Welcome to the End of Days. And lo, when the Seventh Seal is finally delivered unto us and broken open, one word shall be engraved upon it: Bratz. And the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse shall appear, all riding Bratz Big Babyz Ponyz. And death and poor spelling shall rule over the earth, forever and anon.
It's bad enough that they called this obnoxious line of dolls Bratz, as if that parental condemnation was a level of behavior in which to aspire. But did they have to spell it wrong, too? Let's not forget that some Bratz dolls originally came with thongs, and in one particularly heinous playset, the little hoochie mamas - I mean, dolls - were supplied with glasses and bottles of champagne (which the company later helpfully explained were bottles of sparkling cider) for their pimped out, glittery limo. Upon their debut, quite a few parents and watchdog groups immediately seized on the sexualized nature of these dolls, feeling they were totally inappropriate for their intended audience of three to nine-year-old girls. The company that made the dolls defended them, saying they couldn't be bad because they were so popular. Well, I hear tell that crack is pretty popular, too, but I don't see anybody singing its praises because it's a high-volume mover. I can remember when Barbie used to get a bad rap, but at least you can pick up a Doctor Barbie or a Teacher Barbie. The Bratz, on the other hand, seem to have other things on their minds.
So...you need to watch a movie about them, too? Well, if you must. Bratz: Fashion Pixiez (there's that creative spelling again) concerns Cymbeline, who, as an obnoxious teenager, delights in giving her father a lot of lip. Her younger sister, Brianna, is sad, because Cymbeline is mean. And that makes Cymbeline mad, to see Brianna sad. And that makes the other Bratz sad, to see Cymbeline so mad and Brianna so sad. And that makes...oh Christ, who cares. Okay, so somehow, Cymbeline is a pixie, and she's gone over to the dark side -the "dark pixies," as they're known - and she's helping flirty Lina, who was banished by Cymbeline's dad (who happens to be the King of the Pixies, I kid you not), to "regain the power," whatever the hell that means. A battle to the death ensues - well, it's not to the death, actually, but that would have been sweet - and guess who prevails. Oh yeah -- there are some cool garden gnomes running around, too, giving people an earful whenever they get stepped on.
I suppose if you're a Bratz fan, you'll want this movie. Although, if you're a Bratz fan...what are you doing on this site? It's for adults - so get off! Anyway, Bratz: Fashion Pixiez is fairly stupid and insulting, with inappropriate drug humor ("Dylan, did you get into Mr. Del Rio's chemistry supplies?"), sexual references ("I got all my honeys in my little black book."), and of course, abysmal dialogue that make the Bratz intellectual inferiors to Paris Hilton ("I swear on my new boots!" "Those are really stylin', by the way!" "Thanks, got 'em on sale!" "Nice!"). There are so many wonderful DVDs out there for your children to watch (such as Barney: Let's Go to the Fire House; don't waste their impressionable minds on this calculated, cold, mechanical dreck.
The widescreen, enhanced for 16x9 TVs, 1.78:1 video image for Bratz: Fashion Pixiez is transfered in pristine digital clarity.
The Dolby Digital English 2.0 stereo mix clearly enunciates all of the Bratz's drivel. There's a Spanish 2.0 track available, too. Close-captioning is available.
Several extras are included in Bratz: Fashion Pixiez. Two interactive games are included: Pixie Vision Memory Game, which made me sad, which made me mad, because it's hard, and Fashion Stylin' Game -- my rating was, "Girl, your wings are so fly!" There's a Karaoke Music Featurette, as well as a Music Video, which is just clips from the show. And finally, there's a special (!) first (!) look (!) at the coming Bratz Kidz Sleep-Over Adventure. Yessssssssssss.
Empowering (if you want your kid to be a professional shopper), heartlesz, and apparently created by lurching automatonz, Bratz: Fashion Pixiez is the last word in soullesz marketing and "brand expansionz." If you have a particularly nasty child you don't like, by all meanz, buy it. All other loving parentz: skip Bratz: Fashion Pixiez.
Paul Mavis is an internationally published film and television historian, a member of the Online Film Critics Society, and the author of The Espionage Filmography.