in Jamaica. To me, my teen self, it was a good movie. It had the slice-of-life that was popular then, the teen drama, an interesting destination theme, and an engaging plot. It brought ALL of the dolls to life, including special edition Jai, and actually had every outfit in the movie.

The Bratz’s first movie, Bratz The Video: Starrin’ and Stylin’, tried to do that, but I guess too many people felt it was lower quality. Also, the Bratz movie didn’t relate to Europeans as much. Rock Angelz centered on the UK, so it made Bratz more popular worldwide. Possibly, the first movie may have even felt more like a copy of Myscene to some fans. I didn’t think about it that way back then, but I was hoping, after hearing the Rock Angelz album, we would finally get content that had the drama and suspense and slice-of-life that rival brand Myscene had.

Imagine my disappointment when Rock Angelz came out. The movie had very little connection to the soundtrack. Maybe you could pull some themes out of it, but it was written without the soundtrack in mind. So, I’m like, what was the point of that whole album then? Why tease us? It wasn’t until later that I realized that the album actually captures unseen events that happened after the movie, but that just makes things worse.

Aside from the movie being nothing like the promotional soundtrack, it itself was a mess. It felt like the movie was trying to tell too many stories at once. First, they were trying to start a magazine, then they also shoved in a Pretty N’ Punk “World Destination” storyline of the Bratz in London, and finally they didn’t even become Rock Angelz until the very end of the movie. This is called Bratz Rock Angelz, isn’t it? Yet, the movie was not really about them BEING rock stars. The movie was mostly about Bratz magazine and their trip to London. It should have been called Bratz Magazine or Bratz Go to London, NOT Bratz Rock Angelz. They ended up shoving in the rock star thing at the very end, which made everything feel rushed and random.

It tried to be too many things at once. Because the movie shoved in Rock Angelz at the end, I was disappointed that Roxxi only showed up in a few scenes. Here I am, with all five of my dolls, finally going to see another Bratz pack member on the screen…and nothing.

I was hoping for a REAL Rock Angelz movie, one that brought the doll universe to life. I was hoping for a REAL story about becoming a rock star, the ups and downs of fame, on-the-road drama, touring, living the rock star life. Later, they used some of these themes but not in a rock star scenario, and this was the movie that should have been about it. They still could’ve inculcated the magazine and London, but possibly trying to write how it feels to be a real rock star, with London being one of their tour spots. Instead, the focus was everywhere but on Rock Angelz.

From the moment the Bratz decided to start a magazine, it was rushed. First off, I don’t care what connections Sasha has, who just sells an office space to teenagers? And I don’t care how nicely they’re able to decorate it, who’s paying to keep the lights on? Was there a fundraiser in-between to raise money for this space? Who is paying the bills? Where are their parents? I was hoping this movie would go a step further than the other doll movies of the time and actually introduce parents or the Bratz characters’ backgrounds. All we saw was a mention of Cloe’s mom calling over and over about Cloe wearing rubber boots. Who agreed to let the Bratz fly off to London and start their own magazine, even while in school? How were they able to fly to London using Burdine’s passes and tickets? Did their parents not question how they got this opportunity? To add, Burdine only would have had THREE passes and tickets, since there’s only herself and her interns, the Tweevils, involved in her company, which means one of the Bratz would’ve been left behind. Whose parents decided to pay? How did Dylan and Cameron convince their parents to let them go? All of these questions in-between could’ve made for an interesting story. Instead, they rushed the building of the magazine, like they did everything else, in a montage, as if it happens overnight, so they could get the girls to London and get them into rock star mode. We never saw the struggle, the obstacles. Ultimately, I respected Burdine more because I’m sure she went through way more to start up her company, and she did it all by herself. I didn’t see the Bratz struggling, so to me I didn’t feel the hard work was rewarded.

At this time, I compared it to their competitor Myscene. Jammin’ in Jamaica, which had come out the year before and was the first full-length Myscene movie, had them traveling to a destination, and it went a lot more realistically than the Bratz Rock Angelz movie. Sure, any destination outside of our country may seem unachievable to most of us. Yet, the movie at least showed the Myscene CONVINCING a parental figure to let them go. At least they had one clear purpose as to why they were going. It made sense who was paying for it, and they were pretty limited to one part of the island, according to their budget. Furthermore, at least it focused on adventures in Jamaica. Yes, I know, Bratz ain’t Myscene. But Myscene’s storytelling appeared superior at this time, especially to a teenager aged 15. Now, I have my criticisms about that movie, too, but this is about the Bratz.

Basically, the Bratz movie seemed a little less realistic and definitely more childish in comparison to their competitor. And I expected Bratz to cut-throats and annihilate their competition. I expected them to snatch edges and get me ugly crying. Most of the time, I found myself wincing and rolling my eyes.

The only struggle the Bratz endured in their story was when they actually had to find topics for their magazine. While, yes, that’s a portion of a struggle, that shouldn’t have been everything. There should have been some airport drama, like there is in real life when you fly into a foreign country. How could the girls even afford to tour London? Again, who paid for what? How were they able to exchange money? Even in passing, this could have been mentioned.

Just because a movie is made for kids doesn’t mean it has to be dumb. I was 15 asking these questions, and I had little experience with traveling outside of the country. However, my family did always travel and encouraged traveling. Even I knew this movie glossed over a lot of things that could have made it a good story had the focus been more narrow.

Overall, I would’ve liked three separate movies or TV show episodes for the start of Bratz magazine, their trip to London in possibly a three-parter, and a whole separate movie about them actually being rock stars. But all together? It was a big sloppy mess. I’ma just keep it real.

Most dolls’ movies are released to tell us what the line they’re trying to promote means. I don’t know what they were trying to promote here. It seems like they were trying to promote Bratz Magazine, Pretty N’ Punk, and Rock Angelz. Which means the title is false promotion.


This movie also had problems with how they were interpreting the characters. Now, the one thing I hated about Starrin’ and Stylin’ was how they changed the characters, especially in relation to how they were perceived online before that movie, before Charles O’ Connor’s vision took effect. I was most upset that they made Sasha the stereotypical “mad Black woman” and they stripped Jade of all of her interest in extreme sports, her quick mind and quick wit, and made her a one-dimensional character interested in fashion…I mean, aren’t they all interested in fashion? To me, that gave her less dimension than all the other characters. What’s worse about Rock Angelz is they actually gave all of Jade’s “cool qualities”, you know, her interest in extreme sports, to the blonde White CLOE. Unfortunately, it seemed like Cloe was the character with the most dimension. She could now be girly, into fashion that’s shimmery and sparkly, with animal prints, but also like sports, drama, etc.

I believe they gave her these sporty qualities to compete with Myscene’s Delancey, who got the Avril Lavigne treatment. Avril Lavigne was super popular at the time because she gave another image to blondes besides the Britney Spears, Clueless Cher, and Legally Blonde Elle Woods tropes. So, I believe they tried to make Cloe that Avril Lavigne. But seeing as it never suited her character, it was just another random piece of the Bratz Rock Angelz movie that just seemed thrown in there.

Jade was supposed to be way extreme and totally far-out, not just in appearance but in attitude and life. This is what the Bratz 2015 online stop-motion webisodes got right. I was looking forward to them fixing that in Rock Angelz, but they didn’t. And since most people didn’t remember who Jade was in 2001, and the books never captured this piece of her character either, no one, but me, seemed to care.

At least in later movies, they made Jade into a Brainiac, interested in science and whatnot. However, it would’ve been less stereotypical (considering she’s Asian) had they maintained her sporty side, like she once had.

Granted, Carter Bryant did have some different ideas for the characters before release, and Cloe was supposed to be the “Queen of Cool”, but she was still largely girly. She didn’t deserve to have more dimension than all the other characters. But this is what happens when there’s not enough people of color around to help with the story-telling.

Sasha maintained her “mad Black woman” attitude, and I don’t have a problem with it, but it seems like they struggled to give Sasha layers. She was just selfish and hard, not compassionate or caring in any way. I hated that about her, because it just wasn’t me, and yet she was the only one technically representing Black girls. It made her less likeable, and it’s hard enough to sell Black characters as dolls. I remember the polls back then were brutal against Sasha. She was always voted last as people’s favorite. ALWAYS. I think I posted one of those polls in one of my other videos and article Bratz 2018: Please Don’t. Anyway…they didn’t hand the same dimension to Sasha, but at least they gave her interests outside of fashion, unlike with Jade.

Yasmin, the MGA darling of course, got all of the sweet and lovable qualities, even if she wasn’t the focus of the movie.

That’s another thing I hated about the movie. This was supposed to be told from Jade’s perspective, and when you read all of the books based on this movie, it’s “As told by Jade”. Yet, Cloe is primarily the narrator in the movie. The official Rock Angelz movie website, which has since been taken down, labeled CLOE the main character and main narrator of the movie. I have good memory. You all may have thought you took that down, but I remember what I saw.

Overall, this should not have been the case. If you’re going to make fun of Barbie, don’t do the same things she did and make the blonde White doll the central character. It ain’t right.

And let’s talk about these boys. They were probably the worst adaptation of everyone. The first problem was the fact that the only boys who made an appearance were Eitan, Cameron, and Dylan. Cameron and Eitan might as well have been the same dude because they didn’t give them much difference from each other throughout the movie or TV show. And they even often did the other’s job when the other wasn’t around, like taking photos of the girls during photoshoots. There was no mention of Koby and Cade. In the book based off of Rock Angelz, it stated they were “studying abroad”, but then that same book said Yasmin was the new girl who’d just moved there the year before…which would definitely not make sense in the Bratz universe if Bratz Babyz and Bratz Kidz were to exist. That was a problem they brought over from Starrin’ and Stylin’. But at least in the actual Rock Angelz movie, no one could tell when she arrived to meet her friends because it was never mentioned.

Anyway, back to the boys, the boys that did show up were nothing like they were initially interpreted, and I do blame the movie that was released before for this. Cameron was called “The Blaze” not just by CLOE but by ALL the Bratz girls, and this was because they all thought he was hot. Therefore, in my pansexual polyamorous mind, I believe all of them had a crush on Cameron. Period. In the Rock Angelz movie, they made Cameron a lame. There was no indication that the girls thought he was hot. Even Cloe referred to him as “cute” but hard to figure out. She didn’t seem to think he was hot; she just knew him for years and got used to him basically.

To be honest, I can’t even take that seriously. She claimed she’s known Cameron since the second grade, but then what’s Bratz Babyz The Movie? And, really, what about the whole Bratz Babyz and Bratz Kidz universe released the year before? I mean we can argue that just because there were dolls doesn’t mean they knew each other…but it still did take me back a bit, considering the circumstances of the lines. Technically, all of them have known Cameron since they were 3-years-old. So, Cloe was not the only childhood friend here.

Thankfully, the doll universe ignored this couple, placing Cloe with Kobe, Cade, and other boys. Thankfully, the series and commercials gave Cameron other love interests throughout the Bratz universe, such as Roxxi and Sasha. The whole “Nigel is a jerk and I’m supposed to be with Cameron” didn’t fly with me. Sure, it does teach girls to be realistic about their choices in love and not to fall for the first handsome prince they meet. But if she really liked Cameron, she never would have let Nigel influence her like that in the first place. They made Cameron the hopeless romantic, pining after a girl that clearly was showing little interest in him. I felt that Cameron was getting played by Cloe left and right throughout the movie and the series. She would only use him when she didn’t have anybody, but had no qualms with flirting with other boys or dating them either. Had the nerve to get mad jealous when Cameron dated other people after her. And they would just make him a S.I.M.P. I felt like he was being used by Cloe.

I’m sorry. I missed when he was The Blaze, single and ready to mingle, just like all the other Bratz pack members, before they gave him the “Ken-doll” treatment.

But fans began shipping this couple, so it stuck, unfortunately.

Anyway, to move along, let’s continue talking about how the movie failed to even adapt the boys’ nicknames and personalities. Dylan was named “The Fox” because the GIRLS considered him slick. Instead, in the movie, they made him a complete cornball who THOUGHT he was slick. I was hoping he’d have the “slick Nick” personality, you know, like in Zootopia. Instead, they made him a cornball. And while Dylan’s comic relief probably saved this show, he was no longer the cool character I imagined him to be. Just because they are boy dolls in the girls’ world doesn’t mean they have to be created to be stupid.

Eitan was supposed to be a “non-stop hot shot”. He’s supposed to be the one given the VIP treatment. He is “The Dragon”. He is possibly the character meant to be “conceited” in the Bratz girls’ opinion. But none of the movies, not the books, nothing, ever interpreted him based on his nickname or initially developed personality.

IN FACT, they don’t even mention their nicknames, and probably because the writers didn’t even care to get the characters right. I mean, come on, they had Yasmin calling Cloe Kool Kat in the Rock Angelz movie. Unless she has eyes on the side of her head, she was talking to Cloe. There was definitely a problem with the writing. They weren’t fooling me. I know who is who.

Normally, I’m more forgiving with visual errors as it’s not easy or cheap to capture things visually. I draw the line at script errors that’s as obvious as in this movie. At least, get the characters right. That’s who you’re representing. It’s like a mom decided to write a story about a bunch of dolls and just skimmed over the Bratz line before writing the story. And to me, there’s no heart in that. The details weren’t taken into account. They must have really thought kids were that stupid…Well, since everyone liked the movie, I guess kids really didn’t care about the details and I was just too old to be watching it.

Because the writers didn’t care, most fans of the Bratz TV series didn’t truly even know who the Bratz Boyz were and they didn’t even know Cameron or Eitan HAD nicknames. When Cameron was re-released in 2018 as “The Blaze”, people were responding like “Who’s the Blaze?” Yet, everyone wants to tell me this was the best Bratz movie and that the series that followed was iconic? Okay, you can feel what you feel. I don’t cosign.

Let’s also talk about Cameron’s look. First off, they switched out his oily surfer boy hair with Dylan’s curly hair, and White-washed Dylan by giving him the oily wet surfer boy hairdo, knowing no Black boys looked like that. Weird. This caused confusion later on when trying to adapt him live. We all know Dylan was Black, at least biracial.

And they seemed to be doing their best to wash out Eitan’s Asian heritage as well, as his hair was far shades lighter than it was supposed to be. He hadn’t worn one outfit from his collection, so I had to admit I was confused as to who he was until the Bratz girls said his name was Eitan. So they funked up the boys.

