Lionsgate // 2007 // 72 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Ryan Keefer (Retired) // March 21st, 2007
Fashionable pixies make the coolest friends!
Aside from possibly serving as a reason to bring the kids in for some remedial spelling lessons Bratz: Fashion Pixiez is a straight-to-video release based on a hot-selling group of dolls called, well, Bratz. So is this release actually worth its weight in underpaid third world factory workers, or would the creators be better off sticking to their popular Saturday morning television show?
I'll try and do this as best as I can, because it just feels weird to devote a lot of time to the story. There are these girls, see, and two of them are named Cloe and Yasmin. They run into another girl named Cymbeline, who has a younger sister. The sister helps Cloe and Yasmin see that she's not just anyone, she's a pixie (who, when not in human form, is apparently a dragonfly I think), and pixies apparently live among us regular folk, we just don't know about it. Kind of like They Live, except the whole world is seen through the eyes of teenage girls who have enough eye makeup on to put any New Jersey hooker to shame.
Just for the record, the Bratz line of dolls appears to be pretty much focused on the young female pre-teen (or earlier). I'm neither one of those, but it's been awhile since I checked and I have to get my paperwork updated. And far be it for me to sound like Fred MacMurray when it comes to children's television these days, but what is it that Bratz is trying to convey to kids? Apparently, they've been castigated by several innocuous parents groups because in their view, the show and videos are teaching kids to be hoochie mamas of some sort.
There may be some of that here, but in watching as much of Bratz: Fashion Pixiez as I could before my newly-purchased PS3 beckoned me, it became clear to me that the 72 minutes that Bratz are on screen made about as much sense as explaining the current tax code to my cats. Sure, there is a story, but I camped on one tidbit where common sense went away. There is a boy at the school whose name I forget but in this instance isn't really necessary, call him whatever emasculated name you wish, like Dawson or Pacey. He's walking around and thinking he's got good looks in spades, and he writes down the phone numbers of the women he meets in a "little black book." Which is fine, except if we weren't in the century of text messaging and "Blackberry thumb." Second, the kid gets around town on a motorcycle chopper for kids, which has got to cost in the hundreds of dollars. You mean to tell me his parents all of a sudden went cheap on him and told him to go to Staples to get a day-planner? That's what I thought.
The part of me that paid scant attention to the story was concerned about something else, and that was the relationship that Cymbeline's dad had with his daughters. It seemed like he was a nice enough guy who helped them out, and as far as houses go, it was rather Laguna Beach-like in both structural and environmental appearance. And he holds a charity dinner, where his kids ditch as part of a plan to try and get the pixies released and more visible on Earth. Dad doesn't want this for some reason that isn't clearly explained. So for no discernible reason, he's made the bad guy, dealing with kids that frequently sneak out of the house to meet more "pixies."
But there's a larger concern that sticks in my craw about Bratz, that it's developed quite a little bit of a media empire within the last several years. Understanding that for creators of children's entertainment, one has to strike the iron as many times while it's as hot as possible, to cash in on those running noses who will tug on Mom and Dad's pant leg to get another DVD, at what point do the parents see what the kids want and say "stop?" The blurb on the box that was cited at the top of this discussion makes a young girl want to actively seek out someone who has a nice pair of shoes, and not spend a word on the one who may be a better friend in the long run. So yes, it's clear to me that the Bratz are an evil force, one that must be stopped before complete world domination is achieved. Mom and Dad, the task is yours, please fulfill it before you discover your 12-year-old sneaking out of the house wearing a thong.
Well, someone's gotta be doing something right in the empire that is Bratz; enough money has been made now to produce a straight-to-video title that presumably eschews the recognizable talent that had been doing voiceovers for the characters. The story is pretty bland and the episode tends to lapse into proclivities of showing off the computer-generated characters and sceneries. Trim 10 or so minutes off the features and you've got something that the kids will eat up even more. Crap, that makes me an enabler.
The court feels genuinely bad after watching Bratz and wants to go out as quickly as possible to hug his nieces, and keep them locked in their rooms for the next decade. Court is adjourned.
Review content copyright © 2007 Ryan Keefer; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 72 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Set Top Games
* Karaoke Music Featurette
* Official Bratz Site