Lionsgate // 2008 // 73 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // February 27th, 2008
A tale of friendship in a magical movie.
Full disclosure: I loathe the Bratz and everything they stand for. Materialistic sluts-in-training, the Bratz grant us a look into the kind of animated role models that help produce the kind of spoiled adolescents that walk around my local mall chewing gum and talking loudly on their phones and wearing unflattering shirts three sizes too small for them. What the Bratz begin, green amateur shakycam footage finishes.
So going into this I was inclined towards an ill-tempered viewing experience. However, these aren't full-fledged, whorish Bratz, but the Bratz Kidz, who are slightly more tolerable and less poisonous to the minds of impressionable young girls.
Fairy Tales stars the four Bratz when they were much younger, before the diversions of boys, makeup and communicable diseases would creep into their lives. Yasmin, Jade, Cloe and Sasha are BFFs (and yes they actually utter the term "BFF" in this movie and I instinctively reacted with a dry heave) that find themselves in a fairy tale land.
On the surface, it sounds pretty awesome, but a talking frog informs them that they'll be trapped there forever unless they can each succeed in their respective fairy tale roles. Yasmin is tossed into the world of Cinderalla, Jade is Snow White (dealing with a selection of seven lawn gnomes), Cloe is Rapunzel and Sasha is Little Red Riding Hood. If they can survive the onslaught of the evil queen and a wicked witch and a big bad wolf, they'll be freed from fairy tale prison.
There you go, a 70 minute spoof on fairy tales that isn't necessarily original, but is leagues more wholesome and entertaining than the usual emotionally destructive dreck the Bratz cough up.
An even bigger surprise is the fact that there are actually a few protons of cleverness to be found in the proceedings. The satire is actually funny at moments -- relatively speaking -- the voice acting is quirky (the non Bratz characters that is) and the riffs on the fairy tales are pretty funny.
Each tale boasts a blatant feminist angle, like "girls sure had it tough back in these days" and "where I come from, girls do more than cook and clean," which, when you take it in context with the greater Bratz world of objectification and the focus on the superficial, is ironic.
The trademark Bratz animation is intact. The "Kidz" still sport the same, freakishly enlarged eyes a their older counterparts, but the new fairy tale milieu offers some more playful venues for the girls(z) to populate. It's not a bad looking batch of computer generated cartooning all things considered.
The animation benefits from a clean, robust 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, supplemented by a 2.0 stereo Dolby Digital mix. Extras: a design game, fairy tale trivia challenge, three sing-alongs and trailers.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 73 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site