What’s worse is that Eitan didn’t even go to London with the Bratz. In the actual Bratz Rock Angelz line, Eitan was the ONLY boy that made an appearance, and yet he was the ONLY boy not present with them in London. He was even in the Pretty N’ Punk World Destination London line, too. He should have been in London with the other Bratz pack members. Sasha wasn’t even in that line. She should not have been in London, unfortunately, even if they had intended to make a Sasha for the line. It made me mad enough they didn’t make a punk Sasha, let alone stick her in London after that, making me want punk Sasha even more.

They didn’t add in my favorite girl Meygan, either, who was considered Rock Angelz’s “number one fan”. I know that doll was only released in select locations as a special edition, and maybe even released after the Rock Angelz concept was complete. Still, I would’ve liked to see her anyway. It seems like the movies loved to omit Meygan out of everything when she was one of the original Bratz characters. And she was actually in the Pretty N’ Punk line, so no excuses. She should have been in London with her friends. If you’re going to shove in that portion of the story, actually add the characters that belong there.

Finally, Roxxi. I was so looking forward to Roxxi. She was the cool rock star, Spice, and the newest character to be interpreted, but she was literally only in a few minutes at the end of the movie. She got her five seconds of fame and it was over. I was looking forward to more development from her, and they didn’t deliver. First off, even making her “the new girl” was weird because Roxxi had been released in 2004, a year before the release of Rock Angelz. Ya know, most doll brands tie in new characters into the movies if they want to weave in a new girl in the story; they release them to tie directly into the movie. Roxxi wasn’t the new girl in the Bratz universe, so it was weird for the Bratz not to know her by the time the movie came out. It was made weirder when they developed a Bratz Babyz for Roxxi and Phoebe, and her twin sister appeared in the Bratz Kidz line. The commercials and art showed them interacting with everybody as toddlers, so how is she new?

Also, as an identical twin myself, it was also disappointing not to see her sister Phoebe around. I mean, what girl has the premiere of the century and her twin sister isn’t around to see it? I would never let that happen. I would make sure she’s there. My sister would make sure she’s there. And with Phoebe being the sweet one, who’s always supportive and giving advice? She’d have definitely been there.

Granted, all of the Bratz families were screwed up in the movie and the series, so, hey. Roxxi got the least amount of development in this movie, so I’m not surprised.

Overall, I didn’t feel like there was much improvement with the characters from the first movie (which I’ll get into later). Eventually, I got used to them, which is why the other movies that came after felt better to me, and some of the characters grew on me and were really funny and entertaining, but from my initial impression, it didn’t make me fond of this movie and it also killed my enjoyment of the Bratz series.


This is probably the best part of the movie. No, the visuals don’t look like anything today, but back then, CGI was still relatively novel, and the Bratz visuals felt like the dolls were coming to life. Barbie in the Nutcracker had come out a few years before, so I saw the impact of those kinds of graphics on promoting doll brands. For the Bratz, it really made it feel like the dolls came to life. The hair movement, the outfits, it came alive.

Unfortunately, the details themselves were missing. Obviously, there were many backgrounder and location images recycled throughout the Bratz series and Rock Angelz, even if they weren’t intended to be the same location or places. Eventually, it became a staple of the show and even a running gag (after watching Super Babyz, I saw that little wink from a Bratz Kidz Yasmin look-alike). But it could make things confusing sometimes.

One of the worst parts about the visuals in the movie is the lack of attention to the Bratz girls’ fashion passions. It seemed like they translated their fashion passions into personalities instead. For example, instead of Cloe wearing dramatic clothes, she’s a drama queen, or instead of Yasmin liking bohemian fashion, she behaves like a stereotypical bohemian, practicing yoga and saving the environment. Don’t know where they were going with Jade, but her personality was “cool”, not her style. While it’s good to focus more on their individual personalities than clothes, they were known for also having individual style, and it was significant. Unfortunately, the visuals didn’t cater to those details. Thus, we saw Bratz characters in outfits they shouldn’t have been in.

Perhaps the first sign of this was the switch between Cloe and Jade’s outfits. This irritated me from the first scene because I couldn’t tell who was doing the talking. I literally kept confusing Jade for Cloe. The problem was that the dolls had already been released, and Jade was my favorite, of course. When they stuck my favorite outfit on Cloe, I was in an uproar. First off, why would Cloe, the girl who likes shimmery, sparkly fabrics and animal prints, as well as trendy outfits, be wearing those Beetlejuice shoes? Only Jade could pull that off, not Cloe. But again, no one had the heart to adapt the Bratz correctly.

I find that to be some poor promotion. I mean, I’ve seen some doll brands promoting outfits that don’t exist, but at least Mattel will make sure the outfits they are releasing are promoted on the right doll because they hope those dolls will sell. If you’re going to make a movie to promote the line, at least sell it properly. Back then, little girls were confused in toy aisles, buying up Cloe instead of Jade, and Jade instead of Cloe, depending on the one they liked best.

Because they couldn’t get their styles right, and didn’t pay the same painstaking attention to detail the designers did working for MGA, the passion fashions got all mixed up. It got to the point I didn’t even care about their fashion passions and it got to the point I stopped caring if I could tell them apart.

Unfortunately, I believe this is why they weren’t able to produce more Bratz pack members in the series for fear they would look too much alike. Kumi, Dana, and Tiana would just look like Jade, and this was made worse when they started putting their outfits on Jade. If they’d stuck to the outfits they actually released for these characters, we could at least tell the difference between the characters based on what they wore. But since they didn’t care to pay attention to that, we got a limited Bratz pack universe.

This issue traveled into the Bratz TV series. They put Ooh La La outfits on Jade and Sasha, knowing good and well those girls didn’t even appear in the line, even if they were supposed to. This prevented Kumi and Dana from ever appearing in the future. They did the same in the Bein’ Who We Are music video. It got so mixed up, that eventually fashion passions no longer mattered in the actual Bratz brand. They started throwing outfits on any one of the characters, and they started looking more and more identical, with less individuality. Bratz Rock Angelz movie started that mess in my opinion. Thankfully, the outfits were still well-made, even if less individualistic. Still, it was a change that was noticeable.

Also, because they’ve released characters out of order, making Roxxi a new girl when most Bratz fans been knowing her awhile, it’s likely any other former stories connected to them would have been altered or rearranged. They weren’t good at giving a proper backdrop for the dolls, beginning with them not making the story consistent with the timeline. The story didn’t line up with the way the dolls were being sold, so it became a confusing mess.


The music was okay, but it wasn’t what I expected. I expected to hear more rock music, to set the Rock Angelz mood, and especially the music from the Rock Angelz album. Unfortunately, it was filled with songs from the future Bratz TV series, very pop and urban, with some random pop rock numbers, and only ONE song from the album made it in…at the very end of the freakin’ movie. Overall, the music felt like it was tossed in there to give a Bratz feeling, but not a Rock Angelz feeling. This is what happens when you want to tell too many stories at once.


So, you all might say I’m super negative, not a real Bratz fan, and that I’m the only one who feels this way about Rock Angelz. I agree I’m a Bratz fan outsider today, in today’s world, where the kids who grew up with Bratz at a much younger age now have a stronger influence on the community, and have a different attachment to Bratz. But back in the day, I know I wasn’t the only one. All of the older Bratz fans back then had the same problem, which was why everything was cleaned up better in the next couple of movies that came after. Notice how Genie Magic and Forever Diamondz had music from their soundtracks. Notice how the movies inculcated the lines better and gave the fifth girl in the line more screen time or importance. They still couldn’t hardly get their outfits right, and they still made old-time characters, like Katia, suddenly seem like new girls, but at least they cleaned things up a little more. They wouldn’t have done that if fans hadn’t complained. So I don’t think I was the only one, even if I probably am one of the few remaining fans from back in that time…

The Bratz Rock Angelz movie brought the dolls to life with its CGI and it had humor and entertainment, but it tried to tell too many stories at once, it didn’t really focus on the Rock Angelz band, the characters remained altered and misinterpreted, so different from the doll universe, and the music wasn’t even from the freakin’ soundtrack.

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#14 Bratz Go To Paris

Coming in next is Bratz Go to Paris. I wrestled with whether I should even include this on the list because it’s basically like BFF and Good Vibes where it’s a collection of episodes made into a movie. However, I think with this DVD they attempted to make all three episodes into one full-length film. It barely gets a pass. Re-released in 2013, several years after it aired on television, they basically wanted to give fans more movies but didn’t have the same backing they did back in the day. So they just started re-releasing stuff. I remember I was 23 and just never considered this a real movie.


Written by Peggy Nicoll, the story focuses on the Bratz as they are recruited by Byron Powell, who they discover is a spy, to go undercover as spies themselves. Someone had been poisoning super models in Paris right before designer Jean-Paul’s major show. The models have all aged tremendously from the poisons. The Bratz agree to help, not being able to resist going to the “City of Lights”. Cloe is hoping for a romance story, Yasmin is hoping for inspiration for her writing, Jade is a major fan of Jean-Paul, and Sasha wants to experience the nightlife…I think. Anyway, when the girls show apprehension about going to Paris due to them needing to complete their magazine, Byron tells them he only needs one of them anyway. He decides to put them through a spy test to determine who will go.

This sparks an obvious rivalry between the girls, as they all try to beat the other and hold each other back, but in the final race to the finish, Yasmin crashes. The Bratz resolve that they will not leave one another behind. Byron reveals the real test was one of working together and he agrees that all of them are ready to go.

The Bratz pack, along with Cameron and Dylan, arrive at the runway show to find Jean-Paul stressed and having a break-down because his models are dropping like flies. Nicole, one of his last remaining models, tells the girls what’s been happening. Jade comforts him, and in her, Jean-Paul finds a new muse. At this moment, Nicole shows herself to be jealous of this, but she gets distracted when she catches sight of Cameron. She begins flirting with him the rest of the movie, causing Cloe to be jealous. In the midst of all of this, Roxxi shows up with her former bandmate Cruise, and Sasha becomes smitten. She and Cruise form a relationship. However, because the girls are in Paris for a mission, she ends up leaving him hanging right before their first official date. He takes it personal. Later, Sasha finds him on the cover of a magazine with Alonce (the “Beyonce” of the Bratz universe). Heartbroken, she’s unable to focus on the mission.

Eventually, the Bratz realize they’ve got to stay focused, especially when someone breaks into their hotel room, attacks Yasmin, and flees. Byron takes the evidence and finds a strand of hair that belongs to modeling Agent Elimina. Believing they’ve found the culprit, Byron drops the case. The Bratz aren’t so convinced. As they dig deeper into this, Jade and Cloe are lured into an abandoned room by Nicole and poisoned right before they were to appear in the show. Eventually, Sasha and Yasmin are able to find them as Nicole is trying to drag them into a car to escape. The girls are able to take her down using their new spy techniques and they save the day. In the end, Sasha is able to talk to Cruise about the misunderstanding, so they’re happy, and the show continues on, making Jean-Paul a success.

My first impression of the re-release was that this was really cheap. Most fans wanted a new movie, not a DVD with already-released episodes. By the time the DVD was released, I’d already seen everything, so I had no reason to buy it.

But the story is really cool, it’s one of the best Bratz TV episodes. It was nice to have Paris as the setting, a runway show as the focus, and it was just exciting, action-packed, full of drama, and suspenseful. This was a lot more cleaned-up in comparison to Rock Angelz and it maintained focus.

I would have liked the movie to explore Paris a little more than it did. It kind of didn’t focus on the landmarks that are so iconic. But the gem was that it wasn’t stereotypical. Eh.

The other thing I don’t think was necessary was the initial competition to see who would get the spot to go to Paris. Or rather it definitely seemed like Byron tricked them. They said they couldn’t go because of the magazine, clearly not seeing the opportunity to create an epic article from this adventure. Byron tells them he only needs one of them anyway. During the “I Spy” competition, they all agreed not to go if all of them couldn’t go. When Byron says they all passed and could all go, that still left the problem of who was going to run the magazine…If that was such an issue before, all of them winning together doesn’t solve the initial problem that caused the competition in the first place. I think Byron knew he could convince them all to go if he motivated them to compete, but they never brought up the magazine again…

Again, another problem was that this was supposed to be an Ooh La La theme, but it was without Dana and Kumi. It grinds my gears, especially when Sasha and Jade weren’t in the line. And now, the possibility of Kumi and Dana being in the show with these outfits is slim to none because the other four girls wore their outfits…


Cloe really irritated me in this movie. I understand she is jealous of Nicole spending time with Cameron because she supposedly has a secret crush on him, whatever, but she has been dating and flirting with other guys throughout the whole Bratz TV series and in all the books. She only recognizes Cameron when he’s moved on, then she just wants him all to herself. Girl, he’s not yours to claim.

I was happy that finally Sasha received a love interest. I get tired of people thinking Black girls are these tough, independent characters without layers. I think this is the first episode I ever saw Sasha show emotion, and I actually would’ve loved to see more emotion from her in the other movies and shows.

I loved Yasmin and Jade’s roles in this. Jade was super focused on the task. Despite Yasmin trying to find inspiration for her writing assignment, she was also on task.

I don’t even know why Dylan was there.

All the supporting characters felt recycled, but it became a staple of the show and movies, so…


The visuals were meh in my opinion. They mostly spent time in one location and much of the visuals had been recycled from the TV series, like in all the original episodes. I think they did at least choose a different kind of hotel. Did they? Anyway…The outfits were beautiful on the characters, they just weren’t the right outfits. A lot of characters were recycled from the TV episodes, which caused me more confusion. I think they could’ve put a lot more Parisian scenes in it to make it more visually stunning. It felt flat in comparison to what I was hoping for.

I felt this would have been better if they had trained in Paris, too. Then we could see more of the scenes and sights. Of course, they wanted to have a test of friendship first. I still felt like there should have been more when covering Paris.


Because this was not originally a full-length film, it doesn’t have its own music or music that’s a staple of it. The movie had overplayed songs from all the other movies and TV show episodes. It doesn’t feel like it had its own soundtrack. It was nice to hear some familiar favorites, but it just didn’t have music that set the mood, due to this originally meaning to be a couple of 20 minute episodes.


Overall, the story was pretty exciting and amazing. I was definitely on the edge of my seat. However, it misses the actual Bratz back-drop, the Ooh La La line characters, the characters in this movie annoyed me, the visuals were blah, and the music was just shoved in there…because it wasn’t really meant to be a movie.

