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Bratz: The Movie

 

Release Date: August 3, 2007

MPAA Rating: PG for thematic elements

Staring: Nathalia Ramos, Janel Parrish, Logan Browning, Skyler Shaye, Chelsea Staub, Jon Voight

Genre: Comedy and Kids/Family

Age Recommendation: Not recommended for children under 8

PTC Overall Traffic Light Rating: Green

 

 

Sex

Brief, closed-mouth kiss

Mild innuendo

Some midriff baring outfits

Violence

Two boys engage in a brief physical altercation

Cloe and another shopper struggle over a belt, the other shopper falls over

Teenaged boy hit in the groin with a soccer ball

Language

Name calling

Behavior

Food fight

Disrespectful attitudes (primarily from the antagonist)

MTV promoted heavily

School authority portrayed negatively

Superficial values (fashion, make-up, etc)

 

On the first day of school each student is assigned to a clique by the powerful student body president, Meredith – who also happens to be the principal’s daughter. Best friends Yasmin, Jade, Sasha and Cloe threaten to destroy Meredith’s carefully orchestrated social order; but the powerful cliques force the girls apart when Jade starts spending all of her time with her new friends in the science club, Sasha joins the cheerleading squad, and Cloe joins the soccer team.  Two years pass and the girls have grown into their new social groups, completely abandoning their old friendships until a misunderstanding lands them all in detention.  Once reunited, the girls vow to stay together and be friendly to everyone, even those in different social groups, but Meredith has other plans and tries once again to force the girls apart.

 

Caution Cones for Parents:

Bratz: The Movie is an innocent film that would appeal to many adolescent and pre-adolescent girls.  Some parents may be put-off by the emphasis on superficial values and the heavy promotion of MTV in the second half (Meredith throws a “Super Sweet Sixteen” party to be filmed by MTV to cement her popularity; the “Bratz” are offered an opportunity to appear at a red carpet event by an MTV executive).  The “Bratz” dolls that inspired the movie were also recently criticized by the American Psychological Association for contributing to the sexualization of young girls.  According to the APA, “Bratz dolls come dressed in sexualized clothing such as miniskirts, fishnet stockings, and feather boas. Although these dolls may present no more sexualization of girls or women than is seen in MTV videos, it is worrisome when dolls designed specifically for 4- to 8-year-olds are associated with an objectified adult sexuality.”  While the girls in the movie wear trendy clothing, it is far more modest than the attire sported by their plastic counterparts – but many parents have expressed concern about the implicit promotion of these controversial dolls.  Parents should also note that Carrie Nation High is depicted as a prison-like environment with high, chain-link fences, officers and guard dogs policing the grounds and security cameras monitoring the students’ every move.  The principal of the school kowtows to his daughter Meredith, indulges her selfish behavior, and allows her to enforce her strict regime of social segregation.

 

Sexual content consists of some midriff-baring clothing; a brief, chaste, closed-mouth kiss between Meredith and her boyfriend; a “jock” coming-on to Jade by suggesting they could try an experiment “without the Bunsen burner”; and Cameron putting his hands on Cloe’s hips to demonstrate a soccer move.

 

Foul language is not a problem for this film, but parents should note that there is a significant amount of name calling (toad, freak, stupid, dork, snob, geek, ugly).

 

Violence consists of a brief physical altercation after a “jock” insults Jade and one of her Science Club friends uses a martial arts move to pin him to the ground and demand an apology.  In another scene, Cloe and another customer in a clothing store struggle over a belt.  Cloe prevails and the other customer is shown falling over a table.  Cloe’s behavior is rewarded with a “Good job, girl!” from one of her friends.  Cameron is shown getting hit in the groin by a soccer ball.

 

Overall, Bratz: The Movie does reinforce many positive values.  The selfish behavior exhibited by Meredith is clearly shown to be distasteful and alienating.  Though she clearly thinks she is the most popular girl in school, her social status is achieved through intimidation, manipulation and blackmail leaving her with few true friends.  Far from being “brats” the heroines exhibit true friendship and compassion for each other and a desire to break free of the confining stereotypes that limited social interaction among the different cliques.  The PTC does not recommend this movie for children under the age of 8.

 


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