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At this point in the movie, the Bratz have split up and each group has two Bratz, a twin, and one of the daycare boys. Cloe, Jade, Nora and Cameron’s group is attempting to earn money to pay bully Duane back to get the puppy returned to them. So they set up a dog washing station in the middle of the mall. For some reason, lots of people take their dogs to this mall, so they seem to have plenty of business. They have a few seconds of success before “reality” sets in and things start to go awry.
But in truth, there is no logical way for four toddlers to set up the kiddie pools that they needed to wash the dogs or get the supplies and materials needed for dog grooming. Not to mention that none of these children have any formal training in taking care of animals. Washing dogs might not be that complicated. But why would anyone trust their animal to a group of kids too young for kindergarten?
Regardless of the fact that all of this is completely ridiculous, the plan soon goes awry. One dog is too big and the toddlers can’t control it. One dog is too small and one of the Bratz loses it in the kiddie pool, which are all overflowing with bubbles. Then some weirdo comes in with a rat and asks if they can wash the rat. The problem here isn’t that the kids have to figure out how to wash a rat, the problem is that some freak is walking around a public mall with a rat in their backpack. I’m not even going to get into the fact that she named her rat Minerva.
Anyway, one of the dogs sees the rat and they’re off! Just like in Masquerade Madness, these people still can’t grasp that animals do not conduct themselves by the same methods that humans do. After the animals have run amok and the kiddie pools, which were apparently inflatable, have burst and there is a mess and probably lots of money in water damage done to the mall, the security guard catches the kids and they land themselves back in daycare.
As soon as they’re back behind bars, Cloe exclaims, “I don’t understand what we did wrong. We made the world a nicer smelling place!” Of course, there’s no adult there to explain to her what they did wrong and she doesn’t learn anything from the entire incident, but this movie is designed to sell children shit they don’t need. So let’s not get too picky.
Gordon, the security guard, then goes to talking to Miss Calabash, who has no idea how the girls keep escaping. The fact that it happened twice in quick succession doesn’t seem to really bother anyone though. Gordon keeps radioing back to someone named Al about all of the goings on in the mall. Finally, there is a reveal and Al turns out to be a goldfish in a bowl. This might sound like a light joke, but it now leaves me to wonder if Gordon is so disconnected with reality that he truly believe this goldfish is his supervisor and if he is hallucinating the goldfish talking to him and/or giving him orders.
Regardless, Miss Calabash is super impressed with Gordon’s official-sounding babble over the radio and she asks him if he will be monitoring the karaoke contest that afternoon. He assures her that he is. He then leaves to go police the mall some more and leaves the door to the daycare center wide open. So this time the girls don’t even need to go through the secret ball pit chute, they can just waltz out of the front door.
Speaking of the girls, they are back to their schemes. Seemingly out of ideas, they declare that they are going to do things that they can’t even think of and use their imaginations. Because that makes sense to someone, at some point, for some reason. Meanwhile, the kids chase Miss Calabash around the play area some more. Because the viewer might have been worried that the adult caretaker may have just gotten a handle on things, albeit briefly, and the writer had to assure us that nothing of the sort is happening.
There is then an incredibly short scene with the other group of girls. Sasha, Yasmin and Nita are still out in the mall and have yet to be apprehended or have anyone notice that they’re missing from the play area. Then a woman walks by wearing platforms that I supposed is amusing to the girls in some way and they all start laughing at her. If that’s not hilarious enough, Sasha starts imitating the woman’s walk. It’s not clear at all, why this this scene is even present. What purpose does it serve? What is is teaching young girls besides that it’s okay to laugh at people behind their backs and mock them with your friends?
Cut to a boombox! The other group, Cameron, Cloe, Jade and Nora, are back at it, trying to raise the ransom money for the puppy again. They put on a type of variety show that involves the four kids dancing to another song about the Bratz Babyz that is just as annoying and vague as it sounds. Then Cloe draws a portrait of a child, which turns out terribly because she doesn’t have the fine motor skills need to draw a person accurately. The girls create balloon animals, but they pop.