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#13 Girlz Really Rock

Coming in next is Bratz Girlz Really Rock. I first watched this movie in 2008, when I was around 18 years old, starting my first year in college. I was pretty grown-up by the time I watched this. I don’t think my feelings have changed too much since I’ve watched it 12 years ago. Man, I feel old.


Written by Norah Lally and Meg Martin, the story appears to be a movie musical about a movie musical. It centers on the Bratz pack members Cloe, Sasha, Yasmin, Jade, Dylan, and Eitan heading to Camp Starshine, an arts camp in the woods. Initially, the Bratz go to the camp for fun, but they soon realize everyone else is taking things way too seriously there. The camp is hosting a contest for campers to perform something spectacular, with the winner receiving a movie deal. Later, the Bratz girls begin to see why everyone is so serious, and they start to get serious once their own individual talents are recognized. This breaks the group apart. Eventually, Dylan and their new friend Anna begin to help them realize they are changing, especially when a self-centered dance instructor named Demidov threatens to separate them, all so she can get her shot at the limelight. In the end, they are able to re-unite back together and win the contest along with their friend Anna.

Overall, the story is okay. It’s engaging in a lot of ways.

My first impression of it wasn’t as bad as with Rock Angelz because I’d gotten used to the new Bratz universe by this time. Of course, the story was also more focused on the girls trying to stay together amidst competition. One thing that was always interesting about the Bratz dolls’ storytelling was that they didn’t mind showing the girls competing against one another or challenging themselves. That was different than the “princess sweet” stories often told about girls. But they always learned that they were stronger together. This story was about them being diverse and strong apart, but stronger together. They also learned to take their talents seriously and to work hard to reach their dreams rather than goof off all the time. Anna learned to make time for a “life”. They all learned to balance work and play. It was a very cute story.

It was also the first story where Dylan actually had a serious relationship with a girl. It was nice to see him in a different light. However, I still felt like he was in “limerence” with Anna, not “in love” with her. Honestly, the boy only saw her across the room and thought he was madly in love. He knew nothing about her, and actually hated ballet, according to the Secret Date electronic game. So, he only got into ballet just to get closer to Anna. Dylan probably did get serious with Anna later, but to me, he really didn’t fall in love with her. He fell in love with the idea of being with her. Personally, I wasn’t feeling it.

Now, I’m not the most romantic person, so maybe that plays a role in shaping my opinion, but if I could give you all an example of my favorite on-screen romances it would be Sakura and Syaoran and Touya and Yukito from Cardcaptor Sakura. I like relationships that develop over time, relationships and bonds that form after people get to know each other well. Dylan and Anna were…I don’t know, but something about Dylan’s approach to Anna felt like his approach to any other girl; she just took the bait. And this is aside from the fact I don’t really like the way they developed Dylan’s personality entirely in the CGI universe as it is. There’s nothing wrong with a goofy side, but it’d be nice if it was balanced out with something deeper. But okay…

Overall, though, I thought it was a pretty engaging movie. I found myself wanting to see what would happen next. Of course, it was predictable, just like most movies based off of dolls, but everything is predictable nowadays since every story has been told before. It’s hard to please people one hundred percent. I sometimes look forward to a predictable story with a predictable ending as long as I can follow along.

My biggest criticism of this movie though is that, just like with Rock Angelz, it really wasn’t focused on the “Girlz Really Rock” line. I mean, they did at least initially have the girls attempting to perform their rock band to win the contest, but the great majority of the movie was spent on them doing other things and not really focused on the band line at all. What’s worse nowadays is the outfits from the dolls don’t even appear in the movie online. They appeared in the music video for “Friends Are Everything”, and at the end of the original movie, if I remember correctly.

It also feels like this movie didn’t really happen in the Bratz universe. In the end, Cloe broke the 4th wall, if that’s what you call it, and said she forgot her line while they were all saying good-bye after camp. When they were on the red carpet, I think it was said that it was a movie about their real experiences, but I couldn’t really tell.

Overall, I would say the story wasn’t remarkable, but it wasn’t bad either.

What was most annoying about it was that it was a musical, and just about everything was a musical back then, thanks to the popularity of High School Musical, Hannah Montana, and Camp Rock. It kind of got out of hand. Girlz Really Rock was riding that band-wagon, like all the other dolls. Even American Girl was reported to be working on their own Julie musical back then…Weird.

Anyway, the story was designed around musical clichés common in then-tween-teen musicals, such as friendship drama, romance, and excuses to perform.


The characters brought over the same personality traits they had from Rock Angelz, so, hey. Again, Jade was the only one focused on fashion, and they didn’t dare inculcate other interests in her character, such as her interest in extreme sports. But the movie did a good job of introducing their individual talents and giving them individual screen time, despite the fact the movie was supposed to be told from Sasha’s point of view.

While Anna was cute and everything, I actually would’ve preferred the story to introduce a Bratz pack member instead of the random movie-only character. There were so many other characters in the line, like Phoebe, Roxxi, Meygan, and Dana, but they didn’t bother trying to inculcate them in the movie. But her inclusion didn’t hurt the movie either, so she was okay. I liked her story of trying to balance work and play, and learning not to become a slave to someone else’s dream. I didn’t like her initial attitude towards the Bratz, like sneering at them in the cafeteria, but she evolved as a character, so she was okay.

Eitan barely had a role, yet again, and Dylan was thrown a romance story. You know, I would have liked a movie where the boys had more of a storyline, outside of romance. Like what were Dylan’s wishes, hopes, and dreams? I felt they made him pretty one-dimensional throughout most of the Bratz movies and series. I hate that about Ken in the Barbie universe. And yes, I know it’s mostly about the girls, but it would have been nice to see more development from the boys. I even wished there were more episodes that catered to them. I think Crush in a Rush was the only one, and it was, yet again, a romance story. There’s got to be more to them than girls. This is why I’ve been writing up my own Bratz series, maybe just as a fan, and hopefully with all of this research I’ve been doing about the Bratz universe, I can get that going and kind of unite the Bratz universes together.


I felt like the visuals had improved, mostly due to the era in time. CGI was getting better, and it showed. They still recycled background characters. I saw a few Easter eggs. Still, I think by this time, they kind of felt it became a staple of the universe, so it fit. The setting was really interesting, though I don’t understand why an arts camp had to be in the middle of the woods. It didn’t make sense to me. But a real camp setting was nice. I think the visuals would have been better if the Girlz Really Rock outfits had actually been included beyond the music video portion of the movie.


Again, it was a musical. When I first watched the movie in 2008, I couldn’t stand the music. I thought it was annoying and out-of-place. This kind of movie didn’t need a musical. When I watched it again in 2020, it didn’t turn out to be as annoying as I thought it would be. In fact, it felt like the music didn’t really take over the movie, which was a good thing. Back then, maybe it was annoying because I was tired of musicals. Especially in this movie, the songs seemed to be poorly written. Particularly “We’re Gonna Shine”. I hate songs that just “talk-sing” every little line. It just feels like they could be talking instead of singing. In fact, the movie would have been fine without the music. Some songs were re-written and reprised, such as All about Me. That was originally We all Can Be Starz. Summertime Fun was nice and Friends Are Everything was pretty fun. It had a fun summertime little soundtrack. And hey, at least all the songs from the soundtrack appeared in the movie. But I can definitely say you won’t find me bumping these songs in my car the way I would other albums from the Bratz. Unfortunately, this is my least favorite soundtrack. Yet, it was the only one that had every single song in the movie. {sigh}


Overall, the story was easy to follow, it had interesting points, and all the music from the soundtrack was actually in the movie. However, the movie didn’t add to the characters in any way, the story was cliché, and the musical numbers were poorly written or just not necessary in the movie.

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#12 Bratz Babyz The Movie

Coming in next is Bratz Babyz The Movie. It was released in 2006, my Junior Year in high school, and I was around 16 years old. Many of you Bratz fan readers are probably mad that I rated this higher than some of the fans’ faves because it’s just a cheesy Bratz Babyz movie. Well, I do have a soft spot for the storytelling in a lot of the Babyz movies because I think they all mostly have at least a message to send, and the messages are more diverse than overcoming “Barbie” and “romance”.


The twin Bratz Babyz, Nita and Nora, get ready to join Cloe, Jade, Sasha and Yasmin at the daycare center in the mall. Snappy, Nita’s puppy, jumps into Nora’s bag when no one’s looking, and Nora, hurrying to keep up with Nita, rushes out without knowing Snappy is in her bag. Once they are at the daycare center, Snappy gets out and escapes into the mall. The Babyz escape to find her, but by then Snappy has been dognapped by Duane, the mall bully. He’d overheard Nora singing in the mall, and demands the Babyz join the karaoke contest and win the prize money of $50 for him as a ransom for the dog. Nora, being shy, is afraid to do this, and Nita insists Nora can’t do it because of her stage fright. They all come up with different ideas on how to get the dog back, despite Duane’s demands. Jade, Cloe and Nora try to get Snappy back by earning money doing something else, while Sasha, Yasmin, and Nita try to get her back by trying to grab her when Duane isn’t looking. When time starts to run out, they decide the only way to get $50 is for Nora to win it in the karaoke contest. However, Nora learns not to give into a bully. The Babyz team up and overcome the bully, all while still managing to get their puppy back.

While at face value, this may seem like a cheesy story centered on a bunch of babies (that don’t really sound or act like babies to some people), I felt it was pretty clever in its approach. As someone who has worked with children, I can tell you that some of the “babies'” behaviors are spot on. It was like watching the Rugrats without the baby talk. I liked how the scene was set in a mall, and from the eyes of a 3-year-old, where everything in the world seems bigger. I liked that the story took two different approaches to dealing with a bully, and ultimately, taught the lesson that you just don’t give in to a bully because they will keep coming back to harm you.

I also have a soft place in my heart for this movie because Nita and Nora remind me of me and my own twin when we were younger. My sibling was more of the Nora, sweet and would get nervous easily, and I was the Nita, strong-willed and had more of a smart mouth. I had to realize that sometimes I would say things that would hurt them and other people. It wasn’t my intention but I did feel like we always got in trouble because of my sibling’s clumsiness.

Now, while I did enjoy the movie, there were some things I didn’t understand. I mean, of course, babies won’t do things that make sense all of the time. Still, I thought that when the babies lost the puppy, they should have immediately told their teacher. They were afraid of getting in big trouble, but when they were caught after sneaking out, which was worse, Ms. Calabash didn’t even react or call their parents or anything. So, it wouldn’t have been bad at all if they had told their teacher. None of the Bratz Babyz realized that they should have just told the teacher in the first place.

None of the babies told the security guards or other surrounding adults about the bully Duane either, which I thought was unusual. Kids usually tell an adult when someone is being mean to them, especially at 3-years-old. And if they don’t, there’s usually an indication as to why they’re not doing it. Instead of trying to run away from the security guard, why didn’t they just tell him why they kept escaping or why they were having a hard time? I mean, maybe they didn’t want to admit they brought a puppy into the mall and didn’t want to get into trouble. Still, after they got caught the first time by security, and saw that they weren’t really in trouble, why didn’t they just confess the problem or even think to do so? Also, why didn’t the adults ask them why they were sneaking out? I mean, I know Ms. Calabash and Officer Murphy were dim-witted, but really? Anyway, I think this story would have been a lot shorter if that had occurred. Nora would have never found the courage to stand up and out on her own, and none of them would have stood up to the bully Duane. However, I would have written it so the babies had no choice but to take control, basically having them exhaust all options. Only then would this kind of story have made sense–well, from a mischievous baby’s perspective.


The characters were cute and funny. Of course, some of them were…annoying.
It was nice to be introduced to some characters from the Bratz pack universe. Still wish Yamit, from the Lil’ Dancers line, had been in it, but almost everyone was in this movie. I would like to see an older version of Nita and Harvey one day.

But back to the movie…

Nita was definitely a handful with her temper tantrums. I can’t say much because I was bossy and tough like her. Still, it’s not a likable quality, even I can admit that. I didn’t like how mean she was to her sister the whole movie. And all the Bratz Babyz could say was “Break it up you two”. No, it wasn’t the “two” of them fighting; it was Nita basically bullying her sister. And Nora even said her oldest sister, Jilian, was also mean. She’d been getting it from both of her older sisters. I am glad that Nita realized her behavior was wrong by the end of the movie. Admittedly, though, many three-year-olds act like Nita. They throw tantrums to get their way, they boss each other around, I mean, hey. Can’t expect a whole lot of maturity.

I was a little bothered by Cameron and Harvey’s behavior towards their teacher as well. They found it fun to throw toys at their teacher, and it was kind of cringe-y to watch. I kept wanting to call some parents myself. Poor Ms. Calabash was so sweet, but those kids were just rotten and she didn’t have the back-bone to get the class under control. Nita earned my respect when she shaped that classroom up, I’ll tell you that. But I hate that Cameron and Harvey participated in that garbage.

The main four Bratz girls were interpreted as their usual selves, with Yasmin being given the least screen time and development. But at least they showed up and out when necessary.


Due to the 2-D animation, it obviously didn’t have the fancy CGI graphics everyone was used to by this time, but it also didn’t have the luscious greenery, sinister sunsets, and realistic-looking buildings present in Starrin’ and Stylin‘. It gave me A Pup Named Scooby-Doo type of vibe. To me, the animation felt cheaper than Starrin’ and Stylin‘, but it gave it an old-fashioned cartoonish charm that brought me back to the good old days of Saturday morning cartoons.


The music was everything to me. I think this is the most memorable Bratz Babyz tracklist. My favorite song is “Catch Me If you Can”. I just love that club pop vibe. The music was catchy and unforgettable FOR Me. I think it set the mall scene well.


Overall, the story had a good message, it brought me back to my childhood, and I could relate well to the characters. The movie was cute and funny. But some actions didn’t make sense in the story, some of the characters were a bit annoying, and the 2-D wasn’t of the best quality.

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#11 Bratz

Coming in next is Bratz the movie. I know a lot of you Bratz fans out there are going to be on here like, “I know this heifer didn’t just put the worst Bratz movie higher than Rock Angelz and Girlz Really Rock!” Yes, I did!

This movie arrived in theaters the Summer of 2007, Summer Break for me, before I entered my last year in high school. I saw it the day it arrived in theaters.

Now, yes, I was a bit stunned to see a completely different story than the one that had been developing the last couple of years prior, especially because the CGI movies and TV show had been really popular (particularly outside of the USA). You’d think they’d continue to profit off of it.

