This is a multi-part review of the Bratz Kidz movie Sleep-over Adventures. To read all sections in this review, click here.
Back at the sleepover, Ginger is hiding under her blanket in terror. Meygan asks her what’s wrong and Ginger pitifully says, “Do we have to tell any more?” She’s already made it very clear that she doesn’t like scary stories and she’s very uncomfortable with this. But the other girls just don’t give a fuck. Cloe tells her that it’s fun! Despite all evidence to the fact that Ginger is not having fun with this at all.
Just then, there’s a noise that sounds like a creaky door. Ginger is quick to dispel her friend’s fears and tell them that it’s just a broken shutter. Then, it’s time for the next story. It’s Yasmin’s turn. She starts out by asking the girls if they know about those charm bracelets that are super popular at school.
The story starts with Yasmin in the car with her mom. I feel like I should mention it here. Because it’s just weird. I’m not sure what to make of it, but it’s strange. Anyway, Yasmin’s mom is white. She’s also the mom from Fashion Pixiez. But yeah, I have three theories as for how this happened.
- They are so goddamn lazy that they just recycled the mom and didn’t bother to even change her skin tone to match her daughter’s. Because their audience is mainly composed of four-year-old girls. They would neither notice nor care.
- Yasmin is adopted or mixed race and this is adding a layer onto the show about family. But there is no indication in any of the other media that this is the case, nor is this fact every addressed. So if she was adopted, it’s not developed enough to really examine this or make a point. The only other instance where the Bratz’s parents were shown in screen is in the original Bratz Babyz movie where they are shown as hands and wrists only.
- This could be a statement on the idea that parents are outsiders in the Bratz world and are part of a default, background conglomeration of whiteness. The Bratz are such separate entities from their parents that they don’t even inherit their culture or skin color.
But yes, I’m leaning towards laziness and the animation budget being at fault here. It would seem to be giving Bratz too much credit to think that they’re making a statement or trying to present a point about society or culture or anything. So little thought goes into these movies as it is. I would be hard pressed to say that there was something deeper than the surface going on.
Anyway, Yasmin is in the car with her mother, pleading for a charm bracelet. She says that everyone has one and names off her three BFFs as proof that everyone in the world has this charm bracelet, so she needs one too. She worries that she will become an outcast if she doesn’t get one. Which doesn’t say a lot about the girls’ friendship if their relationship falls apart all because she doesn’t own a certain bracelet.
Her mom tells her that it’s just a fad that will fade out in a week. Yasmin pleads to the contrary, but mom insists that it’s too expensive for a girl her age. She points out that it’s not even Yasmin’s birthday. So there’s no way to justify the extravagance. But that reminds her that it’s Dana’s birthday tomorrow and Yasmin needs to get her a present.
The two arrive at the Stilesville Mall and Yasmin’s mom hands her some money and tells her to get something nice for Dana while she runs errands. She tells her daughter, “Remember, it’s better to give than to receive.” Yasmin just looks at her with a completely shitty look of disgust on her face.
The next scene shows Yasmin and her mom walking hand in hand down the side of the strip mall. Mom points out a gift shop and tells Yasmin that she will meet her at 4pm at the ice cream parlor. She says that a chocolate sundae is much better than a bracelet that she will be tired of in a week. Yasmin does not look so convinced of this fact. Her mom leaves and she heads towards the gift shop. But she passes by a jewelry store and sees the charm bracelet in the window. She looks at the money in her hand and clutches it tightly.
Cut to Yasmin walking out of the jewelry store with the bracelet on her wrist. The poorly-animated piece of jewelry is completely round and doesn’t lay at all like a real bracelet would against her body. But never mind that! The charms dance and dangle as she shakes her wrist! It seems strange that she goes to get a charm bracelet with charms already on it.
The entire point of a charm bracelet is for the individual to put charms on it that are relevant to them and their lives. You acquire them as you go new places and experience new things. But, like the rest of the world the Bratz inhabit, their individualized charm bracelet comes ready-made with all of your memories already attached.