Jade does miming for some reason. Cameron and Cloe juggle 2 liter bottles of soda, but one explodes all over the crowd, not leaving them very open to the idea of tipping. Jade’s cat attempts to walk a tightrope, but gets tangled and fails miserably. The kids continue to dance and their busking seems to be working until Cameron crashes into the girls and they collapse to the ground in a tangled mess. The crowd disperses.
Back at the ranch, Duane goes to the food court and steals a kid’s nachos. Sasha then makes the comment that he could steal all the food and it wouldn’t be enough. Yes, because nothing will ever sate fat people. They’re just eating machines. Which we know because of science. Suddenly, Nita grabs Duane’s backpack and struggles with the bully to retain control.
The bag tears and Snappy, who moved up in the world and wasn’t under Duane’s shirt this time, runs free. As the dog runs, she crashes into people and knocks things over, causing some more general chaos. The a food fight erupts and the adults all start hurling food back and forth at each other. But the Bratz and their assorted friends are already chasing after the puppy.
Cut to some other section of the food court where the other group of Bratz are taking a break from their disastrous money-raising efforts and sitting at a sushi bar. Cloe then orders a spicy tuna roll from an adult who thinks nothing of a toddler ordering raw fish from her. But then Cloe asks her to hold the tuna. And substitute peanut butter. And add jelly beans. Lots of them. And chocolate chips. And just take out the seaweed and use a fruit roll. Preferably a green one.
After abandoning the food order, the girls decide to count their earnings from their little show. Jade admits that she’s not that great at counting, but estimates that they have about 2 dollars total. Only 48 more to go. Meanwhile, the contest is starting soon and the girls realize that there’s no avoiding it; Nora has to sing. Jade assures the toddler that her voice is “Super diva fabulous”! But they just need to work on her look. So, of course, this leads to a makeover. Because where else would we end up in a Bratz’s movie? A library? A science lab? None of the above. Let’s go shopping and head to a salon!
The girls head out to go change Nora’s look. While they do this, Sasha, Yasmin and Nita are running after Snappy. There are interspersed scenes of them chasing the dog throughout Nora’s makeover. The most that can be said about them is; running! More running! Even more running! Seriously. There’s no need for this many scenes of them running after the dog and the dog eluding them. It just gets extraneous.
Cloe, Jade and Nora have managed to track down the twin’s older sister, Jillian, who has apparently been at the mall all day. She must have a really difficult foot to fit if it takes her that long to find a pair of boots and an outfit. But anyway, the Bratz girls are enamored by her. Cloe says that while she may be a total pain to Nora and Nita, she has total style.
The girls then take Nora to some kind of deserted salon and put her through the wringer, to the tune of dance music, attempting to imitate everything that Jillian is getting done by professionals. They do her hair, they put on her makeup, they help her select clothes. While this might have been well-intentioned as a cute dress-up scene for the little girl viewers of this film, the message that comes across is one of staggeringly poisonous commercialism replacing everything in a girl’s world before she’s even old enough to understand the width and breadth of everything life has to offer.
In addition to teaching young girls everywhere that beauty culture is the only acceptable way to express your femininity, the girls also have interspersed dancing scenes where they wiggle their hips and bat their unnaturally defined eyelashes and look just sexual enough to make you feel creepy and like you shouldn’t be watching this movie after all.
Meanwhile, the song in the background is spewing out lyrics like this, “Gotta get hotter than hot / get dressed up to rock / Gotta look hotter than hot / no more time on the clock”. Just think; Nora is preparing for a karaoke contest. She’s not warming up her vocal chords, she’s not practicing her song, she’s not working on her dance moves, her performance, nothing of the sort. All she can think about now is how she looks and what clothes she’s wearing. She’s not in a modeling contest. Her appearance shouldn’t be the most important thing there is right now. But it is. Because she’s a girl.
While all of this is going on, the other group of children are still caught in a mad chase between with Duane, the puppy, and the security guard. Highlights include when Nita tries to imitate a super heroine in a movie that she briefly broke into the theatre to see and climbs up onto the top of a food stand and attempts to swing onto the second level of the mall via some kind of drapery. Seriously. I couldn’t make that up.