But it didn’t make me too mad. In fact, it made me happy, because finally people could understand that the CGI TV series was not the ONLY canon universe surrounding the Bratz. In fact, the only canon universe is the DOLL universe itself (if even that universe). This movie proved it. Unfortunately, people will find you to be “less of a fan” if you actually like this movie. I don’t care. I’ve been with the Bratz nearly 21 years now, so I think I have the right to like any take on the Bratz. It doesn’t measure how much of a fan I am.

So while everyone else was complaining that this movie didn’t have Bratz magazine and the Tweevils, I was ready to dive into a new take on the Bratz. I took this movie for what it was. This doesn’t mean I felt it was the best movie in the Bratz universe, but it did have some strengths.


The screen play was by Susan Estelle Jansen, and the story was by Adam de la Pena. I heard Sean McNamara, the director, had a huge hand in the story as well.

The story centered on four diverse girls, from diverse backgrounds, Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin, who start the big-bad high school for the first time. Enthusiastic, excited, and confident, they shake the campus as soon as they arrive with their fashionable style and amazing talents. Though they are very different from one another, they maintain their friendship, not really starting off interested in the cliques set up in the school.

This deviant behavior catches the attention of student body president Meredith who feels it’s her duty to maintain control of the school and keep the cliques afloat and separate. Of course, because Meredith herself has been the one responsible for organizing the school according to cliques, and because she’s had the power to do so, being the rich daughter of the principal and daughter to a mother with connections to MTV, all the students have helped her in keeping the status quo. She puts pressure on the girls and the rest of the student body to make sure the cliques stay in-tact.

Eventually, the cliques end up pulling the four girls apart for two years, and it seems Meredith has won. However, after a cafeteria food fight at lunch, the girls all end up in detention, leading them to talk out their differences and rekindle their friendship. The Bratz re-unite, threatening Meredith’s power. She tries everything to wrestle it back; She tries to throw ANOTHER super sweet 16 (though she’s already 16), this time with MTV involved, and she attempts to organize and monopolize the school talent show so she can decide who joins and who doesn’t. Though her stunts have the whole school turning on the Bratz, including their so-called friends, the Bratz manage to bind together and overcome Meredith by tying with her for the win at the talent show. Ultimately, they are able to unite the cliques on stage with them and wrestle back control, which was the true win.

Overall, the story took some elements from Rock Angelz, which was focused on the Bratz wrestling control from a Barbie-like figure and empowering themselves, accepting themselves, and not letting someone label them. While it took that element, it was more clear in its focus. It felt like it understood what story it wanted to tell, which I appreciated.

This story brought Bratz back to its roots. Initially, Carter Bryant designed them to be the “cool girls in school” and, according to the book You Don’t Own Me: How Mattel V. MGA Entertainment Exposed Barbie’s Dark Side, that was even going to be the Bratz dolls’ slogan. The movie played off of that, showing how cool the Bratz really were, showing how they were able to conquer the school with their style, talents, and individuality. And yes, they did threaten the Barbie empire in real life, much like how things played out with Meredith. Ironically, the ending credits lists Meredith’s mom as “Barbie” Baxter-Dimly. Because of this connection to the dolls’ roots, I have a certain fondness for the movie.

However, let’s be real. The movie was one big cliché, especially because it seemed like a big rip-off of other tween-teen movies like Mean Girls and High School Musical, which, again, were REALLY popular movies at this time. The emphasis on cliques, on some “pair” or person not really subscribing to the cliques, and then the same individual(s) using “music” or some sort of show to take back power and overcome the cliques. It’s the exact same story as High School Musical to be honest, with some elements stripped from Mean Girls (like the seating charts). Maybe it was meant to be a parody.

To be fair, it’s a lot like an exaggerated form of high school. Some people do go their own way in high school, especially when people start joining after-school activities. I separated from a lot of my childhood friends in high school. We eventually came back together later in life, but some people just part ways. It takes a lot of strength to overcome cliquish behavior.

Of course, I don’t remember high school being as exaggerated as this movie portrays it, and I believe the director said he was inspired by his daughter’s vision of high school, her fears and ideals, the summer before she started. That’s why it came across this way. Our visions of things before we’ve experienced it, especially as children, are always more exaggerated. Imaginations are funny like that.

With that being said, while I appreciated the fact this movie brought Bratz back to their roots and gave us fans a fresh new story, it wasn’t what I really wanted from the first theatrical film. What I was really hoping for was maybe a World Destination story, possibly one for Tokyo a-go-go, more like Cheetah Girls 2 or The Lizzie McGuire movie. It would have been nice to have more Bratz pack members, like Fianna, Tiana, Kumi, May-Lin, and Eitan, adapted for the big screen. Or maybe the movie would actually adapt the actual Bratz the Movie doll line on the screen, with Sharidan and Bryce returning. It really had no connection to the dolls’ movie line, which was frustrating for a fan like me.

But it had a decent story about friendship and celebrating diversity. To me, it wasn’t big enough to be on the big screen, but it was decent, and remains a cult favorite.


With a star-studded cast, it was hard to look away from the movie. As soon as I saw Anneliese Van der Pol from That’s So Raven (she starred as Chelsea Daniels), I got a little excited. The movie also had Malese Jow from Unfabulous, one of my other favorite shows back then. Chelsea Staub was the show-stopper. She played Meredith very well. And I just found out Sasha’s father was in KC Undercover, another show I loved, which drew me into the Bratz movie again more recently. So, this movie gives me more reasons to revisit.

Yet, what was best about the movie was the actual development of the characters. Though I may not have liked everything about the movie, finally, FINALLY, a movie tapped into the Bratz pack’s past. We saw PARENTS. No, the families didn’t match the Bratz universe, which was disappointing. Cloe should have an older sister named Sonya, and two infant siblings named Colin and Isa. Her mother should be a glam woman named Polita. Sasha should have a younger sister named Zama. I’m quite sure by now, after examining the Rebel Royalty prototype and Itsy City fish shack, that Jade is also of Japanese descent, not just Chinese (which they seemed to allude to, based on her mother’s portrayal). But at least they attempted to develop a back-story for these girls. Yasmin’s mom may have appeared somewhere in the background, but they focused on her Bubbie and Manny, so it’s a pass. I’m happy they also tapped into her Jewish past. Carter Bryant did intend her to be Hispanic, but she was kind of transformed into an Iranian-Jewish girl, too, after her name change before debut. We all know that name is a Persian name. So I would like to think that her heritage consists of both. Yasmin is actually quite connected with Iran culturally.

With the parents around, the Bratz girls weren’t just acting out unwatched and unattended like in the CGI movies. I never could understand how these girls were secret agents or traveling the world without their parents’ knowledge. I mean, maybe it’s not necessary because it’s not real, it helps kids dream, and it’s a lot of fun, but it still crossed my mind. Bratz, the live action movie, was more realistic in that way, and that’s saying a lot, considering how exaggerated the movie actually was. There was some parental supervision, some support, and some insight as to how these girls developed into the ladies they became.

Of course, in their attempt to make the characters more distinct, more changes were made to the characters. Jade did not return back to her athletic roots, but she at least showed interest in chemistry, something other than fashion. And while Cloe maintained stealing Jade’s sporty side from her, Cloe was stripped of her girly and glam tendencies as well, so fair game. They also gave her an interest in media and film. Yasmin was still the sweet-heart, the journalist, and into music. Ya’ll know she’s the darling of MGA, and, if you’re a fan, ya’ll know why (she’s named after the CEO’s daughter, Jasmin Larian). Of course, she didn’t seem as interested in plants and animals as she had in prior media. No sweat, because she seemed more like the Yasmin from Starrin’ & Stylin‘ and that whole universe. Sasha still seemed somewhat like a dancer, but was made into more of a cheerleader, which was cool. Of course, she completely jacked Cloe’s style with the glitter and animal prints. I didn’t like that they made her stuck up and, yet again, the “mad Black woman” without a compassionate side. But at least she had a personality. I really felt like they took away Cloe’s personality. She was clumsy, but not dramatic, like she’d always been interpreted. She was very quiet. Of all the Bratz pack members, she seemed to have the least lines.

In any case, the characters were developed more than in previous movies, and even in comparison to movies after. However, even this movie failed to review the full Bratz universe, and those who developed it failed to analyze Bratz well enough to adapt it exactly as it should have been.

I especially say this in the cases of Bratz Boyz Cameron and Dylan. I don’t know what it is about doll companies and flunking the boys. They just don’t seem to know how to help the boys shine in a woman-driven universe, and it’s sad.

As mentioned before, Cameron is supposed to be THE BLAZE, the hottest boy around. In Bratz, Cameron was Meredith’s S.I.M.P. boyfriend, a lame, a cornball. He was preppy and ultimately quiet for most of the movie. I think he only had a few lines. Where was the edgy, smokin’ hot boy he was at release? Back in 2002? I swear, the only media that ever got the Bratz Boyz right was the commercials.

And Dylan…Whoo. Let me come down before I go into this one. White-washing don’t fly with me. Don’t get me wrong, Dylan has been light-skinned in his earlier releases, so it can be implied that Dylan is biracial, but we KNOW his behind got some Black in him. There’s no way he would be wearing box braids like that in Wild Life Safari and Wintertime Wonderland if he wasn’t (unless some cultural appropriation went under the radar). He was definitely Black-coded. His bronzer skin in the Play Sportz line and Kidz line should be indicators as well. So, when I saw who they cast for DYLAN in this movie, I almost asked for my money back. I don’t support racism, colorism, or White-washing. That’s why I refused to watch Ghost in the Shell and Avatar The Last Airbender, knowing my anime behind would normally. Heck, I don’t even like watching movies when they replace a White person with a Black person. To me, it’s jarring, clearly fake, feels low-budget, it’s not real representation, and I don’t think we should accept hand-me-down stories. It’s modern Black-face, like with Hamilton. It made me uncomfortable to think a bunch of Black people were acting as slave masters…

Hopefully, in the future, the White-washing thing will be out of the water. If the Bratz are EVER to be properly adapted live action again, we don’t need a spoonful of Whiteness to make the Blackness go down. I don’t want to see this in a Bratz movie again.

What makes it worse is FINALLY Dylan was written with dimension. He was more sensitive, caring, and they developed him into a character with hearing loss…But he had to be White in order for it to happen? Now, for Biracial characters, I do believe that it could be argued that a Black OR White actor can play them, but why do we always choose White over Black in these situations? This is is exactly why Bratz the movie couldn’t get higher on this list. Ultimately, I can’t just blame whoever picked the cast. If they decided who would play the characters based on that Bratz TV series, it’s no wonder they got it wrong. The only hint of his Black heritage in the CGI universe was the actor cast to play him. Still, I’d argue that Black people aren’t a monolith and don’t all look the same, and the casting director should have known this, considering his heritage like they did with the Bratz girls. I also would like to know who was the consultant at this time…

Among the supporting cast, Meredith was definitely the delicious villain that we all loved to hate. She was pretty, well-dressed, funny, entertaining, and a great performer. Honestly, she was more fleshed out than some of the Bratz characters. We actually saw her home, her parents, her sister, and the rest of her lifestyle. We didn’t see any of that from Cameron or Dylan.

However, despite her fascinating portrayal and intriguing actions, I found her motivations to be confusing. Really, why was she so obsessed with keeping the cliques in-tact? Of what benefit was it to her? At least in High School Musical, one of the movies Bratz tried to imitate, Sharpay’s motive for keeping the cliques in-tact was to continue to be the lead in the school play so she could have advantages in show business. In Mean Girls, Regina didn’t even create the cliques; they created themselves based on people merging with others like themselves, just like herds of animals. There were natural cliques in the school, and probably would have always been because most people clique off with people they get along with and are in after-school clubs or teams with.

We never got to know or understand why Meredith was obsessed with maintaining these cliques, as if it was her duty. There’s nothing in it for her, and I can’t see a character as rich and powerful as she is caring about where people sit at lunch for little to no reason.

Ultimately, I can only conclude that she had no interest really in maintaining the cliques, she just used that as an excuse to mask her jealousy of the Bratz, and utilized the cliques to keep them apart because she feared they were stronger together than apart. She was jealous that they received so much attention from the moment they walked in, and as student body president, they made her look bad, especially when they ignored her seating arrangements.

But the probably is this can only remain a theory. I would have liked deeper insight into her mindset instead of a superficial display of a Sharpay-Regina-George mash-up character. I would have liked the Bratz to actually get to the root of Meredith’s behavior rather than taking her down in a talent show. The girl was clearly insecure, and they could’ve really gotten rid of the problem by getting to the problem at the root.

Then again, the Bratz girls could barely understand when their friend Yasmin suddenly dropped out of the talent show, so I guess they weren’t the types to analyze another person’s behavior. Meredith was just meant to be a mean girl, and that’s all. I mean some people feel there’s no excuse for mean behavior, but I think the bullying would have been put to rest permanently if they had dug a little deeper.

Meredith’s actions and behavior was appalling enough, but let’s talk about the strange behaviors and actions of some of the Bratz girls’ other so-called “friends”. I couldn’t stand them.

Before I get into why the “friends” in this movie annoyed me, I’d like to point out that, yet again, Sasha, the Black girl, is the only one left without a love interest. This is always how these movies depict Black women, like we don’t have a feminine side, like we’re not capable of love. We’re all just “sassy and independent”. This happens because we are not usually the ones on the team to help create these movies.

Then again, to be fair, I’m glad Sasha didn’t get a love interest because the boys in this movie sucked. Cloe’s man, “Cameron”, made out with Meredith right in front of her. And while yes, Cloe and Cameron technically weren’t dating at the time, he seemed to like it a little too much. I would argue that Cameron was weak. He let Meredith control him from the very beginning, and just followed her around instead of being his own person. Now, if we’d seen more of a story about it, about why he’s letting this happen, maybe it would have made him more interesting. Sadly, I felt he was S.I.M.P-ing…and was a straight…I can’t even tell ya’ll what I really thought he was. It would be too inappropriate.

Dylan was White-washed, so nothing about him was right.