Anyway, Yasmin then hears her mother’s voice echoing that it’s better to give than to receive and she recalls that she needs to buy Dana a birthday present. She opens her palm and counts her change. It’s hard to tell exactly what coins she has, but it looks as if she’s holding five dimes. What you can buy for fifty cents at a store in California is probably some pocket lint. But Yasmin runs into the gift store and emerges later with a wrapped gift box. She sighs happily, even though it would seem that fifty cents wouldn’t even purchase the gift wrap that went onto the box.
At the birthday party, Yasmin and her Bratz BFFs are there with Dana to celebrate. Dana opens a gift and it’s a small wobbly ball thing that Cloe also had in her bedroom during her story. Dana touches it and activates the wobbling and everyone laughs at it. The point of this ball thing is anyone’s guess.
Dana thanks her guests in a way that is so overly gushing that it just comes off as annoying. She also sounds like she’s four years old instead of eight or ten or however old the girls are supposed to be. Yasmin gives her friend her gift and that’s when Dana notices her charm bracelet. She talks about how much she wants one and how lucky Yasmin is to have one. Embarrassed, the girls hides her wrist. Dana opens her present from Yasmin and finds that it’s a red vase. She exclaims that it’s just what she needed.
And come on, no eight-year-old girl needs a vase. But Dana is so thrilled with it that she says that shes going to go put some flowers in it. Yasmin feels guilty over her friend’s joy at her last-minute present.
Sometime later, the story picks up at school. Which seems to be the only school in Stilesville. It’s both the high school and the elementary school from the previous Kidz movie. But anyway, Yasmin sees Meygan and Cloe reading on the stairs and ask if they notice anything different about her, meaning her bracelet. Which doesn’t make much sense. They already saw her at the birthday party. If they were going to notice anything new about her, wouldn’t they have seen it then?
Regardless, the girls start to guess at what’s different about Yasmin. They guess that she got a new sweater, she got her teeth cleaned, she got her hair cut and the like. Frustrated, Yasmin points out her new bracelet and goes over all of the charms that are on it.
She then seems to notice that neither of her friends are wearing their bracelets. She asks where theirs are. Meygan says that hers kept catching on her sweater. Cloe says that she doesn’t wear hers everyday. Especially when she has soccer practice. Which is funny because this hobby has never been mentioned before and is never mentioned again.
Just then, Sasha approaches and she’s wearing new designer jeans. The girls jump off the stairs to go examine these new jeans. Sasha proudly says that she just got them last week and the other girls all express wanting some of their own. Yasmin can barely hide her disappointment.
Later, Yasmin is in the car with her mom once more. Yasmin has apparently been asking for new jeans, just like Sasha’s. Her exasperated mom tries to recall what it was that she wanted last week and remarks that it was an expensive charm bracelet. Yasmin hides the bracelet in question. Which seems odd that her mother didn’t notice it at all.
It’s strange that Bratz is making a point about fads and America’s culture of materialism. When Bratz is yet another example of this. It seems silly to belittle Yasmin for wanting the product of a fad when the very toys and movies that make up Bratz merchandise are cut from the same cloth. It’s almost for a second that the movie became self-aware, but really it just seems like it takes itself entirely too seriously to venture even the slightest bit of self-depreciation.
Yasmin then goes to her room and gets out her Bratz jewelry box. Which yes, has the four teenage Bratz proudly smiling on it. Like Bratz magazine, it makes absolutely no sense why this item would be in her bedroom. At this age, Yasmin is too young and no one has even thought of the name Bratz yet. But let’s not go applying too much logic to this nonsense. Anyway, Yasmin puts the charm bracelet into the jewelry box and closes the little box.
There’s then a montage of the next day at school. In class, Yasmin finds the bracelet in her backpack. She puts it in a book then closes it in her locker. Because she never needs to open a book. So storing it there is perfectly safe. The Latina girl goes to lunch and finds the bracelet in her lunch box. She gasps. Later, when she gets home, she puts it back into the jewelry box.
Outside, Yasmin goes biking with her friends. Meygan is driving a moped or scooter of some king and Cloe and Sasha are on a bike built for two. Yasmin pulls out her backpack at the bracelet falls out. She’s so startled that she falls off of her bike. She then demands, from her place on the ground, to know who is fucking with her and moving the bracelet.
