“Mystery and Intrigue Are Always Stylin’!”
Bratz Go to Paris: The Movie is a bit of a misnomer. It’s actually another offering from the Bratz conglomerate of direct-to-DVD releases. Funny thing, though…the official site makes no mention of this release (as of this review). A portend of things to come? You betcha! Or as the girls would say: totes fur realz!
The Bratz are: Cloe (Olivia Hack), Yasmin (Dionne Quan), Jade (Soleil Moon-Frye), and Sasha (Tia Mowry). They’re BFFs and super busy what with running their own fashion magazine and singing together as well.
Here’s a quick rundown of the story behind Bratz Go to Paris:
The Bratz are in the process of planning their fifteenth anniversary of being BFFs (is that a thing?) when Byron shows up to present the girls with a unique opportunity…fly to Paris with them to help him find out who’s been poisoning models. They’ll have to go undercover themselves as supermodels in order to uncover the truth.
So you don’t really need to have ever seen anything to do with the Bratz as the first few minutes of the story explain who the girls are and how they know each other. Anyone else whom the girls come into contact with get an expository line of dialogue or two to clarify how they fit into this world.
I have a few issues with this disc in both story and technical specs. From a story standpoint, there were some side stories introduced that completely fell by the wayside. The girls are supposed to be putting out the next issue of their magazine and a sudden trip to Paris means they have to figure out how to get the issue done on time. Yasmin needs to conquer her writer’s block and get a story submitted to a short story contest she wants to win. The girls convince Byron to let them bring Dylan (Ogie Banks III) and Cameron (Charlie Schlatter) with them on the trip but Dylan disappears once they land and as far as I can tell never reappears. In fact none of the side plots are resolved.
What is addressed by the story isn’t much better. The girls abandon their mission for a hefty portion of the runtime to get caught up in what Paris has to offer. There’s a new love interest, a chance to help design a line of clothing, jealousy of someone else’s love life and of course serving as supermodels, which all get in the way. More distracting for me, though, was how Byron (Greg Ellis) comes across as sort of Simon Cowell-lite. I can’t figure out if that’s intentional, though from the backstory I’m given I assume it is, which is just weird.
Do I need to go into detail about the lack of reality here in terms of body image and the like? I do appreciate the working out montage (the weird video filter to mask the repetitive shots not so much), but the girls drop the ball here. I understand needing to pad the runtime, but at least allow the girls to finish what they start and learn some kind of lesson about proper time management. The Bratz are supposed to be infringing on Barbie’s turf, but unless you’ve been with them from the beginning, I really don’t see anything that compels me to recommend a purchase.
The video transfer is a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen which utilizes a cheap animation occasionally looking like a simple animatic as opposed to fully-produced animation. It’s especially notable with Cloe’s hair which drives me nuts every time it swings. The audio track isn’t much better as it’s merely a Dolby 2.0, lower quality than you want or expect for a product which relies on music as much as this montage-loving disc does. And it sounds low quality as the musical numbers ring flat.
The special feature is a collection of webisodes based on the Bratzillas incarnation of the franchise.
Unless you live with a die-hard Bratz fan, skip this.