Then there was Dexter, Jade’s “love interest”. First off, he ain’t even a Bratz pack boy, so I don’t care to know him. Second, he was weak-minded, too. When Jade decided to stand with her friends, he threatened her, talking about if she can’t hang with him and his friends, she can’t be with him and their chemistry club. When Jade tells him not to “be that guy”, he firmly says “that’s not up to me”. The what? What do you mean it’s not up to you? What, you’re not in control of yourself, boy? Meredith got you whipped? After that, any “chemistry” he and Jade had went out of the water for me, too. I shuddered when I saw Jade kiss him at the end of the movie. I’m like, uh uh. No. He never apologized for that. He contributed to their misery. As far as I’m concerned he was a bystander, and that’s as bad as the person doing the bullying. He gave Jade an ultimatum, and when she didn’t do what he wanted, he walked away. To me, he’s showing how he will be in a real relationship. There are red flags there.

I felt the same way about Sasha’s “cheerleader” friend. Girl, bye. She stated, “If you can’t hang with us, then maybe you’re not a fit”. Nah girl, your cheer squad ain’t a fit, because before Sasha jumped in, the team was stiff and robotic. Bye.

Anyway, though this movie showed more evolution for the Bratz characters in a lot more ways than the other movies had, it was still attached to racial stereotypes, White-Washing, and weak-minded supporting characters.


The visuals in this movie were ON POINT. In fact, the visuals are the best part of this movie, and it made this movie entertaining. The fashion, oh, the fashion. I swear I wanted every single outfit in this movie, and I mostly like androgynous fashion. I don’t even look like this. Ya’ll know. I was TOO MAD when there were no dolls released wearing anything from this movie.

When they finally released the signature collection, Closmins happened. Basically, only the White character, Cloe, and racially ambiguous Yasmin, the favorites, were released with two outfits from the movie. The actual Bratz the Movie dolls wore nothing like the outfits from the actual movie. There were implications from the Hollywood Holidays book that Bratz was a “movie made about the Bratz”, not necessarily a real part of their lives or universe, so that could explain why none of the outfits appear in the Bratz the Movie line. However, I felt the outfits in the movie were better than the actual Bratz the Movie line. I was still pretty disappointed.

The outfits were just a portion of the best parts of this visually intriguing movie. Everyone was good-looking, and everything was looking good, too. There was this grandiosity, an exaggeration of daily life, that made everything feel larger-than-life. The school was huge, Meredith’s house was HUGE. The shopping center was INVOLVED. The Super Sweet 16 was almost a literal circus. The girls’ bedrooms were stylish! Each scene was pleasing to the eye, drew you in, and told you a story.

The only visual thing I hated was Dylan. He spoiled the movie for me. It’s not that he was ugly, he just wasn’t Dylan. I wish someone passionate about Bratz, someone who knew the fan base and knew the dolls, were on board with this movie. Someone with heart, someone who really cared about this brand. People can be good writers, but that doesn’t mean they truly understand or feel what they’re writing. That lack of feeling comes across right away when a hard-core fan watches the material.


The soundtrack game was pretty strong. Some 2000s favorites were laced through the album, and some songs are so iconic, they became a staple of Bratz, like Prima J’s Rockstar. To this day, I love Brick and Lace’s “Love is Wicked” to death. I’ve smashed that replay button on this song over one hundred times.

I also loved the “Bratz” songs from the movie. Meredith’s songs were amusing and entertaining, and I would argue a bit better than the Bratz’s “Bratitude” song. Of course, Meredith’s “All About Me” (Trivia: It’s actually the second Bratz soundtrack song with this title), is pretty dated as “Myspace” is a part of the lyrics, and that is mostly a thing of the past. The Bratz music is more timeless and can be listened to later down the line. When I first watched the movie, I was disappointed in “Bratitude” as a “final” song. I don’t know why. I mean, it was hype and everything. But it felt a bit sloppy. They tried to add too many things to it. I understand the Bratz girls wanted to bring the school together, so they found a song that combined many different elements into one sound. However, it made the song’s composition a bit messy, and it came across more like noise in many respects. I really didn’t know where the song was going at first. Eventually, I got used to it, but I understand why the Bratz only tied with Meredith and didn’t beat her.

The song that played during the ENDING credits, “Open Eyes”, was a bop. I would argue that should have been the final song against Meredith. They probably would’ve won then. I guess it was more chill than hype, and they wanted a song that could get the crowd on their feet and get the Bratz dancing.

The stage was pretty epic during the “Bratitude” musical number, adding to the grandiose setting, so I think only a hype song could have fit. However, I still preferred “Open Eyes”, and yet, it only played during the ending credits.


Overall, the movie was fun, it was flashy with the visuals, was probably the closest to designer Carter Bryant’s vision for the dolls, and it gave a little bit more evolution to the Bratz universe than all the other movies, giving them a family background and individual interests outside of fashion.

However, it was cliché, stereotyped all the characters, White-washed Dylan, didn’t include the universe everyone was hoping for, and didn’t pay attention much to the details in the actual Bratz doll universe.

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#10 Bratz The Video: Starrin’ & Stylin’

Coming in next is Bratz the Video: Starrin and Stylin. And calling it a “video” is showing its time. I first watched this movie at age 14, starting my first year in high school. The first Bratz movie ever, it was the first time the Bratz came to life on-screen, being developed with a 2-D animated universe. Keep in mind, though, there had been tons of other Bratz books, another Japanese stop-motion series overseas, the official website information, commercial story-telling, AND the Bratz dolls’ boxes themselves fleshing out the Bratz universe before this movie was released. But this movie was the Bratz’s first full-length animated movie. So, here goes.


Written by Meg Martin and Norah Pierson, the story follows the Bratz girls, Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha, and Jade, along with friends Cameron and Dylan, as they prepare for prom weekend. Unfortunately, right before, their teacher gives them a big art project about expressing themselves, which he makes due the Monday after prom. Fortunately, Yasmin comes up with an idea; they can do a video during their prom week and each do a segment from their perspectives.

Prom week is full of drama though. Cloe crashes her car with all of her friends nearly hurt, Sasha has been stressing over being head of the prom committee, Jade is panicking over losing her “fashion sense” after her friends found her latest outfit picks to be “unappealing”, and someone has been leaking stories to the school newspaper, slamming the Bratz pack and making waves.

Eventually, the Bratz girls discover that it’s YASMIN who has been writing those things about them, and everything starts to fall apart in their friendship as well. Eventually, Yasmin is able to catch up with the Bratz and explain. They’d been talking about how boring her column is, and so she wanted to spice things up.

Once Yasmin began apologizing for hurting everyone, everything seemed to fix itself. Cameron finished fixing Cloe’s car, they Bratz girls are able to find the perfect prom attire, and their video is almost complete. Though there was a slight snag when the prom caterers, photographer, and DJ didn’t show up, the Bratz pack got themselves together to make sure it was a success. When Monday rolled around, they all got As on their video project.

For me the story was simple, with a slice-of-life, and interesting. It didn’t need the fancy flash-and-dash to be good. There were many twists and curve balls, and it left me wanting to know what would happen next after each scene. With a little more tweaking, the story could have been even better, but overall it was a good start for Bratz.

Now, remember, the movie came out shortly after rival Myscene’s first movie Jammin in Jamaica, so it had a lot to live up to. While it didn’t have the world destination theme, it did attempt to capture the tween-teen spirit and what average teens go through, even if it appeared a bit cliché, like much of the TV shows and movies back then, such as Lizzie McGuire, Unfabulous, Zoey 101, Rugrats All Grown Up, As Told By Ginger. You get the picture. I believe it also captured Carter Bryant’s vision of making them the “Cool girls in School”, which I think was a unique take, different from the “Geeky Girls in School” tropes that were so popular to use at this time. Also, it wasn’t exaggerated, like in the live action Bratz movie.

I did wish the movie had explained in detail how they got their name “The Bratz”. The movie almost didn’t even acknowledge that they had the name, which left quite a hole.

My biggest criticism of the movie was that much of the story made some of the Bratz characters look bad, and for some people, no amount of apology could fix it. The behavior of the characters didn’t really bother me, as I hate Mary Sue characters and prefer characters to have flaws and imperfections, but it can be a turn-off to people who want their characters to display better character traits.


Speaking of characters, let’s get into that. To me, this was the obvious weakness of the movie. Being the first movie, I was expecting them to bring to life ALL the qualities present in the Bratz universe, including Jade’s love of extreme sports and her far-out outlook, as outlined in the Bratz’s first video game and on the official Bratz website. Instead, they made Jade a one-dimensional character that “loved fashion”. Dramatic Cloe loved art and planned on being student body president. Quiet and shy Yasmin was interested in journalism. Sassy and hip Sasha was into partying and music, and had a knack for organizing and planning events. And Jade was just…into fashion. Cutting edge fashion, but just fashion nonetheless. NONE of the Bratz girls were sporty, so that was a bummer. But at least Jade maintained her way extreme and totally far-out outlook. More than I can say about Bratz Rock Angelz‘s take on Jade. Why would anyone like Jade ever try to work with pink Your Thing?

Still, despite it being better than the movie that followed, there were quite a bit of issues with the development of the characters.

In Starrin’ & Stylin’, some of the characterizations made it difficult for the Bratz going forward, and I would say it began to be dated as the universe was trying to expand. First off, Yasmin was supposed to be a girl who “just moved to town recently”. This conflicts with the whole Bratz Babyz and Bratz Kidz universe that followed after the movie. So, it’s hard to take the story seriously within the totality of the Bratz universe.

Second, Cameron was “Ken-dolled” (In reference to the Ken doll only being known for being the romantic companion to Mattel’s Barbie doll), permanently making him Cloe’s love interest, when everything, from commercials, to lines like Secret or Blind Date, showed otherwise. What made Bratz different from Barbie was that they were all single and ready to mingle. They weren’t “owned” by each other. They may have had crushes on each other, but they were friends first, and recognized they were too young and independent to settle down. Cameron was “The Blaze” because ALL the Bratz girls thought he was hot, which means they all had a crush on him, not just Cloe. This allowed the Bratz to potentially be seen with anyone, opening up the possibilities of interracial dating, queer dating, and even friendship dates that lead to nothing romantic. It actually made lines like Secret Date possible and FUN.

Barbie was settled with Ken, and could never seem to shake him even when she broke up with him and tried to come out as Bisexual. Please, of all the pandering. Bratz never had that kind of pandering before…until they “Ken-dolled” Cameron. Now, whenever the Bratz return, they only bring Cameron back so he can be the love interest to Cloe, giving him little evolution beyond his attraction “to the girl”. The Bratz Boyz were so much more than love interests before Starrin’ & Stylin‘. There were even books just about the Bratz Boyz. Starrin’ and Stylin‘ ruined that.

Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to have a romance story, but when it’s limited in this way, the “White boy” ends up with “White girl”, there’s no room for growth and diversity.

What’s worse is that only Cloe had a romance story, which added to her popularity, and made her outshine everyone else. Cloe was the drama queen with all the personality, along with the romance story, and honestly this made her the most likeable character in the movie and beyond.

While all of the characters of color, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin were made mostly unlikable in this movie. Jade was boring and one-dimensional, Sasha was bad-tempered and a control freak, and Yasmin was a sneaky back-stabber. It was made obvious when the school newspaper, aka Yasmin, didn’t even have anything bad to say about Cloe. Even Dylan was made more unlikable than Cameron, though admittedly, he had more personality. I was still hoping for a slick “Nick” type of character development for Dylan, as implied by the nickname the GIRLS gave him. If he was as corny as he appeared in this movie, why would the girls even give him this type of nickname?

In the movies and series, it appeared that the boys gave themselves those nicknames, which conflicts with the back of their boxes where they say the “Bratz” call them this, meaning the “girls”. There’s a difference. Pay attention. I wish some of these writers would pay attention to the details. But there’s the conflict of creating your own artistic vision and trying to represent the Bratz brand. I get it. Still, I want a writer who really knows Bratz. I can’t help it.


A lot of people used to come down hard on the Starrin’ & Stylin”s animation style. And while the movie displayed a cheaper animation style, I really liked the 2-D animation. No, it’s not the fancy CGI “next-gen” graphics or whatever, but it had character and heart.

The main reason why it was used was because of the animated characters present in the commercials. Before the movies and animated series, the only media providing a lens into the Bratz universe was the commercials. The animation style had the Bratz interacting with their surroundings, and it actually lead to people asking for a movie about the Bratz, using those animated characters. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to translate well into movie form in some people’s eyes

I liked it, though. The backdrop actually appeared like a real neighborhood, especially when I saw it recently. The coloring was luscious at some points, dark and sinister at other points, and just set the mood in ways CGI animation couldn’t. Also, the backdrop or neighborhood was interesting because it appeared like an upper class suburb, similar to Springfield, Missouri, Carter Bryant’s hometown and the birthplace of the Bratz concept. Stiles High even looks a bit like Kickapoo High School, the school of the students that inspired Carter Bryant’s designs. Later, the Bratz TV series and the CGI movies placed them in Stilesville, California, which was okay, too. However, I liked that little detail in Starrin’ & Stylin‘.


The music was pretty good. It’s quite nostalgic. “Summertime Girl” was actually played everywhere in children’s commercials back in the early 2000s. I remembered it being played on Nickelodeon’s Slime Time Live back in the day and even in the promotional commercials for the Kids’ Choice Awards. I think it played during a New Year’s segment, too. Anyway, the music had this cool beach party vibe that I dug. Most of it is iconic. I’d like to add that because DVDs had the BEST features, the Karaoke feature allowed viewers to sing along to these songs, making them more iconic.


Overall, the gem of this movie is that it didn’t need the fancy animation and world destination theme to be a good engaging story with a twist. The animation was really beautiful in my opinion, especially when capturing the neighborhood and the houses. And it was cool to see the commercial animation get full-length with voice actors.

But of course, the downside is the writers’ didn’t pay attention the groove of the Bratz universe, they stripped some characters down to one-dimensional characters, made all the characters of color unlikeable, and approached the first full-length film with simplistic storytelling, which didn’t really “Wow” the general crowd.

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#09 Bratz Super Babyz

Coming in next is Super Babyz. This movie was released in 2007, shortly after the live action Bratz film as released in theaters. I believe I was in my final year of high school, which would be my Senior Year, according to USA schools.


Written by John Doolittle, the story follows our favorite core four Bratz Babyz characters: Cloe, Yasmin, Jade, and Sasha. They are excited to go to a super hero convention at an amusement park, and are excited to meet their favorite super heroes from their favorite show. Of course, as little impressionable babies, they long for super powers, too, especially because they believe they won’t have to go to bed if they don’t want to nor be told what to do.

The next day, while at the amusement park, a bunch of potato aliens, who’d crash-landed the night before, gets one of his devices, the “Matter Exchanger”, lost among the toys at a gift shop. When the Bratz get to that shop, their Nana accidentally buys it for them.