Sasha observes the charm bracelet and states that those are kind of tired. A clear sign that these style of bracelets are going out of fashion and the fad is passing. Meygan then tells her to put the bracelet on or she’ll lose it. Yasmin is sarcastic with her friends about their supposed innocence and when the girls ask her what she’s talking about, she announces never mind and leaves.
Yasmin rides to a wooden bridge over a stream and stops. She throws the bracelet overboard and the camera shows it sinking to the bottom. Yasmin then leaves and bikes home.
When Yasmin gets home, she walks into the kitchen to hear her mother asking her if she’s ready to bake cookies. Yasmin says that she is and her mom tells her to mix the eggs. Yasmin stirs up some horribly animated raw eggs that looks like the crazy bullshit the Tweevils had to drink during the Truth or Dare episode of the TV show. Yasmin raises her arm and looks at it to notice that (shock and horror!) the bracelet is on her wrist.
The girl has a total panic attack and tries to claw the bracelet off of her arm. Meanwhile, her mother, who was only a few feet away last time I checked, is completely oblivious. She casually asks Yasmin if she’s finished already and Yasmin claims that she forgot to wash up and runs off. She walks into her room, which apparently doesn’t have a door, just beads over it, and enters. The phone rings.
Ignoring the phone, Yasmin stares at the bracelet and takes it off. Throwing it onto the bed, she starts crying. Her mom then enters and asks her what’s going on. Yasmin says that she’s having a bad day. She carefully hides the bracelet from her mother’s view. The woman then says that Dana just called crying because her cat knocked over the case that Yasmin gave her for her birthday and broke it.
I find this strange for several reasons. First of all, cats are assholes and things break. So it makes no sense to be that upset about a broken vase. Also, when someone gives you something and you break it, you generally don’t call them to announce it. You never mention it again and if they ask you about it, you lie. That’s called being polite.
But anyway, mom says that poor overly-nice Dana feels terrible about the vase breaking. Which is really her own fault for having a cat. Yasmin then looks at the heart on the charm bracelet and gets an idea. She says that she knows the perfect replacement gift. Which is apparently a thing. She says that she’ll go right now to give it to Dana.
Mom approves and says that she bets that cheering Dana up will cheer her up too. Yasmin reminds her mother that it’s always better to give than receive. Which, no matter how many times they say that, still doesn’t make sense with this story.
In the next scene, Yasmin is over at Dana’s house. She comes to the door with a gift wrapped box. Dana opens it and starts expressing her undying sorrow for the cat knocking over the vase. Which, I have to say, just makes Dana sound entirely too emotionally fragile to be a real person. I mean, it’s a vase. Calm the fuck down. Anyway, Yasmin comes in and Dana is still talking about how much she loved that vase. Yasmin then gives her the new gift.
In the living room, Yasmin has apparently just finished explaining the entire strange story about this bracelet to her friend. She ends with, “But you see, the bracelet was cursed for me, I think.” Which makes her gift sound that much more thoughtful. Not only is she giving her a present that the other Bratz have already deemed out of style, but it’s also cursed. Friendship, kids!
Yasmin adds that she used the money to buy the bracelet instead of her birthday gift and admits to being the worst friend. Dana automatically forgives her without even considering what she told her. She also adds that it must have been a difficult thing to tell her. Like honesty makes up for shitty behavior. Anyway, She opens the gift and sees the bracelet and Yasmin tells her that it should have been for her in the first place.
Dana admits that she wanted one for ages, but her mom refused to get her one because she always loses jewelry. She again expresses her excitement for the bracelet. Yasmin apologizes again, needlessly. The girls hug. Dana then says that this is the perfect piece of jewelry for her and Yasmin pipes up, “Yeah, cause you can never misplace it or lose it.” The two laugh.
And that’s the end of the story. As the Bratz sleepover scene comes up again, all of the girls are laughing at the oh-so-funny fact that Yasmin gave her friend a cursed bracelet that demands to be worn every day. No one seems to notice just how strange that story was or that its moral made very little sense in context. But it’s Bratz, so who cares?
Next time is Jade’s story. It’s the last story of the movie and this one might actually be scary. No, just kidding. It’s ridiculous and weird.
Screenshot credit to Ask Dylan. Thanks, dude!
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