Lionsgate // 2007 // 88 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Jon Mercer (Retired) // April 10th, 2011
Doing Good Deeds Is Always In Style
Fun Fact: I grew up in the 1980s. With all the cartoons I absorbed as a boy, there couldn't have been more than ten collected minutes that wasn't accompanied by a flashy toy line. However the idea of wrapping what amounts to bargain bin moral fables up in the vapid sensibilities of the Paris Hilton set is like the taste of regurgitated energy drink in the back of my throat.
Yasmin, Cloe, Sasha and Jade, as I'm sure you're all aware, are the titular foursome. Bratz: Good Vibes collects four adventures from their hit computer animated TV show. The girls learn valuable lessons about karma, accepting the flaws of others, not judging a book by its cover, and the true reward of doing a good deed for others. The saccharine sweetness would be too much for any sane person to bear, were it not for the rest of the experience being as crass and caustic as a jock filled with fire ants.
Is it irony or coincidence that the moral lesson to be learned in each of the four adventures available on this disc are a nucleus about which orbits layer upon layer of blatant commercialism and, quite frankly, disturbing objectification of preteen girls? The characters are, as a rule of thumb, all gossamer thin. Existing only to sing out scatterbrained remarks in voices so squeaky and shrill, I'm quite sure they are capable of driving porpoises into a murderous frenzy. Most disheartening though is the setting. I'm fully acquainted with the idea of simplicity in cartoons. But these aren't stories being told by secret agent rockstars, cute and cuddly animals, or magical faeries. The word I think we'll roll with today is "prosti-tots." The characters are preteen girls, dolled up like Hollywood Boulevard trash. Every plot device stems from the Bratz dealing with problems that arise with either their fashion magazine or the mall. They exist in a Jersey Shore Lite vacuum. If I were the father of a little girl, this would not be on the list of entertainment I'd be promoting in the household.
Computer animation can look fantastic, but unfortunately that usually entails a spectacular budget. Bratz: Good Vibes features characters that look like fetal alcohol homunculi, and move like they've got skeletons made of glass. It's stiff, cheap looking visuals all around.
Those cheap visuals, though, are helped out quite a bit by the clean and tidy transfer, and while the 2.0 Dolby Digital stereo mix isn't going to win any awards, its quality won't be questioned either. Sadly, the only extras to be found are trailers for more Bratz entertainment.
What can I say, parents? Bratz: Good Vibes poses the same type of danger to your little girls as letting them slurp down cans of Red Bull and play in Mommy's makeup kit. It's a question of role models, because while the lessons being taught are worth your kid's listening, do you really want them being taught by tramps-in-training?
These little Divaz are ordered to report to the nearest rehab facility.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 88 Minutes
Release Year: 2007
MPAA Rating: Not Rated