Late that night, while they are sleep, Nana, who can’t see very well without her eyeglasses, takes the device, thinking it’s a remote, and accidentally presses the button on it, causing a shockwave through the house that ends up giving the Bratz Babyz powers. When they wake up the next morning, they have super abilities. They begin using these abilities to save the people and animals in their community, but eventually start tiring out.

The aliens reveal that their mission on Earth is to transform themselves into babies and take the Earth babies’ place, (mistakenly) believing babies are worshipped on the planet. Remembering the Babyz from the gift shop, they realize the Bratz Babyz have taken their Exchanger. They scheme a plot to steal back their Matter Exchanger, and replace the Babyz while the Babyz are out saving the world. The Babyz realize the aliens’ plans, and seek to get rid of them. However, their super powers get more in the way, and the Babyz get worn-out trying to use them.

They soon learn that they don’t need super powers. Their own abilities, as normal Babyz, could help them save the day. They are able to trick the aliens into turning themselves into rats, getting them kicked out of the house. In the end, the aliens are held as pets by a local worker.

When the movie was first released, I’m not going to lie, the movie was kind of cheesy and forgettable. But I expected it coming from a movie told from the perspective of toddlers or “Babyz”. I remember thinking to myself, “Uh, the planet is being invaded by vegetable aliens”? {LOL} Okay. It wasn’t until I got older that I appreciated it more, maybe because I’ve worked with 3-and 4-year-olds closer. What I found interesting about the Bratz girls’ relationship to the idea of “super heroes” was the fact that they idolized the heroes, much like many of the American kids of that time did during the early super hero Marvel craze. Many kids wanted super powers of their own. What I like about the movie now is it teaches the lesson that kids don’t need super powers to “save the day” or to make a difference. It also teaches them to appreciate being young while they still can. The Babyz wanted to be able to stay up all night, and thought super powers would give them the chance to do that (Though, now that I think about it, I don’t see how they came to that conclusion. Hey, they’re Babyz). But after getting the super powers, they realize how much work it is to have powers. They realize it comes with a certain set of responsibilities.

Eventually, the Babyz also began to realize their own favorite super heroes were fakes, breaking the illusion that a real hero has powers at all (or wears a cape). A real hero is someone willing to help others. That message was actually a pretty good one. So, I can say I appreciate the story a little more now that I’m older. To be honest, I even got used to the aliens. The inclusion of aliens isn’t weirder than genies and pixies. The Bratz world is just weird.


The movie stuck to the core four, which was for the best, especially since they were in the Super Babyz line. The best part about this movie is that they gave Jade a little more dimension than in even the movies with her as a teenager. Sure, we only learned she was a really messy toddler, but it was still a little something more than she’s just “a fashionista”. Because, again, they all are.

Nana was my favorite character overall, though. I’m still trying to figure out if she’s a relative of Cloe’s. In any case, with her lack of vision and three pairs of glasses strung around her neck to help her see, she reminds me of my own grandmother. Therefore, she was so funny to me.

Of course, the “potato alien” thing was kind of weird. But it was mildly entertaining. I don’t understand why they chose potatoes as enemies to be honest. Vegetables would have been perfect. What is more of a natural enemy to a toddler than vegetables, amiright?


The visuals were passable. A staple of its time. Of course, the “alien potatoes” had a really strange look to them. I liked the detail, but when I was younger the potatoes looked so weird to me, especially as babies. It kind of creeped me out.

Aside from lower-budget CGI, at least the Babyz actually WORE the right super hero costumes from the actual Bratz line and all from the line were present in the movie. Of course, I’m still interested in the Super Babyz artwork promoted with the film that seems so different from the actual line. Where does that even fit in?

Overall, the visuals of this film didn’t do much to improve the overall quality of the movie, but it was decent enough.


The songs on here were cute and pretty catchy. “Feel the Power” was my favorite for a minute. I loved “We Can Win”, too, as it felt like it had some soul to it.


Overall, the movie had a cute story with a good message, all of the characters from the line were in the movie, WEARING THE RIGHT outfits, and the music was good. However, the story was cheesy and forgettable, and some parts of the animation weren’t too appealing.

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#08 Bratz Babyz Save Christmas

Next up is Bratz Babyz Save Christmas. Released in 2013, I was definitely an adult by the time it arrived, and aged 23. Basically, I was way older than the target demographic. At the time, I was just excited to get anything from Bratz, since there had been issues with the court cases and Bratz arriving back for their 10th Anniversary. This movie is close to my heart in that way, but there are other things I liked. Of course, there were also a few elements I didn’t like so much.


Written by Karl Geurs, the story centers on Bratz Babyz Cloe, Jade, Sasha, and Yasmin, staying with their Nana, excitedly awaiting the return of their parents from a winter vacation, just in time for Christmas. Unfortunately, their parents end up stuck in a winter storm, forcing the Babyz to spend Christmas Eve with Nana.

Being babies and all, they are upset, missing all of their parents and family traditions. Nana tries to do the traditions with them to make their Christmas special, but the Babyz feel like it’s not the same. Hoping to cheer them up, Nana takes them to see Santa at the local mall. The Babyz think it’s a good idea to visit Santa, hoping they can ask Santa to bring their parents home.

While there, three criminals, Max and his minions, Ralfie and Reggie, plot to dress up as a fake Santa and elves so they can pick the pockets of the parents in the shopping center. While Max is talking to his boss, who he apparently owes money to, the Bratz, mistaking him for Santa, misunderstand him when he gripes about “a lack of helpful elves”. They believe he’s canceling Christmas because he doesn’t have help. Later that night, they learn on the news that Santa is at a place nearby called The North Pole, about to deliver a large donation to Summer House, a home for orphans, and they decide to visit it.

Meanwhile, the three criminals hear about it, too, and they head to the place to steal the money. Their boss, Milly, disguised as a security guard, also heads there. The criminals arrive first. While plotting to steal the key to the car trunk full of money from the Head Elf, the Bratz Babyz arrive, putting a wrench in their plans. The Babyz offer to help the Head Elf. In order to distract them, Max sends his minions out to pretend they want to help, too.

Ralfie and Reggie are much more sentimental about Christmas, and with the Bratz, they prove to the Head Elf that they can be helpful elves to Santa. Eventually, Max is able to steal the key, and just as his boss Milly arrives. She has him and his minions lock the Bratz and the Head Elf in the stables, and they take the car with the money and drive off. After the Bratz Babyz find out Max was a fake Santa, and even learn that the place they’re in isn’t the real North Pole, they almost lose hope for this Christmas. The Head Elf tells them that he does work for the real Santa, and that the reindeer in the stables are Santa’s real reindeer.

Outside and feeling guilty, Ralfie and Reggie hop off the car their boss tries to drive away, and head back to The North Pole to release the Bratz and the Head Elf from the stables. Ralfie, Reggie, and the Babyz all head out on the reindeer to stop Max and Milly. They are able to cut them off and have them arrested. The police are able to drive the Bratz Babyz home before Nana even notices they’re gone.

What they didn’t know the whole time was that Nana had dressed herself up like Santa and was attempting to climb down the chimney so the Babyz wouldn’t lose hope in Christmas and Santa like she did growing up. While stuck in the chimney, Santa is able to meet her on the roof, surprising her and fulfilling her wish to meet him.

The story is really cute. What I love most about the story, and was pleasantly surprised to see, was the time-old story of appreciating what you have. I think many kids, and many adults, miss what the holidays are all about behind all the traditions and presents.

I didn’t grow up celebrating Christmas, so I never desired presents nor understood the compulsory need to give expensive gifts or stress yourself out cooking and throwing parties. I hated parties in my house anyway because, let’s just say, it was really stressful in my home. I was thankful we didn’t celebrate it. I got rewarded when I did good in school or did my chores well, so I just didn’t expect my parents to give me things. I was taught that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that everything you get should be treasured, taken care of, and earned. What I liked about this movie was that the Bratz Babyz learned to appreciate making new traditions and seeing the silver lining instead of complaining about what they don’t have. They initially think it’s the worse Christmas because everything isn’t perfect, but they learn to be adaptable and make their own Christmas special.

I still felt bad for Nana because she was trying her hardest to make things good for the Babyz, and obviously they didn’t see how hard Christmas must have been for her. She seemed to live in an old house, all alone. I have seen a picture of a couple on one of her tables, so maybe she has children, but none of them were there on Christmas Eve. I do wish that the Babyz had seen how happy they could have made Nana, instead of thinking about how others could make them happy.

Still, I felt the message was good, as with all the Bratz Babyz movies.

That aside, I have to admit that some things didn’t make sense, as with many of the Bratz Babyz movies. When the Bratz Babyz, Ralfie, and Reggie were chasing the criminals, I don’t know how the Head Elf or the police were able to find them after they veered off of the road. I mean, sure, the Head Elf could have used some magic to notify the police, and prior to veering off of the road, the criminals almost ran into someone, so maybe that person called the police. And that’s aside from a police man chasing Milly all the way to The North Pole. Still, how could the police have gotten there so fast unless one of them had been tailing them all along? In any case, anything can be explained away with magic.

Some people have trashed this movie, and find it stupid. I actually liked it and think it’s cute, especially for a movie about dolls. The story seems like a toddler told it and handed it to the writers. But that’s fitting for a movie where toddlers are the central characters.


I think the four main Bratz girls were kind of drowned-out in the movie. They didn’t display as much individuality from one another. But at least none of them were made to be worse off than the other, as with other movies. They seemed more united in this movie.

However, the stand-out characters were the supporting ones, particularly Ralfie and Reggie, who missed out on a childhood of toys and games because they’d always been ill-behaved. They had a longing for their childhood back, giving them Peter Pan syndrome and a sense of nostalgia, kind of like myself, and their evolution in the story was most entertaining and interesting.


Though the visuals weren’t miraculous by this time, and I’d gotten used to CGI by 2013, I thought that there were many details in the background that added to the story. For example, it’s clear that the Bratz Babyz lived in a warmer climate, so as they moved toward the “North Pole”, suddenly snow started to show up in the background. That was a pretty interesting detail to add, especially because a lot of kids in the west coast and warmer climates don’t get to see snow. It was a way the Bratz Babyz could experience a white Christmas, despite not always having that luxury.


There wasn’t much music, which was kind of disappointing. My favorite song from the movie, “Feel the Magic”, only played in the credits. There were two other cheerful Bratz Christmas songs that I liked, too. If you want to get in a Bratz Christmas mood, these songs would be perfect. The best part about these songs is that they are only associated with this movie, so if you hear it anywhere else, you’d know where it came from.


Overall it was a pretty cute movie with a good message, despite the wacky things that happened in it and the average visuals.

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#07 Bratz Fashion Pixiez

Next up on the list is 2007’s Bratz Fashion Pixiez. I was 17 when this was released, and in my Senior Year, or last year, of high school in the USA. Dark Pixies, light pixies, gnomes, magic, and Bratz. What could be better? What a lot of ya’ll may not know about me is I love fantasy, and I don’t care what forms it comes in. I was always into Peter Pan, Cardcaptor Sakura, Sailor Moon, and much more when I was growing up. I still love magic, mystery, and dark fantasies with hidden messages. Obviously, this movie came out around the height of Winx‘s popularity. Barbie: Fairytopia was also hugely popular at this time as well. This was the Bratz pack’s take on teen pixies, so I was all in.


Written by Bart Jennett, who I believe wrote some episodes of the Bratz TV series, Fashion Pixiez centers on a family of pixies who have learned to hide in plain sight from humans while helping the planet. Breeana, the youngest in a family of pixies and a pixie or fairy princess, notices that her older sister Cymbelline has been acting angsty. One day, Breeana follows her sister as she sneaks out and shockingly notices her sister sprouts wings and flies off.

At school, the Bratz pack, Cloe, Yasmin, Sasha, and Jade, are friends with Cymbelline, who happens to be in their same grade, and they have also noticed her behavior has changed. She was put in charge of the upcoming Magnolia Ball, hosted by Breeana’s father, and always seemed to take school and responsibilities seriously. A new girl appears at the school, a gothic girl who dresses similarly to Breeana and Cymbelline, signifying some magical leanings. Dylan becomes smitten with this mysterious girl, despite Breeana’s attempts at trying to ask him to the dance.

Eventually, this mysterious girl is able to draw Dylan deep into the forest and manipulate him into being her slave. The next day, he begins acting strangely, so the Bratz confront Breeana about her sister’s behavior and Dylan’s, especially when they learn Dylan has asked Breeana to meet him alone. The Bratz girls follow Breeana to her house, and out of impatience, Cloe and Yasmin climb the gate in time to be confronted with angry gnomes and a flying girl who they discover is Cymbelline.

The next day, Cloe and Yasmin try to explain to Sasha and Jade what they saw, but they don’t believe them. They confront Breeana, and discover that Dylan, who’d been acting strangely, asked her to meet him in the forest. Yasmin and Cloe decide to go with her, finding the whole situation suspicious. When the girls enter the forest, they are ambushed. Yasmin and Cloe are captured by the dark fairy, who they learn is Lina, and her legion of dark fairies, with Breeana managing to escape.

The next day, Cloe and Yasmin begin acting strangely, having a bit of a ‘tude, being rude, and shirking their Magnolia ball responsibilities, just like Cymbelline. This time, Jade and Sasha believe something must be going on and they approach Breeana about it, who had been crying after Cloe and Yasmin were captured. Breeana tells them about her family history, of them being the family of pixies or fairies, and of their mother disappearing years ago, leaving them only with magic charm bracelets and a wand. She shares with them the world of the fairies through magical “glasses” or masks, and explains that her father is the fairy king and oversees the fairies who need to live in secret to help humans. She explains how her sister got caught up in wanting wings, which only sprout when you are 18 and only when you do a good deed. Cymbelline had wanted wings ahead of time, but their father refused. This led to her getting connected with the dark pixie Lina, who had been leading a revolt against the King for 10 years, and who offered Cymbelline wings of her own. Sasha, Jade, and Breeana come up with a plan to follow Cymbelline to a party she revealed she was going to deep in the woods.

When they arrive there, they find Cloe, Yasmin, and Dylan at a dark pixie club, a pixie circle, dancing under a spell. While trying to get Yasmin and Cloe out of their trance, they give their presence away. Lina tries to bring Breeana over to her side, needing Breeana’s power to get stronger, but Breeana uses her mother’s wand to put the club’s lights out with magic, which hurts the pixies. Lina uses her magic to cause the tree, where the party was being held, to collapse on top of the three girls, and she heads to the Magnolia Ball with her army of fairies to take down the fairy king.