I’m not going to go into detail about this entire prolonged chase scene because it’s just silly. Here’s an excerpt from my notes: “Chase continues. Nita jumps on a minibike. Harvey gets on his heelies. Duane pursues on a skateboard. Storeclerk yells at him for taking the board. Starts to chase after them. Sasha and Yasmin hijack a buggy. More running!” Seriously. Thats how the chase goes.
Back at the salon, Cloe and Jade try to put makeup on Nora and since they’re babies, er, babyz, they make her look a bit like a depressed circus clown. Undeterred, they continue to mimic older sister Jillian’s day of beauty and put Nora in ridiculous accessories and clothes. The final product is rather frightening.
As Nora emerges as the finished product of Cloe and Jade’s attempt at styling, the girls declare her a success. Then she terrifies Cameron. Snappy, who is still being chased by the rest of the cast, sees Nora and doesn’t recognize her at all. He runs off and Nora gives chase, trying to assure the scared dog that of who she is. They both land in the mall fountain and by then enough of Nora’s makeup and adornments have come off and Snappy recognizes her again.
But their victory is short lived as Duane snatches Snappy again and Gordon, the security guard, takes Nora and the entire gang back to daycare. He also calls her a “hardened crybaby” before he does. Because what’s better than arresting toddlers? Making fun of them while you do!
Back at daycare the kids realize the horrible fact that they don’t have enough time to dress Nora up again for the karaoke contest. Because she couldn’t possibly win a singing competition based on her singing, right? But it’s already time to leave for the contest, so Miss Calabash tells the girls to hurry up and get ready to leave. The other kids continue to harass Miss Calabash and this one they take her glasses.
The screaming picks up when Nita shouts in a suddenly deep voice, for everyone to be quiet. Miss Calabash is highly impressed with her ability to shout and informs her that she has “real leadership potential.” Because being loud is most of what it takes to be a leader. Apparently.
The Bratz are not thrilled about the idea of going to the karaoke contest though and point out that Nora is still damp from her run in with the fountain and doesn’t look highly styled enough to sing. Miss Calabash attempts to point out to the girls that the judges will be more interested in the singing rather than the styling, but then she completely disproves her own point by taking the girls to the costume closet in an attempt to get them to feel better about themselves.
She picks out two costumes that the girls don’t like. Sasha tells her, “It’s gotta be like rock and roll. Like smokin’ and stuff.” Miss Calabash thinks for a second, then tries again. On the third try, she pulls out an outfit composed of sparkly pants and a sparkly vest. That’s right. A vest. That’s the top. To say it’s creepy to watch characters that are supposed to be toddlers showing that much skin in a sexualized outfit is an understatement.
At the karaoke contest, a blonde girl is on stage singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in the most horrific way you could possibly imagine. With competition like that all you need to do is not suck and you could win. But anyway, the girls arrive in matching vest and pants ensembles. Because even though only Nora is supposed to be performing, everyone had to get dressed up.
The Bratz now try to give Nora a pep talk to help her overcome her nerves before going on stage. But after an entire day having her twin berate her and going through all of their no doubt exhaustive and various hijinks, Nora is lacking a little in the confidence section. Before she goes on stage, Nita apologizes to her for being such a total bitch all of the time. Although, after over an hour of Nita being a bitch, and then a few seconds worth of a quick apology, it makes it seem very superficial and not at all making up for the amount of abuse that she suffered through the movie.
Regardless, Nora gets onstage and guess what, she has stage fright! She mumbles through the first lines of the song when Nita suddenly jumps on stage and starts singing with her. They start off their song, All Together, which is not to be confused with the other Bratz song from Genie Magic, also entitled All Together or their other song When We’re All Together, also on the Genie Magic soundtrack. The Bratz girls watch from the side of the stage and realize that the twins are really good together and should just have been nicer to each other.
Then they all realize that they work better together too and they never should have split up earlier to solve things on their own. They all apologize and hug it out in a little love fest before they decide to jump on stage with Nita and Nora. The girls get microphones from out of no where and then they are singing away with the twins.
