Universal // 2006 // 68 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 26th, 2007
When Pockets attack.
Polly Pocket has arrived. She has made the transition from portable-doll-trapped-in-a-pocket-size-sarcophagus to full-on direct-to-DVD 68-minute animated film superstar. Who is Polly Pocket? She's a totally hip girl who loves shopping and playing music with her friends. Polly's father is super-rich and a widower, leaving him on the lookout for next Mrs. Pocket and a new mom for Polly. The latest tryout for this position is Lorelai, who is saucier than her pleasant demeanor at first reveals. She's got a plan to convince Polly's dad to send Polly off to boarding school, leaving the new stepmom full access with her new, rich sugar daddy.
Meanwhile, Polly and her friends are kickin' it at Pollyworld, riding super-awesome theme park rides and participating in a reality show called "Roll Like That!" Unbeknownst to Polly, Lorelai has teamed up with Beth, Polly's bitchy little rival for Ms. Popularity. So it's Polly versus the world...just the way she likes it.
Polly Pocket is a less-whorish version of the Bratz. It's a female-centric cartoon, and the characters -- all adolescent girls -- love shopping and make-up and dancing and singing and fashion. They all dress more conservatively than the Bratz and aren't made up porn star-style, which is a plus. Basically, Pollyworld is a sanitized, harmless girlie-girl piece of animation.
It' also completely predictable and annoying if you don't belong to the target demographic. I think I've seen this evil-stepmom plotline done several hundred times before (maybe it was a Saved by the Bell arc?), and the outcome is always crystal-clear (non-spoiler: Polly's father doesn't cart his daughter off to boarding school for no good reason). Oh, and Beth doesn't usurp Polly as the most popular girl in school and, yes, Polly and her band rock the mother@#$%$%@$ hiz-ouse!!!
Who are we kidding here? This film isn't after narrative deftness. It exists to a) sell toys and b) entertain young girls for just north of an hour, in that order. Judging the movie by that criteria, it succeeds, and if I were a parent and I had a daughter and she was clamoring for an animated film about hip young girls who sing and dance and shop and stuff, I wouldn't feel guilty about popping this disc into the tray.
The animation, while simple, is bright and attractive, and looks slick on the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. A 5.1 Dolby Digital audio track accompanies and probably isn't necessary, but, hey, it'll earn a bump up on the "AUDIO" score. Extras are limited to time-wasting interactive games, a music video and some DVD-ROM content including wallpapers and coloring pages.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (French)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (Spanish)
Running Time: 68 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Music Video
* PDA Profiler
* DVD-ROM Content