Using their cell phone flashlights, they navigate through narrow openings until a group of gnomes discover them. The gnomes had been following them, so they were able to find them and help them. They brought with them the royal flying unicorns as well. Breeana, Sasha, and Jade fly through the sky to the Magnolia Ball, and they confront Lina. Breeana’s dad, the King of the Fairies, faces off against Lina and is able to break some of her slaves out of their spell. He’s weakened after this, and for a moment Lina has the upper hand. Breeana gathers her friends, her sister Cymbelline, who’d been broken from the spell, and they discover that their mother has been turned into the Magnolia tree in the center of the park after they sense her presence. They surround the tree, bring forth Cymbelline and Breeana’s mother, Dee, and together they overcome Lina and turn her into a tree. That’s the gist anyway.

The story is pretty involved. On it’s own, it’s a really engaging story. Lina is one cool, seductive, and sinister witch fairy, and on its own, I love it. The whole family dynamic, of a mother disappearing years ago due to a revolt lead by a dark pixie? It makes for a pretty cool story. Throughout, there was so much mystery surrounding the story, bringing me in and making me want to know more.

But that is only on the surface. If I look at this movie as being something that’s supposed to promote the Fashion Pixiez doll brand? MGA, what the heck were you thinking? First off, in the Bratz Fashion Pixiez line, Breeana, Lina, and Dee are sold as pretty, young, ingenue TEEN pixies. They weren’t given the adult body types that adult moms Polita and Portia were given later as to distinguish them from the teen dolls. Unfortunately, in the movie, the “adult” pixies look almost as young as teenagers in their true forms. Yet, they are supposed to be “adults”.

The PROBLEM IS there is no indication on the boxes that Lina and Dee are meant to even BE adults, and this causes confusion for kids during playtime. I’ve seen kids literally play out Dee with Cameron romantically, or even Lina with Dylan, not realizing THEY’RE GROWN WOMEN. Now, there have been other adult Bratz dolls, but the boxes clearly indicate that one is the “mom” doll and the other is a CHILD. Without that indication, all of the dolls in Fashion Pixiez are assumed to be TEENAGERS. Now, I can’t come down on a young-looking woman because everybody says I look like a 13 year old sometimes. Look at Ariana Grande? But still, if you’re going to have a young-looking adult sold, there should be some indication to the children playing with the dolls that’s what they are. Otherwise, problematic playtime could occur, such as the “adult” fairies ending up in fantasy weddings with the teenage Bratz Boyz. This occurs with kids who don’t fully understand the Fashion Pixiez movie or never watched it.

That also brings me to another problem. Lina was technically an adult flirting with a teenager and manipulating him, making him her slave in this movie, I’m just going to be real. That looks bad. I understand she looks like a young teenager forever, almost like the vampires in Twilight who have lived for hundreds of years, yet are in a relationship with some of the humans in the story or movie. But in the case of those movies and books, they kind of do a good job of making the Vampires feel like wandering ghosts who remain the same age forever, especially since most of the time, they never mingle with any adults or anyone older than 16. It’s almost like they are still teenagers in “vampire years”. Monster High uses this formula as well to give the illusion that they are still “teenagers”.

With Dee being MARRIED with a teenage daughter, we can’t use the illusion that they are “teenagers” in pixie years, like they did with Monster High’s Draculaura, who is 1600 years old. Dee got into an altercation with Lina TEN YEARS before the events of the movie, which also means Lina must be older, too. Therefore, we have to assume Lina was a full grown adult preying on Dylan and making him her “lover boy”.

And that wouldn’t be a problem, because it could be a cautionary tale encouraging young people not to talk to strange adults, to avoid thinking they are in love with you when they are preying on you, and whatnot. Yet, the problem is they were actually selling a DOLL based on this character. And then the character basically dies at the end of the movie, or is rather turned into a tree. So, why sell this doll?

Now, I’ve seen several people trying to theorize why the Fashion Pixiez doll looks so different from the movie version. Some people say they’re selling a version of the pixies that showcases them before they were adults, before Lina turned evil. I call bull. It’s pretty obvious what happened.

The dolls were designed first, and 1,001 bucks they were all designed to be teenagers. The writers and producers of the movie were handed a handful of the dolls to write a story around and they just wrote any old thing using the characters. They didn’t think, “Oh, these characters are going to potentially be sold to kids, being perceived as teenagers”. No. Some of the other toys included, like the Magic Mini Pixie Friends, didn’t even appear in the movie. That just says to me there is little to no connection between the Bratz Fashion Pixiez doll line and the Fashion Pixiez movie.

So while the story is very interesting, and one of the best in the Bratz franchise, it fails to capture the Bratz universe appropriately.


The primary Bratz pack characters’ personalities carried over from all the other movies, but I felt that Jade and Sasha were interpreted better in this movie. It was interesting that Cloe and Yasmin were the compassionate girls who impulsively jumped in to help Cymbelline, and that Sasha and Jade were the clear-headed girls who actually saved the day. There wasn’t as much emphasis on their individuality, but I felt it wasn’t needed.

I do still feel they leaned towards making Sasha more selfish than everyone else, especially when Jade suggested they go to the dark pixie party to save their friends, and Sasha was over there more worried about the Magnolia Ball. This is not to say Black characters have to be perfect, but I just feel like the darker-skinned characters are never structured as sweet or kind. If there’d been more Black representation, like with Felicia or Lydia making an appearance, then I’d probably be okay with Sasha being who she is. But with her being the only one representing darker-skinned girls, I wasn’t happy that she was written less likeable, especially considering how little she appeared in the lines after the TV series and how poorly Black characters are received in general.

But overall, the characters weren’t so difficult to handle in this movie.

Once again, though, they made Dylan a cornball. More interested in Lina, a grown woman, than Breeana, someone around his age. As soon as Dylan showed interest in Lina, I really felt that Breeana should not have tried all movie to ask him out. Once somebody shows you who they are and what they want, listen to them. At the end of the day, even if he were to get with Breeana, he’d be looking for the “Lina” in her. That’s what caught his attention. Honestly, I really felt bad for Breeana, because she was designed to appear so desperate for his attention, and he just didn’t see anything in her until Lina turned out to be bad. She was his second choice. Just saying.

Dee was an interesting addition as a mom and MARRIED character. Can’t believe that little thing popped out two children. And it just feels kind of weird to think the doll Dee is even married because in my mind all of the Bratz pack characters should be in open, friendly relationships with mild crushes, with an emphasis on independence. Ya’ll ruined that, too.

Overall, though, each character played their part in making the movie itself good. If I wasn’t seeing this as a Bratz movie, it’d be more enjoyable for me.


The visuals are pretty mesmerizing, not gonna lie. All the magic, fairy dust, flapping wings, it was all pretty, especially for 2007. I felt like most of the story took place at night, and considering Lina was in town, the weather did seem mostly cloudy, like a shadow had clouded over the city. I think it was considered drab until Jade and Sasha put on the fairy glasses/masks and saw the world in color. It seemed like there was supposed to be a contrast. I thought that was artistically laced within the movie. It’s not revolutionary or anything, but I like when it’s done in movies.

And of course, I was very happy to see the prototype pixie outfits in the movie, since they couldn’t make it on the dolls. And they looked just as amazing as I imagined them to be. Still think the prototypes should have been released as special editions, but hey. Beggars can’t be choosers.


The best part about this movie is that the songs from the Fashion Pixiez soundtrack actually appeared in the movie. I believe they heard the complaints from fans back in 2005 with Rock Angelz and started fixing it ever since with the other movies. “One of a Kind” and “Look Closer” are my favorite songs, so it was great to hear them in the movie. I love the modern pop feel, but they also had this mystical magical quality that really brought me into the pixie universe.


Overall, I loved the movie’s story. It was full of magic, mystery, excitement, thrill, family drama, and family togetherness. It was very fun and had its touching moments. The story drew me in, and I actually would like to know more about the Kingdom of the Fairies. I loved the visuals, and the music took me there.

But it was not a good adaptation of the actual doll line, and it made things problematic as a fan of the dolls. I wish Lina and Dee had been developed into the teenagers they were meant to be, or at least Lina wasn’t as problematic so I could enjoy having the Lina doll a little more.

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#06 Bratz Genie Magic

Higher up on the list is Bratz Genie Magic. Released in 2006, earlier in the year before Passion 4 Fashion Diamondz, I was still a Sophomore, in my second year of high school, and almost 16 years old. Man, time flies.


Written by Peggy Nicoll, the writer who wrote the “Bible” of the Bratz series and oversaw it, the story focuses on teen genie Katia. She escapes from her home, the ESA headquarters, and heads to Cafe Mambo where she meets the Bratz for the first time. Mesmerized by the Bratz girls’ music, she finds herself following them backstage. The Bratz girls find her intriguing and like her outfit, but a famous celebrity Matt Rock distracts them as he connects with Jade, who has shown interest in him all night. When a bouncer enters backstage looking for Katia, who didn’t pay to enter, she uses her mysterious magic to escape.

The next day, the Bratz girls meet back up with Katia, and discover that she’s being chased. They are willing to protect her, but then discover that she’s lived in a closed-off facility with no freedom, and had run away from home to live life like a normal teenager. Her father sent some goons to bring her back. Though the Bratz believe she should talk to her father, they agree to give her a real teen experience. They organize a sleep-over at Cloe’s house.

While there, Bratz Boyz Dylan and Bryce attempt to crash the party, which frightens Cloe, and she ends up wishing that they “would croak”. Katia misinterprets this to mean that Cloe wants them to turn into frogs, and so she grants it. At first, the other Bratz girls can’t believe what they’ve seen. Katia explains she’s a genie, granting one wish to each person until she’s 18, and expressing the limitations of not granting eternal life, more wishes, immense wealth, or something harmful. (Of course, there are loopholes through this; more on this later). After the Bratz Boyz wish for themselves back, the Bratz realize they have a new genie friend that can help them with their troubles. Cloe is trying to get an A in Geography, Sasha is trying to win a DJ contest, Jade is trying to score a date with Matt Rock, and Yasmin wants to have an animal shelter built to protect the animals from the crazy weather that’s been lately spiraling out of control all around the world, including in Stilesville. Because Cloe has already used her wish, Katia agrees that the girls can share three wishes. Anyone can make the wish at any time, and she won’t have to be present for it to come true. Unfortunately, this causes an argument between the girls as they try to decide whose wishes should be made.

In the midst of this, Bryce asks Katia on a date, and she agrees, making this is her first time going out with a boy.

The next day, while with the Bratz pack in the shopping center, Katia continues granting the wishes of people around her, gaining the Bratz pack’s admiration. They shop with her for some outfits similar to hers before she goes on her date with Bryce. She starts to feel light-headed suddenly, and shares with the girls that it happens when she’s away from her magic bottle for too long.

While out with Bryce, she catches the goons watching her and abruptly ends her date to find her new friends. As she gets closer to the Bratz pack, whose arguing is getting worse, they catch sight of their friend running from the goons. They try to help Katia, but she is caught. She reassures them that she’s going to talk to her father.

Back at the facility, a shady science lab located on a boat in the middle of a body of water, her father is angry with her for leaving, wearing makeup, and hanging with boys. He refuses to listen to her, causing her to be upset. At this facility, we learn that Katia is working with a man named Kon and his partner Zelle to “improve weather conditions” or “natural disasters”. She believes she’s helping, so does her father, who has decided to dedicate his life to science since he lost his own powers after his genie bottle was broken. But actually, Kon and Zelle are a part of an evil scientists’ association that is using Katia’s powers to create dangerous weather conditions around the world so they can extort money from the world’s governments. Eventually, Katia overhears their plans to harm her friends because they know of Katia’s powers. She escapes again to warn them and help them. Kon and Zelle, realizing she’s left to warn her friends, send their goons, and they reach Cloe and Yasmin before Katia can, kidnapping them. Katia manages to reach Bryce, Jade, and Sasha. Unfortunately, at this moment, while standing in pouring, flooding rain, Sasha makes a wish for an umbrella, leaving them all with only one wish left.

When they arrive at Cloe’s house where she and Yasmin were supposed to be, they realize they’d been kidnapped. Byron Powell, a famous friend of the Bratz pack and a secret agent, enters the broken-into home, and he begins to tell them more about Kon and Zelle. Katia realizes she’s been helping criminals. Byron asks Jade, Sasha, and Bryce to protect Katia, giving them gadgets for assistance, but Katia is adamant about going with them so she can protect her father.

Katia summons her magic carpet, splits it for her friends, and Bryce, Jade, Sasha, and Katia ride to the facility to find her father and their friends. When they arrive, hey discover her father has left his study, where he normally is, and is out looking for Katia. While they are searching for him, Zelle has given a truth serum to Cloe and Yasmin to find out what they know. She then prepares a mind sweep so they can become mindless minions like the goons. Fortunately, Katia, Bryce, Jade, and Sasha are able to arrive just in time to save their friends. Zelle flees the room.

As Kon enters to warn Zelle about the Bratz, he realizes she’s gone and the Bratz have the upper hand. He takes Katia’s bottle out of his jacket, and threatens to destroy it. Katia needs her bottle in tact in order to keep her powers, otherwise all of the wishes she’s ever made will be undone. The Bratz take this opportunity to wish for Katia’s father to be back safely in his study. What they don’t know is the study is rigged with a trap that could freeze him to death.

With all three of the Bratz wishes gone, they feel trapped. Bryce steps in quickly, wrapping the new gadget wire comb rope Byron gave him around Kon’s legs, crashing him to the floor. Katia is able to step forward and grab her own bottle. However, at this moment she realizes in order to save her father, she has to sacrifice her own powers. She smashes her bottle, causing every wish she ever made to be undone.

Kon is able to escape at this time, and he attempts to lock all of the Bratz pack in the room by breaking the entrance pad. Jade, Sasha, and Katia manage to escape, but Bryce, Cloe, and Yasmin get trapped on the other side. As Kon heads back to his office, Zelle knocks him out and handcuffs him to a pipe on the wall. She has been tired of his patronizing ways towards her, and turns on him, stealing all of the money.