Of course, the crowd loves the song. Despite the fact that it’s terrible and when sung in high-pitched voices, it’s highly annoying, the entire mall is bopping along with the Bratz. Then the guys, Cameron and Harvey, decide to get on the action too. They jump up on stage and start dancing along with the girls. Balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling. Because, why not?
Miss Calabash starts dancing with Gordon. The Bratz animals, who no one seems to have noticed, and who I think are all mutual hallucinations between the girls, are jumping around and going crazy to the sight of their owners rocking out. The girls, of course, win first prize. They collect a trophy and a crisp $50 bill.
Duane emerges from the crowd and is ready to take possession of their winnings. He says that he also wants the girls to win a pie eating contest for him, among other things. Cloe then realizes that his demands are never going to end. Now that he knows he can get the girls to do anything he wants, he is ready to abuse this fact. While Nita is ready to hand over the money, Nora goes on an uncharacteristic tear.
Nora tells Duane no deal and says that you should never give in to a bully. She shouts at him and berates him and just like that, Duane becomes terribly afraid of these “diaper danglers” as he so eloquently called them a few seconds earlier. He attempts to leave, but the Bratz stand together. Soon, all of the various children that he bullied throughout the day stand together and keep him from exiting the mall.
Just then, Snappy, who Duane had been holding by the scruff of her neck, gets scared and urinates his shirt. He screams in protest and drops the dog. The children that Duane has terrorized all demand that he stays away from the mall and Duane runs off literally crying for his mother. While this might seem like a good message to send children about bullies, the fact of the matter is that Duane is a child himself and there is a reason for his behavior.
No one is trying to help him realize the error of his ways, no one tries to get him therapy for whatever reason he acting like this, no one even notices how strange it is that he’s been left at the mall all day with no supervision. While it seems that Duane is vanquished, he will undoubtedly return later, more angry, fearful, and isolated. This is in no way going to cure his behavior. Even if he leaves the Bratz alone, he will just go out and find more victims to terrorize.
But enough overanalyzing something that was never meant to be analyzed at all. The girls have Snappy back, they’re all better friends now, they’ve had a madcap adventure throughout the day, and Miss Calabash is delighted to meet their pet. Also, Jade makes sure to tell Miss Calabash that she didn’t have another accident, it was Snappy this time. The movie is almost over. There’s just one more song to go!
The kids all start dancing again, for no explainable reason. Miss Calabash dances with Gordon and asks him to call her Henrietta. Then Jade announces that her next makeover is going to be on Miss Calabash. The children continue to dance their strange, jerky, oddly sexual dance. Then the credits roll and the Bratz Babyz theme song plays again.
Overall, this movie was just as inane and silly as the first teenage Bratz movie. It’s arguably worse though as the main characters are now toddlers and their appearance, outfits, and dancing are all age inappropriate. The movie rams home the idea that girls and young women are sexual first and people second. It also teaches young girls that makeup, fashion, and accessorizing are not only paramount of femininity, but they are the be all, end all of being a woman.
And it wouldn’t be a Bratz movie if it didn’t assure girls that it’s okay to have hobbies, as long as those hobbies fit into a narrow box of feminine-appropriate things. They can sing, they can like fashion, they can play a skateboarding game and declare that girls rule! But let’s not let them step out of the hot pink delineated area of female acceptable pastimes.
Where are the girls who play Dungeons and Dragons? Where are the girls who do science experiments for fun? Where are the girls who study dinosaurs in their spare time? Where are the girls who care more about social justice than their hair? Why are the only girls shown here obsessed with the makeup and fashions that aren’t even meant for their own age?
The outcome of this movie is clear; if you want anything other than a flimsy, two-dimensional commercialized depiction of womanhood for your little girl, look somewhere else. If you want your child learning that girls are only acceptable when they’re whipping their long hair and prancing around in panties, then you have found the perfect vehicle to teach these ideals. There’s no disguising that this movie was simply a way to generate extra money from the doll line. But the cost of teaching girls to be this shallow and materialistic is not just going to hurt the girls, it’s going to hurt our entire society.
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