As soon as the Bratz catch up with Kon, they realize that he has been over-powered by Zelle. The Bratz head to the roof to try and stop Zelle. Using their teamwork and clever ideas, they are able to take her laptop holding all of the money (Jade did her thing hoping onto that helicopter and sliding out of the moving helicopter, not knowing if she would make it. Chiiillld), and crash her helicopter, thanks to Katia and Jade distracting her with a split magic carpet and Sasha using an excavator truck of some sort. Though Zelle manages to get away, Kon is taken in by Byron and Katia. She and her father are reunited, and her father decides their family will live a normal life.

The story is very involved, and personally, as the third movie in the Bratz universe, it was a vast improvement from the first two fumbles. First off, the story actually focused on the Genie Magic line and the concept as a whole. Katia was used in majority of the movie. It had a clear purpose, and actually it was the first time a Bratz character was interpreted WITH A FAMILY, with parents. Though they didn’t focus on the families of the core four characters, it was a start. I also thought a story centered on a teen genie was so unique at the time. There’d been a lot of teen shows about witches like Sabrina the Teenage Witch and ones about teen fairies like Winx. But none about teen genies. I thought it was a unique spin on the typical genie story. To be honest, I would have liked a series centered on just Katia. She would make a good lead character because she has a family background and more adventures to tell with her genie powers (though she unfortunately loses it at the end of this movie, sort of).

Now, again, the story was missing the WHOLE Bratz Genie Magic landscape, just like most of all of the other movies. Meygan, who’d been a part of the main Genie Magic line, was missing from this movie, and that bothered me. I’d rather have her than Dylan or Bryce. I mean, I understand a Bratz boy was used so Katia could go on her first date like a quote “normal teenager” (clearly I wasn’t normal because I didn’t date in high school…). But there’s no excuse for them to ignore Meygan time and again.
Regardless of her inclusion, the movie was pretty entertaining. It was exciting, magical, fashionable, and fun.

There was one big hole that I discovered after watching, though. Maybe it’s not so much a hole, but it definitely made this movie confusing at times. I found it interesting that though Katia can’t grant immense wealth, she was able to grant the wish of a passerby who said he wished “he had a dime for every time his girlfriend asked [if she was fat]”. Ultimately, couldn’t that make him immensely wealthy?

Also, though she can’t grant any wishes that harm others, Zelle and Kon were able to use her wishes FOR HARM by lying about the circumstances of the wish. Her powers didn’t pick up on the “ill intent”. So, I wondered if the regulations are controlled by Katia, all of those conditions being her own regulations. The movie never specified why these conditions existed or who established them, yet, unlike with most genie tales, where the genies are usually not in control of whether a wish is granted or not, it appeared as if Katia was in control of the wishes she could grant, and that the greater issue was that she was largely manipulated by people into making wishes happen. Her real issue seemed to be not knowing if people really liked her for who she really was but for what she could do for them. Just an observation of mine.


The main four Bratz girls were interpreted much like they had been in Rock Angelz, BUT I’m glad they brought out Jade’s more extreme tendencies. She didn’t show any reservations when she hopped on that helicopter to take down Zelle. And then, while fighting off Zelle in a moving helicopter, girl used her acrobatic skills on the goon and grabbed the laptop, almost falling to her DEATH before being caught by Katia on her flying magic carpet. If that isn’t “way extreme and totally far-out”, as Jade is often described, I don’t know what is.

The other Bratz characters maintained their dramatic (Cloe), tough (Sasha), and superior-acting (Yasmin) streaks, which weren’t bad because they all learned to set aside their negative qualities to help their friend Katia.

Bryce…was a surprise visit. Prior to the movie, it was assumed he was romantically involved with Meygan (though there has been evidence she’s been interested in Nevra, too). Based on the Secret-Blind date adverts, that was implied. So many people didn’t know how to feel about the Katia-Bryce interpretation. But as I’ve said, I’ve always seen the Bratz as independent creatures who have crushes, but just don’t settle down. So, it’s all good. We don’t all crush on just one person in our lifetime, and its especially fleeting when we’re teenagers. Bryce’s appearance was altered so he could have a pair of glasses.

Dylan was yet again a cornball.

Without Meygan, this female dynamic was incomplete.

Katia was fully developed in comparison to the other Bratz characters, having a backstory, a family, and a reason to have a passion for fashion. I think after Katia, though, the “parents-are-super-strict” thing was overused (Passion 4 Fashion Diamondz, Bratz live action movie). However, what parents wouldn’t be strict with the Bratz? They do seem quite rebellious, even to real parents.

The one pet peeve of mine regarding Katia was how the writers tried to weave her into a Moroccan character. Initially, it was pretty obvious Katia was meant to be Russian. Back in the 2000s, on the social security name database, Katia was a name most commonly used in Russia, hardly even used in the USA, and not at all in any Arabic or middle eastern countries. To give Katia more of a proper Arabian nights feeling, they developed an Arabic background for her.

It’s still possible her mother is Russian, as there hasn’t been much information on her mother. But we know that she was supposed to be Russian when she was released in the Bratz Holiday line in 2005, a year before this movie was even released. And again, she’s going through the same problem as Roxxi, messing up the timeline. They have her written in as a new girl when she’s been around at least a year before this movie was even released. I felt they should have already made her a friend to the pack instead.

Again, I don’t know any doll brands who introduce old characters as new ones in their media content. They usually introduce an all-new character to fulfill this role because they know the doll community won’t know the character and will be excited to get a new character and a new doll, increasing the purchase of the doll. Katia has had other dolls before Genie Magic, like Holiday and Hollywood Style Katia, and they were just as beautiful as Genie Magic a year later. So what’s the pull? If they were ever to make a movie based on the Holiday dolls or Hollywood Style, it would be weird for it to take place after the events of Genie Magic. Also, didn’t Katia have a Bratz Babyz doll, with illustrations showing her interacting with the other Bratz pack members? How is that possible if the Bratz just met her in Genie Magic? I mean, I guess she can have a doll without having ever met the Bratz, but it still leaves more questions than answers. They can do what they want, it just doesn’t make sense in the Bratz doll timeline. That’s all.


The outfits were so beautiful in this movie, and it kind of lit up the scene. Throughout much of the movie, it was gloomy, dark, and rainy. The bejeweled outfits were so colorful, that they stood out against the backdrop. In fact, I felt that the CGI was actually pretty sharp for the time, again with the hair having fluid movement (instead of stiff movement, like you may have found in other doll movies).

However, I did notice that they put Yasmin’s doll outfit on Sasha, and Sasha’s doll outfit on Yasmin. Luckily, they look differently enough from one another that there’s no way we can confuse them in toy aisles (unlike with Jade and Cloe in Rock Angelz). But it is jarring when you’re looking to buy the doll and she’s wearing a totally different outfit.


This was the first time the music from the album actually appeared in the movie. Granted, some of the music from the album was from the TV series. Fine. But it is important to have some of the soundtrack music appear in the movie, especially if the soundtrack is released first. It’s expected that it will set the tone for the movie.

Unfortunately, the music wasn’t full of the same storytelling that Rock Angelz‘s album had, but the sound of the songs set the scene with a captivating “genie-like” vibe.


Overall, the movie was magical, mystical, action-packed, and visually stunning. Some favorite music numbers were put in, showing the complaints about Rock Angelz were heard. It was cool to watch a movie about a teenage genie. I wish they could have inculcated the Bratz Genie Magic line a little more closely, with Meygan included, and considered Katia’s status or place in the Bratz pack, as well as her cultural background, by the time of the movie’s release. Other than that, it was a good movie.

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#05 Bratz Passion 4 Fashion Diamondz

Within the top 5 is is Passion 4 Fashion Diamondz. This was released September 2006, surprisingly the same year as Bratz Genie Magic. They were really working hard to promote Bratz this year. I was 16 years old, and just started my Junior Year, or third year, in high school, just to give context as to how old I was and how strong my memory was.


Written by Janna King Kalichman, the story follows the Bratz as they are recruited by Byron Powell for his reality show America Rocks. The Bratz represent their self-titled magazine, visiting three cities to find the next teen fashion designer while competing against rival magazine Your Thing. Three girls were expected to be chosen by each magazine and taken to New York City to put on a fashion show. Between the two teams, one winner was expected to be chosen, with he winner earning diamond go-go boots and a contract with a famous designer.

As the Bratz pack and Your thing travel throughout the USA, they are met with “road trip drama”, such as ghost-story ghost hitchhikers coming to life, lonely diners with strange waitresses, and aliens. On the way, the Bratz pick up one contestant, named Mandy, who makes sure she’s the only one. She frames second contestant Tiffany, and secretly sabotages Your Thing‘s team.

When Your Thing retaliates, leading the Bratz off of the road, they meet Sharidan, who they discover is a shy but gifted designer, especially after they discover her studded design work (Forever Diamondz outfits). The Bratz recruit Sharidan to be their second contestant. Though her parents are initially apprehensive, they allow her to follow her dreams. Intimidated by the competition, Mandy steals Sharidan’s designs, the tour bus, and heads to New York City by herself to steal the show. Fortunately, Sharidan’s parents assist by offering their daughter their car. While headed after Mandy towards New York City, the Bratz discover that all of the road trip scares were concocted by Byron Powell for higher ratings on the reality show. Though they are disappointed in him, they continue on the show to make sure Sharidan’s dreams come true.

When they arrive at New York City, they’ve realized that Mandy has passed off Sharidan’s fashions as her own. They encourage Sharidan to use her design skills to make the studded designs they saw back on her farm. When Sharidan is complete, voila! They are shining like “real diamondz”. Shardian wins the competition.

Mandy isn’t having any of it. She knocks Byron out as he tries to bring the diamond shoes to Sharidan, and makes a dash for the New York City subway. The Bratz chase her, but she’s slick. Shardian is able to cut her off, but Mandy dangerously walks the tracks, with Sharidan inching in, almost putting them both in harms way. Eventually, the other Bratz are able to cut her off, with the police charging in with Byron Powell to arrest her.

The Bratz are awarded by the famous designer with a photoshoot wearing his new Ice champions (or On Ice) fashions, and they all live happily ever after.

And what became of Your Thing? Burdine went batshit crazy after being abducted by the fake aliens planted by Byron Powell, the Tweevils ran away her only contestant, Kristy, and they failed to impress anyone on the runway in the contestant’s place. The end.

Personally, I loved, loved, loved the story. Growing up, every summer, my family went on a road trip from one state to another, and we’ve had some adventures. One day, I would love to travel my large country, the USA, even more. There’s a lot to see here. Maybe one day when the situation is better. I personally love road trip movies and stories of spooky situations on the road. What was great about this movie is that it was full of adventure, suspense, shady western characters, action, and fashion! Though some moments were predictable, it never seemed like they tried to hide the intentions of most of the characters. We knew that everyone was shady, we just didn’t know when everything would blow up. The suspense made for a really fun movie.

The one thing I did question was the fact that these teenage girls were driving a truck or trailer, as it has been called in advertisements, supposedly being around “16 years old”. The Bratz are from California, and California law states any trailer that is over 20″ long or over 10,000 gross vehicle weight (or gvw) requires a CDL. In order to drive it across state lines, they have to be 21 years of age or older to receive the proper license. The Bratz are nowhere near that age. I mean, it’s just a slight hiccup, but hey, what’s the fun if you think of ALL the details, right? Overall, the idea of four teenagers taking a road trip by a rolling runway is just FUN, and it’s cool that there was a doll-sized version.

I was thinking possibly they faked their age or Byron pulled some strings to get them driving across state lines…Or maybe they were just breaking the law on live television and people overlooked it. I believe you just have to be 18 to drive within the state. Maybe the Bratz were reinterpreted as 18, and they just happened to drive across the state lines, stretching the law a bit. Just a bunch of outlaws they are.

Anyway, it didn’t take away my enjoyment of the movie.


I really liked the quirkiness and spontaneity of the characters. The core four Bratz pack members were the same as ususal, but they didn’t really focus on individualizing them. Dramatic Cloe was her same usual self the most, and it made for an entertaining time. The Tweevils and Burdine had me dying most of the movie, and when they threw in…What’s her name, Kristy? It was even more fun.

Mandy was something else. She was a delicious villain.

And of course, I was happy to see the development of Sharidan. Since Sharidan was first introduced in the Forever Diamondz line, they finally made the new doll the NEW girl, not some old-time doll that they suddenly tried to make a new part of the pack. And this was before Fashion Pixiez. Of course, I would have liked other characters from the line to appear, such as Vinessa, Katia, and Fianna, (though I kind of felt she appeared in the movie as Tiffany) It would have been nice to actually have them all there. Still, the girls from the main line were present, so it was all good.

The only thing I didn’t like was when the Bratz pack members tried to give Sharidan a “makeover”, deciding to “take off her glasses” and change her clothes. Back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, makeover scenes were very common, and they often ended with the “nerd” removing their glasses to appear more “attractive”. The Bratz should have helped Sharidan feel confident the way she was. I say this as someone who doesn’t let anyone take off her glasses. I rock my own style with them on. So, I felt a bit funny about that. But considering Sharidan really wanted to wear her own fashions and style, and didn’t seem too comfortable with her Plain Jane appearance, that’s fine.


Okay, the dusty roads weren’t glamorous, but it really set the mood. Long stretches of road and totally isolated. That’s how it felt watching it. And it made it all the better when they reached lit-up New York City and walked down the runway in the diamond-studded outfits, contrasting the long road they’d overcome. It was refreshing to have the Bratz leave Stilesville again and have a totally different setting for most of the whole movie.

Also, I was so happy the Bratz pack were wearing THEIR OWN OUTFITS, and it was great to see the prototypes with the original words on the tops. Of course, there have been two other prototypes for the Forever Diamondz line before even that prototype, and honestly, they are better than what became the final copy.


There wasn’t too much music, but the three main songs that appeared, “Just Having Some Fun”, “You’ve Got It”, and “Let Go”, were reprised versions of the songs on the album and I LOVED them. It was like a special edition that you can only get by buying the DVD, and then if you want the other version, you have to buy the album. It was a clever way to sell both, if you ask me. I was disappointed the song “Forever Diamondz” and “Oooh Fashion” wasn’t included in the movie, but hey, I’m not going to complain because at least some songs appeared in the movie. I liked the various feelings the music gave, whether on the road, on the catwalk, or ice skating.


Overall, it was a fun movie, full of suspense, thrill, action, adventure, and friendship. It’s definitely not realistic for teenagers to drive a trailer truck across the USA, but it’s all in good imaginary fun, so whatever. The movie was great, but I would’ve liked more from the Diamondz universe.

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